Aqara light switches performing the same functions

Hi All

Hopefully just a quick question on this.

We’re living in China and have a house that is currently being renovated. We were going to go with Aqara for all the light switches, dimmers, etc and then Yeelights for the actual bulbs.

To get things started I was going with the Aqara software then get it transferred over to HASS after moving in and getting settled, testing things out etc.

My wife (Chinese) confirmed with one of their support guys that you apparently cannot have 2 or more light switches doing the same thing, the only workarounds are to use their wireless switches or the apps.

We would want:

  • 4 triple light switches to control the same 3 lighting zones on the first floor. Because of their placements, these would be usable when coming up the stairs, out of either kid’s bedroom, out of either bathroom, out of either garden, and the main door.
  • 2 (possibly double) light switches to control the same zone for the stairs, one at the bottom, one at the top.
  • 2 (probably single) light switches to control the same zone for the -1 floor hallway, one at the “back” door and one by the stairs.

This would definitely ensure that everyone could move around at night easily and safely, as well as conveniently when just getting into the house etc.

Though apparently this isn’t a thing with Aqara’s software, I assume this would be feasible with Homeassistant?

Many thanks in advance for any feedback!

Never used Aqara SW. in HA this will be easy, can be optained several ways.

Simple to understand, just create one automations each switch calling the same scripts/scenes. There are numerous blueprints to be used for this, depending one the switch type.

More advanced it to have several switch-actions triggering one automation (not even sure this is more advanced, however not as easy to finde blueprints).

Only important part is to get some switches that are supported by the Zigbee Coordinator SW, either ZHA, Z2M or even a Aqare hub with integration.


Many thanks for your feedback!

In terms of smart functionality, this is what I thought so thanks again for confirming it.

I realised one thing I missed out of my initial question. The switches are wired to the lighting circuit to use as a “dumb” switch if there is an issue. This should be fine to wire up like a normal switch with multiple switches on the same circuit right? Though they may not perform exactly the same function.

Just double checking before the electrician is booked in :slight_smile:

Switches are wired to the main power, which switches are you talking about? There are not many like these. Are you sure they are Zigbee compliant?

Do you mean the “dumb” functionality?

In terms of the switches the product stack isn’t the most intuitive, here is some info in English on pretty much the same product:

Here is an example of their wireless switch too:

They do support Zigbee 3 but their own hub will apparently only work with their own devices, but their devices will work with any Zigbee 3 hub.

On this page (unlike the Chinese page and info from one of their reps) it actually states about the ability to have a 2 way switch.

Looks god. Im sure they will work.

You can use a aqara zigbee hub, and connect that one to home assistant. Several of their versions have integrations to HA. You can then still make the automations in HA.

Or connect with a different zigbee coordinator, like the sonoff 3.0 dongle or others.

This is not exactly true. Aqara uses some non standard zigbee extensions, but because Aqara products are cheap and high quality they are very popular. So a lot of platforms now support the Aqara extensions. So if you use a different controller/software, make sure you products are on the compatibility list.

Saying that, as others said, Home Assisstant has various options to link to Aqara products. And it wil be able to have buttons do the same thing, even if they are also hardwired to a light.

You cannot hardwire two switches to the same light (In the Netherlands that is called a Hotel switch circuit). But you can use Home assistant to listen to a switch and control other lights, to logically create the same effect. I’m kind of surprised their own hub cannot do the same. Are you sure they weren’t talking about not being able to hardwire two switches to one light?

By the way, if you need a second swich that is not hardwired to a light, I can recomment Aqara Opple. They are battery operated, so no wires needed. Just stick them on a wall or whatever somewhare.

I didn’t realise about the Aqara hub not working with any hub, I was going off some Youtube videos I’d previously watched. I’ll have to see which hub we’ll ultimately go for but if you know this, do you also happen to know of a specific hub that is definitely supported/supports them?

