As our homes and lives become more and more automated, the usage of smart home switches becomes more and more popular. Owning a few around your house adds up to the living convenience, all while they cut on you electricity bill and prolong the life of your lamps. However, on the most fun part, they allow you to set up the scenes in your home and show it off at its best. Just imagine how great it would be if you are having a birthday party and instant dimming/ turning off of the light is needed seconds before the cake enters the room. Or perhaps you need more cozy and romantic settings for a relaxing evening with your partner? The choices are pretty much unlimited.
Today, there are hundreds of smart home switches on the market and in the part to follow, I’ll present you with three of them. So, here we go.
Leviton Decora Smart Home Switches DW1KD-1BZ – Our pick
Endorsing this smart home switch will allow you to control your lights from anywhere. You just need to connect the switch via your home wifi network and download the My Leviton free app (compatible with both iOS and Android smart devices). You can add and control a single device, multiple devices as a group or divide the controls per room. You can also create specific on/off schedules, create scenes or adjust the fade rates to desired lighting levels. If you’re in the mood for a more spoiling experience, note that this smart home switch works with Amazon Alexa. Just use your voice and command “Alexa, dim the living room lights to 55%” and there you go! You should note however that, the neutral wire is required and there’s no need for any hub.
Leviton smart home switches are best rated for dimmable LED: CFL loads up to 450W, incandescent loads up to 1000W, or fluorescent loads up to 1000VA. There’s also a five-year warranty that supports Decora smart wifi products.
The My Leviton app easily dims or brightens your lights, or turns on/off any fans and small home appliances. Basically, you can use this smart switch to automate a portion of your house on a preferred time-based schedule.
The installation is not so difficult. The only issue to be aware of is the installation using the neutral wire. If the switch you’re replacing wasn’t using the white neutral wire initially, you’ll need to pigtail into the neutral wire nut, and by using the instructions manual this is not so difficult.
There were also some comments and remarks in terms of connectivity of the product. You need to change your wifi password into letters only, in order to connect the smart home switch. Also, the switch does not dim the lights down to off, so you might still need to physically do this.
Other than that, the product works really well and there are no other more serious reported issues.
TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch
The HS200 smart home switch makes it easy to control your ceiling fans and lights from anywhere. It’s easy to install it, as you’d install a regular switch and connects directly to your home wifi network via the free Kasa app (compatible with both iOS and Android smart devices). The setup is fairly fast and easy too – you don’t need to be a tech-savvy to do it. Hence, you can manage all connected fixtures, do scheduling or track how much energy you spend with a few clicks on your smartphone. Just access the selections for Schedule, Away, Timer, an off/on button – it’s as easy as that! This smart home switch works with any wifi router and you won’t need any hub or tricky paid subscription.
One of the best-added conveniences is the remote control. Regardless of your location, you can turn on the ceiling fans, lights or all other fixtures in your home, thus leaving an impression that someone is always at home. If you’re away from home long hours, this randomized home lighting may be really handy.
This smart home switch also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, enabling you to manage your connected devices via voice control. You can simply name each smart switch and “address” to it by making a voice command. On top of that, you can also create a group of smart devices and control them by one voice command. Just imagine that you’re coming through your front door with your hands full of groceries and it is dark in the house. All you need to do is to say “Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights” and there you go – bright as day. Or, you can simply schedule them when to turn on automatically.
The negative side is a reported issue with the connectivity during setup. Some people had negative experiences with this and it took some time to resolve them. However, in general, the product is pretty neat.
WeMo Light Switch
WeMo smart home switches are here to replace your boring old light switch, providing you with control over any light via your smart device, regardless of your physical location. All you need to do is to connect via your home wifi network and download the free Wemo app on your smartphone (compatible with both iOS and Android operated devices) and start turning your lights on/off from your office or holiday rental, or set up schedules in advance so you don’t need to even think about your switches. You can connect Wemo with Amazon Echo and control your lights via voice commands.
When you unpack the box, inside you’ll find Wemo Light Switch, Faceplate, 4 wire nuts, and a quick installation guide. You don’t need any subscription, but a simple installation in a matter of minutes will do.
The best part about this smart home switch is that you can leave the impression that someone is always at home. You can simply do this by using the “Away Mode” and set an on/off a pattern for your house lights.
The bonus part here is that this smart home switch pairs with Nest’s Thermostat as well. So, for example, if the house gets too hot while you’re not home, the ceiling fans can turn on to regulate the temperature, providing you with an ideal temperature when you get home from work. All of these options work in a way to help you cut on the electricity bill in the long run.
The product works really well and the setup is not really difficult too. However, there were some reported issues about slow firmware updates or delayed effect in the app recognizing that the light is on. There were also some complaints about the connectivity at times when the power went off and the wifi network disconnected. Some users faced a difficulty re-connecting their switches back to the network and were not happy with the customer support, which is, by the way, free only in the first 90 days and after you need to pay to talk to someone.
The connectivity obstacles should not be a frequent problem and the same goes for free customer support. Aside from this, the product works fine and is easy to use.
It’s now time to reach a final conclusion where I will briefly compare all of the three smart home switches – or their shortcomings to be exact. Even though all of them function on the same principle and have more or fewer connectivity issues at times, the differences are mostly based on prices and performances.
The TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch is the most affordable one with not many complications. This smart home switch is pretty basic and you can install it easily. To be fair, smart home switches should really not be pricey, however, if you look at the bigger picture they do tend to save on your electricity expenses.
The WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled is more expensive, but for the price offered, there are a lot of connectivity issues mentioned and unfair customer support – people reported that the customer support is free for a limited period of 90 days. I think I might steer clear of such options.
And the last one is basically my favorite, the Leviton DW1KD-1BZ Decora Smart Wi-Fi. This smart home switch is also the priciest, however, it has the least complications and offers more options compared to the previous two. It also has the best design and sets a whole new layer of comfort.
Regardless of the fore-mentioned smart home switches, it all depends on what kind of lighting effect you’re looking to get, by which set of options and how much you are in the mood to spend.
Read more: The 3 Best Smart Home Speakers Review