Smart home upgrades are growing in popularity every day. What might have seemed like a futuristic upgrade only a few years ago is not in millions of homes across America. If you’re considering adding one of the more popular smart home upgrades to your own house—smart switches—here are a few things you should consider first.
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Bulbs, Switches, or Plugs
First, you should know that there are more options than just switches if you’re looking for automated lighting in your home. You actually have three options: switches, plugs, and bulbs. They each have their own ideal applications.
Smart bulbs are great for lights you want to put on a timer, but that you don’t use the switch for often. Outdoor lights are a good example; if you want your front porch light to turn on at dusk and off at a certain time every night, a bulb can do that. However, the switch needs to stay in the “on” position, which is why it’s not great for lights that you toggle the switch for a lot.
Smart switches allow you to automate lights on a schedule, control them remotely, and use the switch like a regular light. This versatility makes them ideal for lights you use on a daily basis. Last is smart plugs. These allow you to automate or remotely control any plug-in device or appliance. This could include lamps, nightlights, or even coffeemakers.
You must also consider what automation system you want to use. There are many smart home brands out there from major names like Amazon, Google, and SmartThings. If you already have a device preference in your home, find a smart home system that’s compatible with that device brand. You’ll also likely want to purchase a virtual assistant for the system, as this greatly improves versatility and usability.
While you can still automate your lights or control them remotely through an app on your phone, a home virtual assistant allows you to control them with your voice. This is convenient when you have your hands full and need to turn on a light.
While it may seem like a small thing, if you opt for smart switches, you should be aware that you might need new switch plates to go with them. This is because most homes are equipped with toggle switches. Smart homes are rocker switches, so they need a much larger opening than a standard light switch plate cover. Be sure to find ones that fit your new smart switches if you want to complete your upgrade; without them, you’ll be left with holes in the walls around your switches!