Smart light switches are an important part of the smart home system. If you fancy lights and have several on your ceiling, you might want to consider adding smart light switches to give your house a smart home addition.
With smart lights, you’ll be required to switch them on manually, every time. But with smart light switches, you can automate your lights to switch on and off at certain times like before you get home. You can also configure them so that they turn on when other smart home appliances are triggered for instance, when the security system detects an intruder.
Additionally, you can control them via a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. They give you convenience from automation, timing, and scheduling. Sounds like something you’d like to try? We came up with a list of the best light switches in 2020 to make the buying process easier.
What is a Smart Switch?
A smart switch is a light switch with automation functionalities. It still resembles the normal switches including how it plugs and the appearance, but unlike the other switches, you don’t have to fumble around in the dark looking for the switch.
You can control the switch on your phone or with your voice saving you from stumbling and hitting things as you look for the switch.
Other differences include;
- Their design is more detailed, with some having extra buttons for dimming or brightening the light, while others may have extra light indicators and sensors.
- They use radio waves to connect to a wireless network. They can sync with other smart home devices as they are part of IoT.
How Do Smart Switches Work?
Smart switches use radio waves to connect and communicate with each other on your network. You then have access to the ‘smart’ feature through an app on your smartphone.
The app connects to WiFi, Bluetooth, or smart home wireless protocol like Z-Wave and Zigbee to control the switches remotely. You can still toggle the wall-built switch, especially when your phone is far but the best smart light switch allows you to control your lights from thousands of miles away.
To give you greater control, you can opt for a home automation controller such as Samsung SmartThings or use your voice via a smart speaker such as Amazon’s Echo.
There’s no need to worry whenever you leave your lights on when you go to work or for a vacation in another country. Just use your phone and switch them off.
Best Smart Light Switches in 2020
Lutron Caseta Smart Home Switch
|Lutron Caseta Smart Home Switch with...||172 Reviews||$60.20||Check on Amazon|
Lutron’s Caseta switch offers great functionalities. It connects to smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, Sonos, Serena Shades, and Apple Home kit.
You can control the lights through the Lutron app, the wall switch, your voice, or the Pico remote control that allows you to switch the lights on are off. You can also create different lighting scenes such as when you’re hosting a party.
The switch is high quality with buttons on the front and center, making it quite functional than other dimmers of the same class. However, you must link the switch to Lutron’s Smart Bridge which you plug into your router and control it via your smartphone.
Included in the package are the Caseta switch and one coordinating wall plate.
- Connects with most smart home devices
- Supports three-way switches
- Quality design
- Many useful features
- A bit expensive
- Requires a Smart Bridge
Philips Hue Smart Dimmer
|Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch and Remote...||2,776 Reviews||$18.71||Check on Amazon|
This is one of the many smart home devices by Philip Hue. The lighting switch is wall-mounted and also doubles as a remote control for the lights. You can literally unmount it from the wall and keep it where you can reach.
The best thing about it is that it’s wireless. It doesn’t require any wires for installation. You just connect it to your Hue app, Hue Hub, or Hue smart light bulbs if you have them. For up to 10 lights, you can control them without the Hue Hub.
Additionally, the switch gives you a quick option of controlling the lights without having to unlock your phone’s screen or speak to Alexa. You can dim the lights, change between the 4 light recipes, and doesn’t require WiFi to work.
The switch comes with one battery. It’s easy to install and connects to Alexa and Apple Home Kit.
- No need for electrical installation
- Can be used as a remote control
- Voice control using Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit
- Easy to install
- Requires Philips Hue Hub for more than 10 lights
- Only works with Philip Hue smart lights
GE-C Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer
|C by GE 4-Wire Smart Switch Dimmer - Works...||356 Reviews||$35.35||Check on Amazon|
The GE-C Start smart switch comes with a wide range of features to offer you maximum value for your money.
For starters, it has a light sensor (so you can set it not to switch on in daylight) and motion sensors that trigger the lights when they detect any motion. As long as the sensor is enabled, it will start working again a few minutes after you turn it off with the switch. If you don’t want to trigger the lights when you turn at night, you can disable the app’s motion sensor feature.
The switch is compatible with all kinds of lights, and you can control it via an app (available for Android and iOS) or your voice. It responds to voice commands via Alexa, Siri, andGoogle Assistant.