There may have been some miscommunication/mistranslation around whether the “duplicate” controlling of the same lights could be done, but what their rep said was that this could only be achieved using their wireless switches. This rep we have met a few times before, however he has a tendency to just speak and not really listen…

Regarding hard wiring, I’m kind of surprised by this in NL. I think this is a relatively common thing to have 2 switches do the same thing in other countries? At my current apartment in Beijing it spans 3 floors, both staircases have switches at both ends to turn lights on/off. Back home in England I believe this is the case (my step dad owns a builders company so may have access to less standard things), but honestly I haven’t lived in England for probably 5 years now!

On the Aqara English pages I linked above (typical Chinese, the product pages use images instead of being better designed…) they do list “2-Way Switch Setup Support with Wall Switch H1 EU”. This appears to show that it can perform this function when hard wired?

Ultimately I would like to have those 4 switches perform the same functions, but if I can only do this via HASS and programming the switches to send a command then that will honestly be ok. I’m sure there will be very little downtime where the smart functionality isn’t working and they will work as a normal switch.

Regarding their hub, they said that it specifically only works with their own devices and can’t be used with HASS. I don’t know if this was just their sales mentality or not however. Do you know if their hub can be used like a typical hub? Not problem if not!

Regarding the SONOFF one, I’d seen this/similar before but thanks for linking this specifically as it looks like an ideal one to use, I do have 1 or 2 quick questions on them.

The house we’re moving into has a substantial amount of steel and concrete. My parent’s home back in England is (aside from extensions) 300+ years old and also has incredibly thick walls, so wireless signals get very interrupted.

I was planning on having a hub on each floor to combat this.

  • It looks like this functions as a gateway and hub? I guess that this will plug into my HASS server (which is on the -1 floor) rather than being able to plug into a USB outlet and act as a hub.
  • As the house is being renovated I can get an extra socket or ethernet port put in somewhere. If -1 has the Sonoff gateway/hub, how would you recommend that I handle the ground floor, considering I’ll need that to communicate with the devices on that floor as well as pass the communication back to HASS?
  • I understand that I can use bridges, but that may mean that I need another bridge in the middle to pass communication between the floors?

Many thanks again for your feedback. We’re really busy with the house project but once moved in I fully intend to dedicate the time I was spending on organising the house to getting into HASS properly!

No need to be surprised, it is quite common, I was just referring to the Dutch term for it hoping it would mean something to you or be called similar so we know we are talking about the same thing. Very few smart products support the hardwire version of two switches controlling one light because it is custom to do it in the smart home system. They rather use the required connection points to do other things, like provide a secondary switch.

You can use one hardwired switch (useful as a backup too when Home Assistant is down) and a wireless one with an automation to duplicate the behavior (e.g. stick it next to your bed, with the hard wired one by the door). If it is possible to use the hardwired switches without actually attaching it to the same light then you can use these too (I think you can). But it requires a junction box with power to power the switch itself. I prefer the flexibility of the battery operated ones.

I do not have much experience with multiple hubs. I would first try to see if the mesh can handle it on its own using one zigbee stick. If you have a lot of mains powered Zigbee they might be able to - it is very hard to predict what works. use a Conbee II on a USB extension wire. I’ve seen some very unexpected powerful links crossing multiple floors and some very unexpected weak ones too. Our house also has lots of iron in the concrete.

Multiple hubs is possible, but it also means multiple Zigbee meshes that cannot help each other but may interfere if they use the same channel. And you must also take care those channels do not conflict with wifi (which uses a different numbering system for the channels).

Thanks for the feedback again!

Ah I see you were talking about smart products and hardwiring, with that yeah I’m not so sure about the general market.

I was generally wanting to stay away from battery powered switches for 2 reasons. The main being that I’m trying to reduce the overall level of maintenance in the house as much as possible. Things like 2 roombas, 1 for mopping and 1 for sweeping, both being able to clean/empty themselves, as well as ensuring that there are as few gaps as possible that they are unable to fit in.

I have however had to concede that some things like smart sensors are battery powered so my view of battery powered devices has improved, especially as some of the Aqara devices are supposed to last for 3-5 years.

The second reason I wanted to try and stay away was for aesthetics, some of them doesn’t come with a wall mount and even if I 3D print one, I’m not sure it would be possible to get it to sit flush with others in the same areas, which is a slight pain point for me admittedly!

