Smart lightbulbs are cool and all, but there’s no getting past the fact that they can be very expensive per bulb. Kitting out a single room can easily cost over $100, so replacing all the lighting in your home with smart bulbs will blow most budgets out of the water. However, with smart light switches, you can actually build out your smart home while using the standard — and much more affordable — light bulbs you already have laying around.
Say you have a room with eight lights in it. If they’re all controlled by a single light switch, you can suddenly make them all work like smart lights by simply replacing the normal switch with a smart one. This gives you scheduling, remote control, and plenty of other perks for a whole room full of lights. Combine a few of these with some smart plugs, and you can really build out a smart home without having to replace many actual appliances.
There’s a variety of smart switches on the market, and we’ve broken down the best of the best. Some require a hub, smart bridge, or neutral wire, while others work great with certain platforms. Whether you’re looking for a simple setup or loads of features, we’ve found something for you. If you’re ready to make your home smarter with just the flip of a switch, check out some of our favorites.
TL;DR – These are the Best Smart Light Switches:
Lutron Caséta Smart Home Dimmer Switch
Best Smart Light Switch
The Lutron Caséta Smart Home Dimmer Switch is not the cheapest option out there, but there’s a reason it’s the best. With this switch, you won’t run into limitations with compatible hardware or how you use it. You’ll simply wire it into your existing light switch wiring without needing a neutral wire, adding some smarts to non-smart light bulbs, like dimmable LED and CFL bulbs.
There are plenty of options to control the lights you’ve connected, including the dimmer switch on the wall, Lutron’s Pico remote control, the Lutron app, or your voice using various smart home assistants. With the app, you can set up scenes to adjust lights simultaneously, or you can run automation on a schedule or in response to your GPS coordinates. And the smart bridge used in conjunction with the switch doesn’t require Wi-Fi, meaning if your Wi-Fi goes down, all your lights should continue to work as planned.
Kasa Smart Light Switch
Best Budget Smart Light Switch
A budget smart light switch is a convenient way to take a whole roomful of lights—assuming they’re on the same circuit —and give them the gift of smarts. The Kasa Smart Light Switch is a solid accomplice toward this goal costing under $20, making it easy to kit out multiple rooms or different light groups with their own switches. It works with standard light switch wiring and doesn’t require a hub to keep installation simple, while the Kasa app guides you through the process, though you will need a neutral wire.
The Kasa Smart Light Switch is part of TP-Link’s robust smart home ecosystem, making it easy to control and pair with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, adding voice control. Using the Kasa app, you can create scenes to quickly change lighting for multiple devices, set up schedules, or control the lights remotely. There’s even an “away mode” to randomly turns on lights when you’re out of the house preventing intruders.
Philips Hue V2 Dimmer Switch
Best Smart Light Switch for Philips Hue Users
Control of your smart lightbulbs from anywhere by just pulling out your phone is one of the big perks on offer, but it’s not always convenient to need your phone when you just want to turn the lights off as you walk out of the room. That’s where the Philips Hue V2 Dimmer Switch comes in handy if you’re in the Philips Hue ecosystem. It can even work with several bulbs while still not requiring the Philips Hue Bridge.
The Philips Hue V2 Dimmer Switch works wirelessly, so there’s no need for professional installation or dealing with any confusing wiring. It’s simple to attach the wall plate anywhere with the included adhesive, while the controller itself mounts onto the wall plate magnetically, letting you carry it around the house. After the bulbs sync to the switch, you’ll enjoy easy controls with an on/off button at the top, two buttons for increasing or decreasing brightness, and a fourth button to cycle through scenes.
Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Switch
Best Multi-Platform Smart Switch
If you’re on the hunt for a smart switch compatible with your smart home setup or just your home in general, chances are good the Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Switch is. It easily integrates into your lineup of smart devices, as the switch works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and a few other platforms. So, besides the handy adjustments from just about anywhere with an internet connection, you also can control your lights using voice commands.
We love the Leviton Decora switch’s multi-platform functionality, but another alluring feature is a neutral wire is not needed. In older homes, this is essential, as neutral wires weren’t standard until a few decades ago. Instead, this device uses a Wi-Fi bridge that plugs into any outlet, letting you connect to all those smart assistants and take advantage of the My Leviton app. And only one Wi-Fi bridge enables connectivity on 25 Decora Smart No-Neutral devices.
GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus
Best Z-Wave Smart Light Switch
Some of the best smart home gadgets rely on Z-Wave connectivity. If you’ve invested in these products for their long-range and low-power connectivity, don’t worry, you’re not left out when it comes to light switches. The Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus dimmer switch fits seamlessly into your smart setup, while adding it into your home further expands the signal strength throughout it, thanks to how Z-Wave works.
The Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus is simple to install, as it automatically detects line and load wires to configure itself appropriately. However, you will need a neutral wire and a Z-Wave-certified hub. After installation, you get dimming control over your lights from completely off to full brightness, and it’s even possible to set up schedules and alerts. Voice control is another way to control your lights, as the switch supports Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
Treatlife 3 Way Smart Dimmer Switch
Best Affordable 3-Way Switch
If you’re looking for something simpler to install and understand than the Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus, then the Treatlife 3 Way Smart Dimmer Switch is a terrific, affordable solution for your 3-way setup. For under $30, you get a switch that works seamlessly with several smart assistants sans hub, while installation is easy enough to avoid hiring an electrician. You just need to follow the step-by-step instructions and be sure you’ve got a neutral wire and a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection.
