You don’t have to spend a fortune on smart bulbs just to bring voice control, dimming, or scheduling functions into a room. Indeed, smart light switches they are often a better and cheaper option than smart bulbs, as they add smart features to cheap, “dumb” bulbs. And now that Amazon sells smart switches for under $ 20, I don’t see a reason to keep buying smart bulbs.
As noted by Dan Wroclawski and reported by The Verge, Amazon now sells four Smart Switch Basics. Customers can choose from a base single-pole switch ($ 18), like single-pole dimmer switch ($ 19), one base three-way switch ($ 19), or if you’re crazy enough, a 3-way dimmer ($ 21).
I suggest buying one of the switches with a built-in dimmer, although you can stick to the standard models if you just want to control your home’s lighting using programs or voice commands.
However, there are some drawbacks to these smart switches. The biggest problem is that they require neutral wires, which you won’t find if you live in an old house or apartment. Hence, they only work with Alexa. (GE sells smart switches which do not require a neutral wire, but they cost about twice as much as Amazon’s smart switches.)
I’ll say it’s weird to see Amazon release an Alexa-only smart device right now. The company has recently expressed its commitment to the Matter, the universal standard for the smart home the launch is scheduled for 2022. While I hope these smart switches will support Matter next year (which in turn would add Google Assistant and HomeKit support), Amazon hasn’t commented on the issue.
You can now order Amazon Basics Smart Switches for under $ 20. I also suggest checking out Amazon’s news smart thermostat, which could be an even better deal than the new smart switches.