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5 Reasons To Buy A Smart Dimmer Switch Today (And Which Are Best)

Modern dimmer light switch used being lowered for dimmer lighting and to save electricity

5 Reasons To Buy A Smart Dimmer Switch Today (And Which Are Best)

Key Points

  • Smart dimmer switches allow you to set a schedule for your lights and can be controlled through voice commands or remotely from anywhere in the world.
  • Smart dimmer switches can help you save energy and lower your electricity bill by adjusting the intensity of the light.
  • There are different types of smart dimmer switches, such as one-way, two-way, and three-way switches, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
  • Some smart dimmer switches require a WiFi connection, while others use a Z-Wave connection and require a smart home hub.

If you’re trying to figure out the reasons to buy a smart dimmer switch, or if you’re unsure about purchasing one, you’ve come to the right place! Dimmer switches have been around since the late 1950s. Smart dimmer switches add a layer of usability far beyond a dimmer switch’s standard features.

Smart dimmer switches allow you to set a schedule to turn your lights on and off. You can program the smart dimmer switch to respond to voice commands through your phone or smart device. Even better, you can turn your lights on or off from the other side of the world!

You can purchase smart dimmer switches from brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce shopping sites. Be aware that a “one-size fits all” smart dimmer switch may not be the best for your needs.

To help understand why smart dimmer switches are the bee’s knees, we’ve assembled a list of 5 reasons to buy a smart dimmer switch today. Let’s jump into the specifics of a dimmer switch! When did they start being used?

Dimmer Switch Background

Joel Spira invented the dimmer switch in 1959. A dimmer switch allows the user to increase or decrease the intensity of the light by sliding a lever or twisting a knob. Rotate the knob to the right to increase the power or to the left to decrease the intensity of the light. Slide the lever up or down to increase or decrease the light. 

Smart dimmer switches come in various configurations; one-way, two-way, three-way, wireless, and motion sensor. Before replacing light and dimmer switches, let’s review a few switch fundamentals.

One-Way Switch

A one-way dimmer switch is designed for a room with a single switch. Example: You have one wall switch for an overhead bedroom light.

Two-Way Switch

A two-way switch is designed for a larger room with two controls for the same light fixture. Example: You have two wall switches located at different positions in the rooms. Either switch will turn the light on or off. A typical scenario is a kitchen with a switch at each end of the room.

Three-Way Switch

An intermediate or three-way switch is a common choice for huge rooms requiring multiple locations to turn on or off lights. Example: We have a staircase with a control at the bottom of the stairs, a switch at the landing between staircases, and a button at the top. Any of the three switches can turn the overhead light on or off.

Why Should You Care About Switch Configurations?

The wiring in your house uses one of these three options. You need to purchase the correct smart dimmer switch to be compatible. The incorrect smart dimmer switch, say a one-way switch, installed into a three-way switch configuration, won’t work.

WiFi or Z-Wave

Since we’re talking about smart dimmer switch specifics, let’s briefly talk about how the switch will connect to your smartphone. A WiFi connection uses the same frequency you use to surf the web. A Z-Wave connection uses a different frequency.

WiFi

The smart dimmer switch will connect to your WiFi network. Pay close attention to the gigahertz (GHz) required. Many smart WiFi dimmers require a 2.4GHz WiFi connection. Does your WiFi router have 2.4GHz?

Z-Wave

You’ll need to purchase extra hardware if you use a Z-Wave configuration. Z-Wave operates at 800-900GHz. You’ll attach a smart hub to your WiFi router. You’ll communicate with the smart hub through your wireless router. The smart hub communicates with all the smart devices.

You’ll have zero interference since the Z-Wave operates on a different frequency than other WiFi devices. Z-Wave is a popular option for full-house smart automation. (Doorbell, interior and exterior lights, door locks, overhead garage doors, motion sensors, heating, cooling, etc.)

Top 5 Reasons to Buy A Smart Dimmer Switch Today

What’s so great about a smart dimmer switch? Maybe a direct answer is to ask what’s not great about a smart dimmer switch! Smart dimmer switches catapult you from 1960s technology to 2020s technology node. Do you hear that buzzing noise? That’s your grandpa’s old-school dimmer switch begging for a replacement!

Scheduling

A smart dimmer switch allows you to set up a daily, weekly, or monthly lighting schedule. You can set a wake-up (turn-on) time and lighting intensity. Or you can set a sleeping time (turn off) for each day. Set a different schedule for the weekend! You can configure the schedule as it works best for you.

Voice Control

How awesome is it to turn the lights on and off and adjust the intensity of the light through voice control? A smart dimmer device isn’t going to respond to your voice command. But, a smart dimmer will respond to a command it receives from a smart device. Your cell phone, Alexa, or Google Home devices will send the command to your smart dimmer to turn on, off, or adjust the dimmer level. It’s hard not to love hands-free control of our lighting.

