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Old 04-11-2022, 02:42 PM   #1
flamesrule_kipper34
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Question LF: Recommendations on Smart Light Switches

Hey all,

I have about 50 or so light switches that I want to replace with a mix of single and 3-way switches. Integration with Google/Alexa, an app and the ability to turn off 'rooms' is important to me.

Seems like a pretty pricey endeavour, however, I found these which seem to have good reviews and relatively low in cost comparatively speaking.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...-pack/12483932

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2022, 02:55 PM   #2
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On that first link the 3 pack is MORE expensive than buying 3 individually
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Old 04-11-2022, 02:57 PM   #3
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On that first link the 3 pack is MORE expensive than buying 3 individually
LOL I noticed that too.

I was already going to buy them individually if I landed on these.

I feel like the 'sale' didn't hit the combo packs and as such they're more expensive.
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Old 04-11-2022, 03:12 PM   #4
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I have several lutron caseta switches and am happy with them. They are actual switches that are wired in and replace the conventional ones. The ones I got are dimmer switches too.

They are quite a bit more than the ones you posted at $70 each. They also need a thing called a smart bridge. I think thats what connects to the wifi. I got everything at home depot and on Amazon. They work well with alexa and Google home and also have their own app.
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Old 04-11-2022, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamesrule_kipper34 View Post
Hey all,

I have about 50 or so light switches that I want to replace with a mix of single and 3-way switches. Integration with Google/Alexa, an app and the ability to turn off 'rooms' is important to me.

Seems like a pretty pricey endeavour, however, I found these which seem to have good reviews and relatively low in cost comparatively speaking.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...-pack/12483932

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks.
I have a couple of those exact switches and for one off situations they're good, but if I'm redoing a whole house I wouldn't go with them. First they're very bulky, so it can be a total pain in the ass to get them fitted in an existing switch box. Second, because the switch casing is plastic there's a separate wire you need to connect to ground, which usually means unscrewing the ground wire from the box and using a wire nut to connect it to the switch, making install an even bigger PITA. Third, and most important for a larger deployment, they connect over standard wifi, which could be problematic if your wifi signal isn't strong enough over the entire house or if your router isn't powerful enough to handle that many devices on the network

I'd recommend going with a Z-Wave based switch for a whole house upgrade. Z-Wave is it's own separate network with very low power requirements and far greater transmitting distance than wifi, the only thing you connect to your home network is a Z-Wave hub to control the switches. I went with Zooz switches for my house

https://www.amazon.ca/Z-Wave-Switch-...09698KJH6?th=1

Metal body so there's no messing with ground wires in the electrical box, slimmer profile than the TL-Links for easier installs, and they're much more customizable. You can setup different scenes depending on how many times you hit the switch, once for a single light, two taps to turn on all the lights in a room, 3 or more taps to change colors if you have smart bulbs, etc. They're also the best option to control wifi smart bulbs, in that the switch doesn't control the power to the bulbs (always on), but it sends signals to the bulbs themselves to turn them on/off
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Old 04-11-2022, 07:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the detailed response! This was sort of my worry. At the same time man $50 per switch, that's hefty but the PITA the TP-Link could be makes it seem like a challenge.

With a mesh network I should be okay WiFi wise but after looking at the dimensions I was worried about the bulkiness.

I think what I'll do is order a couple to see what the install is like and if it's as painful as you sound probably switch over to something like you said but only do a handful to start because $50 a piece is not something I could justify doing for the entire house in one shot.

Thanks again for the thoughtful response!
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Old 04-11-2022, 08:29 PM   #7
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I am not concerned about what fi strength to all areas of house. I am worried about the number of connects, which my mesh app currently shows 54 connected devices.

Matter is due to be released sometime this year. Hopefully this will eliminate most compatibility issues. It might be the right time to wait just a bit longer.
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Old 04-11-2022, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EldrickOnIce View Post
I am not concerned about what fi strength to all areas of house. I am worried about the number of connects, which my mesh app currently shows 54 connected devices.

Matter is due to be released sometime this year. Hopefully this will eliminate most compatibility issues. It might be the right time to wait just a bit longer.
This is really interesting stuff. Just did a bit of research, with this being Fsll or later 2022 it certainly seems like waiting could make sense. I'd be worried about getting something that doesn't necessarily get the software update to become immediately compatible and getting a bridge or even worse not having a timeline to support would be really annoying for something which sounds this promising.

