10 Best Smart Home Switches to Step up Your Home Automation System
The best smart home switches go a great way in making your homes smart without making you spend half a fortune on smart bulbs. They work the same way as a regular switch, but by being connected to the cloud/internet, you can control it remotely or with a voice assistant like Alexa and Siri., and even schedule it to turn off/on at set intervals or times.
Smart home switches can help you access and control your home’s lighting, fan, and other appliances from wherever you are, thereby saving on energy costs. Convenience aside, the best smart home switches also allow you to switch on your lights even when you are not at home and make it appear as though someone is home. This goes a long way in providing a peace of mind and a sense of protection, especially while you are on a long holiday.
How to choose the best smart home switch for you?
The question you need to ask yourself before zeroing on how to choose the best smart home switch is this – Do I need a smart switch, smart bulb, or smart plug? Here are the main differences –
- Smart bulb – you can control the light bulb directly from your phone rather than a switch.
- Smart switch – you can control any appliance across multiple rooms connected to the switches using your phone.
- Smart plug – you can control lights and appliances connected via electrical outlets using your phone by connecting the smart plug to the wall socket and your appliance to the plug.
So, if you are looking to smart-control just one bulb, go for a smart bulb. If you are looking to manage multiple lights, AC, TVs, etc. economically, then smart switches would be the best option. If you are looking for a smart alternative to the traditional electric wall sockets, go for smart plugs.
If you decide to go for a smart home switch, then the next question is the connectivity – Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Z-Wave?
- Wi-Fi has a 2.4 GHz network communication standard, and your switches can connect to your router directly. However, it is power-hungry, and each device must be within direct range of the router to work.
- Zigbee runs on a 2.4 GHz frequency or a 915 MHz frequency. You will need a Zigbee compatible hub or software program to operate the devices.
- Z-Wave runs on frequencies regulated by the governments – the US uses 908 MHz, Europe uses 868 MHz, and Australia uses 921.42 MHz. They are the most expensive of the three but are low on power consumption and can be used in various battery-powered devices. Like Zigbee, you will require a Z-Wave compatible hub or software program to operate the devices.
Neutral wire – Older homes might not have neutral wires, so make sure you check the smart home switch you choose if it can be installed in your home.
Dimmer, motion sensor, away mode – These are added features present in some smart switches. If you are looking for one with either or all of these, make sure you read through the specifications before your purchase.
Connectivity to other smart home devices – Some smart switches can be controlled using voice-operated devices like Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, etc. If you are looking for a switch that you can operate using these devices, make sure it has the said capabilities.
10 best smart home switches
MCO Home Touch Panel ZWave Switch
MCO Home Touch Panel Switches work on the Z-Wave Plus module and have a glass touch panel, has 85~260VAC, 50/60Hz power supply, and a max load of 3*5A. They come in one, two, and three-button options.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? Stylish design and stable performance, flush-mounted junction box.
GE C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer
C by GE 3-Wire Smart Motion Sensor Light Switches measure 10.69 x 18.39 x 14.5 cm and can be operated through Wi-Fi. It has a dimmer option, motion & ambient light detection, and works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It has a 3 way no neutral wire circuit, making it great to turn older homes into smart homes.
Philips Hue Dimmer
If you already possess Philips Hue Lights, then Philips Hue Dimmer would be a great addition. It measures 14.9 x 8.9 x 5.4 cm and includes 1 Lithium-ion battery. It also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, but requires Philips Hue Bridge.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It is battery-powered and wireless, so it can be installed anywhere.
Bond Bridge Pro
If you prefer the good old ethernet connection to make your home smart, then Bond Bridge Pro is where you go. It can wirelessly connect ceiling & pedestal fans, fireplaces, and automatic shades like Somfy.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? Ceiling and wall-mounted. Most inexpensive option of all.
LeGrand Smart Dimmer Switch
The Legrand-On-Q Dimmer Switch measures 5.7 x 10.2 x 15.2 cm and supports single pole or 3-way operation when paired with the Smart Remote Dimmer. It also works with multiple smart home systems and can connect with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It self-calibrates to any dimmable bulb, including LED, CFL, halogen, and incandescent dimmable bulbs.
Brilliant Smart Home Control
Brilliant Smart Home Control 1- and 3-Switch Panel is the ultimate smart switch touch panel and measures 17.53 x 11.43 x 6.1 cm. It has a 5" LCD touchscreen, a camera with shutter, and a built-in motion sensor and supports LED, CFL, halogen, and incandescent bulbs.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It has built-in Alexa and can control many smart devices, lighting, cameras, locks, thermostats, intercom, scenes, and more by just replacing a light switch.
Useelink Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch
Useelink Wi-Fi Smart Wall Touch Light Switch has 3 buttons and measures 14.8 x 9.4 x 4.8 cm. It can be controlled by downloading the Smart Life app from Play Store or AppStore and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Echo Dot, and Google Assistant.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? You can share your device with your family. Each person can control the switch of each light individually.
Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch
Wemo Wi-Fi Light 3-Way Switch measures 4.06 x 4.32 x 10.41 cm and allows you to easily set automatic schedules and timers using your smartphone app. You can also group and control multiple Wemo devices through the app, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It integrates with Nest Smart Thermostat.
Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer
Leviton Decora Wi-Fi Smart Switch is a simple dimmer switch with an LED locator that measures 13.97 x 12.7 x 16 cm. It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, HomeKit, and IFTTT.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? It supports 3-way switches and doesn’t require a hub.
Lutron Caseta Smart Light Switch
Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch measures 14.61 x 14.61 x 11.13 cm and works with LED Light Bulbs, Incandescent Bulbs, and Halogen Bulbs. IT connects to Alexa, Apple Home Kit, the Google Assistant, Serena shades, and Sonos via Smart Bridge and comes with a Pico remote.
Why is it among the 10 best smart home switches? 1 Caseta smart switch can control many bulbs simultaneously and does not require a neutral wire.
Smart switches are a great way to start your transition to a smart home. They look like conventional switches but can operate multiple lights and appliances. They also provide ample safety and convenience by allowing you to manage devices even remotely.
Smart switches can still work without Wi-Fi as old-fashioned regular switches. Only their special features will not be applicable as they will need an internet connection to work.
Some smart switch owners and manufacturers say that you can experience upto 60% energy savings while using smart switches with dimmers and motion sensors. However, they do consume more electricity than a standard switch. Those with Wi-Fi capabilities use 2W while idling, and those with Zigbee and Z-Wave consume about 0.5W.
Most smart switches come with a dimmer and motion sensor option. So, if you choose a smart dimmer light switch, you will be able to dim your lights at your convenience.
HomeKit is a platform by Apple created to control smart home products, and it comes pre-installed in every available iPhone and iPad. There are a lot of smart switches compatible with HomeKit households like the MCOHome Touch Panel Smart Switch, GE C-Start Smart, Lutron Caseta, etc.