Multi Way Switching: The Best 3 & 4 Way Smart Switches To Buy Right Now
Read Time: 11 mins
As the world moves towards greater technological advancement, there is no aspect of your life that isn’t influenced by technology. This includes your home, the primary unit within which you live your day-to-day life. There are many ways in which technology has changed the way in which your house functions. Whether it is the appliances that you are using in your kitchen, your television and even the lights inside and outside your home. Here, we will be delving deeper into how the smart home technology has made inroads into the lighting of your house, making it possible for you to control whether the lights are turned on or off even from a large distance, as long as the lights are connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Smart home technology has given us a wide range of products, including light switches, power outlets, plugs and light bulbs, all of which can be remotely controlled through different platforms – usually apps on your smartphone or tablet. Out of these products, there are also many different types of smart switches, including – but not limited to – regular single switches, 3-way switches, 4-way switches and many more. Before getting to the best options for people looking to purchase 3-way or 4-way smart switches, let’s look at what these terms actually mean.
What Is a 3-Way Smart Switch?
Everyone knows how a regular switch works, but 3-way switches are also very popular in locations like stairwells and long hallways. These are basically just switches that can control the light from two different locations. For example, if you are at the top of the stairs, you can switch the light on or off from there. When you walk down the stairs – or to the end of the hallway – you will see another switch that can be used to turn the same light on or off. For this reason, some people also refer to a 3-way switch as an upstairs/downstairs switch.
3-way smart switches also work in a similar manner but the main difference is that they can be controlled remotely. There is one primary switch and another add-on switch, which is used in conjunction with the primary switch. Similarly, there are also 4-way switches that allow you to control the switching on and off of the light from more than two different locations. As there are many different 3-way switches, it can get very confusing to choose the right one for your personal needs. To make this process much simpler for you, we have put together a list of the best 3-way and 4-way smart switch options available for purchase right now.
Examples of a 3 or 4 Way Smart Switch
There is no dearth of 3-way or 4-way smart switches in the market right now, but not every switch out of these would be worth your time and money. Then how are you supposed to decide what to try and what not to, especially considering the fact that these smart switches are not necessarily the cheapest ones available? This is where we come in to help you through the process. We have put together some options – both 3-way and 4-way – like the Lutron Caseta 3 Way Dimmer Switch, the Kasa TP-Link 3 Way Switch Kit, iDEVICES 3 & 4 Way Smart Wi-Fi Wall Light Switch and so on, all of which have received rave reviews from users since they were launched.
In this section, we will be looking at some of our top picks for 3-way and 4-way smart switches in greater detail – their features, the pros and cons, and so on – so that you can make a more informed decision when you finally purchase the right 3-way plug for your home. After going through the details of each of these products, we will also answer some of the most common questions that arise when you are looking to buy such smart switches.
Lutron Caseta 3 Way Dimmer Switch Starter Kit
The first product on this list is also our editorial team’s top pick for 3-way smart switches. The Lutron Caseta light switch dimmers are all connected to a central hub that allows you to control the functioning of all of these and any other smart switches that you choose to add to the family. The hub goes on to connect to your Wi-Fi router, which is the reason you can control the functionality of these switches through an app downloaded on your smartphone or tablet. These switches don’t need a neutral wire, which is very helpful for people who can’t find one in the switch boxes of their older houses.
- Lutron app for Android and iOS devices
- Easy to install
- No neutral wire required
- Connect multiple devices
- Dimming capabilities
- Voice automation through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
- The biggest advantage of using these switches is that you don’t need a neutral wire to install them.
- It is very easy to set up the switch and make it work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, the Apple HomeKit, Nest, Samsung SmartThings and so on.
- You have the freedom of installing an additional switch anywhere once the system is in place.
- The main disadvantage for many people is that there is a separate hub required for the Caseta products to function.
- The price is on the more expensive side, especially when compared to a lot of other similar options.
The Lutron Caseta 3-way dimmer switches are the best option for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a neutral wire and still want to automate their 3-way switches so that they can be controlled through an app on your smartphone or tablet. You can buy this product by following this link.
Kasa TP-Link 3 Way Switch Kit
TP-Link HS210 Kit
The editorial team’s best for Wi-Fi recommendation is the 3-way switch kit from TP-Link’s Kasa Smart range. This is one of the best available 3-way switches when it comes to smart products that do not need a separate hub to function. While this product does require a neutral wire for setting up, the process is made very easy with the help of the Kasa Smart app, which guides you through all the steps with simple instructions. This app can then be used to control the turning on and off of the switch.