Lighting Control

You’re in charge! How bright do you want the room to be? Adjust the control to the maximum intensity for bright light. Adjust to very low for a dim experience. You can automatically program the lights to turn on at a pre-programmed time and increase (or decrease) in intensity.

Energy Savings

Smart dimmer switches allow you to save energy and lower your electricity bill. The benefit of a smart dimmer switch is that it will enable you to adjust the intensity of the light. The dimmer the light, the less energy you’ll use.

Adjust Anywhere

A smart dimmer switch allows you the convenience of turning on and off the lights, dimming or brightening the lights from anywhere in the world. Using your cell phone and the application that applies to your smart dimmer switch, you can adjust the lights from anywhere in the world where you have cell phone reception.

4 Best Smart Dimmer Switch Today

Purchasing a smart dimmer switch is confusing. There are many different options, configurations, and designs to choose from. Adding to the confusion is the topic of wiring. Many smart dimmer switches require a neutral wire, but other smart dimmer switches don’t need a neutral wire. If the previous sentence doesn’t make sense to you, we recommend that you hire an electrician to help you install your smart dimmer switch.

We’ve done the homework for you to help you sort through all the dimmer switches. Let’s take a look at the best smart dimmer switches available today.

TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer

Best One-Way Switch
TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer Switch 4 Pack
$59.18 ($14.80 / Count)
  • Compatible with a variety of bulbs
  • Single-pole configuration
  • Works with Alexa or the app
  • Easily control remotely
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/18/2024 05:15 am GMT

A smart dimmable switch compatible with a wide array of light bulbs, the TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer offers functionality for most users. The TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer is compatible with dimmable LEDS up to a maximum of 150W, halogens up to a maximum of 400W, and CFL up to a maximum of 150W.

The TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer is a single-pole configuration, so you’ll use it as a One-Way dimmable switch. You’ll need a neutral wire configuration, so consider hiring a licensed electrician if upgrading in an older house without a neutral wire.

You’ll need to have a WiFi network with a 2.4GHz band available.

The smart dimmable switch is controllable from the controller itself, Alexa, Google Home, or through the Enhanced Smart APP Remote Control.

ELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer 

Most Elegant
ELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer Light Switch DPR10
$19.99
  • Remote controlled
  • Comes with Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Can be scheduled
  • Elegantly designed with ultra slim profile
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/18/2024 06:05 am GMT

ELEGRP designed this smart dimmer for a single switch. It’s best suited for rooms that have a single-wall switch. The ELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer Light Switch requires a 2.4GHz WiFi connection. Do not use smart light bulbs.

The ELEGRP smart dimmer requires a neutral connection. If you don’t have a neutral wire, you can hire an electrician to install it for you, or you can use a smart dimmer switch that doesn’t require a neutral one.

You can control the ELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer by using the wall switch or the smart application on your cell phone. The cell phone application will allow you to adjust the dimmable switch, even from the other side of the world.

Alexa and Google Assitant provide hands-free operation.

GE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch

Best for Older Homes
GE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch On/Off Paddle Style
$25.65
  • No neutral wire
  • Hands-free voice control with Alexa
  • 15-Watt minimum required
  • Easy, DIY Installation
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/18/2024 06:05 am GMT

Don’t feel like messing around and trying to add a neutral wire? The GE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch may be your best choice. Designed for three wire installations, the CYNC is the best workaround for older (mid-1980s and older) houses that weren’t designed with a neutral wire at each switch or socket.

The dimmable switch has a (optional) motion sensor. When the motion sensor detects movement, the switch automatically activates. The smart dimmable switch uses 2.4GHz WiFi frequency.

The CYNC Smart Light Switch is compatible with Alexa and Google Home. The dimmer switch allows you to control the lights either at the switch or remotely through the Cync application. Set the dimmable switch to the desired intensity, or choose a pre-selected scene. (Morning, afternoon, or evening.)

The GE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch requires that you have at least 15W on the circuit. If your LEDs don’t add up to 15W, you’ll need to use the included adapter.

Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer

Best with a Hub
Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer Light Switch 3 Way
$33.99
  • Requires a smart home hub
  • Comes with remote control via apps
  • Can be used with most dimmable LED bulbs
  • Built-in signal repeater
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/18/2024 07:20 am GMT

Z-Wave products use a wireless network independent of your typical wireless router. To use the Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer you’ll need to have a Smart Home Hub. The hub enables you to connect multiple devices to a single, smart hub. The smart hub will connect directly to your WiFi router. The smart hub works with Alexa, IOS, Android, Google Assistant, Smart Things, and Ring.

Z-Waves smart dimmer doesn’t need a WiFi connection but requires a smart home hub. Configured as a three-way switch, the Z-Wave Plus can be connected with a standard on/off three-way switch, but the standard three-way switch can’t be a dimming three-way switch. Your household needs a neutral wire for the Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer to function correctly.

