You don’t need to spend a fortune on smart bulbs just to bring voice control, dimming, or scheduling features to a room. In fact, smart light switches are often a better and cheaper option than smart bulbs, as they add smart functionality to cheap, “dumb” light bulbs. And now that Amazon is selling smart switches for under $20, I can’t see a reason to keep buying smart bulbs.
As spotted by Dan Wroclawski and reported by The Verge, Amazon now sells four Basics Smart Switches. Customers can choose from a basic single-pole switch ($18), a single-pole dimming switch ($19), a basic three-way switch ($19), or if you’re crazy enough, a 3-way dimmer ($21).
I suggest buying one of the switches with a built-in dimmer, though you can stick with the standard models if you just want to control your home’s lighting using schedules or voice commands.
There are a few drawbacks to these smart switches, though. The biggest problem is that they require neutral wires, which you won’t find if you live in an old home or apartment. Also, they only work with Alexa. (GE sells smart switches that don’t require a neutral wire, but they’re about twice the price of Amazon’s smart switches.)
I will say, it’s odd to see Amazon release an Alexa-only smart device right now. The company recently expressed its commitment to Matter, the universal smart home standard that’s set to launch in 2022. While I hope that these smart switches will support Matter next year (which would in turn add Google Assistant and HomeKit support), Amazon hasn’t commented on the issue.
You can now order Amazon Basics Smart Switches for under $20. I also suggest checking out Amazon’s new smart thermostat, which may be an even better bargain than the new smart switches.
Amazon Basics Single Pole Smart Switch, Neutral Wire Required, 2.4 Ghz WiFi, Works with Alexa
Amazon Basics Smart Switches replace your regular light switches, instantly adding voice controls, scheduling features, and dimming to an entire room (if you buy the dimming switch and dimmable bulbs, of course). Order your Amazon Basics Smart Switch for less than $20.