Wi-Fi switch: How to choose the best model in 2021
Since it became possible to automate a home, many people have invested in smart home devices. To modernize the lighting system, you can invest in a Wi-Fi switch.
With a smart switch with wireless connection, it is possible to connect and control the lamps, either to change the intensity, hue or schedule the time to activate and deactivate the lamps. To learn more about the topic, read on.
First, the most important
- A switch connected to the Wi-Fi network can be configured and controlled by smartphone app or voice command when connected to a smart home system like Google Home or Alexa.
- Do not confuse a smart switch with a Wi-Fi switch. The first uses connectivity protocol like Z-Wave or ZigBee, while the second is connected to the Wi-Fi network.
- The electrical voltage of the Wi-Fi switch can be 110V, 220V or bivolt. The device can have one to four channels, each channel controls up to two lamps.
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The best Wi-Fi switches: Our recommendations
Not having to get out of bed to turn off the lights after reading a book or watching a movie is very convenient. For that, you will only need to invest in a Wi-Fi switch. Discover the best models in the ranking below:
- The cheapest Wi-Fi switch
- A well-rated smart switch
- A Wi-Fi switch for the entire house
- The best smart switch for an environment
Imagine being able to turn on, off, change the intensity or tone of your home’s lamps using a smartphone app or voice command? Know that this is possible, just automate the lighting of your home in a simple and inexpensive way.
In this Buying Guide, we have gathered all the information you need to know about a Wi-Fi switch, a reference when it comes to smart lighting. Stay with us and learn all about it.
What is a Wi-Fi switch and how does it work?
A Wi-Fi switch is an alternative for those who want to automate the home’s central lighting system. This device is capable of precisely controlling the functionality, intensity and tone of the lighting.
The device allows the user to activate and deactivate the lamps, control the intensity and shade of the lighting, or even set times for the lamps to work – as a kind of “curfew” for children not to stay awake beyond the hours allowed by parents.
Another interesting possibility is to turn on or off the lamps in the residence for long periods of absence, to simulate the presence of residents and discourage the action of the bandits.
Functions related to a Wi-Fi switch can even help to save electricity and reduce expenses, by avoiding the use of lamps unnecessarily.
Device compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
All of these features can be controlled via smartphone application with Android or IOS system, as the Wi-Fi switch works connected to the wireless internet all the time. Some models are also triggered by voice commands – as long as the device is compatible with Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
Another interesting fact is that some more advanced models can control devices other than lamps. But in that case, all functionality must be centralized in a smart home control device.
Find out all the advantages – and some disadvantages – of a switch connected to the Wireless network in the table below:
Most models of Wi-Fi switches start at R $ 150, but prices can reach R $ 500. To learn more about the features and models for sale.
Does the Wi-Fi switch work with any lamp?
Make sure to buy a Wi-Fi switch compatible with the bulbs installed in your home – especially if they are LED bulbs. If you intend to install smart lamps, you must place them incompatible sockets.
How to configure a Wi-Fi switch?
Now that we have explained the main features of a Wi-Fi switch, it is time to explain how to configure the control device.
After installing the lamps and the device, connect them through the control application. On the app’s home page, select the lighting tab. On the next screen, synchronize the Wi-Fi switch.
The process is quite simple, just press the smart switch button until the LED starts to flash, then select the option on the device that indicates that the switch is connected.
You will need to connect to the wireless network using the password. Then the device itself will synchronize the switch with the Wireless network and the application, asking you to name the network to complete the configuration.
The next screen will show an off switch button, where it is possible to test whether the device is working correctly. To test is simple, just check if you can control the lamps.Did you know that the home automation application allows you to register more than one Wi-Fi switch? If this is your intention, we recommend that you check each switch so as not to confuse them when configuring them.
Should I take any precautions with the electrical installation of a Wi-Fi switch?
A conventional switch has two wires to close the circuit and pass power to the lamp. When the light is turned off, this circuit is interrupted and the current stops flowing through the switch which is completely turned off.
A smart switch, on the other hand, needs a third wire to connect to the internet and offer the additional features we mentioned in this article. The third wire remains energized at all times to meet demands.
What are the differences between the smart lamp and the Wi-Fi switch?
Both the smart lamp and the Wi-Fi switch are lighting devices used in home automation.
Smart lamps can be controlled remotely. You can switch their hue, intensity and opening hours. In addition, the application allows you to measure energy consumption.
The device has a plug-and-play style installation, meaning you can move it with little or no effort.
Works with common or smart bulbs.The smart switch has the same functionality, but has additional benefits such as control of light intensity and shade – only special lamps. Works in conjunction with common or smart bulbs.
You must decide which automated lighting solution is best for your home. But keep in mind that you won’t have to choose just one, as you can mix and match different devices.
Purchase criteria: Find the best Wi-Fi switch
Not all Wi-Fi switches are the same. While many have the same capabilities, you should analyze and compare the characteristics that change from one model to the next to find the best one for your needs. With that in mind, we have listed the main purchase criteria below:
- Compatibility with smart home devices
- Number of connections
- Equipment and installation cost
We will detail each of the purchase criteria throughout this section. Be sure to rate this content and share the text with your friends through social networks.
Not many people know, but the Smart Switch and the Wi-Fi switch are different devices.
An intelligent switch uses a communication standard (RF) that can be developed by the manufacturer itself or one of the popular versions like ZigBee or Z-Wave. Both are radio protocols that require a compatible hub for the smart device to communicate with the smartphone.
As these protocols are not compatible with each other, when choosing a ZigBee or Z-Wave switch, use only devices compatible with this protocol.
It is important to mention that although these protocols are not compatible, smart home control devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home support more than one standard.
A switch that connects directly to the Wireless network is much more convenient, as it does not need a specific Hub to communicate with the smartphone or tablet application.
Compatibility with smart home devices
When choosing a Wi-Fi switch you should analyze whether the model is compatible with smart home control devices and what those devices are – the main ones are Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri.
If the device you choose to communicate with these and more virtual assistants, the possibilities offered will be virtually limitless.
When you buy a smart switch, you will find that asking the virtual assistant to “turn on the bedroom lights” or “turn off the living room lights” is more convenient and faster than accessing a smartphone app and performing commands manually.
Number of connections
The number of channels of a smart switch compatible with Wi-Fi is directly related to the number of circuits that the device controls. You have options with one, two, three or four channels – each channel supports up to two lamps.
Example: If a certain environment has three lamps or three sets of lamps, you can use each channel or button for each lamp or set of lamps.
If you have one or two lamps in the room, just an intelligent switch with one channel, as long as the total power does not exceed 2200W at 110V or 4400W at 220V. Compare the purchase options below:
Equipment and installation cost
Another variable that deserves to be evaluated when purchasing the smart switch is the price of the equipment and the cost of installation. Keep in mind that smart devices are not cheap, especially if you plan to install them throughout the home.
You can find equipment for prices ranging from R $ 150, R $ 200 to R $ 450. Analyze all the criteria mentioned above and evaluate the cost-benefit ratio. Never buy the most expensive model because you think that price indicates quality.
Remember that not every lamp in your home needs to be connected to an electronic switch. Off-the-beaten-path rooms do not need automation, just areas with greater circulation of people such as bedrooms, living room and kitchen.