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Any smart home can benefit from excellent physical controls. The second-generation Leviton devices are just that, with reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, easy setup and native support for the Apple HomeKit.
The new Leviton line of HomeKit compatible devices was launched in March and included several different devices. There are wall switches, wall switches, smart plugs, smart plug switches and the only Anywhere Switch or Dimmer Companion switch.
At home, we tested the wall dimmer switch and Anywhere Dimmer Companion. All of these devices support IFTTT, Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant - but we were left exclusively with the HomeKit test.
Smart plugs in the wall are the basic element of any smart home. Sometimes they can be a little intimidating because they require a cable, but you need physical control already in your home and add a smart home control.
These are one of the most recommended updates for your home for this reason.
For an ordinary person, they don't look so different from any other wall switch, but they can be programmed, motion-linked, automated as you come and go, controlled by Siri and more.
Once we killed the power of our room at the switch, we removed the existing wall switch. Installing the Leviton smart switch was no different from a standard light switch, as you connect the appropriate wire with the necessary wire nuts that are included in the box.
We want to mention that this requires a neutral thread. Older homes may not have this wire, so if you are unsure, check the existing switches before ordering.
With all the wires connected, I screwed the board into the socket box and fastened it to the included Decora wall board. Because these are standard Decora tiles, you can pick and choose any other color or design from your local hardware store to match the rest of your home.
You are not stuck with what is in the box, but the simple white option will be the most common.
The adjustment switch itself is a simple blade-shaped switch, where you can press the top or bottom to turn the lights on or off. Because this is a weaker switch, there is a smaller secondary rocker located along the right edge to incrementally adjust the brightness up or down in the room.
The corresponding green LEDs are stacked along the left side, representing how bright or dark the setting is.
A nice little touch is that when you turn the lights on or off, the lights don't turn on or off quickly. Instead, it only takes a second or so to light up to 100 percent or to fade slightly.
It is smooth and feels like a polished, more premium lighting experience.
The best hands-down feature of the second generation Wi-Fi Leviton Decora is Anywhere Dimmer Companion. This is a second device that can be mounted in a secondary location to provide more control points in a room.
Maybe a large living room with several entry or exit points, an open kitchen or maybe a long hallway could benefit from at least two wall switches.
The Anywhere Dimmer can be paired with the Decora Smart Wi-Fi primary drive, switch, mini variable plug-in or mini plug-in socket.
It runs a pair of battery cells that are accessed by pivoting the face of the device. They have plastic covers to prevent them from unloading before use, with a quick pull that allows you to start setting up.
We mounted ours in a secondary location in the room that consisted of a solid brick wall, one in which there was no previous switch. You can screw the board directly into the wall or remove the unused switch cover and even attach a Decora board.
You never knew it was a fake switch. It looks just like the standard switch and is as fast and responsive as the real deal. You can turn the lights on and off, as well as dim them without having all the cables for a secondary switch.
The alternative here would be to use a HomeKit button that would control the lights in the room when pressed. However, this is a terrible compromise and not close to an acceptable option.
HomeKit buttons can control any other switches or devices, but they are slower, less reliable and do not look like a traditional wall-mounted switch, as Leviton does.
Setting up products with the app was easy. Once the switch turned on and blinked, we scanned the HomeKit pairing code printed on the product and went through the standardized integration process, including connecting to our Wi-Fi at home.
Once the product appeared in the Home app, it also appeared in the Leviton app. Third-party applications are not essential for HomeKit, but in our case, we still downloaded it, although it is not necessary to respect the basic functionality offered by HomeKit.
In the Leviton application, you can perform the occasional firmware update. We've had at least one update in our time with the device, and it's annoying that you have to go through the Leviton app, but that's something Apple has only recently changed.
In the future, Leviton could make updates through the Home app, but there are no promises here.
Other options in the Leviton app include auto-shutdown switching, where you can specify any of five minutes and 12 hours. You can also change the behavior of the LEDs, how long the LEDs stay on, how long the fading / lighting rates are, and more.
In our case, we needed the Leviton app to set up Dimmer Companion, because this is not a specific HomeKit product, but rather a secondary control for your main control. We've assigned the Dimmer Companion to our variation switch, although it could also control a smart outlet if you have one.
The smart plug is a direct way to control a lamp or other device that does not currently have a switch.
As for HomeKit, switches are simple devices that can be turned on, off, or dimmed anywhere between the two states. You can even use Siri to set how bright the lights are. "Siri has set the living room lights to 50%" is a very common request in our house.
Because this is HomeKit, it can mix with any other HomeKit equipment you have. It would be useless to create an exhaustive list of possibilities, but we can offer a few starting points.
If you have other lights in the room, such as Hue bulbs or light strips, you can set them to switch on or off whenever the Leviton light turns on or off. In this way, the camera as a whole can be controlled simultaneously.
Motion sensors can also be used, so that when you enter the room at night, the kitchen lights turn on by 20%, but by 100% during the day. The lights can be controlled according to your location, so the porch lights come on as you arrive, but go out as you leave.
Our favorite and most frequently used automaton is our good night scene. We say good night to Siri and all our lights go out, the shadows of our windows close, the front door locks, the garage closes and we receive a brief notification telling us if we left the windows open before we return for the night.
We cannot exaggerate enough how important physical controls are for a smart home. Guests, older family members and children do not play well if the only way to control your home is through voice or other technology-based means.
By integrating smart home technology into existing wall switches, you open up so many possibilities, while still maintaining a physical way to control your home.
Leviton's new Wi-Fi connected devices have been fully responsive, easy to set up and offer impeccable control through Apple's HomeKit. We also like the Anywhere Companion side switches to control almost any other Leviton device. It's a benefit in addition to HomeKit control.
Compared to other HomeKit switches, Leviton offers more flexibility and more features than almost anyone else. All at a reasonable price. No matter how far your smart home is, Leviton can improve it.
You can view all the second-generation Wi-Fi switches, plugs and dimmers compatible with the Leviton HomeKit on Amazon, where the standard smart connector starts at $ 24.99, the smart connector dimmer runs for $ 29.99, the switch is for $ 39.99, the dimmer switch reaches $ 47.99. , and Companion Anywhere starts at $ 18.50.
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