I wanted to get some buttons to help with some common home automations. Sometimes asking Google Assistant or using an app is annoying or slow.

Initially I had looked into finding a way to use some very cheap Bluetooth tags which would not be range limited in my apartment. After looking more in to using them there didn’t seem to be a tidy/reliable method to repurpose them. Instead when I saw some information on Zigbee buttons and sensors I bought a selection.

Zigbee Button

The SNZB-01 button is compact and has single, double, and long press actions. I have placed them around rooms and assigned tasks using Home Assistant automations.

Living room:

  • Single press: Toggle a Philips hue light + a Sonoff 26 plug with a string of LEDs plugged in to it.
  • Double press: Toggle a Sonoff S26 plug with a pedestal fan plugged in to it.
  • Long press: Stream RTÉ Radio on a Nest home mini. Background details can be found in a previous post. The full automation resulted in:
- id: '1597176597944'
  alias: RTÉ Living Room
  description: ''
  - device_id: 6e6ab8821a50495d89b21e31cc7add72
    discovery_id: 0x00124b001ca70e51 action_long
    domain: mqtt
    platform: device
    subtype: long
    type: action
  condition: []
  - data:
      option: Living Room
    entity_id: input_select.chromecast_radio
    service: input_select.select_option
  - data:
      option: RTE One
    entity_id: input_select.radio_station
    service: input_select.select_option
  - data:
      value: 0.6
    entity_id: input_number.volume_radio
    service: input_number.set_value
  - data: {}
    service: script.radio
  mode: single

I bought 3 so will be able to enable similar tasks in other rooms. One key one will be replacing my current “Goodnight” routine in Google Assistant. I bought a LENOVO smart CLOCK but when I trigger the routine even from the touchscreen it responds with “Goodnight Rian”, I want this to be silent. Generally I found the clock and Google Assistant lacking enough flexibility.

Zigbee Temperature & Humidity Sensor

The SNZB-02 temperature & humidity sensor. It publishes values roughly every 8 minutes from what I’ve found. The one trick I feel they missed is that the external reset button could have also been enabled as a button as well.

Zigbee USB Dongle

The CC2531 USB Dongle was very quick to integrate with Home Assistant using Zigbeetomqtt. The one thing I did find was my Raspberry Pi started dropping off the Wifi network after I installed it. This was due to interference between Zigbee and Wifi both on 2.4Ghz. To remedy I bought a 1M USB extension which solved the issue.

Zigbee Bridge

The ZBBridge has both Wifi and Zigbee radio which allows it to act as a stand alone bridge to bring Zigbee devices on to the network. I tested it briefly and it worked with the eWeLink app. I am not currently using it as I do not want to actually use eWeLink. Instead I will eventually use Tasmota once it is no longer labelled experimental. For now the USB dongle is enough.