If you are looking for smart switches for a smart home you are at the right place. So, sit tight and read on!
Smart homes are a hot topic these days. There are new and advanced smart devices launching in the market day by day.
There are hundreds of smart devices available in the market to choose from. Choosing a smart device can be bit challenging, as different smart devices work differently, and communicate with each other differently through different protocols.
Some smart devices require a hub while simply communicate with your smart phone through Wi-Fi.
In this smart switches buying guide we will help you choose the right one for you need. Before we go into further details, we will talk about ‘what exactly is a smart switch?’.
What is a smart switch?
Smart switch is a device which replaces your existing/ traditional switch. It can connect to your mobile phone enabling you to control the light with your smart device or voice assistants (such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant).
What are the benefits of a smart switch?
Once you have installed a smart switch, the light can be turned on/off using your smart phone or voice assistants (such as Amazon Alexa). You can say ‘Alexa turn on the light’ and the light will automatically turn on with out you leaving the comfort of your sofa or bed. Similarly, you can turn lights on/off while you are away from home through your smart phone.
How to install a smart switch?
It is relatively easy to install a smart switch, the smart switch basically replaces your old switch. It will most likely fit easily on to your existing switch back box. However, some smart switches require a deeper back box. If you are not confident, we recommend you should ask an electrician to replace it for you. It is quick and easy job! If you decide to do it yourself make sure you follow the instructions which come with the smart switch, and turn off electric from the mains before starting.
Once the light switch is installed, it will have to be connected to your WiFi to provide it internet connectivity so that it can be controlled with your smart phone. If you want to use it with a voice assistant make sure it is compatible with the voice assistant you have in your smart home (e.g. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant). Under the product description, it will state whether it is compatible with a voice assistant or not.
Do I need a smart light bulb in order for a smart switch to work?
The benefit of using a smart switch is it converts any light in to a smart light. The light can be turned on / off without touching the switch or leaving the comfort of your sofa.
Smart switch vs smart light bulb – which is better?
If you are wondering whether to buy a smart light bulb or a smart switch, there is no straight forward answer to this question.
A simple answer would be: it depends on your needs and type of light you have.
A smart bulb is a great way of making your home smart. It is cost-effective and very easy to install/setup. However, there is one big drawback of using smart light bulb instead of a smart light switch.
For example: if a smart light bulb is operating thorough a traditional switch. You would normally keep the switch on all the times and turn the bulb on/off through your phone or a voice assistant. However, when some one accidently turns the switch off – the smart bulb will no longer work until switch is turned back on. This could be a problem if no one is home and you remotely want to turn on the light bulb. To be honest, this is not a great deal as once the switch is turned back on the smart bulb should work as normal.
Another problem with using smart light bulb instead of smart switch is, as normally you would turn it on/off through mobile phone or voice assistant. Anyone who does not have access to the app or does not know how to use the voice assistant won’t be able to turn it on/off.
Moving on to smart switch: Using smart light switch is a great way to control a light. Despite this, unlike a smart light bulb which has multiple light colours, you won’t be able to change the colour of the light if you are using just a smart switch with a normal light bulb. This is simply because normal light bulb does not have light changing ability.
However, smart switch is still a great choice. Especially, when you have a light with multiple bulbs. Changing each of those blubs would be costly – in such a situation using a smart switch will save you money.
So, choosing between a smart light bulb and a smart switch depends on your circumstances.
Smart switches to buy for a smart home
There are many different makes and models of smart switches available in the market to buy. Choosing one can be a hard decision. But do not worry! We have got you covered.
We have reviews best five smart switches to buy for smart home which should work perfectly in any home.
Sonoff Smart Light Switch
Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control
Free app also available to control the light switch, real time light switch status can be seen in using the app
Timing function – to turn on/off automatically
No hub required
Should fit your old switch back box
Front plate made using toughened glass panel for style and durability
Neutral wire is required – check if your current light switch has a neutral wire, if unsure check with an electrician (if you do not have a neutral wire – see options below which don’t require a neutral wire)
MoesGo Smart Light Switch
Available in different colours to match your home
1, 2 or 3 gang option
Works with Google and Amazon assistants
No neutral wire required (only need to connect the capacitor supplied to both sides of the bulb – follow manual)