Dimmable switch question

Hey everyone, need a little help on a Christmas Gift.

My wife has off and on mentioned how she wishes she didn’t have to get out of bed (especially when it’s cold) to turn on the lights in the morning (after I’m gone and she can’t send me to turn them on). I was wondering if anyone had some advice about a dimmable light switch with a remote control. (My initial research on this tells me that it’s important to note that we have dimmable LED lights.)

Amazon has this that looks interesting and runs from the phone so she will most likely never lose the remote (but I don’t know if I can control it from my phone as well).

Does anyone have any advice about a good way I can solve her desire to stay toasty in the morning while also turning the lights on? (and off once she is done reading at night)

Do you have a google home or an Alexa. with the right light bulb all she has to do is tell it to turn off she doesn’t even have to get out of bed.


We don’t have either Google Home or Alexa (something about it always being “on” and “listening” kind of unsettling to me).

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I know what you mean, Phillips smart bulbs can be ran from an app on your phone.


how much per bulb? Our fixture can hold 5 bulbs and I don’t necessarily want to spend $100 just on bulbs…

The Phillips Hue line on smart Bulbs are interesting. You must purchase a HUB to use their full capabilites, but they have a lot of functionality once your spend the money on the setup. The hub needs to be plugged into your home network but once done can turn lights on and off automatically based on the time of day. The bulbs themselves act as regular light bulb. Turn on the light switch and the bulb comes on at standard brightness. Turn off the light switch and the bulb goes dark since it is without power.

There are apps for the phones, as well as wireless remotes. The phillips Tap is one that does not require batteries and can be stuck to a wall to provide remote on/ off and dimming based on programs that are set in the hub to interpret its four switches. There are battery powered remotes as well.

You can’t control a light that has been switched off by a regular wall switch, but once on you can turn lights on and off or dim and brighten them as you choose.

One of the big andvantages is that there are no changes needed to the house wiring.

I have dabbled with Insteon and X10 lighting control and hate digging into the wall boxes to replace the switches. So lately I have been using Phillips Hue bulbs in lamps and ceiling fixtures to control the lights and just leaving the Light switch on. I have started to put up a few of the Phillips Taps next to the light switches to provide control of the lights. Simple to use. Resonable to set up.

If you decide to go with in wall switches by spares. The home control market seems to be evolving much more rapidly recently and there is no telling how long a technology will be popular and available.


The one you linked to requires a neutral wire; make sure you have one in the box where you want to mount it. I don’t have any experience with that switch. I am partial to the Lutron Caseta line–with a Smart Bridge Pro.

I don’t like the smart bulb solutions because it is too easy for people to forget, and turn the switches off.


I’ve previously replaced all the switches in the upstairs of my home with separate controls for lights and fans. That required me to rewire the connection to the ceiling fans themselves.

If I recall correctly, I’m pretty sure I put in 3 strand wiring with a black (hot), white (neutral), and green (ground). But I’ll check again before I purchase this switch.

I think there was another one where the light switch always returned to a neutral position, so it didn’t matter if you hit the switch or controlled from your phone. There are just so many options.

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if you just one one light in one place without having to do wiring or have a hub, you could to a tp-link bulb.

i like the hue better because i can to a lot of lights in one system and don’t mind the hub, but i had one of these first as a test and it would be the least expensive, least installation way to set up a single light.



I don’t think this would be a solution for the master bedroom (5 lights in the fixture would make this a $100 install), but for the kids room where there is only one bulb this would be a good solution to prevent them from either reading too late at night, or to “help” them wake in the morning… :smiley:

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the one thing i will tell you is this. whatever you choose, life is easiest if you make sure all of them are part of the same system. that makes programming a lot easier. so find the system that fits your needs best with what they have.


Whatever you end up getting, make sure you can expand it easily. I started with a couple of lights, and I’ve been slowly replacing every switch in the house. I’ve got about half the house done, but still have about 40 switches to replace.


ha! when I started this topic, I was thinking just one room. You guys are now making me think that the whole house might benefit from something like this.

throws initial plan away and pulls a new sheet of paper towards himself

whelp, back to the drawing board and new set of “requirements” :slight_smile:


Also, I would recommend finding a solution that still works if all of the tech goes away–mobile apps, hubs, etc. I like the Lutron line because even if the hub no longer works, or their cloud connectivity goes away, I can still associate remotes with each switch, and they continue to work as normal switches.



even if you don’t implement whole house, you should plan for the possibility of whole house so you don’t end up scrapping what you started with when you decide you want whole house.


Start small–that way, if you catch the automation bug, you don’t run the risk of having to switch systems mid-install, when you realize that what you started with doesn’t meet your long-term needs. Not that such a thing happened to me at all. :rage:


And, since I’m spamming your thread :grinning:, I highly recommend taking a look at home-assistant.io if you do get interested in more complex automation.

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THAT is something that I personally like. With all the technology updating all the time, I’m always worried that I’ll “start small and grow over time” just to find out that the system I started with is no longer available.

This has happened a couple of times with my woodworking. I now have several “brands” of tools across my shop. Most of them still work, but several have no replacements if they should die (i.e. I killed a Black and Decker Roadster Belt Sander, and they don’t make them anymore, haven’t found a replacement that I like).

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oooo and I am a programmer, so this does appeal to me in that way. In some ways I would love automation (motion sensor is inactive for 10 minutes, shut off lights. motion sensor is activated brighten lights up to 85%), in other ways I’m quite wary of it (turn device on/off at set time ends up turning the lights up to bright when I’m home sick in bed and just want to sleep).

I’m first thinking that I want a more accessible house (almost smart) where I can control many things from a master (or several) location and set up a temporary automation when no one is home. From there I may decide to up my game to full automation once I get comfortable with it all.

I have been very selective about how I setup automation to avoid those same situations. I never have automatic lights come up above 25%–to avoid any surprises.

I have home-assistant setup to monitor my local network, so if either my wife’s or my phone are on the wifi (meaning that one or both of us are home), then some automation is ignored. But, if neither of us are home, certain lights in the house come on at certain times of day, so that my wife and son don’t ever enter a dark house when I am not home.

And, when we’re away, I can have lights randomly turn on and off. I have exterior lights automatically come on and hour before sunset and hour after sunrise, and when it’s raining or snowing based on home-assistant’s built in weather monitoring capabilities.

There are other scenarios that I am considering, but I also don’t want my wife or son to be scared when I am not home, because things start randomly flashing :slight_smile:

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