smart switch 2021: Control your lights with these 6 options
Installing the best smart switch is one of the easiest ways to illuminate your smart home with smarter lighting. In general, these handy switches are easy to set up, so you’ll be able to operate the bulbs you already have through an app or voice assistants. You’ll also get a lot of the same features as you would with some of the best smart light bulbs, including being able to create custom lighting scenes, setting schedules, and dimming lights. Though the Kasa Smart Light Switch is our favorite, each switch is a valuable addition to your home.
Best overall: Kasa Smart Light Switch
Source: Kasa Smart
If you’re in the process of building out your smart home and are just getting started with smart light switches, Kasa is a great brand with a few options that will work for most people. It’s one of the best home products under $100 and will allow you to control your lights from anywhere you want through the Kasa Smart app, as well as ceiling fans and anything connected to your switch.
Though installing a smart light switch might seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Kasa has your back covered when it comes to installation, so when you’re ready to get started, all you have to do is open up the app, and you’ll be guided step-by-step through the wiring process. No extra equipment or tools are needed.
Kasa smart light switches also don’t require a hub of any kind. All you have to do is connect to your home WI-Fi, and if you own a smart speaker you can pair with Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights with voice commands. You can even set schedules, create groups for multiple devices, or use away mode when you’re away on vacation.
- Works with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Away mode
- Easy installation
- Create schedules, scenes, and groups
- Neutral wire required
- Not dimmable
Best premium: Brilliant Smart Home Control
The Brilliant Smart Home Control is for anyone serious about their smart home and already owns several smart home devices. By replacing just one light switch, Brilliant will let you control your lighting and other smart home devices like cameras, locks, thermostats, and more.
This control is equipped with a 5-inch LCD touchscreen panel and a built-in camera and motion sensor. This means that when you walk in, the smart control will detect that someone is there and can automatically turn on the display and a preset scene. No more walking into dark rooms if you don’t want to! You’re also able to turn your lights on and off through touch, voice, or the app.
Alexa comes built-in on the Brilliant Smart Home Control, but Good Assistant is compatible with other smart devices. When it comes to lighting, this switch supports LED, CFL, halogen, and incandescent bulbs along with other smart bulbs like Hue, LIFX, and TP-Link Kasa smart bulbs. On top of that, devices such as Sonos, Ring Doorbell, August smart locks, and Samsung Smart Things (among others) are supported.
- Works with other smart devices
- Alexa built-in
- Create custom scenes
- Works away from home
- Motion control
- Neutral and ground wire required
Best budget: Gosund Smart Light Switch
Source: Philips Hue
The Gosund Smart Light Switch isn’t as big of a name as some others on this list, but it’s a cost-friendly and reliable way to transform regular lightbulbs into smarter ones. This switch works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you’re able to control your lighting with voice commands and when you’re away from home since it connects directly to Wi-Fi.
You’re also able to create groups with Gosund so you can turn all your living room lights on at once. In addition, you can create schedules and set timers that trigger custom lighting when you come home from work or go to bed. Installation is easy and explained step by step in the Gosund app. But most importantly of all, these switches are affordable and allow you to upgrade your smart home without making a dent in your wallet.
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Great value
- Set schedules and timers
- Group switches together
- Not dimmable
- Neutral wire required
Best starter kit: Lutron Caseta Smart Start Kit
Source: Caseta Wireless
The Lutron Caseta Smart Home Switch is one of the few picks on this list that doesn’t require a neutral wire and should work in any home thanks to low-power Clear Connect RF technology. This kit, in particular, comes with everything you need to get your smart lighting set up, including a smart bridge, dimmer switch, and physical remote for when you can’t seem to find your phone.
The smart bridge doesn’t actually use Wi-Fi, but that also means you won’t be able to control your lights from your office or the gym if you accidentally left a lamp on. It does, however, work with major smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri when you come home and want to use your voice to turn the lights on. It also can connect to other smart devices outside of lighting, such as Ring, Serena shades, and Sonos.
With the Lutron Caset Smart Start Kit, you’re able to create personalized schedules to fit your routine, as well as create custom lighting scenes. This switch also works with most dimmable LED, incandescent, and halogen bulbs and is a great way to innovate your lighting. Plus, it’s easy to install, and everything you need is included.
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
- Easy to install
- Set schedules and timers
- Neutral wire not required
- Includes remote
- Smart bridge required
- Hectic design
- Cannot be operated outside of home
Best dimmer: Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer
The Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer is a simple yet versatile smart switch that blends well in your home. Unlike some other affordable smart switches, this one is dimmable, perfect for evenings when you don’t want to eat dinner under a bright light.
No hub is required to get this switch up and running. It also works well with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, so you don’t have to get up from the table to dim the lights. You can also schedule lights to turn on at a specific time and create lighting scenes.
The Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer is compatible with the most dimmable LED, CFL, Incandescent, and MLV bulbs and fixtures. The switch itself also comes in multiple colors to match your home. Another neat feature is that wire-free companion devices are available to provide additional lighting control in another location, like the bottom of a staircase.
- No hub is needed
- Compatible with Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa
- Create schedules and custom lighting scenes
- Companion devices available
- Neutral wire required
- Confusing installation
Best construction: WeMo WiFi Smart Dimmer Switch
Belkin is a brand with a reputation for chargers, docks and hubs, and all sorts of tech accessories. Its smart home brand WeMo is no exception, and its smart dimmer switch is a reliable pick if you’re looking to innovate your home lighting. This switch has a user-friendly sleek design that will look great on your wall and give you total control of your lighting. No hub required.
You can use the dimmer, the app, or your voice to adjust each room’s lighting with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. You can create automated schedules, for instance, at sunrise and sunset, and there’s even a useful night mode, so you don’t walk into a blinding bright kitchen when you’re getting a glass of water in the middle of the night. There’s also away mode which will randomize your lights for extra home security when you’re out of town.
The WeMo smart dimmer switch supports various bulbs, so you won’t get any pesky flickering when dimming the lights. You can also group and control multiple lights at once for convenient control.
- Sleek design
- No hub required
- Set schedules and create groups
- Night mode and away mode
When it comes to picking a smart switch, the first thing you should ask yourself is whether you rather deal with wires or if you would prefer to have a bridge or hub. If wires aren’t your thing, then the Lutron Caseta Smart Start Kit is the best pick for you since it comes with everything you’ll need to get set up.
But if you prefer not to have yet another device hanging around in your house, our top pick for best smart switch is the Kasa Smart Light Switch. It’s easy to install, will work in most homes, and comes with light controls via an app, voice, or even when you’re away from home. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more premium switch, then the Brilliant Smart Home Control is fantastic, and not only will it let you operate your lights from a touchscreen panel, but it supports other smart devices you might have in your home.
If you’re willing to wait until September, Nokia is launching its first line of Nokia smart lighting products in collaboration with SmartLabs. The brand is jumping into the smart home space with smart switches to help make your existing devices smarter. Its line will include dial and paddle switches, a keypad, an outlet, and a bridge, all featuring an intuitive, timeless design. But until then, any of the picks on the list will do a great job upgrading your light switches.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest smart home tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she’s not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she’s in her kitchen trying to make it herself.
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