A growing number of people are equipping their houses with “smart” technology. These linked gadgets and appliances carry out activities or run automatic routines in order to save energy, money, or time, as well as to increase security. In fact, in 2021, customers are estimated to spend $62 billion on smart home-related products throughout the world. Smart switches are a crucial component of home automation. Continue reading to understand how smart switches function and why you should consider installing them in your house.

What Are Smart Switches and How Do They Work?

A smart switch differs from a regular light switch in that it can operate almost everything that is connected to it, such as hardwired appliances, fans, and, of course, lights. Smart switches may also be operated remotely, using a smartphone app or a remote control, by connecting to the home’s WiFi network, unlike regular light switches. Smart switches come in a variety of designs and sizes. Some smart switches may also be used as regular light switches, while others can only be controlled via a smart app or smartphone. Individual choices about how to use smart switches differ from person to person. Voice commands, such as “turn on the kitchen light,” are preferred by some, while others prefer to utilise an app on their smartphone or tablet. As a result, at Milton Electric, we provide smart switch suggestions and install them, but we leave the programming to our customers. Many smart switches have the following features:

  • Control with your voice using a device like the Google Home, Amazon Echo, or any home speaker.
  • Timing that can be programmed. For example, lights may be programmed to turn off at a specific time each evening or a coffee maker to start at a specific time each morning.
  • Activity-based mood lighting (e.g. watching a movie, reading a book or working).
  • Control and monitoring from afar. Checking on activities in the home and changing the thermostat while away, for example, or remotely opening a door for a delivery or service.
  • Integration with other smart home devices, such as a smart home hub, which serves as the command centre for all connected smart gadgets.
Traditional Light Switches vs. Smart Light Switches

The cost of smart switches varies based on the model. Smart switches are more costly than ordinary light switches, however they come with a number of advantages:

  • Convenience: As long as there is a WiFi connection, smart switches may be managed at any time and from anywhere. If a homeowner is gone during the day or travelling, for example, lights and appliances can be switched off to save energy. Similarly, lights can be turned on remotely at night for added security. Smart switches can even be programmed to turn on when someone enters a room and turn off when they leave.
  • Ambiance: A smart switch can be programmed to adjust its settings based on what is being done. For example, the switch may be programmed to gradually increase the brightness of lights during the morning make-up time and gradually dim them at bedtime.
  • Multi-device Integration: Most smart switches, as part of smart home automation, can connect to a variety of gadgets to make life easier. A smart switch, for example, may be set to act as a personalised alarm clock, turning on lighting and playing music in the morning. Similarly, before residents arrive home on a hot evening, a smart switch may be set to turn on lighting and air conditioning.
  • Increased security: Some smart switches may be linked to home security and alarm systems for further protection while the homeowners are abroad. For extra protection, many video doorbells may be linked to a smart light switch, as well as a video camera and motion sensors.
    Cost savings: Using smart switches to control lighting, heating, and cooling, as well as appliance usage, can result in considerable monthly energy savings.
Smart Bulbs vs. Smart Switches

Smart bulbs are similar to regular light bulbs in that they can be controlled remotely and change colour. Because a smart bulb does not need the installation of a switch, it is an excellent choice for houses with outdated wiring or for temporary solutions, such as in a hostel. It’s critical to realise that a smart light will render the old wall switch obsolete, and may even make it inconvenient. When a smart bulb is turned off via an old wall switch, the bulb and the wireless communication power for the bulb are both turned off. This means that unless the old wall switch is manually turned back to the on position, the voice command will not operate to turn on the smart light. Smart lights can be utilised with some smart switches (but not all kinds). A competent electrician can propose smart home technology that best meets your needs and assist you in weighing your alternatives.