- Three-way kits with two switches
- Remotely controlled through Kasa Smart app
- No hubs required
- Neutral wire required
- Activated voice controls through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
- Away mode to give you security when you aren’t home
- Grouping option to combine with other smart devices
- When compared to a lot of other products in the category, the Kasa Smart 3-way switch kit is relatively inexpensive.
- This is a great product to light up your stairwells and hallways in an effective manner, especially when home automation is your goal.
- The switches are equipped with an away mode option, which turns the lights on and off randomly when you are away from home to make it look like someone is at home.
- The switches are relatively easy to install and control from anywhere around the world.
- The requirement for a neutral wire can be a bit of a nuisance if you don’t know your way around electrical appliances.
- The switches are a little larger than a lot of the other options on the market.
This is a good basic 3-way switch for people who like the feel of 3-way switches. It gives you all the regular features that you need your smart switch to have without paying too much out of your pocket. You can buy this product here.
MOES 3-Way Smart Wi-Fi Wall Light Switch
If you find yourself on a tight budget and don’t want to spend too much money on smart 3-way switches, we recommend that you give the MOES 3-Way Smart Wi-Fi Wall Light Switch a shot. This light switch is our pick for the best option for W-Fi installation on a budget, as it gives you all the basic features you need your 3-way light switches to offer without burning a hole in your pocket. There is no need for a separate hub to set up these switches, but you will need a neutral wire and a stable Wi-Fi network to control its functionality.
- Wi-Fi required to set up light switch
- Neutral wire required
- No hub required
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice automation
- Control through the “Smart Life” app available for download on Android and iOS devices
- Option to set schedules
- Timer function
- ETL listed safety guarantee
- The biggest advantage associated with this product is its price, which is highly inexpensive.
- There is no hub required to set up these switches.
- You have the option of setting schedules according to your needs or use the timer for shorter countdowns.
- You will need to have a neutral wire in your switch box to install these switches.
- It is not automatically compatible with the Apple HomeKit.
The process of installing these 3-way switches is very simple and they also work out to be quite cost-effective because of the low price that you are paying. If you are just looking to make inroads into the field of smart switches but don’t want to spend too much money, it may be worth your while to try this option. This item can be bought here.
iDEVICES 3 & 4 Way Smart Wif-Fi Wall Light Switch
One of the least complicated smart switches with 3-way setups is the one by iDevices. It is very easy to set up, as you don’t need a hub. Once the setup is dealt with, you can use the iDevices Connected app to control the functionality of your switches. While the switches can seem a little expensive, this is one of those switches that can work in both 3-way as well as 4-way sets. All you need to ensure is that the secondary switches are also smart switches manufactured by the same company.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled switches
- 3-way and 4-way smart switch setups
- Very easy to install and use
- Customizable LED night light
- Supports single pole switches
- 2-year warranty
- The switch is designed very well with clean lines and a small night light that will prevent you from bumping into things in the middle of the night.
- These switches can be used in both a 3-way setting as well as a 4-way one.
- This product is compatible with Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant as well as Siri.
- The switches can work out to be quite expensive, especially if you are installing multiple.
- You will need to put your own faceplate with the switch, as it does not come with one.
If you are looking for a switch that can be taken from a 3-way setting to a 4-way setting, this may be a good option for you. You can click here to buy the iDevices smart Wi-Fi switch.
Leviton Smart Switch 3 Way
The Leviton Smart Switch in the 3-way version is the editorial team’s pick for the runner up in the Wi-Fi installation category because of the great features that you get with the product. These are well-designed switches that don’t need a separate hub for installation or use. Keep in mind that you will have to purchase a pair if you want to operate in a 3-way setting.
- No hub required
- Compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa and Nest
- Set schedules and scenes
- Neutral wire required for setup
- Wallplate sold separately
- This is a relatively affordable option amongst smart switches that are compatible with 3-way setups.
- The construction is aesthetically very appealing so you don’t feel like there are any off switches grabbing eyeballs where they shouldn’t be.
- You don’t need a separate hub to set up these switches.
- You will be required to purchase the wallplate separately, which can seem like a nuisance.
- You will need to use a neutral wire for installation of these switches.
These switches are great for people who want to make the most of the company’s reputation in the field but not pay too high a price for 3-way switches. You can click here to buy these switches.
