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Best smart light switches of 2020

Want to have your home lights turn on and off at a set time or make it look like you're home when you're on vacation? Smart light switches, some of the best smart home devices, let you do just that. With these switches, you can also control your lights through your smartphone and connect them to other smart home devices, so that your lights will turn on if your security system detects an intruder or your smoke detector senses fire.

After testing numerous models, we think these are the best smart light switches. The GE C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer is our favorite and costs about $40. It's also among the best Alexa compatible devices, best Google Home compatible devices and best HomeKit products.

If you have Philips Hue lights and don’t want to replace your wall switches, then the Philips Hue Dimmer is your best bet. Not only is it the least expensive option, but it's also the easiest to install, since you merely attach it to the wall — no wiring necessary. Plus, you can pop it off and use it as a remote control.

Leviton has introduced a new Decora Smart Voice Dimmer switch that has Alexa built in. Available for $99, it's pricey, but has a microphone and speaker, through which you can use Alexa to hear the news and weather, play music, and more. And, unlike the Ecobee+ smart switch, Leviton's has a dimmer function. 

Here are the best smart light switches.

C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer (Credit: GE Lighting)

(Image credit: C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer (Credit: GE Lighting))

1. C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing Dimmer

This switch works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, and has a motion sensor built in.

Size: 1.4 x 1.7 x 2.8 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: Yes | Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: Yes

No hub necessary
Supports Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit
Motion sensor
Utilitarian design
Confusing Android app

The C-Start Smart Switch isn't the sexiest or sleekest, but it gets the job done and does so in a more capable way than most. Reasonably priced at about $40, the Wi-Fi-connected switch works with all kinds of bulbs, has apps for iOS and Android, and lets you control lights with a touch, voice, motion or remotely via a smartphone.

Installation, as with most other smart switches, requires a neutral wire, but it's fairly straightforward. The switch includes an ambient light sensor (so it can be set not to come on in daylight) and a motion sensor to automatically trigger the light. The latter feature worked seamlessly. If you turn it off with the switch, after a few minutes C-Start will engage the motion sensor again, or you can disable the sensor via the app in case you don't want it switched on in the middle of the night.

Like other Alexa-enabled switches (it also works with Google Assistant and HomeKit), the C-Start dimmer responds to voice commands, but the C by GE Android app needs some work; setting up an automation for a room is confusing, and it can even be difficult to tell when you've scheduled it to go on and off. Still, if you don't mind its looks, the C-Start Smart Switch gives you a lot for the price.

Leviton Decora (Credit: Leviton)

(Image credit: Leviton Decora (Credit: Leviton))

2. Leviton Decora

A simple dimmer switch that supports three-way switches.

Size: 4.1 x 2.1 x 1.4 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Nest IFTTT | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: Yes

Supports three-way switches
Doesn't require a hub
pretty robust app
Doesn't support as many smart home systems as Lutron
Lacks geofencing

Leviton's switch won't win any design awards, but we like its no-nonsense approach: a large paddle switch, with a smaller toggle on the right, which lets you dim the lights in increments. A row of LEDs shows you the brightness level, and a small status LED on the bottom lets you locate the switch in the dark.

Unlike Lutron's switch, Leviton's connects directly to your Wi-Fi, so there's no bridge needed. It also supports three-way switches, which is helpful for larger rooms.

The Leviton app is pretty robust. You can set how long the status LED and the dimming LEDs remain on, specify the type of bulbs you're using and adjust the rate at which they dim and brighten. The app also lets you create schedules for the lights to turn on and off, such as at sunset or sunrise.

The Leviton Decora works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, but it supports fewer smart home systems than Lutron does. The Leviton also lacks the geofencing feature found in Lutron's app.

Overall, though, Leviton’s Decora is the best bet for homeowners looking for a great all-around smart wall switch.

Lutron Caseta (Credit: Lutron)

(Image credit: Lutron Caseta (Credit: Lutron))

3. Lutron Caseta

This dimmer works with a plethora of smart home devices.

