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Switchmate Bright Review: The short And easy Path To Smart Lighting
The second-generation Switchmate—Switchmate Bright—is even better than the original. The brand new model is about one-third narrower, it has a built-in motion sensor for hands-free operation (you may also operate it manually, in fact), you can program a timer that may automatically turn the sunshine (or ceiling fan, or regardless of the switch controls) on and off, and it may be integrated into Wink-based smart homes.
Just like the much bulkier original, the Switchmate Bright doesn’t require any wiring changes and even tools to install it. You just mount it over your existing switch and a pair of strong magnets hold the device fast to the screws holding the cover plate. When you’ve got a multi-gang box, the narrower design enables multiple Switchmates to operate side by side (the app can control several Switchmates, with each assigned to a room and having a singular name).
The Switchmate Bright is about one-third narrower than the unique, but it’s only slightly thinner.
The Switchmate is Bluetooth LE compatible, so you’ll be able to control it with Switchmate’s smartphone app (available for Android and iOS), or you can enroll it to a Wink Hub and control it from there. A label on the box says it really works with Google Assistant, too, but I couldn’t find it listed within the Google Home app. When i quizzed the corporate about this on August 20, a spokesperson said a number of bugs had been discovered and that “this needs to be fully up and back running in two weeks.” Amazon is within the technique of certifying a Switchmate Alexa skill as well.
You’ll be able to issue voice commands from throughout the Switchmate app, but you need to open the app after which touch the microphone icon first. That’s not at all convenient. I consider voice control a vital feature in any smart-home device—I have Echo Dots and smart switches within the walls throughout my home, so I almost never touch a switch anymore. I hope those features can be found soon. Within the meantime, I’m holding back a half star on my verdict. I’ll revisit this review as soon as those features are enabled.
That is the backside of the rocker model. The motorized mechanism see-saws back and forth to show the switch on and off.
The Switchmate is offered in two versions—one for toggle switches and one for rocker switches—but in only one color: white. They operate on two AA batteries, which Switchmate says should last for eight months to a year. Unlike the unique devices, which required you to physically depress the button to operate it manually, the new devices are touch-sensitive, which is an enormous improvement. In the event you were careless about the way you activated the unique Switchmate, you might accidentally knock it off the wall.
You possibly can program the Switchmate to automatically turn off minutes or hours after its integrated motion sensor turns it on.
The brand new design activates with a much lighter touch, so that’s less prone to happen. There were several occasions, however, where I brushed up against the switch walking right into a room and knocked it to the floor. Fortunately, it was installed in a carpeted bedroom, so no damage was done. And the longer the Switchmate was there, the less this happened because I was more and more aware of its presence. The Switchmate’s case is high-impact plastic, but I’m unsure how many impacts on a hardwood or tile floor it will probably withstand.
The motion sensor is a fabulous idea. It will turn the switch on as soon as you walk past it, and you’ll either leave it on or program a timer to have it automatically turn the switch off. You can also program the motion-based timer in order that it’s only active during set hours. Switchmate has added Dusk and Dawn settings, too, but I feel they’re faking it. Once i set a rule to turn on my porch light at Dusk, the app set the beginning time to 7:15 p.m. After i pushed Dawn, it set the top time to 7:04 a.m. At my location on the day I wrote this review, sunset came at 7:39 p.m. and the next day’s sunrise arrived at 6:33 a.m. I suppose pushing Dusk and Dawn buttons is simpler touch switch lamp wiring than determining what time the sun will set and rise each day, but still.
You too can program two time-based timers that may turn the switch on and off at defined days and times (on daily at 6 p.m. and off daily at 5 a.m., for example; at given times only on weekdays or weekends; only on Mondays; and so forth). That’s an enormous improvement over the unique app. The Welcome Home setting—which turns the switch on when you expect you’ll arrive home after which automatically turns it off at an outlined later time—has the Dusk and Dawn settings, nevertheless it lacks the pliability to have different active schedules. Welcome Home is similar routine seven days per week.
Two Switchmates can fit side by side, which is convenient when you’ve got one switch controlling a light and the second a ceiling fan.
The Switchmate Bright is a superb product for people who want the convenience of a smart home, but don’t want to take a position some huge cash in new hardware and the labor to put in it. I’d think twice about putting them in when you’ve got rambunctious kids tearing across the house (though they’d probably be fine in rooms with padded carpet). And if you’ve invested in a Google Home or Amazon Echo, I’d wait until Switchmate is compatible with whichever one you’ve. Other than that, it’s a no brainer.
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