Smart light switch and/or dimmer

I would like to see a switch replacement.

  1. Connected via wifi/rf. (or to a blink2 for IFTTT) (programmable auto shutoff/on)
  2. Touch face( no moving parts) just add dimples so you know where to touch on the face.
  3. Integrated motion sensor option
  4. integrated camera option for a double gang switch box.

That’s the reason why I haven’t got Wyze bulbs. A wall switch would be more versatile, allowing to control the lights though the app, sensors or voice commands, while still letting you use a simple button.
Only smart bulbs I would install would be those that won’t need manual activation, like the front and back yard, since I only need them to turn during night, but wyze bulbs are not rated for outdoor use.

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I just set up a gang of two to light up the ceiling above my media center. I select a shortcut to turn both lights on at 25% Warm White. I would use this at night while watch media. Another shortcut to turn it off.

During the day, if my garage door opens it set to light the left light at 50%. If I notice that the light is still on, I forgot to close the garage. When garage closes, light goes out.

I have one more contact switch, maybe I will use the right light for that notification.

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This would be very useful. Especially for people who have dimming lights since Wybe bulbs can’t be used on dimmers.

If you do buy KASA switches, buy the 3-way pack. You can use 3 way switches in both single pole (one switch controls lights) and 3-way applications (2 separate switches control lights) . If you search, you can usually find them cheaper than buying 2 single pole switches. Plus you have more flexibility for installs. I really wish companies would either admit or realize that there is no reason to actually make a separate single pole switch.

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There seems to be nothing available in the market for some very basic smart home functions without adding expensive hubs.
Here’s my wishlist - of, well really one item;

  • dummy light switch that
    • controls smart bulbs and other smart devices
    • controls smart bulb dimming/color
    • the actual switch connection is simply shorted so the smart devices remain powered.

As far as I can tell, you already have the electronic and software components for a simple switch. I could not find any specific mention of such a simple approach. If it didn’t require a ground wire, even better. You would certainly sell more smart bulbs if you did this. For that matter, you would sell more everything since I suppose the switch would be able to be setup to do anything with other devices much like a sensor does. In the mean time maybe I will tape a.sensor over my light switch that is taped to remain on.

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Tp link and Wemo both sell single pole switches, 3 way switches and dimmers. TP link is cheaper and pretty good, but still a little pricy for what they are.

I already have and use wifi smart switches installed in place of traditional wall switches (single pole, 3-way, dimmers, etc). But none of these support the full features that smart color light bulbs support. Dimming from wall switches is supported by some devices in a less than satisfactory way because they create a buzzing sound and they don’t really seem to have a very good dimming range (i.e they go from not quite dim enough to off). But when smart bulbs are used, they support dimming and colors in a very satisfactory manner. But they don’t also work with wall switches because they require continuous power.

I am looking to use the full features of the bulbs while not breaking traditional function. The only thing it needs is an option to install a wall switch that basically does not interrupt the power to the smart bulbs, BUT can control them as I stated originally. i.e. if I can use sensors to trigger certain states in my lights, that would get me closer. But this could be much much better with the right packaging and perhaps further enhancements like a way to control the dimming. Even without color controls on the wall, you are still able control color from/through Google/Alexa/IFTTT. Typically all I want when I hit the wall switch is for the light to act exactly like it used to (turn on or off). Don’t break traditional functions while adding cool functions.

This would be a simple and awesome product that would not take much beyond what Wyze already has in terms of electrical/software designs. It would probably sell like mad since there is no others out there that do this (without getting tied up in HUBs and unreasonably priced systems).

The power source is the only troublesome thing for a permanent wall switch installation. But if it does not require a common wire connection, all the better.

I have seen statements like your over the past 20 years and your observations are common. Its mainly the consumer light industry’s fault for not educating the consumer.

Dimming CFLs and LEDs need to be paired with the correct type of dimmer to avoid buzzing as well as a steep dimming drop off in foot candles output. Why? It has to do with with CFL’s ballast and the LED’s driver and which design schema was used. A commercial lighting professional can correctly pair dimmers and lighting, but its extremely hard for retail consumers or retailer to do the same. Companies like Philips Lighting tell retail consumers exactly which dimmer will work with their retail products.

WiFi or Zigbee enable bulbs were never intended for light sockets controlled by wall switches.

It was designed for use in desk lamps, floor lamps, up-lighting fixtures. When a misapplication happens the user experience goes bad and they get upset.

Your statement, could be true someday, “This would be a simple and awesome product that would not take much beyond what Wyze already has in terms of electrical/software designs.”

But its a three step investment by Wyze:
One, create a smart wall switch.
Two, updated LED bulb to match the Smart wall switch internal dimming approach.
Three, multiple updates to the Wyze App to allow integration and multi-condition and nested triggers.

Lighting is simple, but not easy. Its part art and part engineering.

When short cuts in learning lighting technology and application education are taken by people, frustration is always the outcome. Most people don’t know there is a four year college BS degree in lighting - not to create new light sources, but to design lighting system application or how to apply lighting properly.

Just a suggestion, look for a commercial lighting design center near you and consider visiting. Many electric utilities have pitched-in to create these places for people to learn about lighting.

I summary, your wall dimmer will work correctly when it is pair with the proper dimming light product, which could be an incandescent type lamp.

