Wall mounted POE touchscreen to replace my 3 gang wall switch

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Hi Everyone,

I haven’t got any smart home system yet but I am planning for my smart home system with home assistance. As a start, in addition to the cameras I will install around the house, I was thinking of replacing our existing wall switches (3/4 gang) in the house. When I think of replacing the light switches, my vision is to replace them with beautiful looking touch screens, same size as the current wall switches, which I would configure in many ways. To my surprise I’m finding it hard to find such product that just works as an additional device working with home assistance. The one that I find that comes close to functionality are these ones:

  1. The Mirror Range — Ctec Smart Home. It’s ugly, looks slow in the video.
  2. Brilliant Home Control (1-switch control) Doesn’t say works with Home Assistance.

My requirements are simple:

  1. Works with home assistance. I can potentially create custom switches, group configurations etc.
  2. Has a decent screen, minimum bezel.
  3. POE, no Wi-Fi or battery business.
  4. Wall mountable. Integrates well on the wall like a switchboard does, i.e. no flimsy tablet holder type of look.
  5. Doesn’t break wallet.
  6. Front only camera. Doesn’t have to be good quality, only for being able to answer smart door bell with video (if I can find one that integrates with home-assistance).
  7. No battery necessary.
  8. Small 7 inch device, minimum bezel

I’ve seen some posts in the community here that people have made amazing things using tablet, but I’m looking for something off the shelf.

Please provide a list of such devices if you’ve come across.


#2 is Wi-Fi.

If it has no network access, you basically want a Home Assistant server & display along with line control relays in (I assume) a North American electrical box.

I think the only way you could get that is to build it yourself. Without network access, how would you get the code on it and update it?

Been looking around for something like this for a while. Haven’t found anything that ticks all boxes. Some stuff came close, but not close enough.

I have given up on the idea now. Not only because I couldn’t find something off the shelf, but because I found myself questioning the usability of replacing wall switches with touch screens. If you think about it, a wall switch is the perfect interface for your lights. It’s discoverable, universally known, can easily be operated without looking at it. A touch screen sounded cool at first, but when thinking about the real pros and cons versus a (smart) wall switch, it’s more an impractical gimmick than real added value.

I do have a tablet lying on a shelf near the front door for the more advanced stuff.

The same as all the trillions of other non-connected embedded devices: JTAG. But he didn’t say no network access, he said he wanted it to be PoE.

He said no Wi-Fi and I assumed he was not going to use Ethernet.

PoE = Power over Ethernet… Thankfully wifi isn’t the only way to connect a device to a network :slightly_smiling_face:

What about

I bought one kit over a year ago but never implemented it because it was single-gang, and I don’t have a single-gang switchplate anywhere in my house except for the laundry room.

There are home switches outputting PoE? I work with it every day in an enterprise but assumed they were using a they they did not understand. The closest I have seev for smart home is some USB powered stuff. Again, they would likely need to build it themselves.

It uses Wi-Fi.

It is very interesting, though.

I know you have a paranoia about wireless internet, but Lanbon L8 - openHASP

Three relays, touch screen, but wifi. I imagine you could hack in a wired ethernet port, it is an esp32 after all.

yes there are.

I just looked at your mirror switch video and it is in fact a lanbon l8. I am not sure whether you are talking abut ugliness in terms of the UI or in terms of the bezel. I can’t fix the bezel (but it is different in the EU version) but you can make your own UI with openhasp.

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Hey Steve! If you’re looking for a multi-gang HASPone, you can check out the repository here where you’ll find a bunch of various 2, 3, 4, and 5x gang switch plates in various combination. These can be printed by yourself or a friend if one of the models there works in your use case. Alternately you can DM me on the forums here and I can make a custom plate for your specific installation, print it, and mail it to you for not much money (either $10 or $15 depending on size).

Are you looking for a POE device to install into your existing switch boxes? I don’t think you will find anyone selling such a device for one simple reason, bringing Ethernet into a switch box that also has 110/220V line voltage would not be allowed by the electrical code.

I don’t understand your resistance to WiFi. In my house I have a mixture of WiFi, UHF, Zigbee and Z-wave. The WiFi devices are the most stable and the easiest to work with.

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That is surprising since they generally use interference-prone 2,4GHz. 5GHz Wi-Fi is usually more stable. I have found Z-Wave devices stable but expensive. usually user with z-Wave issues either are pushing distance limits or have zombie modes in their network playing havoc with routing.

all those interferences for transfers needed by iot devices it really doesn’t matter.
At the end we were living with 2.4 GHz wifi for 20years. And we generally still using because 5GHz provides worse coverage. And nobody rejects connecting his smartphone or notebook to it, just because it’s 2.4 Ghz wifi :wink:

Thanks everyone, and sorry for late replay. Very active community, which is great!

@HeyImAlex I thought along the same lines and IMO there are two ways you can setup smart home. 1) Introvert: all your existing switchboards, lights etc but they are connected using smart controllers in the back so they are internally operable with smart home system. All the smarts but still retaining the classical controls with familiar usability. This is actually what most people would prefer I believe. 2) Extrovert: Touch screens popping up everywhere, cameras everywhere, drones flying about, you walk into a home and you know it’s a smart home coz it’s advertised… everywhere. I’m targeting for the latter.

@Prodigyplace The system I’m planning I’m planning to not have Wi-Fi for any smart devices. I’m buying a big POE switch, already bought some POE cameras and planning that everything I get in the future would just connect via POE. That way all I have to do is run an ethernet cable to everywhere from the switch. By the sound of it, it could be difficult as everything seems to be going WIFI way.? Not sure, I’ll have to do more research.

@stevemann Interesting, I’ll have a look, if I can’t find anything could be an option. Still that small screen size and bazel though. About installation, I was thinking I’d get rid of the existing switch-box along with the 110/220v lines and replace it with a PoE based device if I can find one. Do you think there could be any issues with that?

@nickrout Didn’t realize you could use openhasp to create UI? Where did you find that information from, could you share a link so I could check it out? About that mirror switch, yes the UI is not quite there, but I also think that the touch screen is a little too small. In the video you can see the guys fat fingers are just struggling to aim at those buttons. I’m sure it’s not as bad, but to me I was looking for a slightly bigger screen. For example the brilliant home control in comparison looks pretty nice.

These days you can buy cheap $200 android phones with bezel-free screes, both front/back cameras, battery and wifi. I’m not asking for much, don’t need battery, don’t need back camera, don’t need cellular or wifi just POE :joy: . I’m surprised actually to see there’s nothing like this out there already!

I found these:

Not sure about the sources though :joy: , anyone ever tried ordering one of these, or is this only for business?

The 3rd one has a minimum order of 1 piece but the others require an order of 10 or 500 as minimum.

I gave you the link to the openhasp documentation.

However after your post I am not really sure what you are after. You said you wanted something to replace a wall switch, ie something to control AC lights/devices.

Now you just seem to want a POE screen.

If the latter I suggest you go on aliexpress and search for POE android.

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Yeah didn’t notice that as I was skimming through pages :frowning: . Yeah that’s a bummer.

Is there a documentation for how openhasp can be used? Where do I start? How do I load it on that mirror device?

Yes I want a touchscreen to replace the wall switch. You are right, based on all my requirements, what I’m looking for in the end is just a POE touchscreen device that can be mounted on wall. Doesn’t have to be android, but probably the best OS for the purpose. I’ll change the title of this post. I’ll search airexpress as you suggested. Thanks.