Tired of fumbling for the light switches in a dark gallery or studio? Make that a thing of the past with voice activation. Setting up “smart” switches that respond to your command is a relatively simple process; most require connection to a neutral wire, and if you don’t have one, an electrician can run one inside your walls. Once the switches are installed, you can sync them to your smart home assistant, and many are also compatible with other appliances, such as a ceiling fan. Simplify your life with one of our picks below.
1. Kasa Smart Light Switch
Kasa’s smart switches check off all the boxes: They’re easy to set up, work with a range of smart home assistants and devices, and offer lots of options for customization. You’ll have to download the Kasa app to follow the straightforward, step-by-step guide to wire the switch, but once that’s done you can control your lights with your voice, either through Alexa or Google Assistant. The app is also handy to keep, as it allows you to track your usage history. No matter your preferred mode of control, you can program these switches to turn lights on according to your daily routine, set them on timers, and use the “away mode” so lights go on and off at random times to deceive potential intruders. You can also set up different atmospheres so the lighting and other compatible appliances (like fans or music players) automatically match a desired mood.
2. Meross Smart Light Switch
If you have a HomeKit smart setup, you’ll be out of luck with the incompatible Kasa switch. Fortunately, this switch from Meross has you covered. It’s almost as good as Kasa’s, though slightly pricier, and is compatible with Google Home and Alexa as well as with HomeKit. You can schedule your lighting, set timers, and create atmospheres with not only your lights but other appliances as well. Similarly, it can be controlled with the brand’s own app, which provides clear installation instructions, or by your voice.
3. Treatlife Smart Light Switch
This is an economical four-pack that is perfect for those who want smart control over lights and other appliances in multiple rooms—like those in a school or art center—without breaking the bank. Like many other smart switches, it is controllable either via an app or through voice activation; lights can be programmed according to custom schedules. Compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Home, these switches are relatively easy to install, but they are not as small as our other picks. This can be a challenge if you are setting up a two-gang switch configuration, as your box might not be big enough to accommodate a pair of these switches. Measure carefully before purchasing.
4. Philips Hue Smart Dimmable LED Smart Light Recipe Kit
All the other options on our list require a neutral wire for installation, and setup requires some basic electrical engineering. If that sounds intimidating, consider this switch from Philips, which works for lighting only. It doubles as a switch and a remote control: You can mount it on a wall using a peel-off adhesion on its back or simply rest it on a tabletop. It pairs seamlessly with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit for voice control as well. However, you do have to use the Philips Hue bulb, which is 800 lumens and dimmable. Each switch can control up to 10 of these bright and attractive lights, and you can set each one according to your schedule.
5. GE Enbrighten In-Wall Z-Wave Smart Switch
Unlike other switches on this list, this one does not run on Wi-Fi; it uses Z-Wave technology, a low-energy form of wireless communication that is generally less susceptible to interference than Wi-Fi. This means you need to have a Z-Wave hub to use it. It is compatible with Alexa, Google, and Smart Things and can be used to control lights, fans, and other common appliances. This switch is also three-way ready, unlike the competition, which means you can pair it with an add-on switch and use both to connect to the same light fixture.