Belkin Wemo Switch Smart light switches

Turning your abode into a smart home can be a complicated and expensive affair if you go “all in.” For those new to the smart home game, there are a few products that make for an easy way to kick things off without breaking the bank. The most popular entry points tend to be smart speakers and smart light bulbs. Both require minimal setup and are apartment or rental-friendly. Smart light switches are a bit more complex, but are they worth investing in?

If you need more help setting up your smart home, we have more content for you. Check out the link below.

More: What is a smart home and why you should want one

The best smart light switches:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smart light switches regularly as new ones launch.

Pros and cons

smart light bulb or smart light switch - thats the question

Here are a few real advantages to buying smart light switches:

  • Smart light switches replace a conventional wall switch and can be manually turned on or off, as well as controlled via an app or smart speaker.
  • One smart light switch can control many lights, which could actually end up saving you money over replacing every light bulb in your home with smart light bulbs.
  • A smart bulb can’t be controlled if a traditional wall switch is off. Smart switches eliminate this problem, which is particularly helpful if you have young people who will be flipping off your switches, or house guests that might not be accustomed to using voice/apps to turn lights on/off in your home.
  • You can use smart light switches with any lighting and sockets. On the other hand, smart light bulbs usually come in limited socket variations, with E26 being the most common. Many homes and businesses come with socket types and sizes that are very hard to find in the smart light bulb market, which might make a smart switch a better (if not the only) alternative.
Smart light switches don't allow for dimming or switching colors. Andrew Grush

Here’s the downside to smart light switches:

  • These involve wiring, which makes them a no-no for renters unless your landlord permits you.
  • They typically don’t work in older homes due to the need for a neutral wire. There are a few workarounds for this, but they aren’t ideal.
  • Smart switches turn your lights on and off. You’ll be out of luck if you want to manipulate lighting color, unless you have both a smart bulb and a smart switch. There are also dimmer smart switches, but you’ll need to make sure your existing light bulbs will play nice with it (or upgrade them).

If you want the best of both worlds, it is possible to configure your home with smart lighting and smart switches, though this adds complications of its own when organizing all your smart devices through apps, hubs, and so on. It also can get pretty expensive fast.

Should you bother with getting one?

LIFX smart LED light bulb stock photo 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

For most people, smart light bulbs are probably the better route. They do a lot more in most cases and are easier to install (you screw them into a light socket!). But if you’re a parent of a small child or just a perfectionist that wants the smartest possible home, you also might want to look into the best smart light switches. You might also want to get a smart switch if your lighting sockets are hard to find in the smart bulb market.

There are a ton of options. Below you will find a list of our favorite smart switches. You can also check the link below if you have decided your best bet is to go with smart light bulbs.

Also read: The best smart light bulbs you can buy

1. C by GE Motion Sensor and Switch

C by GE Motion Sensor and Switch

C by GE isn’t as popular as other smart home brands, but they make great products and are backed by the all-time champion General Electrics. 

What makes this one of the best smart switches is that it doesn’t just work as a dimmer switch, but it also features motion and light sensors for making your experience even more seamless. Just let the device measure room lighting and activity to let it pick when to turn the lights on or off.

2. Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch by TP-Link

Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch

Advanced light switches can include physical dimming controls. Such is the case with the TP-Link Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch. This makes a great smart home product at a low price. It can be operated using the app, as well as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana. Actions can be scheduled too. To make matters even better, the price is super accessible, making it both cheaper and more functional than some other options on this list!

3. Wemo Dimmer Light Switch

WeMo Smart Dimmer Switch WDS060

The Wemo Dimmer Light Switch is another device with physical dimming controls. Like the older Wemo Light Switch, this product needs no hub, uses Wi-Fi, works with any one-way connection, and requires a neutral cable. It also works with the most popular digital assistants. The price is also nearly half compared to the previous-generation Wemo Dimmer Switch, making it much more accessible. Cost is still higher than TP-Link’s, but it’s one of the best smart light switches if you like Wemo’s aesthetics and ecosystem.

Here: 10 best smart lamps you can buy

4. Ecobee Switch Plus

Ecobee Plus

If the idea of Alexa built into a switch sounds epic to you, we also highly recommend the Ecobee Switch Plus. Just keep in mind it’s slightly more expensive. You get more for what you pay, though. This device comes with built-in motion and ambient light sensors, making it one of the best smart light switches.

Related: The best smart speakers available right now

5. Lutron Caseta

Lutron Caseta

The Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch is one of the most feature-rich devices on this list, and it was just refreshed last year in 2020. It includes a switch and a dimmer, which means you can control light intensity to your liking. It comes with a remote control you can use in addition to the Android or iOS apps. Lights can automatically adjust to changing seasons and daylight savings time. Furthermore, it has support for most smart home brands, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, Serena shades, and Sonos.

If you do decide to go all-in on Lutron, it may be worth your while to invest in a bundle instead of a single switch. Luckily, Lutron sells a two-pack that comes with a smart bridge that keeps your Caseta setup off your home wi-fi network. Even if your internet crashes, your lights won’t go down with it.

6. Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch With Remote

Philips Hue with Remote

Those already invested in the Philips Hue ecosystem might be better off buying the Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch With Remote. It’s very affordable, but requires a Hue Hub and works only with Hue light bulbs.

Alternatives: The best smart plugs you can buy

The advantage is that you won’t need to work on the wiring. You can attach it to any wall with screws or adhesive tape. You can also detach the center part to use it as a remote.