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
- Does not require Hub
- Has motion sensors
- The Android app is somewhat confusing
Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch by TP-Link
|Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch by TP-Link, Single...||818 Reviews||$49.99||Check on Amazon|
With the Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch from TP-Link, you get the dimmer function plus a whole lot of other functionalities. Just like it’s switch version, it works well with the Kasa app and smart home assistants to give you maximum control.
This Kasa Smart switch has an Away Mode to keep intruders off by switching the lights off when you’re away. The dimmer feature allows you to fade off the lights with a click of the switch or double-click.
You can also choose between different light scenes and brightness, and it’s easy to install. The switch requires WiFi and a neutral wire to work.
- Easy to install
- Works with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Dimmer mode
- Needs neutral wire
Leviton Decora Smart WiFi Voice Dimmer
|Leviton DWVAA-1BW Decora Smart Wi-Fi Voice...||3,338 Reviews||$99.99||Check on Amazon|
Leviton Decora Smart WiFi Voice Dimmer has built-in Alexa. This is an advantage especially to people who don’t own Echo. Instead of switching the lights on and off, Leviton has a dimming feature that reduces the brightness.
It allows you to schedule when to turn the lights on and off and has an auto-shuts in hallways, closets, and cabinets. Even though it has Alexa built-in, it doesn’t mean you cannot use other home assistant devices. The switch works well with Google Assistant, IFTTT, and others.
Its design is not the prettiest around, and the Leviton app lacks some intuition although you can still configure the brightness and set the dim range, fading rate, and other functions.
It’s main disadvantage id that it lacks a two-factor authentication process for security issues, which is a bit disappointing.
- No hub required
- Has built-in Alexa
- Voice dimmer
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and others
- Lacks two-factor authentication
- Speaker is too small
WeMo 3-Way Light Switch
|Wemo Wi-Fi Light Switch, 3-Way - Control...||768 Reviews||$39.99||Check on Amazon|
WeMo 3-Way Light Switch is an ideal switch for a 3-way setup. It works exceptionally well with smart home assistants without the need for a hub. More importantly, it is very easy to install, and you can do it yourself without the need of an electrician.
You can set the Away Mode for when you are not home or simply schedule your lights to the timing of your choice. It is also possible to control the lights’ brightness, multiple WeMo lights, and even WeMo ceiling fans all from your smartphone app, the switch itself, or your voice.
Also you can control 3-way lights and single pole and requires just one smart light in every 3-way circuit. A neutral wire is required.
- Works with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant
- Easy to install
- No hub required
- Ideal for 3-way setups
- A bit expensive
Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer
|Lutron Z3-1BRL-WH-L0 Aurora Smart Bulb...||702 Reviews||$39.90||Check on Amazon|
In cases where you have connected all your devices to one outlet and switch on and off through that single outlet, you will find that all functionalities are going off even if you didn’t intend to switch off. For instance, if your bedside lamp and smart lights switch share the same outlet, you’re forced to have both on or off.
Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer is a solution to tha problem. Although it works with Philip Hue smart lights and certified Zigbee lights only, it’s a simple yet elegant way to control your flights without interfering with the other devices on the same outlet.
They work by ‘locking’ the already existing toggle, so switch so that nobody can accidentally switch off the lights. It has a rotary knob that you tap to switch the lights on and off or rotate to dim or brighten the lights.
No app is required or electrical wiring as you only need to mount it on the existing switch and turn the knob on. However, you can use the Philips Hue app and Smart Bridge to configure it.
- No wiring needed
- Works with Google Assistant, Alexa, and HomeKit
- Easy to setup
- Works with Philip Hue and Zigbee lights
Ecobee Switch+ Smart Light Switch
|ecobee Switch+ Smart Light Switch, Amazon...||420 Reviews||$75.26||Check on Amazon|
Ecobee Switch+ has a wide range of features, including a small night light that you can activate to find your way in the dark, built-in Alexa (along with a microphone and speaker), and a motion detector that automatically turns the lights on when it senses any motion.
To control the switch, you can use the Ecobee app on your iOS or Android device or voice control through Alexa. The in-built speaker is small but can respond to brief Alexa queries like weather and time.
Additionally, the switch features a temperature sensor that you can connect to the Ecobee’s thermostat to help you control the temperature in your home. It’s also very easy to install and comes with videos explaining the step-by-step installation process.
However, like several other smart switches, it requires a neutral wire.