GE Z Wave 3 Way Switch
If you are looking for switching using the Z-wave technology for home automation, the best option for you is the GE Z Wave 3-way switch. The set up requires a hub, which can be bought separately, and you can convert it to 3-way, 4-way or 5-way switches with relative ease with the help of add-on switches.
- Hub required
- White light control
- Compatible with Alexa with a special device
- Control in groups or alone
- If you choose a dimmer for your master switch, you will be able to dim the lights through the add-on switches as well.
- This is possibly the best option for people who want smart switches using Z-wave technology.
- You can customize whether you want a 3-way, 4-way or even a 5-way switch.
- While this does work with Alexa, you need a separate device to enable the connection.
- It becomes expensive because of the number of switches you choose to purchase.
If you are looking for a Z-wave switch that will fulfill all your 3-way smart switch needs, this may be the best option for you. Click here to buy this product.
ZOOZ 3-Way Smart Dimmer Switch
If you are looking for an alternative to GE when it comes to the utilization of Z-wave technology, the ZOOZ 3-Way Smart Dimmer Switch may be worth a shot. The switches work in both 3-way and 4-way situations so that you don’t have to worry about purchasing different products for different purposes. If you aren’t happy with the dimmer option, you can simply use the on and off option.
- Use in 3-way, 4-way and 5-way setups
- Hub required
- Dimming features
- Easy to install
- Extra security
- This product can be used in both 3-way as well as 4-way setups, which makes it easy for you to just add another switch.
- If you don’t want to use the dimmer, you can just use the on-off functionality.
- The installation process is relatively hassle-free.
- You will need a compatible Z-wave hub to use the switches with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- It will need a neutral wire for installation.
This is our second choice for Z-wave switches so you can click here to purchase the product if it meets your needs in a better manner.
4 Way Smart Switch — And Beyond!
While most of the smart switches mentioned above are 3-way switches, a lot of them can be used as 4-way switches as well. While 3-way setups require two different switches, a 4-way setup requires 3 different switches. You can go on to 5-way light switches as well, if the area where the light is being installed is very large. Some examples of switches that can be used as 4-way with the addition of another switch are both the Z-wave smart switches and the iDevices variant. The others may also be used as 4-way switches by adding additional units.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have a better idea about the best options that are currently available in the market when it comes to 3 and 4-way smart switches, you will find yourself in a better position to choose one for your personal needs. Even after this, however, there are a number of questions that arise in the minds of potential buyers when it comes to 3-way and 4-way switches. Some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic have been mentioned below.
- What is the best 3-Way Smart Switch for Alexa?
While most of the 3-way smart switches on this list are compatible with Amazon Alexa, the best options are the Lutron Caseta, Kasa Smart and Moes switches. Some of the other smart switches are not directly compatible with Alexa but will work as long as you have a hub for the purpose, for example, Zooz Z-Wave and the GE Z-Wave.
- Do both switches need to be 3 way?
Yes, if you want the lights to work by switching on either switch, both the switches will need to be 3 way. For this reason, 3-way switches are always sold in pairs so that you have one piece to install at either edge of the stairwell or hallway.
- Can you use a 2-way switch for 3 way?
No, under regular circumstances, you cannot use a 2-way switch to enable a 3-way lighting setup. There are, however, ways to convert the 2-way switch into a 3-way switch or the other way around if the need arises.
- What is the difference between a 3 way and 4-way switch?
There is one basic difference between the 3-way switch and the 4-way switch and that is the number of terminals in the switch. In case of a 3-way switch, you can control the lights from two different places. With 4-way switches, you can control them from three places.
- How many 4 way switches can control my lights?
As long as you have good wiring in place, there is no limit to the number of 4-way switches that you can put in to control the lights of your house. This means any number of 4-way switches between two 3-way light switches.
While many people think 3-way switches are outdated devices that will be phased out soon enough, the introduction of smart 3-way and 4-way switches has really changed the game for these devices. As these devices can be controlled remotely, there is little stress about physically getting up to turn the switches on and off and the dimmer option that is available with a number of these switches is an absolute boon for times when you want the light to go out gradually instead of leaving you stranded in the dark at the end of a hallway. Smart switches are changing the way in which we deal with our lighting at home and these 3-way and 4-way smart switches are examples of the good work that is being put into the field. If you are looking to switch your regular 3-way switches for something that is more convenient and user friendly, you can try any of the products mentioned on this list and note the remarkable difference that it can make to your smart home!
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