by Craig Lloyd on
If you’re ready to move on from subpar coffee in the morning and want to start making a worthwhile delicious cup of joe, here’s some coffee gear that will help get you started.
If you have an Amazon Echo in your home and want to take your voice commands to the next level, installing some in-wall light switches will let you control your lights using your voice. Here are the best options that work with your Echo.
Granted, you could also go with smart bulbs, as they’re easier to install, but smart light switches are already a familiar format, so there won’t be any confusion for house guests. Plus, they already work with your existing light bulbs. As long you know how to change out a light switch (or know someone who can help), then smart light switches are a great way to go.
With that said, here are the best smart light switches that will work with your Amazon Echo.
If you’re looking for the best overall smart light switch, Lutron’s Caseta product line is pretty much the gold standard, and it works great with Alexa. You can grab a starter kit for $99 that comes with the hub, one smart dimmer switch, and one remote control.
Perhaps the one downside is that it requires the hub in order to connect the switches to your network and control them remotely, since it uses a proprietary RF wireless protocol. However, this makes for a incredibly reliable experience.
These switches come with all of the necessary features you would need out of a smart light switch, including setting schedules, timers, and randomizing lights, as well as create different scenes where you can set specific brightnesses for specific switches.
Caseta switches also don’t require a neutral wire, which is great for older houses that may not have one in the light switch box. Most modern houses have a neutral wire present, so this isn’t a big deal, but this makes Caseta switches a recommended buy for just about any house, new or old.
If you plan on putting smart light switches everywhere in your house, Wi-Fi isn’t the best option, but it is if you only plan to install a few of them. Belkin’s WeMo Dimmer Switch is a great Wi-Fi-based smart light switch for situations like this.
This switch also supports the necessary features, like schedules, timers, and randomly turning lights on and off to make it look like someone is home. Plus, it works with Alexa and can even link to IFTTT and Nest products if you also use those. Furthermore, if you already have other WeMo devices in your home, you can use this switch to activate those other devices.
Unlike the Lutron Caseta switch, though, the WeMo Dimmer Switch requires a neutral wire (as do all of our other options below), so older homes without the neutral wire in the light switch box are out of luck.
If you’re going to go with a hub-based option, then Lutron is the best. However, if you already have a smarthome hub and would rather not mess with even more hubs, a Z-Wave or ZigBee option is a great way to go, like this smart dimmer switch from GE, which comes in both Z-Wave and ZigBee configurations. Better yet, the ZigBee version can be directly connected to an Echo Plus, since it has a ZigBee hub built in.
Otherwise, as long as the smarthome hub that you’re connecting the switch to is compatible with Alexa (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 linking your hub to Alexa and saying, “Alexa, turn the lights on.”
And of course, it will let you do all the basics, like setting schedules and timers. Plus, depending on the hub, you can have the light switch turn on and off randomly to simulate someone being home.
If you’re in the market for a smart light switch and a new Echo device, you can kill two birds with one stone and grab an Ecobee Switch+, which comes with an Echo built in.
On top of that, though, it also comes with a motion detector and an ambient light sensor to give you even more ways to control the lights. And obviously, if you have an Ecobee smart thermostat, you can use the Switch+ as another room sensor. So while the price tag may be a bit on the high side, there’s a whole lot you can do with this switch.
On top of the basic features that most smart switches have, the Switch+ can also be set into a Do Not Disturb mode at certain times, meaning it can’t be turned on during the night, for instance. It can also act as a night light when it’s dark, allowing you to navigate your hallway without stumbling into walls or door jambs.
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