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  #1  
Old 04-06-2018, 4:40 PM
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Default Smart Switches/Dimmers

Does anyone have any experience with smart switches or dimmers? I'm thinking about installing a couple but not sure which way to go. It looks like my choices are wi-fi or z-wave devices. I already have a Wemo wi-fi plug so I may just continue with that ecosystem. Also thinking about Lutron, which is z-wave controlled. Which ever I chose it will be controlled with my Echo.

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2018, 5:35 PM
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I use Hue bulbs, and also TP-Link wall switches and outlet plug switches to control conventional bulbs and other devices. I have been very happy with both. The Hue bulbs are very cool, you can dim them and change the colors.

To control any of them you can use apps, IFTT, or most typically I use Amazon Echo to control them. You can set schedules etc. There are 3rd party apps for Hue that can listen to music and sync the lights, or do crazy scenes like lightning.
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Old 04-06-2018, 7:02 PM
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I have five Sylvania under-cabinet light bars i got at Lowe's, that are networked thru an Osram hub. I can control from the lightswitch, smart phone, or sumply ask Alexa to turn them.on/off. What I really like about them is their color temperature is adjustable from 2700-6500k. Alexa and my phone app can control that too. Alexa is a pretty convenient kitchen aid.
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Old 04-07-2018, 7:37 AM
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I have a few tp link bulbs controled with android app I really like. On/off, change color and hue.

For switches I use x10 and their control module. Works really well for auto timer lights.

I don't let echo control anything.
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Old 04-08-2018, 6:32 AM
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Anyone even had them hacked?
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Old 04-08-2018, 8:02 AM
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I've used Wemo Wifi and did not like using multiple independent switches. For a fully integrated system I use a Samsung Smartthings z-wave hub to control GE z-wave wall switches and dimmers and GE z-wave plug-in dimmers throughout my home and in my garage and have had no problems. The advantage is that I can group them and control them by voice via my Amazon Echos or by a phone app or just slap the switches. For example a single voice command in the morning turns on the lights that I need in the morning and works with my Harmony Elite (smart hub remote control) to turn on the entertainment system and tune the cable box to the news so I can catch up before work. Or, if I hear a noise - a single voice command turns on every light in the house. Another turns off everything at bedtime.

What I will not use are smart locks. I've had no problems with anyone hacking my lights but I'm just not ready to trust smart door locks. Of course it's a thousand or more times more likely that someone will bump a door lock or just kick open a door. Realistically hacking requires hacking Samsung or Amazon to take control of their systems, or you allowing someone to take control of your account through your use of a stupidly easy Samsung account password.

If you decide to go z-wave watch for frequent sales. I paid an average of $30 for my GE branded smart wall-switch dimmers and $25 for my smart wall-switches by shopping sales.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doheny View Post
Does anyone have any experience with smart switches or dimmers? I'm thinking about installing a couple but not sure which way to go. It looks like my choices are wi-fi or z-wave devices. I already have a Wemo wi-fi plug so I may just continue with that ecosystem. Also thinking about Lutron, which is z-wave controlled. Which ever I chose it will be controlled with my Echo.

Thanks!
For in-wall z-wave I stick to GE (Jasco) but the review below may be of help. My favorite plugin dimmer is the Inovelli. I do NOT like Monoprice's generic plugin dimmer but I've never had a problem with their plugin switches. Please note that z-wave in-wall 3-way switches and wiring do not work the same way as a regular 3-way switch so read the directions.

Wire Cutter Review:
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/be...n-wall-dimmer/
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Last edited by sholling; 04-08-2018 at 11:42 AM.. Reason: added 3-way info
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Old 04-08-2018, 6:14 PM
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Something to think about is if you are using a wifi switch or module, if your internet goes down it becomes useless at least as a wireless switch.

Other options using things that use z-wave or zigabee to communicate directly between the switch and the controller, not using the internet as a pass-through wont have the same issue.

I'm running caseta switches though a wink V2 hub. If the internet goes down the hub can still communicate with my switches directly and my phone and other devices can communicate with the wink hub directly though my home network.

The wink hubs can still be tied into a google home or echo if you want voice automation and can communicate with dozens of other devices as well. You can setup robots, similar to IFFT and you can also set it up to communicate with IFFT as well.
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Old 04-08-2018, 6:56 PM
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Wink system has light, socket and other controllers. Worth checking out.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling View Post
For a fully integrated system I use a Samsung Smartthings z-wave hub to control GE z-wave wall switches and dimmers and GE z-wave plug-in dimmers throughout my home...
The advantage is that I can group them and control them by voice via my Amazon Echos or by a phone app or just slap the switches. For example a single voice command in the morning turns on the lights that I need in the morning and works with my Harmony Elite (smart hub remote control) to turn on the entertainment system and tune the cable box to the news so I can catch up before work. Or, if I hear a noise - a single voice command turns on every light in the house. Another turns off everything at bedtime.
Amazon Echo lets you group disparate device types. They don't need to be from the same vendor. I can say 'turn on the living room' and Echo will turn on my Hue lights, my TP-Link plug outlets, and my TP-Link smart wall switches in the living room. You create the groups in the Alexa app then add any devices you want. And you can also turn on everything in the house with a single command.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyman321 View Post
Something to think about is if you are using a wifi switch or module, if your internet goes down it becomes useless at least as a wireless switch.
Internet and wifi are two different things. If my Internet goes down, I can still communicate with my Hue switch from my phone or tablets over my local Wifi network - just like I can still print to my wifi printer, it does not require an internet connection.

But if you have any devices that rely on a cloud controller or cloud relay back to the switch, or if you are trying to control the devices from afar, or rely on IFTTT integration - then yes, an Internet down situation will be a problem. And clearly if you have a local wifi down situation, then you will have problems.
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Last edited by SkyHawk; 04-08-2018 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:38 PM
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Ecobee came out with one..
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:59 AM
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Reviving a dead thread.

I recently got an Amazon Echo and most every smart device in my hone works with it (Thermostat, Sprinklers, outside/yard lighting and so on). O ne of the few things that didn't work were my WiFi indoor light switches and outlets.

I've been using products from a company called "Ankuoo", found them on Amazon a few years ago. Their NEO line of switches and outlet plug ins have worked well, but they are not compatible with Alexa. Decided to switch over to their "Rec" line of switches and have been pleased so far. Haven't installed the new wall switches yet (this weekend) but the outlet plug ins work well with Alexa and the groupings capabilities allows me to control all of the inside lights, room by room or light by light. The price of the Rec line of products is surprisingly good for these types of devices. None of them are compatible with Apples Home Kit if that makes any difference to anyone.
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