Size: 4.6 x 3 x 1.5 inches | Wi-Fi: Via Lutron Bridge | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Nest, SmartThings | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: Yes

Wide range of useful features
Exceptional customer service
Supports three-way switches
Requires a hub (Smart Bridge)

The Caséta line of switches from Lutron offers an impressive list of features: geofencing, which means your lights will automatically turn on or off when you leave or arrive at home; the ability to schedule your lights to turn on or off at particular times or days; dimming capabilities; and compatibility with a long list of smart home platforms. You can also control the system using your voice through Amazon Alexa and Google Home, among many others.

Lutron's smart starter kit comes with one in-wall switch, one wireless remote and one smart bridge (hub), which can also be used to connect other Lutron products to the cloud (such as its smart plugs and smart shades) and control them.

The switch itself looks high-tech, with several buttons laid out to control the numerous options Caséta offers. Lutron has gone for function over fashion for the most part with this dimmer: The white and gray buttons are front and center, not hidden by touch-sensitive controls, as is the case with other dimmers in this category.

The only downside is that the switch, like all of Lutron's products, must be linked to the Smart Bridge (you can get it packaged with the switch for $90). The bridge itself must be plugged into your router so that you can control it from your smartphone.

4. Lutron Aurora

This dimmer knob for Philips Hue lights fits over existing light switches.

Size: 1.5 inches (dia) x 0.7 inches | Wi-Fi: Via Philips Hue Bridge | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Philips Hue | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: n/a

No electrical installation needed
Voice control using Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Works only with Philips Hue lights

Homeowners with toggle switches that control an outlet know that if they want to plug a lamp into that outlet, they have to tape over the switch or resort to other methods to keep from accidentally flipping the switch and turning off power to the lamp. The Lutron Aurora is a simple, elegant solution to that problem. It clips onto the toggle switch, but links directly to Philips Hue lights, letting you control them by tapping or turning the dial, all while maintaining power to the outlet. It's a specific use case, but it works well. 

Philips Hue Dimmer (Credit: Philips)

(Image credit: Philips Hue Dimmer (Credit: Philips))

5. Philips Hue Dimmer

Best for Philips Hue lights

Size: 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.55 inches | Wi-Fi: Via Philips Hue Bridge | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Philips Hue | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: n/a

No electrical installation needed
Voice control using Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Creative and colorful themes
Works only with Philips Hue lights
Requires Philips Hue Bridge

For those who have outfitted their homes with Philips Hue bulbs or don’t want to replace their wall switches, the Philips Hue dimmer is a handy little device. It can be used as a wireless remote or as a wall switch, but this switch doesn't need any installation, apart from peeling the covering off the adhesive on its back.

This switch works with only Hue bulbs, though it's almost magic when it does. Just turn on the light containing the Hue bulb as you normally would (even if it's via a traditional wall switch); then, start using the Philips dimmer, and it will automatically work. And don't worry — there's no interference or conflict between the Hue Dimmer and your normal wall switch. The magic in the dimmer lies in the Philips Hue bridge, which is required ($59) for the dimmer to work (and is required for any Philips Hue system).

The Philips Hue app is full of fun controls and creative themes for your Hue bulbs. You can set schedules for your Hue bulbs, which can be controlled by your voice through Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit. It's also compatible with a host of other smart home platforms.

Brilliant (Credit: Brilliant)

(Image credit: Brilliant (Credit: Brilliant))

6. Brilliant

This high-tech touch screen lets you control multiple smart home devices, as well as your lights.

Size: 5.6 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: Yes | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Ring, Sonos, Philips Hue, Ecobee, Honeywell Lyric | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: Yes

Beautiful interface
No subscription required
Alexa built in
Limited interoperability

The Brilliant touch-screen light switch lets you control not only your lights, but also other smart home devices, such as cameras, speakers and more. In addition, the panel has built-in motion sensors, so it can turn lights on and off as you enter and leave a room; a small camera lets you use multiple Brilliant panels as video intercoms, and it has Alexa and HomeKit. However, the company needs to add more smart home partners before it can truly justify its high price.