Thanks for the share.
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Old 04-12-2022, 01:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EldrickOnIce View Post
I am not concerned about what fi strength to all areas of house. I am worried about the number of connects, which my mesh app currently shows 54 connected devices.

Matter is due to be released sometime this year. Hopefully this will eliminate most compatibility issues. It might be the right time to wait just a bit longer.
Ya I totally forgot about the new Matter standard. I'd definitely hold off on a bulk purchase until those switches start hitting the market and we can get some real world reviews
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Old 04-13-2022, 11:48 PM   #10
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I'm still confused what you're trying to accomplish. The way I would look at it is like this:

If it's $16 a switch, how many bulbs is it controlling?

A Sengled bulb that connects to a hub is about $7-15 each depending if you want a basic bulb or a bulb with more features (ie: Color).

https://www.amazon.ca/Sengled-Blueto...s%2C114&sr=8-7

The hub is $40 on its own, but it can connect 64 devices. But if you nab a bundle, you can get it with essentially 2 bulbs free.

https://www.amazon.ca/Sengled-Connec...ps%2C92&sr=8-5

If a switch controls a single bulb, then individual bulbs start to make more sense with a hub vs a $15/20 switch. But a smart switch probably makes more sense than bulbs for a chandelier or track system with more than 3 bulbs.


IMO, what you could do, is get enough Sengled bulbs and a hub for a few rooms in your house. Get used to tinkering around with the devices, schedules, pros and cons etc. If you end up going all out on a specific standard later on, the small group of Sengled devices could easily be relegated into other things like lamps, or sold/gifted to someone. Bulbs plus hub isn't too much commitment to remove/upgrade. Replacing switches takes much longer and is a bit more annoying to do IMO.
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Old 04-14-2022, 11:49 AM   #11
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A lot of houses these days barely even have e26 base bulbs any more. I redid most of the lighting in my house a few years ago and I think of the 60 or so fixtures I have in the house, only about 10 of them use e26 bulbs (mostly vanities and a few exterior lights). The rest are either wafer LEDs, GU10, or smaller base bulbs.

As for smart switches, I've used the TP-Link/Kasa stuff and it has been great, but I've basically only used the plugs. I never really found much use for the switches themselves. I hate using my phone to control electronics when there's an easily accessible switch, and I've never bothered with voice controls. Having a centralized hardware control of all the lights would be kind of cool, but I set something like that up at my parents with a Nest Hub and it's kind of clunky all things considered.

Also, not all of my switch boxes have a neutral wire, so those ones wouldn't have worked with most smart switches anyway (Caseta gets around that though).
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Old 04-16-2022, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleF View Post
I'm still confused what you're trying to accomplish. The way I would look at it is like this:

If it's $16 a switch, how many bulbs is it controlling?

A Sengled bulb that connects to a hub is about $7-15 each depending if you want a basic bulb or a bulb with more features (ie: Color).

https://www.amazon.ca/Sengled-Blueto...s%2C114&sr=8-7

The hub is $40 on its own, but it can connect 64 devices. But if you nab a bundle, you can get it with essentially 2 bulbs free.

https://www.amazon.ca/Sengled-Connec...ps%2C92&sr=8-5

If a switch controls a single bulb, then individual bulbs start to make more sense with a hub vs a $15/20 switch. But a smart switch probably makes more sense than bulbs for a chandelier or track system with more than 3 bulbs.


IMO, what you could do, is get enough Sengled bulbs and a hub for a few rooms in your house. Get used to tinkering around with the devices, schedules, pros and cons etc. If you end up going all out on a specific standard later on, the small group of Sengled devices could easily be relegated into other things like lamps, or sold/gifted to someone. Bulbs plus hub isn't too much commitment to remove/upgrade. Replacing switches takes much longer and is a bit more annoying to do IMO.
Really appreciate the insights, I think this is exactly what I'm going to do.

I've purchased the hub, a few multi color lights for the outdoors and then am going to get a few for a couple of rooms around the house and see how things pan out.

