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Few would argue that smart switches are one of the key building blocks to achieve a fully integrated smart home, regardless which flavor you choose, wifi, z wave or zigbee.
These devices allow remote access, voice control using Alexa or Google Assistant and open up a whole world of possibilities for convenience, peace of mind and ultimately a smarter way of living.
Each one of us at sometime has arrived home to an unwelcoming dark porch devoid of light, or to a stuffy bedroom where our first job is to rush to switch on the fan. Or have you ever wondered on the second day of your holiday, whether you did in fact turn the lights off before leaving and worried about it for your entire stay.
Choosing the best smart light switches for your home makes these concerns a thing of the past.
Although we immediately think first about switches controlling lights, they can be used for anything that is controlled by a conventional switch.
External as well as internal lighting, your ceiling fan switch, a bathroom fan smart switch, the switch for your air conditioning and even a switch for your fireplace - all controlled from your phone or through voice control using Google Assistant.
And the best smart switches don’t have to be single switches. They come with the same, three, four or even five way options, along with dimmer switch and motion sensors - basically all your conventional switch options now come with a smart counterpart. There are even smart switches available if you don't have a neutral wire in your existing gang-box.
The best smart switches and dimmers are no ordinary products, they are very sophisticated and connect to your wifi, either directly or indirectly via a smart hub, allowing us to remotely access them through a computer or a smartphone.
This allows you to control lighting and switch wired devices across all the rooms where they are installed. All this without moving from the couch or ahead of arriving back from work, a short trip or a much needed holiday. All you need is your phone and the corresponding app for your chosen brand like Kasa Smart, WeMo Dimmer or Lutron Caseta.
Even the fact that a simple switch can connect to the internet is a remarkable feat, but these switches and dimmers offer far more than just remote access and control:
- apps and software offer you a degree of control beyond just turning something in your home on and off
- you can set a schedule such as turning your lights on just when the sun starts to set and all of the lights off after the sun rises.
- they help to reduce your electricity bills
- help with security as you can give the impression someone is home, even when you are out of the house
- enable you to create scenes for that special homecoming
In this article, we're taking a close look at some of the best options currently available, our aim is to help you find just the right one for your needs.
And before we dive in, we suggest reading up on the difference between smart bulbs vs smart switchesto make sure you get exactly what you need!
EDITORIAL TEAM TOP PICK
The best 5 smart light switches you can choose
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Things To Look Out For When Choosing A Smart Light Switch
Few would argue that smart light switches are the foundation on which a fully integrated smart home is built. However, if you start looking for the right switch for your home, you'd soon realize that it can be quite difficult to differentiate between all of the choices that are available. Don't worry. This is where we come in. We will help you figure out the best smart light switch for your home.
Smart Switch – Smart Plug
You probably have to decide between getting a smart dimmer switch like the WeMo dimmer, or a smart plug. Both are incredibly convenient and toggling them is just as natural as a standard light switch - but as always, the devil is in the detail and you need to make sure your new device is suitable for the purpose you need it for.
If you want to keep your conventional bulbs, but still automate your lights, then you would want to go for the best smart light switches you can afford. Smart plugs, on the other hand, don't have the same manual switches but include sophisticated power monitoring features that most switches don't offer.
Regardless both will work with ecosystems like Apple HomeKit and voice control through Amazon Alexa , Google Assistant or even Siri - just make sure to check compatibility with your existing kit before you buy.
Operating System Of Your Choice
The choice of software or operating system is just as important as the hardware. Although most devices will work on both Android and iOS, some switches will work better with one operating system and sync well with your existing devices such as Nest, Ecobee or Alexa.
We usually don't give much thought to wireless connectivity, but there is more to it than just Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth are some of the most commonly used protocols for home automation wireless communication.
Each of these communication protocols has their own advantages and disadvantages, and you want to make sure that you opt for the right protocol for wireless communication in order to ensure seamless connectivity between all your smart devices.
Best Smart Light Switch: Top Smart Light Switches For 2020
Z-Wave, Zigbee or Wifi? Let’s go through some of the best smart light switches across the protocols...
TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch
TP-Link’s Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch is designed to work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It features a unique app named, Kasa Smart, which can be used to remotely control devices that are connected to the smart light switch.
It not only offers the ability to turn the lights on and off but also a number of other vital features that will provide you with total control over your home smart lighting, making it one of the best smart light switches available.
It can also be used as a security system for the home. Its app can be used create a schedule for turning the lights on and off at different times throughout the day, giving the appearance of an occupied home and deterring potential break-ins. The same feature can be used to prevent waste of electricity as lights would automatically turn off after sunrise even if you are sound asleep.
