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New Wi-Fi light switches are changing the game when it comes to how we control the ambiance and visibility in our rooms. Thanks to advancements in digital and mobile tech, you can now turn your lights on and off with the tap of a screen. If you’re one of the 49% of consumers interested in smart home products, you’re part of a growing movement.
A recent survey shows that more than 60% of real estate agents are seeing more smart devices in homes than they did 2-5 years ago, and one in three associates believes homes with such technology sell faster than those that don’t. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to proliferate, it makes sense that home systems follow suit. Wi-Fi Lighting is one of the newest trends to hit the gadget market.
Interested in learning more about this capability? Read on! Today we’re breaking down the advantages of Wi-Fi light switches and plugs, followed by a few details on our favorite models.
Connected Lighting: Why Make the Switch?
When discussing connected lighting, it can be tricky at first to discern between the two main types: smart bulbs and smart switches.
Smart bulbs work just as they sound. They replace your traditional light bulbs and are controllable by your phone. While their installation is relatively more straightforward compared to smart switches, the challenge with smart bulbs lies in ensuring they’ll work with your existing fixtures. For example, a majority consist of A-shaped bulbs with E-shaped bases. If your lights require a different design (candelabra lights for example), you won’t be able to use them.
Wi-Fi switches, on the other hand, go straight to the source — your home’s electrical wiring. They typically control ceiling lights and ceiling fans (the devices normally connected to an in-wall switch). Wi-Fi plugs work in a similar sense, in that they control devices that are typically plugged in, such as lamps.
By switching your traditional light switches and plugs for smart ones, you could realize myriad benefits. Here are a few of the advantages:
- The user-friendly controls are designed to work directly with your home’s Wi-Fi network.
- You can control when your lights come on and go off — even when you’re not at home — boosting your home’s security.
- You can monitor and conserve your energy use by programming the lights to come on only at certain parts of the day, and for a set period of time.
- You can still maintain your existing lighting setup and design, as you can keep your existing light bulbs (especially beneficial if you have custom or odd-shaped fixtures).
- Forget to turn the switch on when you left the house? No problem. Most Wi-Fi light switches will still run your scheduled lighting program, even if the switch is off.
While these are just some of the ways that Wi-Fi light switches and plugs can transform the lighting in your home, they serve to illustrate that even a small change can make a big difference in making your home more comfortable, safe, and secure.
Now, let’s take a look at a few products we’re raving about.
8 Best Wi-Fi Light Switches and Plugs of 2019
Perfect for your next DIY home project, the WeMo Wi-Fi Light Switch is simple to install and easy to operate. With just a few clicks, you’ll be well on your way to a more efficient lighting plan.
Want to schedule your living room lights to turn on with the sunset or off with the sunrise? Done. Want to program the ceiling fan to turn on when the room reaches a certain degree? Need your porch light to shine right when curfew hits every weekend night? Done and Done. WeMo also integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa, so you can even command it with your voice.
Just download a free app, and you can get started with the TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch. It’s a straightforward and easy-to-use switch. One neat feature is its User Away mode, which can be programmed to turn lights on and off at different, randomized times to create the appearance that you’re at home when you’re away for an extended period of time, such as on vacation.
This is also one of the most budget-friendly models on the market, making it a great value for the buck.
The Ankuoo NEO Wi-Fi Light Switch is sophisticated and surprisingly user-friendly. In addition to offering Wi-Fi control of your lighting system, it also includes multiple timers including a countdown timer, anti-theft timer, and a convenient schedule timer.
The NEO Smart Switch product umbrella includes the NEO, NEO PRO, and NEO Light offerings. Regardless of how many NEO configurations you install in your home, the single, free NEO app can control all switches.
Etekcity offers a well priced smart plug product available in two, three, or four packs. Following a quick 5 step quick start guide, you will be up and running in no time. Using their smart phone app, you can do things like create a customized schedule and view energy usage for specific outlets. Many folks will plug their appliances into these so they can view the energy usage and ensure they are off and not sucking up pricey electricity when not in use! Lamps, air conditioning units, and Christmas lighting are a few other popular applications.
Imagine walking into your home with your stereo playing your favorite song each day, your lights on just the way you configured them, and your AC running in your home office at the exact temp you prefer. The D-Link DSP-W110 Smart Plug allows all of that and more – granting you the ability to control multiple items from one device. It’s easy to use, intuitive and offers an impressive range of controls. It also works with Amazon Echo for hands-free convenience.
Is lighting just one of the smart systems you have installed in your home? The app for the WiOn 50052 Indoor Wi-Fi Light Switch can control up to 12 connected devices, making it the universal system you’ve been waiting for. With on/off programs, security settings, and weather-based scheduling functionality, this is a solid bet. It’ll also turn your holiday lights on and off, so you can avoid being slammed with a through-the-roof power bill come January.
With the Broadlink 220V 2 Smart Wall Light Switch’s built-in protection circuits and low-heat, 100% copper terminals you’ll never have to worry about overexerting your power, as the lights will turn off when this limit is neared.
While the timers are solid and the controls are simple to use, the only drawback to this model is that to optimize the app functionality, you have to use it in conjunction with the BroadLink RM Pro Universal Remote. Not a deal breaker, but a little more involved than other options
The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini only takes up one socket on your outlet, so you’re free to use the other as you choose (or stack two on top of each other). Controllable via a free app, its compact design makes it an attractive home feature and allows it to blend into the wall. This smart plug is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Benjamin is a gadgeteer and homebody who loves writing about the latest smart home technology. He is particularly interested in covering smart home products that automate (or make more efficient) mundane tasks that every home owner and apartment dweller face on a daily basis.