If I like what I see I'll get more and prioritize a few rooms.

It didn't even occur to me to go the light route vs the switch route and this seems to be the path of least resistance.

Let's see how things work, again appreciate it!
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Old 04-26-2022, 08:38 AM   #13
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I know it's not the popular choice, but I'd suggest not going wifi. Get a good hub (Smartthings, Home Asisstant, OpenHab, etc) and go with Z-Wave or Zigbee switches. I have found they are much more reliable, keep your wifi network free from interference and you can build a better integrated system with these protocols IMO.
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Old 04-26-2022, 10:05 AM   #14
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I know it's not the popular choice, but I'd suggest not going wifi. Get a good hub (Smartthings, Home Asisstant, OpenHab, etc) and go with Z-Wave or Zigbee switches. I have found they are much more reliable, keep your wifi network free from interference and you can build a better integrated system with these protocols IMO.
I'm playing around with a handful of sengled smart lights for now, nothing crazy.

What I'm trying to do is find devices compatible with ST (too scared to go to HA yet) and then eventually get a hub that'll control many smart devices/automation.

I wanted to do switches but seemed like a lot of work/cost prohibitive but now the main thing I want to figure out eventually is the dumb switches being used and impacting the ability to he controlled via the hub/and other things like Google Home/Alexa.
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Old 05-02-2022, 02:00 PM   #15
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My last house had Kasa (tplink) switches in all locations which accounted for just over 40 light switches connected to my network. I did not have any connection issues and the integration was great. I moved to switches from bulbs because the kids would turn off the switch making the bulb disconnect and become useless.

In my new build I went with Levven through the entire house which uses a switch and a control module online to all lights. This allows be to assign any switch to any light and have control over every aspect of the lights. These are not wifi and the control box in the basement reaches every light including the detached garage.

I went this route because I can use any light fixture or setup and not have to worry about the switches being turned off. If one of my led lights burns out I can put anything there I want without the functionality impacted. Google assistant linked easy and minus the initial setup the system has worked flawlessly for over a year.

I am still using KASA outdoor plugs to control my Christmas lights and deck ambient lights.

EDIT: Forgot to mention what I do for lamps or LED strips. I use Govee bulbs for any lamp in the house and Govee LED strips for the stairs, under cabinet lighting, ambience lighting and outside on the decks. I havent had any issues with Govee other than LED burnouts but at $30 a pop its an easy replacement.
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Old 05-11-2022, 10:37 AM   #16
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These are not wifi and the control box in the basement reaches every light including the detached garage.
Technically it doesn't have that much range. It's just that each device extends range because they mesh. More devices, better mesh.

+1 I have 20+ Kasa. Mix of switches, plugs, and bulbs. The biggest issue is when I change to a new router but generally not a concern.
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Old 05-11-2022, 01:37 PM   #17
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you can just buy smart ight bulbs, leave the switches as they are
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Old 05-11-2022, 02:07 PM   #18
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you can just buy smart ight bulbs, leave the switches as they are
That's OK for a lamp or a single fixture, but my kitchen/eating area has 12 bulbs controlled by one switch. Getting 12 smart bulbs instead of one switch makes no sense.

Really, beyond very limited use cases, I don't see the appeal of smart bulbs. With a smart switch, you can at least turn it on and off at the wall like a normal switch. With a smart bulb, are people seriously whipping out their phone or using voice commands just to turn on/off a light every time? I know you can get hardware remotes, but even then you need to either hope no one turns off the hardwired switch or you have to integrate the remote to cover up the existing switch.
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:19 PM   #19
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That's OK for a lamp or a single fixture, but my kitchen/eating area has 12 bulbs controlled by one switch. Getting 12 smart bulbs instead of one switch makes no sense.

Really, beyond very limited use cases, I don't see the appeal of smart bulbs. With a smart switch, you can at least turn it on and off at the wall like a normal switch. With a smart bulb, are people seriously whipping out their phone or using voice commands just to turn on/off a light every time? I know you can get hardware remotes, but even then you need to either hope no one turns off the hardwired switch or you have to integrate the remote to cover up the existing switch.
you can turn them all on or off at once, change colours, what ever you want, I have 4 in my kids room set up on one grouping, he loves them
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