What can Fibaro The Button control?
Don’t let the appearance of FIBARO The Button fool you. Beneath the plastic shell is a compact, battery-powered, Z-Wave Plus compatible controller. Available in several colours, you can customise the look to match your interior style.
It can trigger both devices and scenes in a Fibaro system. Depending on the number of times you click it (one to five), you can trigger different actions. By depressing it, you enter panic mode. In this mode, each button press results in triggering an emergency scene.
Imagine with a single button push turning all of your devices off. Leaving home for the office would be far easier. Or imagine clicking The Button, and your movie night scene loads. The blinds lower, lights dim, and a Blu-ray starts playing on TV.
Thanks to its unobtrusive design and wireless communication, you can easily mount the Fibaro The Button on any surface and in any position or location within your home. Let’s explore it in more detail and decide if you should add some to your home automation system.
What is the Fibaro The Button?
As a wireless controller, Fibaro The Button might not look like much but don’t be fooled! It’s a powerful device that makes controlling your smart home system easier.
Able to interpret up to six button presses, it can trigger preset scenes or control individual devices. Unlike other options with multiple buttons to control different actions, The Button uses the number of presses to activate preset outcomes.
As a battery-operated device, a single battery should last for two years under normal uses of under ten presses per day. Plus, as it has an adhesive base, you can secure it to a range of surfaces and easily move it. And did we mention, it’s available in a range of colours?!
If you think of The Button much as you would Alexa or Google Assistant, you’ll be along the right lines. It won’t replace needing an app or software, but it does allow you to instantly control devices or trigger scenes without needing your phone or tablet.
Will you need a Fibaro or Z-Wave hub?
As a Z-wave device, you can use the Fibaro The Button with any Z-Wave hub or gateway. You don’t necessarily need to use it with a Fibaro Home Center hub. That said, you’ll get the best performance from using one of their hubs.
For example, if you already have a Samsung SmartThings hub installed in your home, you can use this control device with it as SmartThings is compatible with both Z-Wave and Zigbee. But that’s not all as The Button also works with Apple Homekit.
The device has an operational range of up to 50m outdoors and up to 40m indoors. Even if you push it 10 times a day, the battery should last 2 years.
Does it work with Apple Homekit?
There are two ways to programme what your Fibaro The Button controls. Firstly, you can use the Fibaro app. However, you might prefer using the Apple Home app to control and programme the device as it’s easier to assign Scenes and automations to each button press.
The Button adds a lot of convenience to a HomeKit system. It’s far quicker than needing your iPhone and using the Home app or Siri. Of course, you’ll still need your phone to programme actions, but more on that in a bit.
Can you install it yourself?
The beauty of Fibaro is all products are DIY-friendly and easy to install. That said, getting The Button set up is a little more involved than other Fibaro devices.
Before it will work, you need to open the casing and remove the paper strip under the battery to activate. With the device working, place it near your Z-Wave hub and active add device mode to pair them.
Click The Button at least six times and wait for the device to be added to the system. You can confirm the pairing by looking at your controller’s app. Use the self-adhesive pad underneath to secure the device to any surface. To wake The Button up, click it four times.
From there, you’re able to programme the device to trigger up to six different actions. For example, a single click could trigger a “wake up” scene, two clicks might trigger an “all off” scene and so on.
It might take a few minutes to programme, test and note down what each action controls. After a couple of uses, you should have the hang of it, and your life should be a little simpler.
Ideally, you want to create scenes or actions that control under ten devices. While you can operate more devices per action, you might see a lag in response time.
How can you use The Button in your smart home?
As The Button recognizes up to 6 different actions, it can control several devices or scenes without a fuss. For example, you could have a leaving home scene, after pressing The Button, your lights would turn off, the front door would be locked, and your thermostat lowered.
You could then programme a morning scene, where the reverse happens when you press the button twice. If you three pushes could activate your movie night scene, which lowers the blinds, dims the light and turns up the heating. And you still have panic mode at your fingertips.
The Button was quite responsive during testing but can take a few milliseconds to trigger an action. As it responds to multiple presses and triggers different actions based on the number of presses, it does need to wait a few milliseconds to confirm you have indeed finished.
We didn’t encounter any connectivity problems or other issues while using The Button, which is always a plus. And as a Bluetooth device, it has a very good operating range.
Should you add Fibaro The Button or two to your home automation system?
As an additional control option, the Fibaro The Button is highly useful. It won’t replace an app or software, much like Alexa doesn’t. However, like the Fibaro KeyFob and Walli Controller, it does provide a quick option to control key aspects of your smart home system.
Compared to other Z-Wave Plus controllers such as TechniSat Scene Switch and Heatit Z-push, The Button feels expensive. Granted, it is highly sophisticated, but for what it is, the price is disappointing, especially if you plan to add several to your home.
As it can process up to seven presses (six actions and panic mode), there is a slight delay between when you press it and the desired action taking place. So, it might take a few minutes to get used to operating it in a way that’s in happy with.
Programming your Fibaro The Button is easy, but remembering what action relates to the number of clicks can be tricky, especially at the start. Again, after a few attempts, you’ll get the hang of it.
All that said, The Button is a superb additional option to control your home automation system. It helps to simplify control placing you in charge. Most smart homes will benefit from a few Fibaro The Buttons as they make recalling scenes and controlling devices super easy.