Just want to control some lights!

OK, I started down this rat hole because my bedroom light switch controls one outlet in a corner and if I want enough light to see anything I needed at least one more outlet controlled by that switch. I ordered the Tapo S505 switch and a Tapo P125M smart plug. I configured them using the Tapo app and they worked great. However, when I unplugged my HA network from the internet they failed to work. I thought that Matter compatibility meant no using “the cloud”. I guess TP-Link doesn’t seem to think that. Well then I bought a Smartthings Station thinking I could control the Tapo devices using it. Again, it requires the cloud to run. So I come back to HA, which I had tried a time or two in the past and gave up one. The automation works great and HA is far enough along that I could use it with my Dahau and Wyze cameras (at least they are working, still need to figure out how to include the object recognition AI software I wrote).

Now, I’m getting greedy and I want a wireless button I can set on my nightstand to turn the lights off after I get in bed. Well, I don’t have any radios on my PC and adding one isn’t really practical since I’m running HA in a VM. So I’m trying to figure it out. Can I use a Matter button (like the Onvis 5 Key Smart Button or the TOU Smart Button) controlling them through the ST Station? If not, would I be better off buying a HA Yellow? I would like to stick with “Matter compatible” for future proofing, if at all possible. Any other thoughts or helpful suggestions are welcome.

That’s no guarantee, matter is still evolving and how people are implementing it is still evolving and, in the end, people may still stick with the old standards of Zigbee and Z-Wave.

My “future proof” plan is buying Inovelli’s that are Zigbee with Matter ready - meaning I can update the firmware as they change their implementation of Matter. But, in the meantime, I have very reliable Zigbee/Z-Wave devices.

Many companies use the cloud for their integrations and it sounds like you have some of that now. For me, and for some others, having multiple protocols is how to give yourself the most flexibility in your home automation - I use all of them and if any has a problem then it only represents 25-30% of my home automation system (like when my Zigbee barfed a few weeks ago).

As for attaching radios to your VM, it’s pretty simple to do. I have a VM and run a Bluetooth, Zigbee and Z-Wave dongle off of it without any problems.