Best Smart Switches for 2019
A smart light switch is referred to a wireless switch because it works by way of command to light or to a home appliance to turn itself on. The command can either be by voice, or smart light switch is referred to a wireless switch because it works by way of command to light or to a home appliance to turn itself on. The command can either be by voice or navigating on their respective smartphone applications to access the settings that you want for your home appliances and also lighting as aforementioned.
Communication between the switch and the fixer is either by use of radio transmission or the existing power lines like X10. Imagine coming to a dark home at night after a long presentation during the day. The most suitable way of turning on the lights at such a tired moment would not be to reach out to the switch physically but to do it from your phone. Better still, by use of Alexa, for those who prefer voice over app navigations.The trick with smart switches is that they allow you to control the lighting and electronics at home from the comfort of your couch using your voice or smartphone. You only need to say “Alexa, turn on the balcony lights,” and your command will be executed in a matter of seconds. This is made possible by the radio wave capabilities that enable the switches to connect to a nearby network – part of the Internet of Things (IoT) centrally controlled from your smartphone.
Smart switches work in an ecosystem where Wi-Fi is connected with household electronics like TVs, dishwasher, fridge, microwave, smart bulbs, ceiling fans, and many more home appliances. Even regular non-smart bulbs can become smart light when a smart switch is installed, which is a one-off activity by the way.
To help you in making the right choice of Smart switches, here we have included a guide that will be helping you throughout. You will find advantages of a smart switch, smart buying guide, frequently asked questions, and the top 5 smart switches for home.
5 Best Smart Switches for 2019
Advantages of Using a Smart Switch
A smart switch is always preferable over a smart bulb because it helps you to have a controlled quality of lighting, whether the devices are turned on or off, and the timings for the scheduled operations of particular appliances. And even though they cost more to purchase and install as compared to smart bulbs, smart switches provide more value for your money.
The only disadvantage occurs when you are staying on rented property, and they have restrictions about tampering with their electrical and mechanical setups because you cannot switch in between switches the same way you do with bulbs. They take time and effort to install, and relatively longer to age. The following are a few advantages of using smart switches in controlling the lighting at your home:
With the several dimming options available with smart switch, it is easier to control energy consumption. This can be done from an app on a smartphone or by alternatively setting up motion detectors that dim the lights when there are fewer movements.
The motion detector sensors may be situated in every room, and for those that are unoccupied, you can instruct the lights to turn off till the next time they detect motion. It is recommended that you use LED bulbs because they consume less energy as compared to normal bulbs.
Lights Planning & Scheduling
With smart switches, you can always prepare schedules for your own lighting or turning on and off of particular home appliances.
For instance, you can schedule the security lights to automatically turn on in the nights that you are away from home. Or even schedule your fan to turn on at 1 am when the temperatures in the building begin to rise.
This is a fine way of saving energy by avoiding usage during day times and guarantee the safety of your home at night. Scheduling lights for specific times give your personal program some level of convenience and flexibility.
Compatibility With Modern Platforms
The smart switch has built-in features that make it compatible with various platforms for extra voice commands and scenes. As mentioned earlier about the Internet of Things, the smart switch is controlled with many smart home devices from the same mobile app.
It is essential to blend your smart switch with the right home assistant. So you may need to check if the one you want to buy is compatible with the common home voice assistants like Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Next, Google Assistant, Wink, IFTTT, whichever works perfectly for you.
Imagine remotely controlling your lights, electric power motor, the brightness and colors of the lights in different rooms, all while taking a nap on your bed or even away from home.
That’s the level of freedom that comes when you upgrade your operations to a smart home where all the household activities are done from a simple yet personal portable gadget, a smartphone.
The mode of operation of a smart switch simplifies tasks, especially among the physically challenged people and saves the hassle of having to go from room to room to switch off the lights and turning on different appliances. For some light bulbs, you can even control their intensity of brightness and hue from your device. For instance, the colored LED smart bulbs.
Individualized Lighting Setup
Adjusting the level of color is possible, especially after the introduction of smart LED light bulbs. You can now change the mood and tone of the appearance of your room with a twist of your smart lights.
The importance of changing colors becomes relevant when watching a movie, studying or preparing to take a nap. Because different lights are set for different moods. Some colors do not strain the eye and improve sleep quality.
Although it’s not all the smart switches have sensors, many of them do. There are motion sensors and touch sensors. The former turns the lights on automatically when it detects your movement and is a common energy saving strategy employed in the offices. While the latter is widely used as a modern way of controlling lights and the dimmer.
To pick the best smart light switch, it is important to consider all the features so as to determine one that serves your needs adequately. Among the essential factors to put into account when buying a new smart light switch includes:
There is more than one way of connecting your smart switch to your network. This can be through Wi-Fi, Zig-Bee, or Z-Wave networks. It is more beneficial to have a smart switch that automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network directly.
