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Smart Home and Smart Switches Inparticular
Old 10-24-2018, 03:39 PM   #1
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Smart Home and Smart Switches Inparticular

I’m coming to this smart talented group for insight on smart switches that work with a hub.

Over the past few years we have replaced light fixtures and/or light bulbs with integrated LED fixtures and/or LED bulbs throughout our home and have watched our electric bill decline consistently.

We are now moving beyond that technology into the smart home realm. A few weeks ago we purchased 3 smart Led bulbs and a hub and have set a schedule to light certain fixtures on a schedule. I’m delighted with this system and can add unlimited bulbs and can control them remotely if I wish. I can also add this group to Alexa or a comparable device.

Now I’d like to change out some switches to smart switches, so that I can set outside lights, on a schedlule as well as operate remotely. My question is “are there switches that are smart, but also can be operated manually without inadvertently overiding the program”? I envision setting up a smart switch to oprate on a schedule, but then operating that switch manually as needed and turning it on and then off and leaving it off, thus negating the smart capability. I may not be explaining myself well, but hopefully someone out there understands my low tech question about smart technology.
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:43 PM   #2
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Do not buy this switch - Leviton VPT24-1PZ Programmable Timer.
I cannot program it.
I have programmed computers since 1965 and written assembly language programs, but I cannot program this.
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:48 PM   #3
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I was looking in to them, and the ones I was looking at on Amazon clearly had a manual switch function as well. I haven't bought one so I can't make a rec.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:58 PM   #4
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Got it. Thanks.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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While smart home concepts sound great, I believe they are still too much in in unsettled phase unless you are a tinkerer or enjoy tech goodies.

I am not an old codger technophobe. Quite the opposite, I had a career in IT and am an early adopter of a lot of tech stuff.

I’ve come to believe though the smart home market just isn’t there yet. I suppose if you want pieacemeal solutions for different standalone systems there are products out there. Nobody has won the interoperability whole system yet though. Just my 2 cents.

To your particular question, you just want a switch that you can also manually toggle? I think idevices new wall switch is also a rocker switch, allowing for manual operation and it is of course controllable with Alexa, etc once you have it connected to your WiFi.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:03 PM   #6
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I was looking in to them, and the ones I was looking at on Amazon clearly had a manual switch function as well. I haven't bought one so I can't make a rec.
Right I feel like someone living in my house would operate the switch by hand and leave it in the off position defeating the goal of setting a schefule or turning off the “smart feature”. Just trying to figure this out.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:07 PM   #7
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Focus on the heavy hitters, and use proven technology. In some cases you won't save much if the tech breaks.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:09 PM   #8
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I have a couple of smart plugs in use. I use both for if I need to power on/off remotely. One is plugged to my computer in case I need a hard shut down or power up. The other for my cat cam.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
Right I feel like someone living in my house would operate the switch by hand and leave it in the off position defeating the goal of setting a schefule or turning off the “smart feature”. Just trying to figure this out.
I think rather than a rocker switch,what I've seen is a button, which makes it do the opposite of the current state (off->on, on->off). So hitting the button wouldn't keep the remote operation from working. You should verify it but it looks pretty clear to me.
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:55 PM   #10
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TIO is an excellent smart home system runs without internet no huge rack of equipment affordable. It’s sold through Ferguson Distributors.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:53 AM   #11
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We have Lutron wireless switches throughout our home and they work just like you're asking. You can use them just like regular switches or can program when they turn on and off with the wireless control application. We even have my hallway wireless switch working like a double-throw from both ends of the hall. We love them and I use my phone to control my lights with my voice all the time. Their hub has been excellent, and it is always online, as are all the switches. I've been very impressed, and my wife loves it too. FWIW, We've had the system for just over a year now. It controls all our indoor and outdoor lights.

I don't recommend the plug devices that you can plug into an existing outlet to make it into a wireless outlet. They are much more prone to going offline and you have to troubleshoot each one individually when they do rather than troubleshooting one hub and/or phone app. I think you'll find the LED bulbs are more reliable, but the wall switches are the best. With the right LED bulbs, you can do a lot with color, which is also a great mood-setting tool.

Seriously, one of the best new must-have connected devices is the video doorbell or light. I have a Kuna light, but there are many others out there - Ring, etc.. It adds a whole other level of security to the property, and the auto-sensor always lets people know they've been seen at the door. No matter where I am, I always know (via my phone) when someone is at the door or when a package is delivered - for some reason, my Amazon guy doesn't want to be seen on-camera, so he drops the packages off before the door now - weird! Maybe he knows Amazon is watching him or something... I catch him on my Nest cam that covers the front yard instead. Psych!
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Smart Home and Smart Switches Inparticular
Old 10-25-2018, 04:01 AM   #12
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Smart Home and Smart Switches Inparticular

Thanks. So I'll investigate Lutron. The switch that is a "button" that is always on is also of interest. Now to figure out what product that one might be......🙄


Then on to doorbells.......


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Old 10-25-2018, 07:59 AM   #13
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I would also strongly recommend lutron. I installed this in our last home and plan to do so again. Not cheap, but they’ve been around a long time and it was pretty bulletproof for us.

I’ve played around a lot with home automation and come to the conclusion that whenever possible use the gold standard on the device side. (E.g lutron for lights, liftmaster for garage, etc) On the software/controller side you can cut corners.

We programmed the basics through lutron but set up more advanced functionality using a Vera controller. Cheap and integrates with lutron and others. This lets us do things like integrate our alarm sensors or set up a geofence so lights come on when we open the front door or are within so many feet of home. Also let’s us integrate w Alexa easily.

FWIW, there are two lutron lines. Casita is the consumer version and radio ra2/homeworks is the installer/pro version. My experience has been with the latter, but would be surprised if the consumer line wasn’t good enough.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:12 AM   #14
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We have 3 WeMo smart switches in our family room. Hooked up to our Apple HomePod.

"Hey siri, turn on light one".
"Hey siri, turn off light two".

The wemo switches can be run from your smartphone. Set to turn off and on at times or based on sunset/sunrise.

Simple setup, but works for our core family room. Kids can use it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:19 PM   #15
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Bloom-what happens if someone manually flips the switch to turn on a light and then turns off the light from the switch? Does the program still work when the switch is in the off position?
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:57 PM   #16
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Bloom-what happens if someone manually flips the switch to turn on a light and then turns off the light from the switch? Does the program still work when the switch is in the off position?
Manual operation is fine. Turn them off and on manually or with the HomePod or app.

The HomePod has really good sound.
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