10 Things You Didn't Know That Smart Light Switches Can Do
Smart light switches are very versatile and have a few tricks up their sleeves.
You can achieve a lot with various consumer level smart light switches from brands such as LightwaveRF and Iotty.
Here's a list of 10 features that you might not have thought could be achieved with a smart switch.
10 Smart Switch Features
1. Turn Your Lights On When You Arrive Home
Using geolocation you can set a perimeter around your home.
Once your smart phone enters or leaves that perimeter your smart switch can turn on or off lighting.
For instance, once you arrive home at night your driveway, porch and hallway lights can be turned on ready and waiting for you.
2. Turn All Your Lights Off From One Switch
Your smart light switch can be used to trigger lighting scenes.
For example by the front door you could click a switch which turns off all lighting in your home at once.
You can also do this from the bedside switch at night, or vice versa press a button and turn all of your lights on at once.
3. Turn Your Lights On With Your Voice
Most smart light switches work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and some with Siri / Apple Homekit.
That means you can easily turn your lights on by saying "Alexa, set the bedroom lights to 50%" or "Alexa, turn the ground floor lights on".
You can turn lights on and off, recall lighting scenes, set lights to a specific brightness level with a compatible smart dimmer switch.
4. Monitor Your Power Usage & Automatically Turn Off Devices
You can see real time and past power consumption data of your homes lighting circuits. With some you can even trigger events based on power consumption, i.e if a device is drawing too much power it can be automatically switched off.
5. Turn Lights On Automatically
Simply replacing a light switch with a smart switch means you instantly benefit from automations.
Got a porch light that you always forget to turn on?
Now you'll be able to setup a schedule that will automatically turn your porch lights on when it gets dark, and off at midnight.
This can also be used for garden lighting, external lighting and much more.
6. Lock The Buttons To Prevent Lights Being Manually Turned On
Want to stop the kids from playing with the lights?
Want to set up automatic lights that can't be over-ridden or messed with?
Some switches, such as LightwaveRF, can be locked from the app so that the physical switch doesn't operate the lighting circuit.
You can also set these on timers so that the light switch can only be used between certain hours.
7. Control Blinds & Shutters
You can often control more than just your lights with a smart light switch!
For instance with the LightwaveRF you can wirelessly control a Lightwave relay connected to a blind or shutter with up & down control.
You can also do this with Iotty smart switches by using a 2 gang switch connected to a blind/curtain etc.
This is ideal for taking control over window coverings, curtains, blinds etc.
8. Open Your Gates or Garage Door
Another smart light switch trick is opening your gates or garage doors.
For instance a 2 gang smart switch by the front door can be wired to the volt-free input of your garage doors, with a simple button press you can open your garage doors.
Oh and of course you can use Alexa voice control, automations and much more.
9. Control Your Pond Pumps
The timer and schedule functions of smart switches are really useful and they can extend beyond turning lights on and off.
You can use the smart switch to control pumps, pond equipment and much more.
If the pump/device connected is within the rating of the switch you can sometimes directly connect. Otherwise you can use remote relay modules such as the LightwaveRF L83 which can be controlled from your smart phone, voice control and from schedules.
You can also wirelessly link it to a physical light switch which would let you turn your pump/fountain on and off from the wall.
Most commonly you'll set and forget schedules, but it shows the potential beyond lighting!
10. Operate Lighting Scenes
Turning lights on and off is boring, with a smart switch you can create lighting scenes consisting of multiple lighting circuits.
From one button press you can recall that scene and set the mood instantly!
This works particularly well with switches from LightwaveRF and Lutron RA2 Select. Simply create some scenes such as "Dining" or "Watching TV", set the lights to the desired levels and save it as a scene.
You can then recall that scene from your smart phone, voice control or even your smart switch!
As you can see a lot can be achieved using smart switches with scenes, automations and some external help from IFTTT.
Not all features are available on all smart switches though so make sure that you choose the right smart switch based on what you want to achieve, don't forget that we're here to help!