Cheapest remote switch for switching controlled bulbs (Hue, TCP connected etc)?

I replaced most of the bulbs in my house with the TCP Connected 60 watt LED from Home Depot ($17 a bulb and the $50 hub comes with two!) and controlling them through pnmb’s fabulous plugin ( ) . The problem is, for them to function, they need to remain energized. This is easy, I can ‘short’ them at the switch box, but then I’m left with a dead switch and no way for people to control the light directly if they don’t like what it is automatically doing.

Is there a cheap replacement switch that I could install that would essentially act as a Z-wave remote? I don’t need it to have relay capabilities or to actually switch anything, I don’t even care if it is battery operated, I just want a button/toggle/whatever that I can put in the wall plate for cheaper than $40 so people can paw at it when they need light.

Any bright ideas?

why don’t you use a z-wave remote (like for example the Aeon key fob), mount it on wall, and when pressed, you can have Vera run a scene that toggles the lights.

The cheapest solution would be a GE 45600 Handheld Remote to activate a Vera scene that controls the TCP bulbs. But, cheapest rarely means best.

My preferred solution would be to leave the TCP always powered by nutting the wires together, as you described, and then place a Evolve LTM-5 Wall Mount Accessory Switch(Scene controller) in the switch box. Then use the LTM-5 to activate Vera scenes that trigger the TCPs. This lets you have the Vera controlled TCPs as well as the more traditional behavior of a wall switch that also controls the TCPs.

Be aware that this will have a delay (varying 500ms - 2 seconds) between when you press the switch button and when the lights react. This is because a switch press must be sent via Z-wave to Vera, activate a scene, it sends a command from Vera to the TCP gateway, it sends a command from the gateway to the bulb. A single button press is four steps/operations and three wireless hops.

Alternatively to the wall mounted Z-Wave controllers, you could also use a remote like a Aeon Labs Z-Wave Minimote, as @capjay suggested.

TCPi have a remote that I’ve seen in 2 bulb + remote packages for around $50 as well. They also sell it on their web site for under $20:

Yet another idea and maybe a bit cleaner is to mount a GE 45631 Scene controller which will activate a scene from your Vera. It is battery operated and resembles a standard switch and wallplate.

Z-Waver’s solution is an even better one but instead of Evolves I would use the Linear WT00Z accessory switch they are about $11 cheaper then the evolve model but are the exact same switch, just Evolves are re-branded Linears. Linear actually makes the Evolves.

Thank you for all the options! Are the $25 GE accessory switches stand alone scene controllers as well, or are they truly just an accessory to the main 3-way switch? I know HA is expensive but I’ve got about 20+ of these to buy, so the cost savings are multiplied.

@telekinetic - The GE/Jasco 45610 is an accessory switch for use in combination with the primary 456609 or 45612 switch, only. It is used for n-way circuits and cannot be used by itself. The GE/Jasco 45610 switch is NOT suitable for your application.