When color changing is desired, always purchase the all same bulbs at the same time for the same room, because over time all light source experience color shift and lumen depreciation with usage.

Have fun!
20 Year IES Member

Well, I got tired of waiting for WYZE to develop a smart switch. I had to buy a competitor’s switch. I still want to replace more of the switches in my home but I’ll hold out as long as possible… WYZE: do you want my money or should I give it to a competitor?

As someone else in this thread mentioned, take the smart plug and change the form of it and you’ve got a smart switch! Voila!

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Haha. I feel that way sometimes too, but realistically, they’re working at a pretty fast pace. Barely over 6 months ago, they had two products, both of them cameras. Now they’ve added motion sensors, contact sensors, smart bulbs, and smart plugs to that list, and they’re actively working on an outdoor camera, thermostat, video doorbell, smart lock, bathroom scale, full-color bulb, and more bulb sizes. And probably some other things they haven’t confirmed yet. :slight_smile: And that’s not to mention new software features like person detection.

The “researching” tag is a good sign on the roadmap. It’s not as good as “in development,” but I think it means they’re likely to expand into this area soon. And it makes sense considering the new products. Having said that, I’m not surprised that they’re focusing on expanding their stable of products with items that have a low barrier to entry first. Anyone can buy a bulb, plug, or sensor and set it up themselves in a few minutes. You don’t need to be a homeowner, you don’t need any skilled knowledge, and you don’t need to hire anyone to help you. That makes it easier for them to sell more individual units of a product like that. Switches and dimmers require electrical wiring, and they’re not a product that people tend to change on a regular basis. But with the thermostat and doorbell, they’re starting to expand into products with a slightly higher barrier to entry, so switches and dimmers are a logical progression.

But… if you’re waiting around and hoping for something in the next few months, you’ll probably have to be a little more patient than that. Wyze as a company is only 2 years old. They seem to be expanding at a really fast pace, but product development still takes time. Since it’s not “in development” yet, I’d imagine it would probably be at least a year or so before we could realistically hope for this, maybe a little more.

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I totally get that Wyze is an infant company. However, this actually puts Wyze in a position to set expectations such that old biases can be discarded in the process.

Example bad assumption: “replacing switches requires rewiring”
Not compatible with renter situations.
Why cant a switch simply be placed physically over an installed switch permanently in the on state? What if the control switch was battery powered? Or uses energy harvesting…

I explained in my original post one concept that represents a potential first pass solution that is basically sensor hardware placed over the top of a light switch (it was a bit of tongue in cheek). In other words, no new electronics, maybe some software tweaks, and an new physical package (even if it might look a bit bulky on the wall).

Maybe phase 2 for this same product would be one that can be permanently installed, not battery powered, requires rewiring and hopefully not a common wire, and perhaps looks more streamline on the wall.

If the switch is permanently in the on state, it doesn’t really do the job of a switch. The point is to be able to use them with “dumb” bulbs/devices. I don’t think people are talking about a physical controller for the Wyze bulbs, for example. (That would be a separate product) It needs to turn the ACTUAL switch on and off.

If you’re talking about a device that physically turns the switch on and off – possibly doable, but it would require a physical device with a motor that would need to be powered somehow. You’d also need two designs for the two major types of switches in the US. (Rocker and “classic”) If you have to place it over the existing switch, it will necessarily be bulky and, in my opinion, ugly. Maybe some people wouldn’t mind, but I’d rather install a real one.

For dimmers – probably almost impossible, since there are about a thousand different dimmer designs. Unlike on/off switches, those aren’t really standardized at all.

If they’re doing a real smart switch/dimmer, it will require rewiring the switch. That’s not a huge electrical job by any means, but certainly something that some people wouldn’t be comfortable with.

I dont think it is a killer for Wyze if you do purchase smart switches from other companies. Wyze would be wise to develop compatible and complimentary products to these other solutions. Any other approach is essentially stomping on themselves.

The reason I think my suggested wall switch product and the specific approach is so great for Wyze is that the first pass version would take relatively little effort. I can tell you right now that if Wyze develops the sort switch I described, it would bery likely soon replace sales for many incumbant switches.
Development cost: low
Current market; massive
Market expansion: I have not found such a product without requiring a hub.

Just wanted to say there are a number of Wi-Fi switches available that mount over your existing switch. Which means batteries and moving parts and overall management headaches.

I am talking about light switches that only have smart bulbs on them. They must have uninterrupted power supply. To provide the same function as before, I need a wall switch that controls and does not cut power to bulbs.

Then with that, I get all the old function plus I get all the voice control and dimming and color functionality.

WayneLuke - see my comments about phase 2 of the product.

The switches in market are cost prohibitive. $20 for a really awful one $50 for energy harvesting switch.

I don’t foresee switches from Wyze being significantly cheaper to be honest. Neither their bulbs or plugs are cheaper than Chinese competitors.

I just bought wyze bulb for less than $8. Which competitors are selling for less?

The wifi switches out there (I have several types) are great for controlling regular bulbs and devices, and can support various combinations of 3way, dimming, and basic on-off functions.
Requires rewiring, incompatible with renters.

What if you just wanted (or only had the ability) to use smart bulbs. What happens when someone turns off the physical switch?
The sort of “switch” I am talking about is no switch at all bit a wifi button. This would allow for the switch to be very very cheap. The function is not much different from a sensor linked to a light.

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