We’ll discuss this setup with our house’s PM and see what we go with. It’s less work for him to go with wireless too which would help.

Ah I maybe ignorantly presumed that the hubs would mesh rather than not typically be able to communicate. With the Conbee 2 with a USB extension, I can plug this into my server which shouldn’t be an issue.

In terms of the mesh, I may be able to get away with it. The devices will be throughout the house but the biggest blank spot is the stairwell. Switches at the top and bottom may be enough to bridge them.

I’m trying to keep as many devices off wifi as I can. So the cameras are PoE, TVs, computers, and most rooms have their own ethernet ports, 2 in each office. Ideally we’ll just have laptops, phones and a couple of other devices using wifi.

I have a laptop with the ability to measure and display a live graph of wifi frequencies, I doubt that will be able to properly show Zigbee on it but it does show available channels, wifi using them and the signal strength. Hopefully I can play around with this to get it working well and not have one with interference.

We’re going with 1 wifi AP on each floor (also PoE) so signal strength/integrity of the wifi itself should be relatively decent but yes I’ll need to research on conflicting Zigbee channels and get both channels further away from each other, thanks for the tip!

About the 2 way switch support: I can’t find the wiring diagram but I suppose it is possible to wire the second switch to the secondary switch input of the first, and have a setting in there somewhere to get the right behavior. But it would require quite different wiring than the “normal” hotel switch setup, so it is not an inplace replacement for dumb switches and it may require adding extra wires.

I would go for the automation way, and use the second switch without any actual load if it is allowed to do so.

It won’t. The usual wifi graphs are created using a wifi radio, which cannot interpret all the other types of communication happening on the same frequency.

Multible hubs/coordinators can of course be a solution, however be aware they might also create a lot of interference for each other. Also, all you wired switches and zigbee bulbs will act as routers, and if you split them on multible hubs/coordinators, then they will not help each other. I do have a basement and my zigbee network have no trouble reaching there, with a few bulbs in the ground floor and a few in the basement they always reach each other. The bulbs then secure stable zigbee mesh for the battery powered end devices.

I would go for a central placement of the coordinator centrrally, either placing the HA server (if a RPi, it not that big) or finding a coordinator which can work over ethernet (there are several of these)

Remember to look for advices on the coordinator, .ike using a long USB extention cable, like avoid interference from your wifi etc.

Not all. Sengled for instance has made the decision to not route through thier zigbee bulbs. (Personally I understand why, they got tired of answering questions from end users who’s networks were trashed because people kept turning off bulbs at the switch thus killing the routing mesh)

I have read that Sengled is not. Some in-wall switches running without a neutral behave the same.

I mostly use Hue, LEDVance and Aqara or Frint relay/plugs as my powered devices and most battery powered devices are Aqara for door/temp/motion. All my powered devices are “always on power”, hence they create a strong zigbee mesh.

How do you find the Aqara products? I didn’t realise you had some yourself. All the reviews I’ve seen on them have been unboxing/setup or with very minimal actual use in the home. With the reviews on shopping sites I think they would be good but still interested to hear :slight_smile:

I’ll have a look over the stairwell this weekend and see if I can introduce some products to help bridge the floors slightly more. They’re quite thick but I don’t think they’ll really get interfered with much as right now, at the top will be a PoE camera and light switch, at the bottom will be a PoE camera, light switch, roombas and sockets. They’re a bit spread out too so hopefully not too much interference.

Aqara are quite popular in parts of Europe. Amazon, Banggood and Proshop have them, cheap and in large quantities. I know they are also sold in numerous other places. Some people have reported they are not following standard zigbee, however I find them stable and reliable. They were troubled to get paring in ZHA, sometimes needed 2-3 tries. Pairing is better in Z2M. They work reliable on both.

The interference I was reffering to is from Wifi access points. You might even end with 2 or 3 due to your building structure. Make sure to have you zigbee not overlaoping with wifi .

And remember to use a long USB extention cord (if you go for a USB zigbee coordinator) as computer/rpi can generate interference. So, put the coordinator some good distance from anything with wifi/USB.