The other two, Zig-Bee and Z-Wave smart switches would require a hub like the Wink hub in order to connect. And in case you like the Lutron Caseta type of light switches then you will have to use the proprietary hub that belongs to the company itself because it uses a custom version RF to complete the switches’ circuits.
Design & Functionality
Smart switches come in different outlooks and how they function also different. You have to pick a model that is interesting and satisfies your needs.
It also has to match the home décor to ensure conformity and beautiful aesthetics. Ensure the material used to make the smart switch is durable and has good insulation properties.
Since smart switches are ever in constant communication with a hub, the power source has to be constant all the time. So when the switch is off the power-cut, it results in making it difficult for the smart switch to receive information from the hub.
A switch box that includes a neutral wire (white) is more preferable because when off, the smart switch can make use of the neutral wire to keep power flowing. This breaks the circuit for lights, but the switch is kept active by the current flowing in the neutral wire. The communication with the hub is thus maintained and kept open for adjustments whenever.
The main determinant for the choice of a smart light switch is the neutral wire. Some switches like Lutron Caseta, however, do not require a neutral wire to operate and they work just fine.
The fact that you don’t have to deal with intertwining and the ability to function in households that lack neutral wires in their switch boxes makes Lutron Caseta smart lights attractive and effective.
The compatibility of your smart switch with voice platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant is important because you may sometimes need to control your appliances and lights by way of voice command.
It is important to check for the compatibility of the smart switch you wish to buy is compatible with IFTTT, Alexa, and Google Home platforms to ensure you can use voice apart from the applications on your smartphone.
Smart switches are naturally more expensive than the smart bulbs because they serve a heavier electoral role. Different models of smart switches also cost different prices in the market. Some are budget-friendly, while others have their prices shooting off the roof.
It is important to determine the price you are comfortable with before moving on to select a smart switch with features that will be the most beneficial to you at the price range. Let’s now dive into the different types of smart light switches, their features, pros, and cons.
Top 5 smart switches
1. Smarteefi Smart Switch – Our Pick
The Smarteefi smart switch is used to control heavy home power appliances, including the washing machine and water motor pump with ease. The interesting thing about this particular smart switch is that it has some smart routing feature. This means when your smartphone device and the switch are connected to the same router, it does not require an internet connection in order to work.
It also has an intelligent notification app which when configured to your smart switch helps to inform you when any of your devices has been connected to power by anybody else.
- Smarteefi smart switch not only allows you to control your devices but also protect them against damage by heavy electricity voltage.
- The smart switch is compatible with modular switch plates like Anchor/Roma.
- It produces 16 Amperes and only occupies space that can be taken up by 2 of the regular switches.
- The Smarteefi app works fine on Android and iOS platforms in controlling the functioning of the different home appliances. You can also use Google Assistant or Alexa to make voice commands in controlling your devices.
- It provides for scheduling and also a countdown timer.
- It also offers the notification facility
- Very easy to install with the help of an electrician as it deals with high voltage.
- Automates the functioning of the home devices at a really affordable price.
- Appreciable built and scheduling quality
- It does not support IFTTT.
- The LED cover on its body is not strong and durable.
- Stops working without an Internet router
2. Smarteefi Smart Switch Board – Smart Notifying Feature
Smarteefi smart switchboard is a perfect replacement of the traditional modular switch plates. It comes in a nicely packed box containing the two smart switches, two smart plugs, and a smart fan in 8 module configuration.
The other set of the board has three smart switches, a smart plug, and a smart fan in 6 module configurations. The control of each of the aforementioned items; smart switches, plugs, and fans, is independent as every device can be operated individually.
- The switchboard is effective in scheduling for automatic turn on/offs to help in the conservation of electricity.
- You will be able to adjust the settings of a device from anywhere.
- Smarteefi notifies you on your phone if someone has turned on or off any of your devices.
- The Smarteefi smart switch also has a manual control option. The app itself allows you to either lock or unlock the manual control.
- It has a countdown timer apart from scheduling that allows you to adjust the times for your devices and lighting.
- It can be operated using Alexa, Smarteefi App and Google Assistant
- It comes with one year of warranty with it
- It supplies power to many smart switches, plugs, and fans and allows you to control them independent of each other.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is good with strong speed.
- Design and build quality is noteworthy
- Installation is very simple and does not require an expert
- Unlike other smart home products, it requires internet connectivity to work.
- The surface can easily get scratched.
3. Homelett Smart Wi-Fi Switch – Great Functionality
Upgrading your home to the acceptable standards set by fellow millennials should not cost you the world. Homelett Wi-Fi smart switch is a simple, affordable accessory that will automate your home at almost negligible costs.
