Buying Smart Home Switches

switchPerhaps you are looking to automate your lighting or just need to turn on and off a device remotely or at at certain time. How do you choose the best smart switch for your needs?

There are a number of factors you need to consider:

  • How will it be controlled?
  • Does it need the Internet?
  • What wireless technology does it use and what do you currently support?
  • What current does it need to switch?
  • Does it need a neutral

How will it be Controlled?

All smart switch come with a manufacturer supplied control interface. This is usually done using a mobile phone and relies on an Internet connection to the control software.

Almost all also come with an Interface to Alexa and/or Google Home.

Most don’t currently allow for local control by default but this can often be done with some technical know how.

So are you happy with this or do you want it to work with your current control application?

If you want it to work with the current control application then generally you need to choose a device from the same manufacturer as you currently use.

What wireless technology does it use and what do you currently support?

Possible wireless technologies are:

  • Wi-Fi
  • ZigBee
  • Zwave
  • Thread
  • Matter

Home networks use Wi-Fi so Wi-Fi devices will fit straight into the existing network.

However any of the other wireless protocols will require a suitable hub to handle the wireless protocol.

See Smart home networking

What current does it need to Switch?

The two most popular switches are Sonoff and Shelly. Sonoff is rated at 10A and Shelly at 13A.

This is usually not a major factor unless you have very heavy loads.

Other Considerations

If you need the switch to support timers or in the case of a light switch lighting scenes then this needs to be considered.

Useful Video

Don’t buy the wrong smart light switch

Related Tutorials and Resources:

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