One of the best things you can do for your home if you are building a smart home network is to install some smart light switches. You probably have some existing light switches in your home that are used to power your hardwired lights. You can use smart light switches to convert these regular lights into smart devices. This will let you operate these lights from virtually anywhere using an app on your smartphone. You can also begin including your lights into smart scenes for automation operation and control based on predetermined events or a set schedule.
It is actually very easy to start using smart light switches. The idea of installing your own light switches might seem intimidating to some DIY users, but the process is quite simple if you already have existing standard light switches install. Just cut power at the breaker, remove the old light switch, wire the smart light switches in its place, and make sure that it is properly secured to the wall. Many smart light switches even come with a backplate to ensure a clean installation. Or you might be able to use the existing one with your old light switch.
One important thing when deciding on which smart light switch to use is which home automation network it will use. If you are already creating a smart home network, then it is often best to continue to build around that network. Fortunately, with smart light switches, you have many options available. Many Alarm Grid customers opt to build around Z-Wave technology. This is because many security systems effectively double as Z-Wave controllers. If you have monitoring service that includes access to Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you will be able to control your Z-Wave smart light switches remotely using an app on your phone. You can also include these devices with Z-Wave smart scenes for automatic operation based on a set schedule or with certain system events.
If you are an Apple user, you might consider building around the Apple HomeKit Network. HomeKit devices are becoming increasingly common, and there is great reason to choose this network. HoneKit allows you to operate any compatible device from anywhere using your iPhone or iPad. Please note that you will need a HomeKit Hub to make remote access possible. Compatible HomeKit Hubs include an AppleTV (Gen 4 or higher), an iPad, or an Apple HomePod. You will need to keep the HomeKit Hub on-site at all times. You can easily include HomeKit-compatible light switches with HomeKit smart scenes for automatic operation based on schedules or with certain events. HomeKit devices are great for use with the Lyric Security System, which is HomeKit-compatible.
If you decide to build around the Apple HomeKit Network, you might consider using Lutron devices. The Lutron smart lights require the use of a Lutron Smart Bridge for remote access and control. The bridge will need to be connected to your WIFI router with a hardwired ethernet connection. In addition to HomeKit support, Lutron Lights can also be used with Google Home and Amazon Alexa for voice commands. This provides added convenience for users looking for more ways to control their lights.