It comes in a nicely packaged box with 4 screws to mount it, the switch itself, and a comprehensive manual that explains the details of the use of the switch together with the wiring diagram that illustrates the layout of the wiring system.
- Homelett has apps supported by both Android and iOS platforms.
- It also supports voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
- For every household device that is added, the Homelett smart switch supports single, repeated, and countdown timing of activities. Thus, the conditions of your place remain the same, even when you are not around.
- Installing and connecting Homelett to your Wi-Fi network is an easy process that does not require any technical skill.
- For manual control of the smart switch, it has a manual black button used to switch on and off. This acts as a back-up plan, but the software for this particular smart switch usually works fine.
- It supports a maximum current of 10 Amperes.
- It is easy to install and set up.
- Good build quality.
- The interface of the smartphone applications has a friendly user experience.
- Easily gets connected to the network
- Manual control is also available
- Works excellent for lighting.
- Only suitable for appliances with medium power consumption because it supports low current.
4. TP-Link HS200 Smart Switch – Great Build Quality
The Kasa app on either your Android or iOS platform lets you control the lighting at your home at any point in time both while indoors and away. You can now control most of your electronics from your smartphone anywhere around the world.
However, you have to remember to turn on the “Away Mode” to easily access the devices while on vacation, during the different times of day to point out to the neighbors that you are around. It looks decent and modern on the walls, which compliments fine finishes and fittings.
- HS200 smart switch is controlled by voice command and works with Amazon Alexa, Google assistant, and Microsoft cortana. You have the option to either use Kasa app or control by using your voice on Alexa.
- Installation of the HS200 smart switch is easy and comes with a guiding manual.
- Scheduling for the turning on and off of the lights is possible with this kind of smart switch. You can prepare a long-term schedule for the turning on and off of the lights for the days you will be away on vacation.
- The Kasa app used to turn on/off and control the brightness and color of lights is a multipurpose platform. The application is only compatible with iOS and Android platforms.
- This has an input voltage of 100-120V~, 50/60GHz, 15.0A
- It can take a maximum load of 15A, 600W
- Works perfectly and receives wireless instructions accurately.
- A good build product that works seamlessly with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa.
- Besides the functionality, it is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
- Very simple setup
- Requires a neutral wire to function.
- Might show issues with Indian Voltage
5. Nishica Smart Wall Switch – Simple Modern Look
This type of smart switch is common in modern hospitals, office, bar, and home for smart lighting. Nishica is popular for its trendy looks on the walls and the simple way that it functions.
It is compatible with Nest Thermostat and Amazon Alexa, and they both work collaboratively to automate your home. The glass finish on it looks amazing and hosts sensitive buttons that can be used when operating the switch manually.
- The app is available on both Android and iOS smartphones.
- The real-time monitoring helps you to keep an eye on your home electronic appliances as long as the network is connected.
- Its software works quite perfectly with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You only need to make voice commands to switch on or off the particular devices in your home.
- WIth the timer features, you can switch on and off the devices without you being present.
- Has decent presentable appearance.
- It allows for scheduling of times to make it easy for household operations to fit his schedule.
- It has a commendable built quality
- Set up is relatively simple and can be done on your own
- Not applicable smart homes that use water motors, as it can only support small load capacity.
- There has to be a neutral wire for it to function.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do smart light switches save money?
Yes, smart light switches function with full conscience of energy consumption. Measures adopted for energy conservation includes the use of motion detectors that only turns on the light when there is movement in the particular area. This allows for efficient usage of light when it is needed. They also run on schedules of the user, where the owner plans the turning on and off times for the lights.
2. How do you install a smart switch?
There are several steps followed when replacing your old switch with a smart switch. You first have to familiarize with the current wiring diagram of the electrical installation in your home. This way, you can determine the specific location of the various items in the circuit. Then you follow the given instructions in the manual in removing the old switch and fixing a new one.
3. Can a smart switch be controlled by several phones?
Yes. You can share the login credentials with members of your family. This gives them access to control of the various home appliances because they too need to use them. Everyone must download the applications that work with the smart switch in order to control them from their phones while using the same logins.
4. Do smart switches need a hub?
There are smart switches that directly connect to home Wi-Fi while with other you have to deal with the complexion of the hubs. Some other switches like the Lutron Caseta type need company proprietary hub to function because they adopt the custom version RF to connect to switches.
By this time, you have a rough idea of what smart switches are from what we have discussed in this article. You have to be aware of all the requirements because a smart home requires the thinking of a smart person. So in order to help you in making the right purchase, our Top smart light switches include Smarteefi Smart Switch, Smarteefi Smart Switch Board, and Homelett Smart WI-Fi Switch.
Among the essentials, you must check is to see if you have neutral wire to see the alternative action is to either purchase one buy a switch that doesn’t need it. Always pick a product which you can comfortably afford and whose features are impressive and work for you.