The best smart light switches are designed either to connect to existing smart bulbs, to control them even more conveniently, or to replace existing light switches so that you can control regular light bulbs with your smart phone or speaker. good fashion switch. And some of them do both.
If you want help choosing between different types of smart lighting switches or how to install a smart light switch, this guide is for you.
Smart switches are available in two variants: wired switches, which replace existing wired light switches, and wireless switches that can go anywhere. A good example of the latter is the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch V2, which comes in a plastic frame that you can mount on the wall (only with adhesive tape, if you want), but can be disconnected to be used as a remote control. Probably the least smart switch of all is the Nanoleaf remote control, which is designed to control Nanoleaf decorative lighting, as well as the Apple HomeKit scenes: it looks like you'd expect to run in a Dungeons & Dragons game.
Installing a wireless switch is simple: insert some batteries into it and follow the instructions to add it to your network or pair it with your smart home hub or bridge. And that's it.
The key advantage of wireless smart switches is that they can go anywhere as long as they stay within range of your lighting setup; The main disadvantage if you do not mount it on the wall is that, like any remote control, you may spend more time trying to remember where you left it than actually using it.
You don't have this problem with wired switches that don't move. But it also has some problems.
Before buying the switch, turn off the appropriate lighting circuit at the switch - do not skip this step - and unscrew the face of the switch you want to replace. Now take a look behind her. You need to know two things: how much space there is for the back of the switch and what wires you have.
Lighting circuits in the UK are two- or three-wire circuits, and if they were installed after 2006, they are color-coded in green and yellow for the ground wire and brown for the live wire. If you also have a neutral wire, it is blue. In older installations in the UK the live wire is red and the neutral is black, and if they are really old, then the ground wire is solid green.
If you want to have a smart wired switch, you'll need a neutral wire to connect to, or you'll find yourself shopping for a very small selection of switches that don't work as well as their friends connected to neutral.
The reason why a neutral wire is needed for many smart light switches is that a neutral wire maintains the circuit even when the switch is off - so the switch still has electricity through it.
With a standard light switch, moving it to the off position interrupts the circuit completely - and that's fine, because the switch doesn't have features that require power. When you press it, electricity flows through it; when you turn it off, it stops.
And that's fine, unless you need your switch to respond to the smartphone app or smart speaker, rather than at the touch of a finger. To do this, the switch must be turned on so that it can receive data and execute commands when the lights are off.
Some smart switches can operate without a neutral wire, but there is a trade-off: because they need little energy to continue operating, they do not completely interrupt the circuit. Instead, it restricts the current so that there is enough to keep the switch on, but not enough to light the bulbs.
The actual installation is very simple: turn off the lighting circuit in your switch box, unscrew the existing switch and connect it to the replacement according to the wiring diagram that comes in the box. Then it's just a matter of screwing it back on, restarting the power supply and following the instructions to associate it with the appropriate application.
A standard switch simply switches the lights on and off, but a dimmer can gradually increase or decrease the amount of power to light or dim the bulbs. Dimmers do not work well with dimmable bulbs, especially LED bulbs: you will usually find that while an dimmable LED bulb will work well when the switch is on. full, it will flicker or buzz on any other setting. It can also overheat, which you do not want to make the bulbs.
The drive switches are designed for maximum load. The maximum power you need is the total amount of bulbs that the switch will control, so for example, if you have six 100 W incandescent bulbs, you need a 600 W or larger switch.
The good news is that if you've moved to dimmable LED bulbs, you don't have to worry about it unless you have so many bulbs that you can see your bones through your skin when you turn on the lights. A 300 W switch that can handle six 50 W halogen bulbs can handle 60 (!) 5 W LEDs.
Most wireless-compatible switches use only the 2.4 GHz frequency band. It's quite old in terms of wireless, but it reaches distances greater than 5 GHz wireless - and because you only send and receive small amounts of data, you don't have to worry about its relative slowness. But, like any Wi-Fi connection, there are still radius limits, and the range can be shortened if there are a lot of obstacles between the router and the switch.
This may affect your choice of where to install a smart switch - but in general - if your phone can connect to Wi-Fi when held in the position where you want to install the switch, then the switch should also be good.
Some smart light switches would prefer to connect to a home hub, so for example, the Philips Hue dimmer gains more power when connected to a Hue Bridge, rather than directly to light bulbs, and The Nanoleaf remote control connects to its hub so you can use it to switch between HomeKit scenes with other smart devices.
Now that you know what to look for and what is involved in installing it, check out our guide to the best smart light switches in 2021.
HomeKit.Blog is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Apple Inc. or Apple related subsidiaries.
All images, videos and logos are the copyright of the respective rights holders, and this website does not claim ownership or copyright of the aforementioned.
All information about products mentioned on this site has been collected in good faith. However, the information relating to them, may not be 100% accurate, as we only rely on the information we are able to gather from the companies themselves or the resellers who stock these products, and therefore cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies arising from the aforementioned sources, or any subsequent changes that are made that we have not been made aware of.
HomeKit.Blog Is A Participant In The Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, An Affiliate Advertising Program Designed To Provide A Means For Sites To Earn Advertising Fees By Advertising And Linking To Amazon Store (Amazon.com, Or Endless.com, MYHABIT.com, SmallParts.com, Or AmazonWireless.com).
The opinions expressed on this website by our contributors do not necessarily represent the views of the website owners.