To put it simply, a smart switch is a switch connected to your home network that can control the functions of other household appliances and systems.
The term ‘smart switch’ can be used interchangably to cover two types of smart switch. The first refers to physical switches that wirelessly connect and control other smart appliances. Here, a smart switch behaves like a traditional light switch with the added advantage of being managed remotely using a smartphone app or a voice assistant, thereby giving you control over your home’s lighting and offering a variety of automation options.
On the other hand, ‘smart switch’ can also refer to devices that facilitate the inclusion of non-smart appliances into your smart home ecosystem. This type of smart switch acts as a middle-man, providing a voice or app-enabled interface to control traditional, non-connected devices. By plugging the non-smart device into the smart switch, it integrates that device into your smart home system, turning otherwise standard appliances into network connected smart devices.
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Smart switches carry many benefits including:
- Saves on energy costs – Smart switches can lower your energy bills by setting timers that turn out your lights while you’re away from home. You can also control the light level very precisely when you need it.
- Can be operated by an app – Your smart switch will likely have an app, usually found on the manufacturer’s website, that you can use to set the aforementioned timers, control the light level and even link your switches to your smart home device or to a smart bulb.
- Wireless functionality – Most smart switches have built-in wireless capabilities, allowing you to network your smart switches in interesting ways. Furthermore, there’s no wiring to connect, so you don’t need to be an electrician in order to install these switches safely.
How Does a Smart Switch Work?
Aqara smart switches operate using the Zigbee wireless communication protocol, a widely used standard in smart home technology, known for its low power consumption and secure data transmission. Once installed, the smart switch interacts with other devices through a central hub or gateway, which is also Zigbee-enabled. When you issue a command, the input is sent to the hub, which in turn communicates with the smart switch – actions can range from merely switching lights on and off to more complex sequences as part of your home automation scenes. This communication process happens in a matter of milliseconds, providing you with almost instantaneous control over your devices. Zigbee’s mesh network capability also allows the smart switches to extend their communication range by relaying information through other Zigbee devices, ensuring a robust and reliable smart home network.
A word of warning before you choose just any smart light switch: Some smart light bulb manufacturers will design their bulbs to only work with switches designed by the same manufacturer, or the bulbs may only work with specific light switches. Check the packaging for any specific compatibility requirements before you make your purchase. Our smart switches will work with any other Zigbee compatible devices.
What Can You Use a Smart Switch With Other Devices?
Your lights aren’t the only items that can benefit from smart switch control. You can also use smart switches for a variety of other devices such as door locks, home appliances, televisions, home security systems, thermostats or anything else that has Internet of Things connectivity! You can also control these devices with your voice assistant!
The Best Smart Switches Compatible With Amazon Alexa, Apple Home and Google Home
At Aqara we manufacture a range of smart switches and controllers to suit any smart home scenario. Among the most popular and versatile are the Aqara smart wall switch and Aqara wireless mini-switch.
The Aqara smart wall switch offers easy home automation in a few simple installation steps. The included mobile app allows you to set timers so that you can precisely control when you want your lights on or off. You can also have your lights turn on when you step inside your door. The Aqara smart wall switch allows full integration with your favorite voice assistant or smart home device to allow you to control your lights using the sound of your voice. The Aqara smart wall switch is available as a single-rocker switch or as a double-rocker switch.
Aqara Smart Mini Switch
The Aqara wireless mini switch is a more compact and very versatile switch that can be used in a variety of uses, such as a doorbell when connected to a hub or even an emergency call button which can be configured to send alerts when pressed.