Author Topic: Finishing basement - smart light switchs  (Read 570 times)

mac91red

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Finishing basement - smart light switchs
« on: February 26, 2017, 12:03:17 PM »
I am finishing my basement and just completed the framing.  Now it is on to electrical.  I have been thinking about putting in some smart switches but want to see if others have experience with them:

Can they be used in place of a 3 way switch?  Do both switches have to be smart switches or can I just have 1 smart and one regular?
I assume they can be wired to a series of lights?  The demo in the store just has it running one light.
Any brand recommendations?

I have about 4 different series of lights that i want to control independently.  2 of the series would have 3 way switches.  The switches I saw ran about 40 bucks at Lowes (GE something - blue tooth).  Would be nice to be able to hit the lights from an app when you want to watch a movie or if the kids left them on.  But can also go the old fashion way if it isn't exactly what im looking for. 

Thanks

couponvan

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Re: Finishing basement - smart light switchs
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 12:35:21 PM »
My DH just put "wemo" switches on our exterior front porch lights - you can run more than one light off one switch (two garage lights run of one), and it works off both Google Home and Alexa. He had a tough time wiring them, but I think that was more our electrical vs. the wemo switch.  Make sure you take a photo of the wiring you have before you pull all the wires out.  We should have done that!
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bender

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Re: Finishing basement - smart light switchs
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 03:01:04 PM »
I use the smartthings hub ($99)
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SmartThings-Hub-2nd-Generation/dp/B010NZV0GE

With these type of GE switches:
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Wireless-Lighting-Control-12724/dp/B0035YRCR2
There are many flavors to choose from:
Avoid the dimming variety unless you really need it as most LED bulbs, even dimmable, will emit some sort of buzz when on a dimmer.  It can be annoying depending on how close to the actual bulb you are.

To do a 3 (or more) way circuit, you need to buy the main switch (the $37-$40 one), and then as many $20 add-on switches as needed.  Make sure you read the directions, these switches require traveler just like a normal switch would - but they use the wire for low voltage signaling.

This isn't a cheap solution, but it does integrate nicely.  Smartthings has a good smartphone app that supports timers for some basic automation. You can easily add voice automation for $50 with Amazon Echo.  "Alexa turn on the basement lights" and boom it's done.  I especially like "Alexa turn everything off".  My most valuable use is to control indoor and outdoor holiday lights with voice commands.


2Cent

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Re: Finishing basement - smart light switchs
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 06:51:04 AM »
I have the Philips Hue lights with the Tap switch. The nice thing about that one is that you don't need to put wiring or batteries as it uses the energy from the button press.
https://www.amazon.com/Philips-452524-Personal-Wireless-Lighting/dp/B00LY42URM
Not cheap, but compared to others also not expensive. And Hue has, in my opinion the best 3rd party support.