The smart light switch and the smart dimmer switch version offer incredible convenience due to state-of-the-art technology and compatibility with the main voice control systems.
Since it works best with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the switch functions can be controlled through voice commands, alongside the Kasa app. The TP Link Kasa Smart range can also work with Siri and Apple HomeKit through IFTTT. All it requires is that each switch is assigned a name and that name can be used to activate that particular switch to receive voice commands. Moreover, it also allows you to create a group for all of the switches or other smart devices and use it to control all of the smart devices with a single voice command through the Kasa Smart app.
- Easy guided install: Neutral wire is required, standard wall plate size. No need to understand complex switch wiring or master vs auxiliary switch configurations; The Kasa app guides you through easy...
- Control from anywhere: Monitor your light status. Turn electronics on and off from anywhere with your smartphone using the Kasa app, whether you are at home, in the office or on vacation
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Unlike many of the best smart light switches, TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Switch does not require a separate hub or any other kind of paid subscription service to work. It can be easily connected with any kind of Wi-Fi router without affecting any of its core functionalities. The smart light switch is compatible with 120V 15A and works perfectly with a single-pole setup. This smart switch range does, however, require a neutral wire for installation.
Read the Full TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Review
WeMo Light Switch
WeMo Light Switch and the WeMo dimmer are highly efficient and incredibly practical smart switches that can replace almost all types of conventional light switches.
They can work with almost any kind of bulb and although setup is relatively easy, it does require a neutral wire for installation.
- Wi-Fi connectivity lets you control your lights from anywhere
- Free Wemo app allows you to schedule your lights
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The smart light switch comes with its own highly intuitive and easy-to-use smartphone app. Once a network of switches and smart devices has been established, a single app can turn into a powerful control panel for the entire home, allowing you to control almost all aspects of your home from a smartphone app.
It can be used to create an automated schedule for lighting and heating to create a warm and welcoming home after a long day at work. It can also be used to set the ceiling fans to automatically start when a certain temperature is detected by a smart thermostat.
It works with Amazon Alexa, allowing you to create a number of different types of voice commands and attaint the ultimate form of convenience. It can even work as a dimmer as long as the bulbs are dimmable.
It can also be used to control ceiling fans. It works perfectly with all types of lights. However, it is not compatible with lights that are controlled by multiple switches, which isn’t really a problem as it merely requires a small adjustment during the installation process.
As mentioned earlier, it offers compatibility with Nest Thermostat, which means the switch will be able to receive information from the smart thermostat as well and turn the lights off when you leave home and turn them back on when you re-enter your home. The app for the smart light switch can work on Android 4.1 and higher as well as iOS 8 and higher.
Read the full Wemo Light Switch Review
GE Z-Wave Lighting Control Smart Switch
The GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Smart Switch offers a simple interface to remotely control lighting fixtures and ceiling fans using a smartphone app which communicates via the certified Z-Wave smart home broadcast protocol.
- VOICE CONTROL – ALEXA & GOOGLE ASSISTANT COMPATIBLE (requires a Z-Wave certified hub). Works with the following Z-Wave certified hubs: SmartThings, Ring Alarm, Wink, ADT Pulse, ADT Command, Trane,...
- HASSLE-FREE OPERATION – Control the device remotely with your smartphone and voice commands when connected to a compatible hub or enjoy manual ON/OFF operation from the switch. Home automation is...
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The smart light switch’s software offers remote control of individual as well as groups of lights, which can be used for turning the lights on and off as well as for creating ambient interior lighting. The switch is compatible with other hubs that are certified by Z-Wave: Trane, Pulse, Nexia, Wink, HomeSeer, Honeywell, Harmony Home Hub, Smart Security, Iris, Extender, Connect and Vera. It has a simplified installation system with a screw-based terminal for improved space efficiency as well as easy replacement of existing smart light switches.
The Wireless Smart Light Switch is also compatible with Amazon Alexa. However, successful connectivity does require one of the aforementioned Z-Wave certified smart hubs. Its most attractive feature is that it belongs to the world's largest ecosystem of interoperable smart home devices. Z-Wave network of smart home devices is one of the best ways to create a fully integrated smart home that syncs perfectly with each and every device to create a truly intelligent home.
The Z-Wave platform interface offers the ultimate flexibility in terms of what you can get from your smart light switch. You can use it to create a time schedule for lights to turn on and off at a predetermined time. But that's not all. It can also be used to create scheduled customized lighting scenes or ambiances for specific times.
