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Smart home device: smart light switch

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“Did you know it is possible to use your voice or smartphone to turn on lights bulb in your home  with the help of smart light switch”

 

What Is a Smart Light Switch?

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smart light switch is a network-enabled smart home electronic device that enables the control of hardwired lights, ceiling fans, and even fireplaces with an app from a smartphone or with a voice using a virtual assistant. Smart switches add smart home features to anything that could be turned on or off with the flip of a switch.

What Can a Smart Light Switch Do?

A smart light switch or smart switch can control anything in your home, which is connected to a switch with your voice or a smartphone app. With smart switches, it is possible to control lights, ceiling fans, bathroom fans, switch-controlled fireplaces, and even garbage disposal.

What are some of the features you might expect to find in a smart switch?

  • Wi-Fi connectivity which connects the smart switches into your connected smart home.
  • It has voice control capability which is used to turn switches on and off from Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. If your smart home is set up with a different thing like Apple HomeKit,

Ensure to select the smart switches specifically labeled as compatible with HomeKit — most of the switches without this feature indicated that they aren’t compatible with HomeKit and Siri.

  • If the smart home system uses a hub such as Wink 2 or Samsung SmartThings, always double-check for compatibility with either Z-Wave or ZigBee, depending on the technology standard used by the smart hub.
  • Custom schedules can be created using your smartphone to turn switches on and off at specific times or turn switches on or off manually with your smartphone while you are away from home
  • For more precise control of lighting in the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and living room. Select smart dimmer switches can be used

Brand and model vary Specific features of these smart switches. This conclusion covers the range of features and options available from multiple smart switch manufacturers.

Read also: How Can Electrical Energy Be Save Using Smart Lighting System?

 

What are the Common Concerns About Smart Light Switches?

Most of the smart switches need to be installed in a location where traditional switches could be fixed, which involves a fair knowledge and working with electrical wiring. Let’s now review installation tips and other smart light switch concerns many consumers have.

WHAT IS REQUIRED TO INSTALL AND USE SMART SWITCHES?

Smart light switches need an available neutral wire or neutral line to function properly. Modern building wired with the current electrical wiring codes require a neutral line throughout the home for all switches and outlets, however, if your home was constructed prior to 1990, you might have switches without a neutral line. To determine if your house electrical wiring is appropriate for a smart switch, you can easily check it by:

  1. First, for safety reasons, always switch off the electricity to the room or to the entire home at the breaker before doing anything electricity-related in your home — even when looking at just wiring.
  2. Use the appropriate tool screwdriver (flat or star) to remove the switch cover of the switch(es) where you would like to install smart switches and inspect the wiring. In the United States, home electrical wiring consists of either three or four plastic-coated cables packed into a larger plastic-coated wiring line.
  3. The individual cables from within the pack can be identified by the color of their plastic covering (or lack of coverage in the case of ground wire). ​
    1. The black cable is the hotline that supplies power to the switch (if a red cable is used, that is also a hotline).
    2. The bare copper wire is the ground wire used for grounding to the earth for safety in case there is a leakage current.
    3. The white cable is the neutral line and is the wire needed during the installation process of a smart switch.

WHAT IF THERE IS NO NEUTRAL LINE FOR THE SWITCH I WANT TO REPLACE WITH A SMART LIGHT SWITCH?

 

If you can’t find a white plastic-covered cable within the larger wiring line, your present home’s electrical wiring is not compatible with smart switches and thus there is a need to update your electrical wiring to meet the modern standard living. Contact a qualified electrician to examine your wiring and provide more information on any necessary upgrades.

However, some smart switches can be installed on an existing light switch. These switches are battery powered and use magnets to snap into place over the existing switch without the need to temper with the wiring of the switch. Though they can be less reliable than hard-wired smart switches and they may not integrate with your smart home hub or virtual assistant. We suggest you evaluate these devices very carefully before sinking dollars into your home automation that might not suit your needs.

HOW MUCH DOES A SMART SWITCH COST?

Most Wi-Fi compatible smart light switches range from $25 to around $100 depending on the features of the switch. If the smart switch you purchase requires a bridge or other device to work with your connected smart home network or hub, that devices will add to the overall cost of you completely installing a smart switch.

 

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