(Image credit: LeGrand)

7. LeGrand Tru-Universal Smart Dimmer Switch

Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit

Size: 4.7 x 2.9 x 2 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: Yes

Controls LED, CFL and incandescent dimmable bulbs
Works with multiple smart home systems
Small buttons

Calling a smart light switch Universal is a bold claim, but this Legrand switch gets pretty close, as it can communicate with the holy trinity of smart home systems: Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. There’s no direct support for IFTTT or Zigbee devices, though. 

The universal moniker also applies to what it is controlling, with Legrand claiming that it auto-detects and calibrates with LED, CFL, halogen, incandescent, and EFL bulbs. It can control up to 450W of LED and CFL or 700W of halogen and incandescent, which should cover most light sources. We tested it with a number of dimmable LED and incandescent sources and found that it worked as advertised, controlling these light sources without problems. 

The paddle switch itself has a nice clicky feel to it, but it is smaller than most: those who like to bash paddle switches with the side of their hand may prefer the larger Leviton Decora switches. Next to the main switch is a dimmer switch, along with seven small white LEDs to show the dimming level. Next to this is the air gap switch, a tiny switch that turns the entire switch mechanism off when installing bulbs. 

Although the Tru-Universal dimmer lives up to the name, those who use HomeKit may prefer the Leviton Decora DH6HD, which is less expensive.

Ecobee Switch+ (Credit: Ecobee)

(Image credit: Ecobee Switch+ (Credit: Ecobee))

8. Ecobee Switch+

A smart switch with Alexa built in, but no dimmer.

Size: 4.7 x 2.9 x 2 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: Yes | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit | Dimmable: No | Supports three-way switches: No

Alexa built in
Turns lights on and off automatically
Motion and temperature sensors
Integrated night light
Can't set schedules for features
no dimmer

The Ecobee Switch+ is more expensive than some other smart switches, but it has a ton of next-gen features. For starters, a motion detector can automatically turn the lights on and off in a room as your enter or leave. A small night light can be activated to help you find your way in the dark. It also has Alexa built right in (along with a microphone and speaker), so you can more easily use Amazon's assistant. The Switch+ also has a temperature sensor, which you will be able to link to the Ecobee thermostat to better control the climate in your house. One caveat: You can't use the Ecobee Switch+ in a three-way setup, and it requires a neutral wire.

Orro (Credit: Orro)

(Image credit: Orro (Credit: Orro))

9. Orro

Pricey but shows promise

Size: 4.13 x 1.75 x 1.73 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: Yes | Works with: Alexa | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: No (coming in the future)

Solid hardware
Svelte design
Simple operation
No Android support
Limited smart home integrations

The Orro smart light switch is a touch-screen switch packed with sensors and enough intelligence to know when you're entering or leaving a room. Orro provides an ambient light sensor, too. The company is promising a lot more smart home interactions and controls, so its rating may improve as its functionality does. But $199 is a lot to spend on a promise.

WeMo Dimmer (Credit: WeMo)

(Image credit: WeMo Dimmer (Credit: WeMo))

10. WeMo Dimmer

A simple dimmer switch that works with HomeKit

Size: 5 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches | Wi-Fi: Yes | Motion Sensor: No | Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT | Dimmable: Yes | Supports three-way switches: No

Excellent design, high-quality construction
Lighting modes for different situations
Too many color-coded status lights to remember
Does not support more than one switch per light

The WeMo Dimmer looks cool, with its glowing LED status lights, but remembering what each light means (there are seven different statuses, each with its own special LED color) is virtually impossible. One standout feature of the switch is that it calibrates to work with any kind of light bulb for maximum dimming and minimum flickering.

WeMo has included a number of small but nice touches that put the switch at the forefront of this genre of switch. For example, just run your finger along the gutter in the middle of the switch and you can dim or brighten the light the switch is hooked up to. There's also a clever night mode that keeps you from blinding yourself with full-on bright lights when you're headed to the bathroom after hours.

