Last updated on October 13th, 2020 at 08:40 pm
Aside from a smart hub, one of the most essential parts of a smart home is the light switches. If you want to improve your home with smart lighting, but don’t want to replace every light bulb in your house with expensive smart ones, a smart light switch could be the perfect solution.
A smart light switch can make anything that runs on a switch smart. It can control lights, fans, appliances, and anything in between. You might not think there are big differences between light switches, but there are huge differences in the compatibility, functionality, and prices of the best smart light switches.
You may have read our list of best smart home hub devices and wondering what the next step is. If you already have a hub and you want to unlock some of its potential with the best smart light control, smart light switches are a great second step into smart homes.
Who is this review for?
This review is for anyone looking to up their smart home game. It’s for anyone who wants the best smart home lighting available. Have you looked into wifi light bulbs and decided they were too big of a financial investment? A smart light switch is an excellent alternative. Continue using regular light bulbs and control and connect them through smart lighting.
Maybe you’ve heard of smart lighting and want to track down the best smart light switch for you. If so, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll go over the best smart home lighting money can buy.
What to Look For
There are a couple different types of wireless communication used in smart home devices. Before buying any smart light switches, make sure it’s compatible with your smart home hub if you have one. Here’s a quick look at the different communication types:
- Z-Wave – Z-Wave is quickly becoming the most popular way smart home devices communicate with each other, including the best smart home lighting. Z-Wave is a type of wireless communication that allows all nearby Z-Wave enabled devices to communicate with each other. It’s popular because it’s a simple protocol that’s easy to develop for. Z-Wave has an impressive range of about 30 meters.
- ZigBee – ZigBee is the same basic idea as Z-Wave with a few key differences. ZigBee is a more complicated protocol, but that means it’s more versatile and can perform many different tasks. In the case of the best smart light control, Z-Wave and Zigbee are both perfectly adequate. ZigBee has a range of about 10 meters.
- WiFi – Here’s one you’re probably already familiar with. The best wifi light switches do just that – connect to your home network via wifi. Wifi is great if you don’t have a smart home hub and don’t intend to get one.
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Our Top Pick Smart Light Switches
1. Belkin WeMo Light Switch
Belkin WeMo Quick Review
The WeMo smart light switch by Belkin is a versatile switch at a good price. It’s a good choice if you don’t already have a hub since it comes with its own free WeMo mobile app. The app works with Android 4.1 or higher and iOS 8 or higher. The app gives you the option to link the switch up to a smart hub like Amazon Alexa or just control your switch through the app. This switch can also communicate with the popular Nest thermostat. If the Nest tells the WeMo that you’re not home, the lights adjust accordingly saving you energy. With good compatibility, an easy to use app, and a great price, the WeMo is a strong option among the best smart light switches.
- Turn room lights on and off from anywhere with your smartphone
- Works with your existing home Wi-Fi network and mobile Internet
- Set up rules for lights going on and off at Sunset and Sunrise
- Set a schedule for lights in different rooms
- Replaces your existing wall switch
- Subtle backlighting makes the switch easy to find at night
- Works with the entire family of Belkin WeMo products
- Works with IFTTT, connecting you to a whole world of Web apps
- Installs quickly and easily for Do-It-Yourselfers
- Free WeMo App for Android and iOS
- Decorative face plate included
- One-year limited warranty
2. GE In-Wall Smart Light Switch
GE In-Wall Smart Switch Quick Review
GE is a strong player in the smart home market. They make a wide variety of smart home peripherals and even various different kind of switches, all of which deliver performance, value, and ease of use. They have a unique system of add-on switches compatible with different GE In-Wall smart switches that use different signals. You can get a GE switch that uses ZigBee, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth and this add-on switch works with any of them. When paired with the smart switch, all paired switches perform the same function. If you intend to change all of the switches in your home with smart switches, these add-on switches could save you a lot of money. A network of GE switches, plugs, and other peripherals can give you the best smart light control anywhere.
- Provides ultimate flexibility with your GE in-wall smart switch, dimmer or fan control
- Requires a GE home automation switch, not a standalone switch
- Includes white and light almond paddles that will match most standard wall plates (wall Plate not included)
- Screw terminal installation provides improved space efficiency when replacing existing switches compared to flying leads (neutral connection required for installation)
- Compatible with GE in-wall z-wave, Bluetooth, and ZigBee switches, dimmers and fan controls
3. Insteon SwitchLink
Insteon SwitchLink Quick Review
This Insteon unit is a very smart dimmer. Not only can you adjust the brightness, but you can fine-tune the speed at which the brightness changes. It remembers the brightness you prefer and keeps the lighting just right. It can be controlled via handheld remote, wall keypad, computer, or smartphone. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa so you can tell Alexa to adjust the lights connected to this switch however you’d like. Wires are clearly labeled and installation is fairly easy. It has a clean, simple look to it and it’s available in a wide variety of colors to make it match your home perfectly.
- Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (hub required, Alexa device and Insteon hub sold separately)
- Save money on bills by dimming your lights with this easy-to-install dimmer
- Create elegant whole-house lighting scenes in minutes
- Control this dimmer remotely from anywhere
- Programmable on-level and fade on/off speed
4. Cooper RF9535-NAW Smart Dimmer
Cooper RF9535-NAW Quick Review:
This Cooper Wiring Devices smart light switch is a high-end switch that mysteriously doesn’t come with an app. It can be controlled via an Aspire RF controller or other Z-Wave compatible controllers or programs. Z-Wave is quite common in smart devices making this Cooper Wiring switch pretty versatile. It has a neat vertical strip of blue LEDs that indicate the brightness of the lights it’s controlling. As a dimmer switch, it can finely adjust brightness and even has a night light feature. While it looks good and has some nice features, this Cooper Wiring Devices smart light switch comes at a hefty price.
- Can be associated with up to 5 other devices
- Seven step blue LED display alongside push pad indicates selected light level and reduces brightness when off (night light feature)
- Programmable rapid and delayed fading up to 4 minutes (default is 10 seconds)
- Compatible with Aspire RF Accessory Dimmer (RF9542-Z) for wireless 3-way control, eliminating the need for traditional 3-way wiring or dedicated traveler wire
5. Leviton VRI06-1LZ
Leviton VRI06-1LZ Quick Review
This is another smart dimmer switch that operates on Z-Wave making it compatible with a wide array of smart home hubs including Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings. This switch is all about saving on your electric bill. Its reasonable price means it won’t take long to pay for itself. Leviton claims that dimming your lights by just 10% can double the life of the bulbs. Not to mention what that will do for your energy bill. It has a slick design with 7 green LEDs indicating the brightness level. For best results, there are multiple other kinds of smart switches, plugs, and remotes available from Leviton that communicate with each other quite well.
- Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (hub required, Alexa device and hub sold separately)
- Horizontal 7-step green LED display indicates selected brightness level
- Energy Save option reduces power consumption and extends bulb life
- 49 Possible combinations of fade rates, from soft to instant
- Manual and remote ON/OFF/DIM/BRIGHT control of connected loads
- Requires the Vizia RF + Handheld Remote – VRCPG for programming and control of the Vizia RF + System (sold separately)
- Compatible with SmartThings
- VRI06 should only be used with Incandescent (including halogen) light bulbs. The VRI06 will not work with CFL or LED bulbs due to the two-wire design. Instead, utilize the Leviton VRMX1 dimmer for CFL and LED bulbs. The VRMX1 is a 3-wire dimmer (load, line, neutral) that will work with incandescent as well as CFL and LED bulbs
6. TP-Link Smart Light Switch
TP-Link Smart Light Switch Quick Review
TP-Link has come up with a pretty good system for smart home devices. This light switch is Wi-Fi and doesn’t require a hub, but it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa in case you’re looking to expand on an existing smart home setup with some smart lighting. All TP-Link smart devices can be controlled with the Kasa app available on Android or iOS. The app gives you wiring directions which makes installation a breeze. When it comes to ease of installation, this might be the best wifi light switch. Like most other smart light switches, you can create schedules, set timers, and customize your lighting in any way imaginable. Versatility, value, a great app, and easy installation make the TP-Link switch a great choice.
- Turn fixtures on or off from anywhere with your tablet or smartphone using the free Kasa app (Compatible w/ iOS 8 or higher & Android 4.1x or higher)
- Use Away-Mode to turn devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home while you are away
- Check on devices remotely, create schedules, and set timers. Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control of fixtures (no hub required)
- Requires a neutral wire. Not recommended to use with a metal faceplate which may interfere with a Wi-Fi connection
- 2-year warranty
- Output voltage: 120 – 220V
7. Ankoo Neo Smart Switch
Ankoo NEO Quick Review
The Ankuoo NEO light switch comes at a great price. It’s a companion to the NEO smart plug which can turn anything that plugs into the wall into a smart device. The big issue with NEO peripherals including the light switch is they aren’t compatible with most popular smart home hubs. The only way to control it is through the free NEO app. We don’t have any complaints about the NEO app, it’s quite user friendly. But it would be nice if it played well with hubs like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Its redeeming qualities include easy setup, communication with NEO plug devices, and an excellent price which still makes it one of the best wifi light switches. If you have no intention of using a smart home hub, this is a good pick.
- Turn lights on/off from anywhere
- Check on/off status of the lights
- Set schedule timer, countdown timer or anti-theft timer
- Set up to 16 Schedule Timers
- One app for multiple NEO switches
- Designed for easy DIY installation
- Compatible with existing rocker switch plates
- Compatible with Apple (iOS6.0 +) and Android (4.0+) smartphones