TP Link light switch and hub, are there non hub options?

27 Jan 2008
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Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
United Kingdom
I already have TCP, Energenie, Wiz, and Smart Life so not really wanting yet another, already two hubs, Energenie and Zigbee.

But the Energenie switch which needs no neutral have failed to work with some bulbs, likely due to getting the energy to work from the mains, which means always some current through the bulbs.

It seems the TP link switch uses batteries, so it does not rely on current through the bulb, but it seems yet another hub.

So before getting yet another system, is there anything else?
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Anything battery powered will realistically need a hub unfortunately. Any ecosystem without a hub will use WiFi (or possibly BLE, but that brings it's own problems..) - WiFi uses simply too much power for devices to run on batteries.

Zigbee and Z-wave (et al.) work on batteries because the protocols are optimised for low-power operation. All of these rely on a hub to communicate with your network and be smart.

What ZigBee hub do you have? Many unofficially support adding third party devices.

I can think of one brand that I don't think requires a hub, but requires vast amounts of hacking to make it anywhere near "smart" - I'll try and find it.
I did not realise there are different zigbee hubs, we got some Lidi stuff, then found it needed a hub, non in Lidi so got one off internet, and had no problems with it.

I had 5 Energenie MiHome smart light switches, now down to 2, also on socket has failed, turned itself into a flasher unit, when I saw the TP Link used batteries, I wondered if this would be better with no flicker or having to add load capacitors as required some times with non neutral units with no battery.

Hence why asking, as only one light switch has a neutral in it.
I bit the bullet and got the light switch, hub, and push button, and all seems good so far. The switch was smaller than the Energenie used in the past, but still needed a spacier, the mountings are slots not holes but seemed to work well enough, the front cover needs to be removed to press button to link them, which is a way good as a user can't in error put them in program mode. Slide lock under the switch to release front for battery change.

I tested the switch before fitting, and it would work to switch my multi-meter buzzer on/off, it does not need 230 volt to work, so with a power cut it would stay as it is, unlike Energenie which auto switch off. And unlikely to be any problem with bulbs glowing when switched off, or any of the other problems often found with switching not needing a neutral.

The button was easy to program in, so easy to use button as two way switching, so I have it next to wife's bed so she can turn lights on/off from in her bed, which was main reason for fitting the switch, also works with google Nest and voice control, but voice is not good when some one else sleeping.
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Second light switch bought, easier to program in second time they seem to be working well. It has an away mode, when it will be randomly turned on/off.

Timer to turn on/off after a set time.

Schedule that allows on at sunset, off at sunrise etc. Giving it a test, should come on at sunset and off at midnight as set, will it do it is the question.
The opensource Zigbee setups such as Home Assistant/Zigbee2mqtt/OpenHAB support mixed Zigbee installations a lot better but aren't as "Consumery", incredibly flexible and expandable though.
I did try IFTTT once with my mothers extruder alarm, but could not find a way to write my own, I had to use pre-written scripts. I have now got the hub, my only complaint is I can't seem to get into the push button program to change anything, I have to delete it, then re-program from scratch.

Rest of items I can get in to change the programming.

TP-Link (Tapo) has worked well, did have a problem when I tried to use Tado instead of Tapo instructions, and had Google Nest Mini's fall over, and require a re-boot. But being able to switch lights on/off from the sick bed has worked well.

Found the two gang version of light switch uses same line in for both line outs, lucky both vestibule and outside lights are on same supply so no problem, but not all of my light switches are wired that way.

Being deeper with one switch simple spacer worked, but other only option was to mount upside down, will need to change back box.

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