For example, the lights would automatically dim down after dinner time when the family lounges around together before everyone heads into their bedrooms for a good night's rest. Lastly, the smart light switch supports literally all of the different types of bulbs such as LED, fluorescent, CFL, halogen and Xenon lights and plays well with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and others via IFTTT integration.
And released in late 2019, the GE 14299 Z-Wave Plus Dimmer Switch and the GE 45717 Z-Wave Classic Dimmer Switch don't require a neutral wire - a worthy and welcome addition to the GE Z-Wave range of smart switch devices.
Read the Full GE Smart Switch Review
Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Dimmer Switch
The Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch works via the Lutron app, also through voice control using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri to offer voice control over your entire lighting ecosystem.
The Lutron Smart switch can be used to turn the lights on and off as well as the ability to adjust the brightness with simple voice commands, through the Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro.
- PEACE OF MIND: Set lights to automatically adjust with seasons so your family always comes back to a well-lit home; Enable smart away to randomly turn your lights on/off to look like you’re home...
- MOST CONNECTED: Caseta connects with more leading smart home devices – including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, the Google Assistant, Ring, Serena shades and Sonos – than any other smart lighting control...
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Although it is compatible with most types of lights and bulbs, it works best with LED bulbs that are more responsive to ambient lighting and are conducive to brightness adjustment.
It is also comes paired with the Lutron Pico remote control, available separately, for those not inclined to get a smart hub or simply don't prefer voice commands for lighting control.
The smart light switch can support lights with a wattage of up to 600-Watts Halogen and Incandescent bulbs, as well as 150-watt dimmable CFL and LED bulbs.
As for the smart hub, it supports Lutron’s Smart Bridge and WINK hub for remote control of the lights through a smartphone. Aside from Amazon Alexa it also supports other personal assistants and smart devices such as Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech, Sonos, Apple Homekit, Honeywell, Carrier Cor, Samsung SmartThings, Serena Shades, Ecobee and more.
Since the Caseta Switch doesn't require a neutral wire, it is a perfect choice for old homes that lack a neutral wire in the structure's wiring system. Moreover, it offers by far the simplest and easiest installation process, which requires no more than just 15 minutes. Lastly, the switch range is available in four different colors for aesthetic compatibility. It is available in white, light almond, ivory and black.
Read the full Lutron Smart Switch review
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Shouldn’t I Just Stick To My Old Light Switches?
For most of us the idea that, if it isn't broken, don't fix it, works fine in most cases. However, that concept doesn't really apply to upgrading to new technologies. Our old phones worked just fine, yet all of us upgraded to smartphones and continued to do so when newer models are available.
There is a good reason for opting for smart light switches, and it's not just convenience. Smart light switches play a huge role in reducing our electricity bills. It also provides a sense of security and helps in the overall integration of all of our daily use items.
How Does Smart Light Switch Factor In A Smart Home?
The smart light switch is just a small cog in a much greater system. Smart light switches are the building blocks on which a fully integrated and interoperable smart home operates. It provides connectivity with smart lighting, smart cooling and heating, and smart security systems, and offers absolute control over the home via a simple smartphone app.
This interconnectivity allows the local network to generate data over the home occupant’s behavioral patterns and slowly allow the home to become fully automated for most of the daily mundane activities based on pattern recognition.
Are Smart Light Switches Worth It?
If you want greater control over your home lighting and switch wired devices, the short answer is yes! Not only do they bring greater levels of convenience, these switches also help with home security - something we all strive to improve.
Does A Smart Light Switch Need A Hub?
This is dependent on the brand of switch, also on the level of automation you are looking to achieve. If you simply want remote access to the basic functions, a Wifi only switch will provide you with what you need and without requiring a hub to work.
Do Smart Light Switches Save Money?
Yes, you can expect to save money on your electricity bills following the installation of your new smart switches. This however is not down to the switches themselves, rather from the automations they control - ensuring lights don't accidentally get left on all day while you are at work for example.
All of the smart light switches reviewed above were chosen due to being the best smart light switch in their respective categories. So if you are to choose between them, then there are a few factors you can take into consideration.
First of all, do you simply want control of your light switches or are you working towards turning your home into a complete smart home? If you just want to install smart light switches, you can opt for a wifi switch that work without a smart hub.
Otherwise, you would need a hub to connect all of the devices, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or a dedicated smart hub like Hubitat. For example, the Z-Wave platform is an excellent choice for a complete smart home, as it supports a wide array of smart home devices that will seamlessly sync together and share data with the central network based around a smart hub to ultimately give you the perfectly integrated and interoperable smart home.