Whether you use the physical switch, the Smart Life app, or your voice using compatible smart assistants, there’s ample flexibility in controlling your lights. You can set lighting schedules and scenes, while the dimming capability creates an ideal ambiance in a space. Best yet, because of the switch’s 3-way feature, it’s perfect for any 3-way setups in your home and works just as great for a single-pole option.
Lutron Caséta Smart Home Plug-in Lamp Dimmer
Best for Lamps
Some lighting fixtures can’t accommodate a smart light bulb, or maybe you’re renting a place that prevents you from installing a smart light switch. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of smart home lighting devices thanks to the Lutron Caséta Smart Home Plug-in Lamp Dimmer. This device is similar to a smart plug, but it’s made specifically for lamps allowing smart control of up to two plug-in lighting fixtures.
The Lutron Caséta Smart Home Plug-in Lamp Dimmer is easy to use, as you plug it into an outlet, and then the lamp slots directly into the unit. After that, you can set up schedules, routines, and personalized lighting scenes using an app, though it requires a bridge. Smart assistants like Apple HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assitant also work with the switch, delivering voice control, while Lutron’s Pico remote provides another handy way to control your lights without needing a phone.
Eve Light Switch
Best Smart Light Switch for Apple Homekit
The Eve Light Switch offers an easy way to turn your existing lights into smart ones that work great alongside the rest of your Apple HomeKit devices. The unit installs like a traditional light dimmer but offers Bluetooth LE connectivity to link up with your mobile device—no bridge required. From there, you can enjoy multiple ways to control the Eve Light Switch, including using Siri voice commands.
This switch is chock full of all the smart features you love, including schedules, timers, and scenes. Of course, it includes a physical slider to turn the lights on and off, or you can do it using your phone, tablet, computer, or HomeKit hub. And there’s no need to worry about your private data getting exposed because Eve doesn’t run on the cloud and makes no money off data sales.
Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer
Best Smart Light Dimmer
Do your current light switches lack dimming capability? The Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer offers an easy-to-use solution for adjusting your light’s brightness. So, you’re no longer limited to just the person who has the control app on their phone, as a simple-to-install rotary knob that runs on low power CR2032 battery for up to three years lets you adjust the light on the wall. Just be sure you’ve got compatible bulbs, as the dimmer works best with Philips Hue smart bulbs but can connect with an array of ZigBee 3.0-certified bulbs.
If you’re worried about someone accidentally cutting power to your smart bulbs at the switch, the Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer directly covers a standard light switch and locks it in place. After you’ve got the switch connected to the bulbs, tapping the dimmer will turn the lights on or off while rotating adjusts brightness. You can even set it up on the Hue app to have the dimmer activate your favorite lighting scenes with just a touch.
C by GE Wire-Free Dimmer
Best Wire-Free Smart Light Switch
The convenience of using your phone as a light switch after adding a bunch of hubless smart bulbs is sometimes soured by the fact that you can’t control them as easily with a regular light switch anymore. While some support smart switches and dimmers like those found here, it often takes a little more work to set up than the bulbs themselves, as you have to wire them into the wall. But this isn’t the case for the C by GE Wire-Free Dimmer.
At first glance, this dimmer looks like it wires up to your wall, though it can actually attach anywhere with a simple adhesive, and no tricky wiring is required, as it’s battery-powered and can last up to two years. Once installed and set up, the C by GE Wire-Free Dimmer can control your C by GE smart devices, letting you adjust brightness and color temperature. You can even use it to power on and off smart plugs, giving you full-room control, and a hub or bridge isn’t required to do any of it.
Choosing the best smart light switch for your home
Finding the best smart light switch for your home, whether you have your own house or you’re renting an apartment, isn’t a hard task best left to professionals. In fact, most of the smart light switches on the market are surprisingly effortless to set up, so you won’t need an electrician to help you, and they’re even easier to use.
However, as with all electronic products, you need to figure out a few things first before you scour the web for the most ideal light switch for you. Besides knowing your budget and how many you’ll need, there are a couple of other things you must know.
Type of switch
Like their traditional counterparts, a smart light switch can either be a single pole or 3-/4-/5-way switch. Without getting deep into the technical aspect, this simply means that it either has sole control of one light or group of lights or it shares that responsibility with another three-way switch.
A common three-way switch setup in homes is when you’ve got a switch at the bottom of the stairs and another at the top of the stairs, and both control the same lighting for the first-floor hallway. Though quite a few 3-way smart light switches can function as a single pole switch, you need to figure out what kind of switch you’re trying to replace, before you look at any smart options.
Smart assistant connectivity
Some smart light switches require a hub or a bridge to work with smart assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Surprisingly, this connectivity isn’t readily available in some of the smart switches. If voice control is particularly important to you, make sure you choose one that won’t make you go through hoops to have this functionality.
If you already have smart bulbs installed at home, and you’re planning on connecting them to a smart light switch, make sure that they are fully compatible to avoid issues. Some smart light switches actually work better with regular light bulbs, while a few others aren’t compatible at all with any smart light bulbs. On the other hand, the top smart light bulb manufacturers make their own smart light switches that work perfectly with their light bulbs.
Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor, and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae.