The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. With smart lighting, you can program lights to turn on as you arrive home, automatically shut off the lights when it’s time to get ready for bed, or even set mood lighting for date night with your sweetheart.
Not only can smart lighting systems save you money on electricity consumption, but they can also enhance security. You can schedule some smart lighting systems to periodically turn on when you’re not home, so it looks like someone’s home when your away. Smart light switches can make it so you don’t have to get off the couch when you want to turn off the lights to watch TV, and they can give you the ability to turn off all of your lights at once if you have them installed throughout your home.
You may think it’ll cost you a hundreds (or even thousands) to install a smart light switch. But, you can actually purchase a good smart light switch in 2019 for a less than $50, with some of the higher-tier switches reaching up into the $100 (or more) range. If you have a decent DIY skills, you can even install a smart light switch yourself.
To have more control over the lights in your living space, check out the best smart light switches on the market right now.
Philips Hue Dimmer
Already got a set of Philips Hue bulbs? Make them even more powerful with the Philips Hue dimmer, which can be used wirelessly as a remote control or attached to your wall as a switch. The neat thing about this dimmer is that there’s no installation process, unless you count peeling off the adhesive covering. Setup is so easy that all you have to do is turn on the lights where your Philips Hue bulbs are installed, then immediately start using the Dimmer. There’s absolutely no interference between the Dimmer and your traditional wall switch.
With the Philips Hue dimmer, you can get creative with your lighting and play around with all the interesting controls that it offers. You can also set schedules that let your home know exactly when you want to turn the lights on or off. Got Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit? You can control the lights with voice commands. Keep in mind that a Philips Hue Bridge is required for anyone who uses a Philips Hue lighting system though.
Leviton Decora Smart In-Wall Switch with Wi-Fi Technology
The no-frills design of this light switch makes it perfect for someone who is just beginning the process of upgrading their home to “smart” status. The large paddle switch is no-nonsense and straightforward, and the small toggle on the right-hand side makes it easy to adjust the brightness in increments. Thanks to a row of LEDs, you’ll know how much dimmer or brighter you can go. There’s also a small LED on the bottom of the switch, so you’ll be able to find it in the dark — although it’s not so bright as to disturb your sleep.
Got a large room where you want to add a smart light switch? This one by Leviton supports three-way switches, and since it connects straight to your Wi-Fi, you won’t need a bridge. As for the compatible app, you can use it to set how long the dimming LEDs and bottom LED (the one that stays on in the dark) remain on. You can also create schedules for when the lights should automatically turn off or on, meaning you can even use your lighting to wake you up in the morning. Integrate this Leviton switch with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or IFTTT for a smarter, more connected home.
Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer
As far as smart lighting systems go, this one by Lutron is one of the easiest-to-install and most feature-heavy on the market. This smart light switch doesn’t require a neutral wire. Plus, it offers geofencing capabilities, which means your lights will automatically turn on when you arrive home and turn off when you leave. You can also schedule them to turn on or off by themselves at certain times of the day. The switch itself is also highly functional, with different buttons indicating exactly what your options are, whether you want to turn out the lights or adjust the brightness. Want to use voice command to control the lights? Integrate the Lutron switch with Amazon Alexa or Google Home to get started.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to get the Lutron Smart Bridge in order to use any Lutron products, including the switch. But, you can purchase a starter kit, which includes the bridge and a remote control. The bridge must be plugged into your home’s router in order for you to control the lights from your electronic devices, such as a smartphone.
Looking for a dimmer that doesn’t require you to buy a whole new set of bulbs for the house? This one by WeMo calibrates to integrate with any type of light bulb. The switch also has some interesting design touches that place it ahead of the competition. For example, you can use a finger to control the brightness by running it along the gutter in the center of the switch. Whatever light the switch is associated with will then dim or brighten accordingly. The switch also offers a night mode that gives you just enough lighting to find the bathroom in the middle of the night — without blinding yourself with ultra-bright lights when you’re half asleep.
The WeMo app also offers extensive features, including the ability to review your home’s electricity consumption and control multiple WeMo devices. While the switch is not compatible with all smart home systems, it does integrate seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, as well as the plethora of other smart products that Belkin offers.
iDevices Wall Switch
With this switch, you can only turn your lights on and off, but for what it lacks in dimming features, it makes up for in customized scheduling capabilities. Program the lights to turn on at specific times of day, or dim at other times. The LED light in the center of the switch doubles as a nice night light, and you can also customize the color of the LED to whatever suits your fancy. Thanks to an easy one-touch device reset button, you can quickly program the lights to fit your changing lifestyle. The design is also a standard rocker, meaning everyone from your guests to your children should have no trouble figuring out how to use it.
The iDevices app is a bit complicated because it can be used to control everything from the thermostat to the fireplace to the shower speaker, but the capabilities are extensive once you get the hang of the app.