- Temperature sensor
- Built-in Alexa
- Has a night light
- Motion sensor
- Voice control through Alexa and HomeKit
- Requires a neutral wire
- Has no dimmer
- Has no scheduling capabilities
Zooz Z-Wave Plus S2 Wall Dimmer Switch
|Zooz Z-Wave Plus S2 Wall Dimmer Switch ZEN27...||163 Reviews||$32.95||Check on Amazon|
If your setup is multi-control, this best smart light switch is the ideal option. Zooz Z-Wave Plus S2 is a bit more sophisticated than other switches listed here because of its advanced functionalities.
For starters, it works well with the 3-way, 4-way, 5-way setups as well as all the existing switches in the setup. You do not need to do any rewire or add more switches. Even if the load and line are in different boxes, the switch will still work.
The switch uses Z-protocol which communicates with other Z-Wave smart devices through low energy radio waves. However, you’ll need a certified Z-Wave hub to connect with Alexa.
Its other features include scene control, Z-Wave Plus signal repeater, adjustable LED indicator, and status recovery after power failure.
It is interesting to note that you receive notifications on your phone each time someone taps the switch, and you can control the brightness by double-tapping the switch or single tapping to set the last brightness level.
Additionally, this Zooz’s dimmer has advanced security with S2 security protocol, ETL and Z-Wave plus certified for communications compliance. You can be sure of enough security and guarded privacy. You also get lifetime support.
- Works with 3-way, 4-way, and 5-way setups
- Voice control via Alexa
- Advanced security protocol
- No-flicker dimming
- Lifetime support
- Light dimmer
- Requires hub to connect to Alexa
- Professional installation required
LeGrand Tru -Universal Smart Dimmer Switch
|Legrand Smart Dimmer Switch, Apple Homekit...||238 Reviews||$54.99||Check on Amazon|
This universal dimmer switch auto-detects and controls LCD, EFL, incandescent, halogen, and CFL bulbs. As advertised, the switch corks with most light sources without any problems.
You can control it via an iOS app. After setup, you can easily automate with the Apple Home App and set scenes from your Apple Watch, TV, or iPod through voice control on Siri. However, it’s not compatible with Android.
The switch is easy to install, and no hub is required.
- No hub required
- Works with LCD, incandescent, and halogen dimmable light bulbs
- Works with several smart home assistants
- Not compatible with Android
- Has small buttons
How To Install Smart Light Switch
While some smart switches may require professional installation, others are easy to install and you can do it yourself. They do not require electrical experience especially the wireless ones that do not require a neutral wire.
Steps to Installing a Smart Light Switch
- Learn your existing wiring setup and type of switch. To examine the wiring, you will need to open up the existing switch. Turn off the lights first at the fuse box to avoid electrocution. Most wirings have an in wire, an out wire, and a ground wire, but older houses built before 1980 may lack the neutral wire. It is a white wire that some switches need for you to install them, but if you don’t have it, you can still buy a switch that does not require the neutral wire.
- Go ahead and buy a smart switch of your choice but consider the neutral wire requirements.
- Remove the existing switch. Make sure the power is off before you start removing and disconnect wire by wire taking note of every wire.
- Connect the smart switch. Connect the in wire to the in wire, out wire to out, ground to ground, and neutral to neutral. Use wire connectors to secure your connections and don’t leave any naked wire in the box.
- Return the wire connections in the box and put the smart light switch in place.
- Connect the smart light switch to WiFi, install the required app, and connect to the network.
How Do Smart Bulbs Work With Switches
Smart bulbs work like the regular, standard bulbs. The only difference is that you require a smartphone app or a mobile device for them to work. Usually, you’ll also need a home automation system such as WiFi or Bluetooth for the bulbs to connect and communicate through the network.
Smart bulbs will still work with the traditional switches. The switches turn the light on or off. Instead of doing it manually, smart switches can automate the process and even allow you to control your lighting remotely.
A few smart bulbs’ brands might require you to buy specific hubs such as Philip Hue’s smart bulbs, which require Philip Hue Bridge.
Basically, switches are just an old-fashioned way of switching the smart lights on and off, although the smartphone apps offer more control.
Smart light switches are an ideal way to automate lighting in your home. You can set most of them to turn the lights on and off at certain times. The remote controlling functionality is useful, especially if you forgot to switch off the light when leaving.
Most smart light switches are compatible with major smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and their corresponding apps. Other features include motion and light detectors, dimmer, among others.
When purchasing, check the factors you need to consider and their features to get the best smart light switch.