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Logitech's New Smart Home Button is Beautifully Dumb

From smart lighting and smart locks to sophisticated multi-room music systems, sometimes it feels like smart homes are getting too smart for their own good. Logitech hopes to simplify home control with its Pop Home Switch.

Starting at $99 for the starter back and available in August, the Pop Home Switch is designed to let you control lighting, door locks, blinds and more from Philips Hue, LIFX, August, Lutron, Insteon, and Belkin WeMo. You can even use the Pop to fire up playlists on your Sonos.

The trick is that each switch lets you trigger different access depending on how many times or how long you press the button. A single press might turn products on and off, a double press could activate a "scene," and a long press could start filling the room with your favorite playlist.

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You do have to do a little work up front to make your smart home simple. First, you have to connect a small hub to your home's Wi-Fi network (the switches talk to the hub via Bluetooth LE, and the hub relays those commands to the cloud). After downloading the Pop app to your smartphone (for Android and iPhone), it scans your network for compatible devices. Then you assign devices to a switch or--if you want to get fancy--create recipes by combining devices into a trigger.

For instance, you could turn the lights down and start playing mood music with a press. You could also create a recipe that would activate your smart lock and turn on the appropriate night lights, which would be a time saver.

Those who happen to own a Logitech Harmony hub remote will be able to use the Pop to control their TV and other home entertainment gear.

Once you're ready to expand the Pop's capabilities to multiple rooms, you can purchase additional Add-On switches for $39.99. Stay tuned for a full review on Tom's Guide to see if the Pop really does make life easier.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.