Zigbee light switch with decoupled mode?

tl;dr - does anyone know of a smart Zigbee switch that has support for decoupled mode?

I have been searching all corners of the web for a product or solution that can allow me to do the following in my smart home setup

  1. Use the physical light switch to turn on and off smart bulbs (without toggling the power to the bulb)
  2. Use the grid/mains to power said device
  3. Use Zigbee standard for said device
  4. Not having to rely on bypassing the switch with wiring (edit: added this for clarity)

I know there are smart switches, e.g. Shelly, that offer the option to disable the relay i.e. “decoupled mode” but I really do not want to use Wi-Fi devices unless I have no other choice. Also, I do not want to rely on a battery powered device.

I suspect that the Ubisys S1 might allow disabling the relay but since they are 99 € I would like to check for cheaper options first. I have purchased smart switches from both Sonoff and Sunricher but they don’t seem to offer the decoupled option.

I suspect one way to do this would be to wire the switches in a way that the bulb is always powered, but this would require re-wiring should I want to re-configure one or several lights.

I guess what I am asking is, does anyone know of a product or solution that can accomplish this in a neat way?

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A quality small decoupleable wall switch/dimmer is the holy grail for old homes with no neutral wiring. I’ve yet to fine one for Zigbee. That said, if you can hold off, keep an eye on this product that is under development. From reading their website, they appear too ‘really get’ this DIY home automation space.

Good hunting!

You can say that again. It’s comforting to hear that I am not the only one looking (or that my Google-Fu is lacking). :slight_smile:

When it comes to neutral wires they are standard in Sweden, so that wouldn’t be an issue for me. (I realize however that this is not the case for other countries.) A switch similar to the one you provided could work (like the Aqara H1 for example), but I prefer the switches that are installed behind the physical switch. That way you can choose which design you prefer.

Anyway, thank you for your support, I hope you find what you are looking for as well!

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First challenge is figure out what country and power system we are in/talking about :wink: . Here is another product out of Australia, I’m not sure they do what we want, but maybe there are willing to listen to ideas for a new product, Seems like they might work (albeit probable not in line with your electrical codes) in your territory and use case.

I do not grok why this requirement is so ‘out there’. Just give me a device with an option to turn on at power up, stay on, send button changes out to zigbee but do not change local state. WTF :rage:

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These work here in the US. If you have a neutral, will work fine for a smart bulb. They make a neutral and non-neutral version, so get the right one. I like these because you use your existing switch and if you have multiple switches in the same box, then can share a device (eg buy the 2-gang version if have two switches). AVATTO 1/2/3/4 Gang Tuya Zigbee Smart Light Switch Module with 2 Way Control,Smart Home Auto Breaker Work with Alexa Google Home|Home Automation Modules| - AliExpress

Getting it to work with a smart bulb (hue in my case) took homeassistant automations. I was unable to do a zigbee bind. If you want it decoupled: Wire device and switch as directed, but do not put the load wire into the device. Instead tie the load wire directly to a line, this makes the smart bulb always on. Then just use two automations to turn the bulb on/off when the switch is on/off.

I realized that after your reply, my bad. :stuck_out_tongue:

Seems nice, can’t see if they offer decoupled mode in any of their documents though. Also, seems output current is a bit low. Usually I see devices having everything from 8A - 16A resistive load. I know the switches are usually only designed for lights, but still. Might be worth taking into consideration.

Anything with 100-240VAC input voltage should probably work in most European countries is my best guess (although not being an electrician I’m not sure what my best guess is worth.)

I agree. I have been using the device reference at Zigbee2MQTT to sift through different switches and their capabilities, and like I mentioned in my first post it seems the Ubisys devices can do this, which shows it’s not impossible to design a device like this. I guess I will just have to find the 3,000 € needed to buy switches for all my bulbs. :sob:

Don’t they all?
It’s just a matter of connecting it differently.
Instead of using the switching side of the switch to the light, use the incoming wire (bypassing the switch) to the light.
I have done that on one switch and it works fine.

Yes, this would work for any Zigbee smart switch (at least that I know of). This is also what I mentioned in my original post (see below). In my scenario however, I would like not to rely on wiring. Controlling this on the firmware/software side would allow me to reset the device in case of trouble, also it would allow me to have different behavior for different devices. A non-smart bulb or ceiling fan for example, would probably not benefit from being wired this way.

Please see my first post

I realized my first post might not have been clear enough, so I’ve edited it to add a fourth parameter.

