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Home Automation Remotes | PS3 VS Harmony VS Z-Wave Ones

automation-remotesWhen it comes to home automation and firing scenes the best way to do it is with a physical remote or a smart watch (Pebble or Apple Watch or Android Wear). The remote option can come in many flavours.  Below are the many options to fire scenes remotely:

Each one has their pros and cons.  We will discuss each one and tell you when to use it.

Z-Wave Remotes

If you have an automation hub that uses z-wave you may want to use a cheap z-wave remote which can include many devices on your network into a scene.

Pros:  Easy to program and cheap if you know where to look (here!)

Cons: You can’t include non z-wave commands unless you do some programming in the backend of your hub.  Ie. if your dimmer is set to 65 then post a twitter post to your wife and send an autoremote message to your bedroom to ask her to do something.

Your options

1. GE Remote : This option is great for one reason: it has 9 on and off buttons which is more than most. It doesn’t look awesome on a wall but it can make an easy bedside option.

2. Aeon Labs Remote : The only reason you would buy this one is that it’s white and it would look better on a wall than the GE Model.  This again is a z-wave model but it only has 4 butttons so it’s a pretty sad remote when it costs 45 bucks.

3. Intermatic HA07 Home Settings Remote:  This remote is uber cheap and has 12 scenes to fire and has a clock on the screen.  I have a few of these which make an awesome wall remote.  I definitely recommend this one.

4. Intermatic HA09C Home Settings Remote: You can find these pretty cheap and have 6 on and off buttons.  I highly recommend this one as a wall remote due to it’s size.


PS3 Bluetooth Remote with EventGhost


  • Amazing amount of control of everything you could control.
  • A familiar feel with a remote in your hand as opposed to a screen which you have to look down to touch a certain button.
  • Cheap (20 bucks) and as long as you integrate the sleep feature it won’t run out of battery power every 7 days.
  • Can have Netflix, Kodi, iTunes, Spotify, Lights, Fans, AC etc all on ONE remote.


  • Must have some knowledge of coding or willing to understand how Eventghost works.
  • Need a PC with Bluetooth in the area of the remote.
  • Hefty installation.

Pebble Smart Watch


  • With AutoPebble you can have changing lists and options depending on the surroundings/ and time.
  • Can have it plugged in all the time.
  • It’s a watch so it’s on your wrist.


  • Not an easy setup.
  • Need a tablet or phone with BLE to make use of this device.

Logitech Remote

This is by far the most expensive remote but is also very newbie friendly.  They have integrated it with Smartthings and other major automation hubs/platforms to assign buttons to certain actions.   Please read on here for more details.

Tablet Remotes for Home Automation


  • Can be a server, remote, screen, audio speaker, etc.
  • By far the best way to control things
  • A must have for each room


  • Expensive

We reviewed our best tablet for home automation here.  It has changed a bit with the addition of possible beacons.  If you can purchase a tab 4 you could use it as an iBeacon but if you are using it for everything else you can still get the Tab 3 as it has everything and it’s still $84.00 Used on Amazon



Each remote has a different location for your home.  The z-wave remotes could be on a wall, the PS3 remote should be used for your media center and the logitech version should be reserved for those when price isn’t an option.   Tablet remotes should be used in every room anyway for many different purposes but also a a remote to fire scenes. Knowing the purpose of the remote is crucial for picking the exact model.  Let us know what else you think we missed in the comments