I had one major problem with my smart home — and Matter just solved it

(Image credit: Brilliant)

I'm one of those people who have fully embraced the smart home. You could even say I have the ultimate smart home — the space is overflowing with internet-connected devices and convenient automations.

But it was no simple task to make my home as smart as it is now. It required a lot of planning, budgeting and research, since not all of the best smart home devices play nice with each other. Though I should say played — the long-awaited Matter smart home protocol has finally arrived to theoretically make millions of smart home devices work together.

While plenty of noteworthy smart home companies, small and large, have committed to Matter in the year-and-a-half since the Connectivity Standards Alliances (CSA) announced the initiative, there's one that brand that confirmed its membership on the cusp of the November 3 Matter launch event. And it happens to be one that's central to my smart home — Brilliant.

The Brilliant smart home controller is the best thing that could've happened for my smart home. I replaced a three-switch light switch panel next to my front door with a Brilliant controller, which is half-visual touchscreen and half-dimming switches. Not only can the panel control three sets of light bulbs physically or by voice control with Alexa built-in, but it also acts as a feed for my Ring Video Doorbell 4 and security center for my home's different access points.  

Sounds like a setup from The Jetsons, right? It sometimes feels like that, but I can't forget the limitations I faced getting everything just right. Brilliant's platform only supported a limited number of devices from outside smart home brands. Given a number of these brands were rather reputable, but still, not every smart home device that my piqued my interest would mesh with my home. 

Interoperability limitations are biggest barriers Matter promised to break down. In a perfect world, all devices that have earned a Matter certificate should be able to work together if they're connected to the same Thread network. Since Matter 1.0 is only just now starting to roll out, it's hard to gauge the impact, but it's certainly promising. The announcement of Amazon and Samsung's joint multi-admin program is perhaps a tangible example of devices set up in one platform being automatically compatible with the other.

With Brilliant officially on-board with Matter, I expect to see more flexibility with the devices that are able to communicate with or be controlled by my smart home's most important fixture. This means when I'm shopping for a new smart home product and it bears a Matter badge, it should work in some capacity with my Brilliant system. 

There's no hard feelings that the integrations made possible by Matter weren't available when I made a deliberate effort to set up my smart home. In fact, I feel lucky that my controller has this degree of future-proofing that I didn't prioritize or even really consider at the time of installation. 

Matter support will arrive for Brilliant controllers in 2023. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.