The WeMo app supports numerous smart products and has lots of features, including light scheduling and various lighting modes. You'll also be able to review power-consumption data and to control multiple WeMo devices with a single swipe. It's not compatible with a ton of smart home systems, but the WeMo Dimmer does work with Alexa, Homekit and Google Home, which should be enough for many users.

Smart light switches vs. smart lights and smart plugs

There are a ton of smart light bulbs on the market that you can control using your phone, so why would you need a smart switch? Smart switches make the most sense when you have a room, or rooms, with many ceiling lights.

Adding a smart switch can be much more cost effective than adding four or more smart lights, each of which can cost as much as a single switch.

If your room is lit by floor or table lamps, then smart plugs are the way to go; you simply connect the lamp into the smart plug and then the plug into the wall outlet. Plugs are generally less expensive than in-wall switches and are easier to set up — there's no wiring involved.

How to install a smart light switch

Unlike most smart home devices, which merely require you to plug them into an outlet, installing a smart switch involves replacing a current in-wall switch. Since few, if any, light-control products include professional installation as part of the package, you will need a basic understanding of electrical work, which includes turning off the circuit breaker. For full wireless access, you then replace the entire existing unit with the smart switch by attaching all the wires to the new switch, including the neutral wire.

MORE: 17 Coolest Gadgets in the HGTV Smart Home

Smart switches are often bulkier than their traditional counterparts, however; so if they don't fit in the electrical box properly, you may need to get a new box, which is probably a job for an electrician. Similarly, some older homes don't have the right wiring, so an electrician is a good idea here, too. Finally, some smart switches won't work if you have multiple switches controlling a single light (which is called three-way or four-way lighting).

How we test and evaluate smart light switches

To test smart switches, we either installed them ourselves, or had an electrician install them in our house. We then evaluated the switches based on the following criteria:

  • Design: Is it an attractive switch? The best will come in multiple colors to best match your decor.
  • Functionality: Does it support three-way or four-way connections?
  • App: How easy was it to use the app that works with the switch? What sort of features do you get, such as scheduling when lights turn on and off?
  • Smart Home Compatibility: Does the switch work with other smart home devices? How many?
  • Price: While smart light switches are more expensive than traditional switches, some are pricier than others.
  • kevinwen
    Good title but content could use some improvement. where is TP-Link, where is wemo light switch, Elgato Eve etc?
  • rocky.seelbach
    Great article. I'd like to add a bunch of smart switches during a remodel, but don't understand why the legacy form factor (toggle) is all but missing from product offerings today. Insteon makes one that's been very reliable for me. The 2466SW is a three position (momentary up and down from center for on and off), but it only works with Insteon. Haven't seen anything similar for Alexa, Siri, or Google.
  • lendermate+marketing
    Why do none of these have motion sensors?

    Seems obvious. Clicking buttons on the wall seems so 1980s. Google home / Alexa voice controls + motion sensors = I should rarely have to go touch the wall like a cave man. :P
  • nikola99
    IDevices definitely has a dimmer switch and a remote...
  • rapomeroy
    Found there is another consideration - Whether switch can be installed in a 2-, 3- or 4-gang box. I was going to replace only the Right-side switch with WiFi one in a 2-gang box, but cover plate (this was a KMC dual) not compatible with leaving a standard toggle on the left position, I would've had to change BOTH to WiFi.
  • dubinskd
    what about Meross brand?
  • jrmckins
    PHILIPS HUE DIMMER is "best value"?? You can ONLY use it with Hue products. Sorts of defeats the purpose of a smart light switch.

    I am checking out the Meross though (Thanks @dubinskd)
  • cologneled
    where is TP-Link, where is wemo light switch, Elgato Eve etc?
  • imconfsdru
    Might want to consider Lutron Caseta will do up to 60 switches off of one Hub they arent super expensive, they look good offer Sonos controls for music playback etc... And are also voice controllable if setup properly... Also have dimmer switches and remote controllsfor 3 way switches etc...
  • cologneled
    Awesome Article!