Review: Fibaro's 'The Button' Adds Physical Control Options to Your HomeKit Setup

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Apr 12, 2001
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"The Button" from Fibaro is the latest HomeKit accessory that's designed to add physical control options to your HomeKit setup, making it easier to access HomeKit devices without an iOS device or HomePod.

Design wise, The Button looks like you might expect something called "The Button" to look. Made of smooth plastic, it has a small round base that holds a slightly larger button that depresses to activate HomeKit commands.


I like the look of the button, and it offers a satisfying button-like press that's better than some of the other competing button and tap-style devices that offer physical HomeKit controls. The button I reviewed was white, but it is also available black and red.


The Button supports just three gestures: a single click, a double click, and a press and hold. This limits what can be done with The Button, so a household may need more than one if there are a lot of HomeKit products and you want granular control over each one.


You can attach the button to a wall or a desk using included adhesive or by nailing the plastic mounting plate into the wall. You can also just use it sans adhesive or mounting plate if it's just sitting on a desk or nightstand, or if you want to be able to move it around.


There is no light to indicate that The Button is turned on and has power, but you can enable an audio feedback option in the settings section of the Fibaro app to have it beep when a button press is activated.


Setting up The Button is a little more involved than the setup process for some other HomeKit products. You need to press down and rotate The Button in a counterclockwise direction (like a childproof pill bottle) to open it up to remove the battery blocker.

Once open, you need to take out the user-replaceable 1/2AA battery that powers the accessory to remove the small piece of paper before putting the battery back in place and closing it back up. From there, you can download the Fibaro app or the Home app and add it to a HomeKit setup using the QR code in the manual or on the bottom of The Button.

I thought the Fibaro app was one of the worst HomeKit apps I've ever used. It's cluttered, has an unintuitive UI, and uses a color scheme that makes text hard to read. It also has no real instructions on programming The Button, which is going to be confusing for those who are new to HomeKit and unfamiliar with automations.


Most users will probably be better off controlling and programming The Button with the Apple Home app, where you can more easily assign Scenes and automations to each button press.

With The Button, you can do things like activate a specific scene to turn off all of the lights in the house at night, lock the door, and turn down the thermostat, or turn on all the lights in the morning and turn up the thermostat, all depending on which HomeKit devices you have installed and what you want The Button to do.


I set a single press to turn off all of the lights in my office with the exception of my night lights, and a double press turns them all back on in the morning. A long press sets an evening scene that dims the lights. The Button can do a huge variety of things depending on the HomeKit products you own, but I've found it most useful for lighting. It can turn lights on and off, dim lights, change colors, and more.

The Button was always responsive during my testing over the past couple of weeks, with each of the three button presses clearly activating each scene assigned to it. I didn't run into any connectivity problems or other issues while using The Button, which is always a plus.

Bottom Line

When you just want to turn the lights on or execute a quick action, it can be a hassle to pull out your iPhone and open up the Home app or use Siri. Physical control products like The Button add a lot of convenience to a HomeKit setup, and they're a must have for guests who don't have access to your HomeKit devices but need to control something simple like a light.


At $60, The Button is more expensive than competing options like the Eve Button, or the Hue Tap, but it's on par with the Logitech Pop and it's arguably one of the more fun button devices you can purchase given its intuitive button design and the range of colors it's available in.

How to Buy

You can purchase Fibaro's The Button from Amazon or from the Apple Store for $59.99.

Article Link: Review: Fibaro's 'The Button' Adds Physical Control Options to Your HomeKit Setup
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,858
12,720
They look like pop sockets. Or like something left lying around after furniture restoration. I don’t really know what to think about them. We haven’t automated anything in our house yet.
 
