This year’s final major release of Home Assistant Core will introduce a new entity: Buttons. Buttons are similar to switches, but whereas switches can be considered virtual latching switches, a button is a virtual momentary switch.
A latching switch, such as light switches in the USA and plug switches in the UK, will retain their position when the pusher releases pressure on it. A button will only change its state, whenever it is pressed. When released, it will return to its original state. But what exactly does a button do in Home Assistant? Luckily, there will be multiple integrations that will use this new entity at release that serve as examples:
- The WLED integration with Home Assistant will add a restart button.
- A button in the Elgato integration allows you to identify lights.
- You can trigger reboots and OTA updates of Shelly devices.
Basically, every switch that doesn’t need to retain its position, will become a button. While that list isn’t complete, support for buttons will be modest at first. It is safe to assume, though, that in the coming months, more and more integrations will exchange switches for buttons, where appropriate.