These Alexa-compatible smart lighting controls from Amazon Basics function ‘exclusively’ with Alexa.
Spotted by Dan Wroclawski of Consumer Reports, the four smart switches launched on November 11th and include a single-pole switch ($17.99) and a single-pole dimmer ($19.99) both for controlling one lighting circuit, and a three-way switch ($18.99) and a three-way dimmer ($20.99), which can control one circuit from two locations.
Existing hardwired lighting becomes smart lighting with the addition of app and voice control via a smart switch. When you want to automate lighting in a room with a lot of lightbulbs or decorative fixtures, it’s a good alternative to smart bulbs.
One advantage of Amazon’s smart home gadgets is that they are compatible with Amazon’s Frustration Free Setup and Certified for Humans programs, making them straightforward to set up, especially if you already have an Echo smart speaker. The problem is that these switches are only compatible with Alexa and will not operate with any other smart home system or voice assistant.
You must also set them up. These smart switches require a neutral wire and must be connected into your home’s wiring. If you have an older home with no neutral, the neutral-wire free alternatives from Lutron Casetaor GE Lighting Cync will be a better choice. However, assuming you have the proper wiring, these are an excellent value for a smart switch, which may cost anywhere from $25 to $60.
The new Amazon switches will function with Alexa for voice and app control and do not require a smart home hub to connect to the internet for automation. They can be used as a typical light switch once they’ve been installed, with the extra functionality of being able to ask Alexa to turn them on and off with an Echo speaker, add them to Alexa Routines in the Alexa app, and create schedules for them. The brightness of the two switches with dimming capabilities can also be adjusted using voice or smartphone control.
As is the theme with Amazon Basics devices, these are simply designed. The single-pole switches look just like a regular paddle switch and have a small status light LED at the bottom. The dimmer options have a plus or minus button above the paddle to adjust the brightness and a row of green LEDs up top for a visual indicator of brightness level.