What smart switches do?

What smart switches do?

What smart switches do?

Smart switches offer several advantages;

Why would I want a smart switch?

Smart switches revolutionize your lighting setup, offering a seamless experience to control numerous lights at once. Perfect for expansive areas such as open kitchens or living rooms, they allow you to group lights and other devices for effortless management of your home. EyZee smart switches enhance this convenience with voice control and wireless two-way switching capabilities, empowering you to automate your home with ease. Delve into the world of smart home technology and unlock unparalleled convenience and efficiency.

What is the difference between a switch and a Smart Switch?

Both switches perform the basic task of turning devices on and off. However, a smart switch goes further by connecting to a nearby wireless network, allowing it to become part of the local home network and Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem offering advanced features. Advanced features include but not limited to switches that activate themselves based on time or sensors that detect doors opening, human motion, temperature etc. Ability to link switches and lights in groups or create wireless two way switching or activate switches with your voice or movement. 

What to know before buying a smart switch?

Ensure your home’s wiring includes a neutral wire, crucial for smart switch installation. Older homes may lack this wiring, so it’s wise to discuss with an electrician and have your home’s wiring checked for compatibility before purchasing smart switches to avoid any surprises. Modern homes should have a active and neutral wire to each switch and if you are building or renovating ask your electrician to wire your home this way so even if you are not installing smart switches now, your wiring is future proofed as all the best devices coming on the market will require neutral wires for stable function.

 Which is better: smart switches or smart lights?

In general, smart switches are recommended as a starting point unless you specifically need the additional features provided by smart lights, such as colour options or adaptive lighting. Smart switches offer a more integrated and versatile solution for controlling your lighting and it is an easier transition to progress from smart switches to smart lights than vice versa.

Energy Cost Savings: By utilising timers, sensors and automations, smart switches can reduce energy consumption, especially by turning off lights and appliances when you’re not in a room or away. They also allow precise control over light levels based on your needs and manage power hungry equipment like swimming pools, A/C and hot water cylinders shifting power consumption to the most economical times.

What are the cons of smart switches?

The downsides include the need to replace your existing switches and hire an electrician to install the new switches. Although not overly difficult, it requires cutting off power before installation and identifying neutral and live wires and then pairing the switches through a phone app to enable remote control.

Do smart switches need special wiring?

Yes and No, older homes may require some extra wiring however most newer homes should already have the correct wiring installed as most smart switches require specific wires to function, including a neutral (black or blue) wire, a load wire (red or brown).

Why do smart switches need a neutral wire?

Smart switches rely on a constant electricity flow to function properly. Neutral wires complete electrical circuits by allowing electricity to flow back to the power source, a requirement for stable smart switch operation. Some smart switch brands lack a neutral wire but need to maintain an open circuit to operate, allowing a small amount of power to flow through the connected light or device.   

Do smart switches use electricity when off?

Yes, smart switches will consume a small amount of electricity even when turned off, similar to smart bulbs, your TV or cordless kettle. This standby power usage is common among electronic devices and is often referred to as vampire or phantom power. Zigbee smart devices use very little standby energy when compared to similar WiFi devices that consume six times the standby energy due to the difference in the way the devices communicate. Smart switches without a neutral have the potential to consume more standby energy due to load from the connected light or device.

Can smart switches reduce my energy use?

Efficient use of smart switches can dramatically reduce your energy use by shifting energy use to times when power is cheaper or to take advantage of solar power to run pool pumps, hot water cylinders and other big power consumers. Another big power saving can be made by using smart switches to turn off things like TV’s and sound systems to prevent these big items sitting in standby mode for long periods of time.   

Do smart switches use a lot of electricity on standby?

Zigbee smart switches and power points use 80% less standby electricity than a similar WiFi switch according to a comparative study on researchgate.net. This

can be quite significant over the lifetime of a switch.

Do smart switches slow down Wi-Fi?

Generally, smart switches and lights don’t significantly affect Wi-Fi speeds because they operate as simple devices, only communicating when their status changes. However the more WiFi devices you add the more likely your WiFi will slow down whereas Zigbee devices run on a separate mesh network and only access the WiFi to communicate outside the home. When homes are fully equipped with Zigbee switches and lights the system becomes a very stable mesh network that literally runs at the speed of light. 


Why are smart switches so expensive?

The higher cost of smart switches is due to their advanced technology and manufacturing complexity. Despite the initial investment, they offer significant energy savings over time, making them a worthwhile choice for many users.


Do smart switches work with normal bulbs?

Yes, smart switches are compatible with most existing light bulbs and fixtures. They offer a cost-effective way to make your lighting setup smart without having to replace all your existing lights.

Do all smart switches require a hub?

Not necessarily. WiFi-based smart switches connect directly to your WiFi router whereas Z-Wave and Zigbee smart switches require a separate smart home hub. However, having a hub can provide added functionality and reliability, especially during internet outages as the hub can allow for smart functions to work independent of the internet.

Do all smart switches use WiFi?

Yes and No, smart switches that only connect through WiFi require a stable WiFi connection to function properly and if you lose your internet connection can fail. In contrast, Zigbee smart switches operate on an internal mesh network with a Zigbee gateway "hub" controller that links to the internet but has the distinct advantage of allowing many functions to continue even if the internet connectivity is lost. It is the "hub" that makes Zigbee the preferred choice for IoT home automation.


How many smart devices can a router support?

Modern WiFi routers can typically support a number of connected devices, ranging from 20 for basic units to 100 for high end router models. However, it's important to manage device connections to avoid dropping connections and network congestion. Zigbee networks on the other hand, are designed to handle 100+ devices efficiently with basic hubs, with each powered device acting as a signal repeater to enhance network coverage and deliver optimal performance. With a typical smart home having over 100 smart switches and smart lights there are many advantages having a dedicated Zigbee network to manage your smart traffic without competing with multiply people accessing the WiFi.

Can you have too many smart switches?

No, having numerous Zigbee smart switches, lights and sensors typically doesn’t cause issues as the Zigbee IoT system was built from the ground up with the intention of home and industrial automation as its goal and actually works better the more devices you connect. However if you have WiFi switches and lights and an unusually high number of WiFi devices all working simultaneously, there might be a temporary slowdown in your WiFi network due to the increased traffic from controlling multiple devices.


Can someone hack a smart switch?

Zigbee home networks are highly secure due to full encryption between each instruction over the home network with security automatically built into the hub. However, WiFi based devices can be vulnerable to hacking, especially if default router settings are not changed from the factory settings, which is often the case and easily guessable.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.