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.

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