(Pocket-lint) – Though smart lights can be controlled through voice, and regular lights work just fine with switches, sometimes you want the best of both worlds. That’s where smart light switches and dimmers come in, with their capabilities extending far past a normal wired-in switch – all while remaining simple enough for the whole family to use.
Like everything else in the smart home, however, there are a few things to understand before you buy.
Most top smart switches will offer compatibility with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but installation methods vary. Some will just require an adhesive tab, but others will need some wiring – so, make sure the screwdriver is handy.
As a reference, wall-installed options tend to act as a way to give you smart control over regular lights, while remote-style switches you stick to the wall often aim to give you more control over already-installed smart lights.
If you’re ready to take that lighting setup to the next level, we’ve detailed some of the top options to help you decide.
Best smart light switches available to buy
Kasa Smart Light Switch by TP-Link (HS200)
There are plenty of great smart home devices under TP Link’s Kasa line, but one of the best is the company’s Smart Light Switch.
As far as installation goes, it’s one of the most straightforward methods that doesn’t just, you know, involve sticking an adhesive to the wall. The Kasa app will guide you through each step, but all you really need to do is find the neutral wire behind your regular switch and configure it from there.
There’s no hub required, as well, with the switch essentially giving you the ability to turn your regular lights smart. That means you can control them from the app or by using your voice and even set schedules for them.
Philips Hue Smart Wireless Dimmer Switch
Philips serves up a different kind of smart switch with its Wireless Dimmer Switch, which essentially exists to give users another way of controlling their Hue-compatible lights.
Instead of requiring installation to replace your existing switch, the remote is designed to be placed beside it with an adhesive strip. You will require a Hue Hub, but, if you have one, this is a painless way to back up the app and voice control with something manual.
On the switch itself, you’re able to dim and brighten the lights you’ve set up to work with the remote, as well as turn them off and on.
Wemo Light Switch
Belkin’s Wemo smart alternative works similarly to other replacements for regular switches, working with Alexa and Google Assistant to give you ample control.
You’ll require a single-pole connection and a neutral wire, with the switch not compatible with three-way systems, but once you’re set up you’ll be able to control the lights and schedule using your voice or the app.
It is a little on the pricey side when compared to similar options, but it’s a super reliable and easy system to set up.
Philips Hue Tap
Like Philips’ Dimmer Switch, the Tap is a stick-to-the-wall type of smart switch that affords greater manual control of your Hue lights.
The four buttons allow you to jump between different, customizable scenes, with the unit itself cleverly powered by kinetic touch. That means there’s no need for batteries – you can simply stick the mount to the wall or use it as a remote and it’ll remain useable.
It’s less of an essential switch than the Hue Dimmer, but it’s a really handy way to change the mood with, well, just a simple tap.
Meross Smart Light Switch
Unlike many other options, which only work with single-pole connections, Meross allows you to replace your regular fitting with this two-way smart switch.
The device is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you take advantage of voice control for your lights, as well as app controls.
Just be aware that your switch wiring will require at least one neutral blue wire for installation, something that a lot of old houses don’t feature.
Gosund Smart Light Switch
Gosund offers up another take on the classic style on smart switches, upgrading your regular fittings into more functioning members of the house.
You get all the typical features once you have set things up, which means scheduling, voice control (through Alexa or Google Assistant), app control, and more are at your disposal.
Like other fittings of this type, just be aware that it won’t work with three-pole connections, just single-pole. They’ll also require a neutral wire to get set up.
Sonoff Touch Wall Light Switch
Sonoff’s touch-enabled smart switch is a beauty, providing you with one of the neatest and most affordable ways to add more functionality over your regular light switch.
The device is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, with this backed up by app control and the ability to create scheduling routines and light scenes.
Just note that the installation will require a neutral wire, and the switch itself will only work with one-way connections (though Sonoff does offer two-way and three-way options, too).
Treatlife Smart Light Switch
If you want to install plenty of smart switches around your home, it can start to get costly.
With Treatlife’s four-pack, though, you get to graduate from regular switches and still have enough money to actually pay your mortgage.
It’s the same single-pole, neutral wire setup as other switches, with the device itself opening up a world of scheduling, automation through Alexa or Google Assistant, manual app control, and more.
Writing by Conor Allison.