If you’ve thought about turning your old home into a smart home, one of the places you could start with without spending a fortune is the lights. If you’re not sure if smart living is your thing, you can always start with a single bulb. It is a way of dipping a toe before you fully dive into the water.
The seamless transition to smart lighting will require that you also upgrade your switches. Smart switches will work as intended and you won’t have any issues even if there is a problem with the internet. Before you can begin searching for the best smart light switch, there are a couple of considerations that you should have in mind and we are going to highlight some of them.
Plugs, switches, or smart bulbs?
It is important to ensure that you’re getting the correct smart lighting for your home. A smart switch will be an obvious addition if you’re looking into smart lighting options. They are available in home improvement stores and also on retail websites. Having said that, the smart switches are not the only components you should be worried about. The other components that complete smart lighting are smart bulbs and smart plugs. What you go for will depend on a number of factors as there is no one size fits all solution.
Smart bulbs: With smart bulbs, you not only have the ability to remotely control the lights but schedule when they should be on and off. You can also change the ambiance of the room by adjusting the colors from your cellular device.
Smart plugs: A smart plug can be turned on and off from anywhere. You’re able to track the energy consumption in the home depending on the smart plug that you’ve bought.
Smart switches: You’re able to control the smart switches just as the normal lights. There are some additional benefits with smart switches. There are a pop-out remote and dimming capabilities which you can’t find in normal switches. The switches are flexible and can work with the existing fixtures that are compatible with smart bulbs. It should be noted that the installation process is permanent.
Siri, Google, Alexa, and More
You should research which smart switch is compatible with the virtual assistant that is already in place in the home. There are limitless possibilities if your smart switch is able to communicate with Siri, Google, and Alexa.
You can turn off the living room lights by voice command. Using voice command is easier than having to go through the app on your phone. The lights can be synched to your morning and bedtime routine. This makes more convenient as you’re able to know when it is time to go to bed.
Light Bulbs Compatibility
You should make sure that the light switch is compatible with your bulbs. This is particularly important if the lights are LED. You can use a compatibility tool which can be used to check the bulbs that are compatible with the switches.
This can be a challenge especially in hallways and large rooms. The installation can be simplified using a remote. You can still control the three-way switches without a lot of handy work involved.
The cost is going to be a big consideration. Installing smart switches in every room in the home could be a little bit costly. You should assess your needs first to determine how smart switches can be integrated into the home. The cost of other smart lighting products will also have to be taken into consideration. Not every light in the home will need to be smart or have a smart switch. Look out for redundancies as you don’t want to be controlling one smart bulb with two smart switches.
Z-Wave Vs ZigBee Dilemma
If you have a few smart bulbs, smart speakers, smart thermostat, you don’t need to worry about wireless communication to be used. You can use Alexa or the Google Home to be the center of the communication network with other devices.
If you have a lot of smart devices, you may be forced to look at the wireless communication options.
The ZigBee and Z-Wave are radio protocols that will require there is a compatible hub in order to facilitate communication with your phone and other devices in the network. You should find out the platform that works with most devices in your home including the smart switches.