Controlling the lights in your house using your voice is a great way to dip your toes into the smarthome world. And if you already have a Google Home, here are some of the best smart light switches to buy that are compatible with the smart speaker.
You could go with smart bulbs instead, but smart light switches are already a familiar format—no smart home lesson necessary for houseguests—and they work with your existing light bulbs. So if you know how to change out a light switch (or know someone who can help), then smart light switches can be a great way to go.
With that said, here are the best smart light switches that work with your Google Home.
Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch Starter Kit ($99)
Honestly, the best option no matter what the circumstances are is the Lutron’s Caseta line, and a starter kit comes with the necessary hub, one smart dimmer switch, and one Pico remote, which lets you control the light switch from across the room without getting up from the couch.
Lutron invented the dimmer switch and has perfected it over the years. And now you can get one in smart form. The company’s Caseta line of smart light products uses its own proprietary RF wireless protocol instead of Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, or ZigBee, so it won’t interfere with any of your other smarthome devices.
These switches can be put on a schedule or a timer, and you can even create different scenes where you can set specific brightnesses for specific switches in your house. And obviously, you can control them with your voice using your Google Home.
Perhaps the best feature, though, is that the switches don’t require a neutral wire, which isn’t always present inside of a light switch box, especially in older houses. So this makes Caseta switches a recommended buy for just about any setup.
After you set up the starter kit, you can buy add-on dimmer switches for the rest of your house for $60 each.
A Wi-Fi Option: WeMo Dimmer Light Switch ($59)
If you’re only going to have a couple of smart light switches around the house and don’t want to mess with a hub, the WeMo Dimmer Light Switch is a good choice, and it connects directly to your Wi-Fi network.
This dimmer switch supports schedules, timers, as well as randomly turning lights on and off if you’re away on vacation to make it look like someone is home.
It works with your Google Home and can even link to IFTTT and Nest products. Plus, if you already have other WeMo devices in your home, you can use the switch to activate these other devices, which can be pretty convenient.
Unlike the Lutron Caseta switch, the WeMo Dimmer does required a neutral wire, so older homes without the neutral in the light switch box are out of luck.
A Z-Wave/ZigBee Option: GE Smart Dimmer Switch ($39-$49)
Just like with the previous picks, you can set schedules for the switches so that lights turn on and off at certain times, and depending on the hub, you can have the light switch turn on and off randomly to simulate someone being home, which is great for when you’re on vacation.
As long as the smarthome hub that you’re connecting the switch to is compatible with Google Home (and most of them are), then the GE dimmer switch is compatible too. So if you want to use your voice to turn lights on, it’s literally as easy as saying, “Hey Google, turn the lights on.”
The only downside, as with the Wi-Fi option, is that it requires a neutral wire be present inside of the light switch box.