iDevices Connected News

Here's what we've been up to at iDevices...

How to make any 'dumb' wall outlet smart with the iDevices Wall Switch

iDevices News, How to make any 'dumb' wall outlet smart with the iDevices Wall Switch
Share This Post!


When we say our smart switches are just like your standard switches, but with voice and app control along with a host of other smart features, we aren’t kidding. This includes the ability to wire up the Wi-Fi enabled iDevices Wall Switch to any dumb outlet, effectively making one or both of the outlet receptacles smart. The technical term is "half-hot."

Most standard outlets in your home allow you to plug in and control two accessories at the same time. Both receptacles are “hot,” meaning they permanently provide power.

So what's a half-hot?

A half-hot outlet, also referred to as a switched outlet, isn’t all that different. The physical outlet itself is the same as a standard outlet; the difference lies in the way it’s wired. In a half-hot setup, one receptacle is always “on” and ready to provide electricity, while the other can be turned “on/off” via a wall switch. You can plug lamps, fans, and other household accessories into the switched outlet for added convenience. 

Add smarts to any outlet

Make anything you plug in smart by wiring the iDevices Wall Switch to the switched outlet receptacle. You gain the ability to use Siri, Alexa, or the Google Assistant to control what's plugged into the outlet with your voice. You can also control electronics remotely via your smart phone. Schedule your accessory to turn on/off when it’s convenient for you, include it in a scene that syncs with other smart home product, and even add custom automations with IFTTT.  The kicker - you still have manual control of the outlet from the switch.

Can I create a half-hot with a GFI outlet?

The simple answer is no, you can’t create a half-hot with a GFI outlet, as this style outlet can't be modified so that only one receptacle is switched. You can wire a GFI outlet so the entire outlet is switched (you can add this functionality to a standard outlet as well). While you won't have individual outlet control, you will be able to add smarts to your entire GFI outlet.

Should I DIY or seek help?

If you're a novice when it comes to residential wiring, we always suggest consulting a licensed/certified electrician. There are plenty of online resources to guide you through the job if you prefer the DIY route. But if you haven’t done anything like this before, it might be worth hiring a pro. iDevices partners with HomeAdvisor so you can set up an appointment with a trusted pro during the checkout process! 

Switch to a smarter outlet

If you’re looking to wire a half-hot and your dumb outlet is already a few years old, you should probably replace it for safety reasons. Instead of buying another dumb outlet and setting up a half-hot, make things easier on yourself by replacing it with the iDevices Wall Outlet. This Wi-Fi enabled outlet gives you the power to control both receptacles individually with your voice or smart phone. In essence, you can turn power on/off to the outlet of your choice whenever and wherever you want. And by pairing an iDevices Instant Switch to each outlet receptacle, you can control accessories manually via a switch that doesn't require any wiring. 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our customer experience team at Interested in learning how iDevices products can make the everyday things in your home extraordinary? Follow us on social for weekly tips and more!