I know that any smart switch and smart bulb could be wired in a way that the light is always on, but this is not what I’m looking for. I want to be able to decouple the switch like this or this.

Thank you for listing this hard to find Australia certified smart home equipment. I’ll probably enquire with the company but do you know if the stitchy switch does support during coupled mode?

Quick question,
Once decoupling mode is enabled for the xiaomi switch for example
Can you still toggle the switch button to turn on/off the smart bulb or only thru homeassistant?

Nevermind, just read about it in github
Seems like tasmota decoupling is better since i can customize additional action for each button press

Thank you for your reply, must have missed it. I have looked into Tasmota as well but if I recall correctly it requires a Wifi device (or at elast a Wifi/Zigbee hybrid) and I really prefer to use Zigbee. If I wouldn’t have that particular requirement I would probably have many more options to choose from.

I’m looking for the same thing. Did you ever have any luck finding one?

If you use the SONOFF ZBMINI-L (Amazon.com) and bypass the switch so it’s always on, it would essentially act as a sensor for whenever somebody interacts with the switch. And since you’re bypassing it anyways, you may be able to use the ZBMINI (the one that requires a neutral wire) but you’d have to be careful not to hook it up backwards.

The device presents a switch entity in HA which toggles whenever the physical switch is toggled. You now have a wall switch that when toggled, doesn’t turn the power off to your lights, and causes a state change you can react to in HA to control your smart lights.

Not yet @datbilling , I have however recently acquired the Ubisys S1 and will investigate whether or not it will fulfill the requirements from my first post. I will let everyone here know after my testing is done.

I am not sure I understand exactly how you mean @higbyk , so please correct me if I misinterpret your suggested solution, but I would like to refer to my intial post (see the fourth requirement). I do not want the lights to be always powered in the sense that I can’t reset the smart switches if there is a configuration issue or my Home Assistant setup fails.

For me personally this is a very bad idea, because in case of any unplanned event that would mean you would have live lights and other powered devices that you can’t turn off in any other way than meddling with the fuse box.

A lot of people here have suggested bypassing the switch when wiring the light so I will once and for all explain what I want:

I want the smart switch to not toggle the physical relay when the light switch is pressed. Instead I just want it to send the event over Zigbee so that I can act on it. This means that if anything goes wrong I can still reset the smart switch and have it start toggling the physical relay again.

Please let me know if my explanation doesn’t make sense and I will try to clarify it further.

If it’s a bulb then you can just unscrew it?

First of all, thank you and everyone who tries to help me find a solution. I really have come to appreciate this helpful community.

That being said, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to get into a lengthy discussion/argument regarding why I beliveve redundancy or planning for unforseen consequences is a good thing. If my HA setup crashes, there is a bug, hardware fail or any of a thousand unknown things that go wrong I do not want to be running around my house unscrewing and screwing in bulbs every time I want to turn my lights on or off.

Further, this is one of the requirements I have for my setup. It doesn’t mean it’s the best solution (although we could very well argue whether or not always-on devices that rely on a single software dependency to turn on or off is a good idea). I know you could potentially get around this requirement any number of ways.

This is something that might not currently be available in currently released products even though it seems quite a few people here and around the world are looking and asking for it. “Let me control the settings for the smart switch so I can decide when I want the relay to be enabled or not.” I don’t feel like it’s too much to ask, and this thread was started to investigate whether or not anyone knew of any devices that support this, not to find manual ways to create semi-smart homes.

I appreciate everyone that tries to help out, but if there is further need for exchange about bypassing switches with wiring please create a separate thread. If possible I would like to keep this thread related to the main subject so that others who have the same requirements can find it.

Again, I say this with all gratitude and respect for other peoples opinions.

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As far as I’m aware, there is currently no zigbee switch that will allow for an optional decoupled/always-on mode.

I agree, having an optional decoupled mode with automatic failback to manual mode just makes sense. It’s a great solution to the problem of smart lights vs smart switches.

I, like you, avoided a hardwired option for the last year because I was concerned about the reliability of a DIY system. However, I’ve had no issues with HomeAssistant/Zigbee for the last 2 years, so I’ve compromised and gone for the solution I recommended to you. My Home Approval Factor has gone up significantly! When a better solution does come out, I’ll just reuse these on my “dumb” lights in the basement.

I’m confident that eventually a manufacturer will support it, but most likely we’ll have to wait for ESPHome to support the upcoming ESP32-H2 (which supports zigbee/thread). See this thread for updates on that.

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