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Remember the days when your devices didn’t talk to each other? Thanks to advances in technology, our most used — and useful — devices and appliances can join the “Internet of Things” and talk to one another. Smart switches, thermostats, and locks, to name a few, have the capability to increase safety, security, comfort, and convenience. Smart switch lighting control is an especially exciting feature. Let’s see how it works.
Why don’t we start at the beginning: what exactly are smart switches?
Smart switches are designed as direct replacements for traditional built-in switches. Yes, you can still turn your lights on and off, just as you always did, but these smart switches provide you with much greater control over your home’s lighting, as well as fans and hardwired appliances. Via an app on your smartphone, you can access your switches whenever you need, from wherever you are.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use smart switches:
Smart homes are truly revolutionizing how we live.
What Is the difference between smart switches and tunable lighting systems?
There is often confusion around whether smart switches are just tunable lighting systems. Tunable lighting uses smart LED bulbs to adjust color temperatures: for example, in the morning, you might want a high color temperature to get you going. In the evening, you may want to wind down with a cool temperature, which softens the light.
Smart bulbs are wonderful - but they’re bulbs! When linked up to a normal switch, they do work, but only as long as the power is on at the switch. If someone flicks it off, there is no juice going to the bulbs. Pairing them with a smart switch, though, can help you enjoy greater functionality and convenience.
How do smart switches work?
You know you can control smart switches via an app on your smartphone or tablet. But beyond that, what makes the “smart” work?
To start, most smart switches require a 2.4 GHz home Wi-Fi network. The 2.4 GHz network, while slightly slower in speed, has a much longer signal range from the router, making it ideal and more dependable for smart home products.
Note: Smart switches require a neutral wire (not just hot and grounded, as in conventional switches). The good news is that homes built or rewired in 1980 or later have these installed.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the easiest ways to integrate your smart devices and are appropriate for apartments and smaller homes. However, the more devices you add to your network, the more bandwidth you gobble up. For large, multi-story homes, it may be beneficial to use a mesh Wi-Fi network or dedicated smart home wireless protocol, such as Zigbee and Z-Wave.
Make the smart switch
Installing smart switches enables you to harness the power of the Internet of Things and increase convenience, comfort, and even energy savings. It’s a smart move!