The Z-Wave Plus works with LED (no less than 5W), halogen, and CFL dimmable lights. With voice control, remote control via apps, and scene selection, it’s hard not to appreciate this smart dimmer switch. The switch automatically remembers the last illumination condition and defaults to that setting the next time the switch is turned on.

What to Know Before Buying a Smart Dimmer Switch

Smart dimmer switches come in all sizes, types, and configurations. You need to know specific information about your wiring and WiFi network before you purchase a smart dimmer switch. Here are the items to consider when shopping for a smart dimmer switch.

  • WiFi network
  • Neutral wire
  • Smart hub
  • Alexa or Google Assistant

WiFi Network

If you’re buying a smart dimmer switch for a WiFi network, you must have a WiFi router that supports 2.4GHz. WiFi-compatible smart dimmer switch manufacturing companies are very specific that you must have 2.4GHz for the dimmer switch to function correctly.

Neutral Wire

The electrical configuration for houses built before the mid-1980 does not include a neutral wire. Many smart dimmer switches require a neutral wire. If you don’t have a neutral wire, you can hire an electrician to wire it for you. If you don’t want to hire an electrician, select a smart dimmer switch configured for a three-wire configuration with no neutral wire. A smart dimmer switch without a neutral wire may require that it have at least 15V on the circuit. If you lack 15V, you can use an adapter.

Smart Hub

Specific types of smart dimmer switches do not use a 2.4GHz WiFi network. Instead, the smart dimmer switch will connect to a 908.42 GHz frequency through a smart hub. The smart hub connects an entire household of smart devices. While we’re focused on smart dimmers, there is a HUGE appetite for all things “smart.” One smart hub allows you to connect all your devices to a single hub without impacting the performance of your WiFi router.

Alexa or Google Assistant

If you’re particular about using Alexa or Google, you must read the product information carefully. Most, but not all, smart dimmer switches support either Alexa or Google.

Final Thoughts on Reasons to Buy A Smart Dimmer Switch

We shared 5 reasons to buy a smart dimmer switch today, but there’s a world of reasons to switch from an older one to a smart one. In conjunction with LEDs, smart dimmer switches dramatically decrease your power consumption.

A smart dimmable switch allows you to control the intensity of the light that’s output from your LEDs or light bulbs. The lower the intensity of the light you choose, the less power you’ll consume. That’s cash in your pocket.

A smart dimmable switch lets you turn everything on or off on your schedule. You can set the perfect mood lighting right before you arrive home from work or when you wake up in the morning. You’ll be able to turn your lights on or off from anywhere in the world. What’s not to like about that?

  1. TREATLIFE Smart Dimmer Switch 4 Pack
    $59.18 ($14.80 / Count)
    • Compatible with a variety of bulbs
    • Single-pole configuration
    • Works with Alexa or the app
    • Easily control remotely
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/18/2024 05:15 am GMT
  2. ELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer Light Switch DPR10
    $19.99
    • Remote controlled
    • Comes with Alexa or Google Assistant
    • Can be scheduled
    • Elegantly designed with ultra slim profile
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/18/2024 06:05 am GMT
  3. GE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch On/Off Paddle Style
    $25.65
    • No neutral wire
    • Hands-free voice control with Alexa
    • 15-Watt minimum required
    • Easy, DIY Installation
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/18/2024 06:05 am GMT
  4. Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer Light Switch 3 Way
    $33.99
    • Requires a smart home hub
    • Comes with remote control via apps
    • Can be used with most dimmable LED bulbs
    • Built-in signal repeater
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/18/2024 07:20 am GMT

Summary Table

Reasons to Buy a Smart Dimmer SwitchBest Smart Dimmer Switches
SchedulingTREATLIFE Smart Dimmer
Voice ControlELEGRP Single Pole Smart Dimmer
Lighting ControlGE Lighting CYNC Smart Light Switch
Energy SavingsZ-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of smart dimmer switches?

You can program a smart dimmer switch to turn on or off automatically at any time of the day. You can set a schedule ahead of time. Set the illumination intensity conditions for how you want any room lit up.

Why would I want a smart dimmable switch?

Instead of dropping serious cash on an array of smart LEDs, snag a smart dimmable switch and control all the LEDs with one application. You can continue to use your existing (power-hungry, energy-thirsty, wallet-draining) halogen light bulbs.

Do smart light switches slow down WiFi?

Yes. The amount of data bandwidth absorbed from a single, smart dimmable switch is negligible. The data from fifteen or twenty smart dimmable switch will slow down your network. If you’re planning to turn your entire house into a smart house, consider using a smart hub. Smart hubs use a different frequency than other internet data slurping devices so that you won’t have any speed slowdown on your WiFi network.

Can smart dimmer lights work without the internet?

Yes. The dimmer lights are part of your home’s wiring. You can lose the internet, and your smart dimmer lights will still work. Your WiFi can still send data to different devices in your home. You couldn’t remotely connect to your smart dimmer switch from outside your home. You can absolutely walk up to the switch and toggle it manually.

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