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SoN1NjA

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2016
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the pool
They look like pop sockets. Or like something left lying around after furniture restoration. I don’t really know what to think about them. We haven’t automated anything in our house yet.
I was thinking the same thing, or analog sticks from a game controller

I would totally recommend buying Lifx lights, they're bright, have cool colours (but honestly I don't use it that much), and work with HomeKit! I only have one right now but I just ordered 2 for $60 and they'll be here next week ― slowly starting to turn the house into the future, unfortunately I can't afford $2,000 window shutters or a new HomeKit ceiling fan lmao
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
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12,720
I was thinking the same thing, or analog sticks from a game controller

I would totally recommend buying Lifx lights, they're bright, have cool colours (but honestly I don't use it that much), and work with HomeKit! I only have one righit now but I just ordered 2 for $60 and they'll be here next week, slowly starting to turn the house into HomeKit, unfortunately I can't afford $2,000 window shutters or a new HomeKit fan lmao
Thanks for the recommendation. I think we are going to start with lights in the bedrooms. Those are a pain to manage. Eventually we will get the thermostats on board. Right now I have to run upstairs to make sure the second level thermostat matches the one on the ground floor since we have two separate HVAC systems. However, it does make my Apple Watch happy to see me moving like that!
 

lanther85

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2018
1
0



"The Button" from Fibaro is the latest HomeKit accessory that's designed to add physical control options to your HomeKit setup, making it easier to access HomeKit devices without an iOS device or HomePod.

Design wise, The Button looks like you might expect something called "The Button" to look. Made of smooth plastic, it has a small round base that holds a slightly larger button that depresses to activate HomeKit commands.


I like the look of the button, and it offers a satisfying button-like press that's better than some of the other competing button and tap-style devices that offer physical HomeKit controls. The button I reviewed was white, but it is also available black and red.


The Button supports just three gestures: a single click, a double click, and a press and hold. This limits what can be done with The Button, so a household may need more than one if there are a lot of HomeKit products and you want granular control over each one.


You can attach the button to a wall or a desk using included adhesive or by nailing the plastic mounting plate into the wall. You can also just use it sans adhesive or mounting plate if it's just sitting on a desk or nightstand, or if you want to be able to move it around.


There is no light to indicate that The Button is turned on and has power, but you can enable an audio feedback option in the settings section of the Fibaro app to have it beep when a button press is activated.


Setting up The Button is a little more involved than the setup process for some other HomeKit products. You need to press down and rotate The Button in a counterclockwise direction (like a childproof pill bottle) to open it up to remove the battery blocker.

Once open, you need to take out the user-replaceable 1/2AA battery that powers the accessory to remove the small piece of paper before putting the battery back in place and closing it back up. From there, you can download the Fibaro app or the Home app and add it to a HomeKit setup using the QR code in the manual.

There is no HomeKit code on The Button itself, which is going to be frustrating if it ever needs to be reset and re-added to HomeKit. I won't be able to get rid of the manual, and will instead need to store it some place.

I thought the Fibaro app was one of the worst HomeKit apps I've ever used. It's cluttered, has an unintuitive UI, and uses a color scheme that makes text hard to read. It also has no real instructions on programming The Button, which is going to be confusing for those who are new to HomeKit and unfamiliar with automations.


Most users will probably be better off controlling and programming The Button with the Apple Home app, where you can more easily assign Scenes and automations to each button press.

With The Button, you can do things like activate a specific scene to turn off all of the lights in the house at night, lock the door, and turn down the thermostat, or turn on all the lights in the morning and turn up the thermostat, all depending on which HomeKit devices you have installed and what you want The Button to do.


I set a single press to turn off all of the lights in my office with the exception of my night lights, and a double press turns them all back on in the morning. A long press sets an evening scene that dims the lights. The Button can do a huge variety of things depending on the HomeKit products you own, but I've found it most useful for lighting. It can turn lights on and off, dim lights, change colors, and more.

The Button was always responsive during my testing over the past couple of weeks, with each of the three button presses clearly activating each scene assigned to it. I didn't run into any connectivity problems or other issues while using The Button, which is always a plus.

Bottom Line

When you just want to turn the lights on or execute a quick action, it can be a hassle to pull out your iPhone and open up the Home app or use Siri. Physical control products like The Button add a lot of convenience to a HomeKit setup, and they're a must have for guests who don't have access to your HomeKit devices but need to control something simple like a light.


At $60, The Button is more expensive than competing options like the Eve Button, or the Hue Tap, but it's on par with the Logitech Pop and it's arguably one of the more fun button devices you can purchase given its intuitive button design and the range of colors it's available in.

How to Buy

You can purchase Fibaro's The Button from Amazon for $59.99.

