Introducing the Button Entity in Home Assistant Core

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Home Assistant Core has recently introduced a new feature: the Button entity. This addition brings a virtual momentary switch to the platform, offering a different method for users to interact with their smart home devices compared to traditional switches.


Home Assistant Core Welcomes the Button Entity

The introduction of the Button entity in Home Assistant Core marks a shift towards integrating momentary switches, which are activated only during use, unlike latching switches that retain their position after being engaged. Early adopters of this new entity include integrations like WLED, which now features a restart button, Elgato with a button for light identification, and Shelly devices, which can be rebooted and updated through button controls. This development is expected to streamline the way smart home devices are controlled, moving away from the need to maintain a switch in one position.

Understanding the Difference: Button vs. Switch

The fundamental difference between a Button and a Switch in Home Assistant lies in their operation. Buttons are designed to emulate momentary switches, activating only when pressed and immediately returning to their initial state once the action is completed. This behaviour is akin to that of a doorbell, which only sounds while being pressed.

In contrast, a Switch functions like a latching switch, maintaining its on or off state until toggled again. This type of switch is typically used for controlling devices that require sustained power or action, such as lighting or motors, allowing for continuous operation without constant user interaction.

The Role of Buttons in Smart Home Automation

The Button entity introduces a streamlined method for controlling smart home devices. With specific integrations like WLED, Elgato, and Shelly devices now incorporating buttons for various functions, this feature aims to simplify interactions. By replacing the need for continuous engagement with a switch, buttons offer a quick and straightforward way to perform tasks such as device restarts, light identification, and firmware updates.

This update to Home Assistant Core reflects an evolving approach to smart home device management, prioritizing efficiency and ease of use. The addition of the Button entity is a step towards offering users more flexible and intuitive control options for their smart home ecosystems.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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