Creating a smart home has never been easier but home automation can get pricey. In this blog we share 2 ways to make a dumb switch smart…and the best bit? Every product mentioned in this article costs less than £25 and some less than £10.
1. The SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher
The Switchbot smart switch button pusher is the most expensive item in this article costing £25 but is the most versatile and requires zero wiring. This little bot connects to your phone via bluetooth and let’s you set timers and remotely control it’s little arm from your phone.
You can use it with pretty much anything that has a button and it even works with on/off switches thanks to it’s accessory and switch mode. If you want voice control and out of home control you’ll need to buy a Hub Mini but we love these little bots because they’re simple to install, have a great app and incredible battery life and work well. The only downside is that in switch mode they struggle with stiffer switches.
SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher, No Wiring, Wireless App or Timer Control, Add SwitchBot Hub Compatible with Alexa…
🎈 Universal – Works with just about any rocker switch and button of any appliance. Smart button pusher for your smart home.
🎈 Timers – Use the SwitchBot App to schedule built-in timers, run without phone or Hub. Turn lights or home appliances on/off automatically even when you’re away.
🎈 Extended battery life – Extreme power saving Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). 600 days of use powered by a replaceable battery.
2. The SONOFF Mini
Next up is the SONOFF mini which we’ve been using on bathroom extractors to make them smart. The SONOFF Mini sits on the cheapest end of the spectrum and costs just £12 (or as cheap as £8.70 each if you get the 3 pack).
The SONOFF Mini requires some wiring and goes between your live supply and your device. It’s pretty easy to wire (SONOFF recommend 2.5mm wire) and is surprisingly small. You connect to it using your phone initially and then it connects to your home wifi. It gives you app control, support for voice assistants such as Alexa and (for $10 a year) IFTTT support. If you use Homebridge on a Raspberry Pi you can even easily get Apple HomeKit support.
We like these because they’re cheap and work well however you need to think about where you have space for it within your home wiring before picking one up.
SONOFF Mini R2 Smart WiFi Switch 2 Way Light Switch, Works with Amazon Alexa/Google Home, APP Remote Control, Voice…
【3 Triggering Modes】SONOFF MINI R2 smart switch support 3 triggering modes that pulse mode (works with push button switches), edge mode (Works with SPDT switches) and following mode (Works with switches with “ON” and “OFF” mark and sensors with dry contact output).
【Add 2-Way Control】Apart from APP control, the MINI light switch can also connect a pair of 2-way rocker light switches to turn on/off the downstairs light from upstairs.You can also track the devices real-time status anytime on APP.
【 APP Remote Control 】eWeLink APP enables you to control all SONOFF devices anywhere with one tap via iOS & Android smart phone, no distance limitation. The small and compact smart switch is used for different kinds of switch boxes, even the smallest EU standard switch box. NOTE:The router must be 2.4GHz (5.0 GHz WiFi is not supported).
If it’s an electrical device such as a lamp you want to make smart you might want to check out the SONOFF Basic.
Making a “dumb” switch smart
Making your “dumb” switches smart has never been easier and the two items we’ve mentioned above will allow you to make everything smart from your coffee machine to your bathroom extractor fan. We love making dumb things smart because it saves on waste and saves you money. What are your top tips for adding automation to existing products?
If you’ve enjoyed this post check out our other reviews.