Article Link: Review: Fibaro's 'The Button' Adds Physical Control Options to Your HomeKit Setup
[doublepost=1525461239][/doublepost]So instead of flipping a wall switch on and off I can now single press a button to turn the lights off and long press it to turn it back on? I don't see the use for these.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,587
18,126
[doublepost=1525461239][/doublepost]So instead of flipping a wall switch on and off I can now single press a button to turn the lights off and long press it to turn it back on? I don't see the use for these.
It doesn't have to be for lights only, or only control one light, or only control on/off aspect of them (if some lights can support other features), nor does it have to be physically where the light (and thus the related light switch) is located.

The article seems to touch on that aspect of it as well:
With The Button, you can do things like activate a specific scene to turn off all of the lights in the house at night, lock the door, and turn down the thermostat, or turn on all the lights in the morning and turn up the thermostat, all depending on which HomeKit devices you have installed and what you want The Button to do.

I set a single press to turn off all of the lights in my office with the exception of my night lights, and a double press turns them all back on in the morning. A long press sets an evening scene that dims the lights. The Button can do a huge variety of things depending on the HomeKit products you own, but I've found it most useful for lighting. It can turn lights on and off, dim lights, change colors, and more.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,017
1,303
Cool for $5-10 just to have a random button on the house that you can press. Actual price on this is ridiculous.
[doublepost=1525463588][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1525461239][/doublepost]So instead of flipping a wall switch on and off I can now single press a button to turn the lights off and long press it to turn it back on? I don't see the use for these.
Consider it a basic remote, a very expensive one
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,587
18,126
Cool for $5-10 just to have a random button on the house that you can press. Actual price on this is ridiculous.
[doublepost=1525463588][/doublepost]
Consider it a basic remote, a very expensive one
While the pricing is certainly on the high side, given the state of all that technology at the moment, there's something to factor in there. And while we aren't talking about some sort of a computer per se there, it's not really something that would be "basic" either.
 

erinsarah

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
324
417
[doublepost=1525461239][/doublepost]So instead of flipping a wall switch on and off I can now single press a button to turn the lights off and long press it to turn it back on? I don't see the use for these.
That’s kind of where I am with this. All this home automation to replace my old fashioned light switch with a button. But okay, I could see having a whole bunch of automated products that work together upon one press of the button, so yeah there’s that. HOWEVER, that means this $60 button truthfully costs HUNDREDS more by the time you get it to do something worthwhile.

On the other hand Dr Marvin Monroe could have used these.
 

twistedpixel8

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2017
365
1,047
That’s kind of where I am with this. All this home automation to replace my old fashioned light switch with a button. But okay, I could see having a whole bunch of automated products that work together upon one press of the button, so yeah there’s that. HOWEVER, that means this $60 button truthfully costs HUNDREDS more by the time you get it to do something worthwhile.
At first I thought the same but then I realized: smart appliances/tech only works when powered and we often forget (or visitors forget) and switch off the lights or other things at their physical power switches, rendering the smart stuff useless until physically switched on again.

These allow for that but with the ability to turn stuff on again with voice or other smart means.

But the price of these buttons is absurd. I’m tempted to get some Flic buttons with their new hub. If they’d confirm they’re adding HomeKit compatibility, I’d have already pre-ordered but they’re being sketchy about committing to that functionality.
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,463
2,855
Make it a LOT cheaper, make the base larger as it looks out of balance now with the current design. Top Heavy.

And I'd kinda like it from a novelty, that could be cool for something item.
 

LiveM

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2015
1,170
554
This is more for use with a compatible mains socket, so I can turn off the power to a grinding wheel or something like that.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,017
1,303
While the pricing is certainly on the high side, given the state of all that technology at the moment, there's something to factor in there. And while we aren't talking about some sort of a computer per se there, it's not really something that would be "basic" either.
IDK, a pi zero W costs a cool $10 retail to the average joe and it is a mini computer, $5 if you get the non wifi version. Programming a command button like this should be fairly simple. This thing could easily cost $30 and still make money for them, but you know how it is with the apple tax. You know, this reminds me of the amazon dash buttons, just with a different programming.
 
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