While this dimmer is not HomeKit compatible, it worked beautifully with Alexa and Google assistant. So as long as you have a neutral wire and you don’t need to integrate with HomeKit, it’s hard to beat the Martin Jerry dimmer for the price.
From smart light bulbs to smart switches and LED light strips, there are numerous options when it comes to outfitting your home with the best smart lights. One option is a smart dimmer switch, which gives you even more nuance than a smart switch by letting you dim the lights with your voice using smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, or from the companion app on your phone or tablet.
After extensive testing, the Lutron Caséta Smart Dimmer Starter Kit (available at Amazon) is our choice as the best smart dimmer switch you can buy. The system is versatile, reliable, and ideal for whole-home smart lighting. For a cheaper alternative, check out the value-packed Meross Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer Switch(available on Amazon). However, we’ve tested plenty of other excellent smart dimmer switches so you can dial up the perfect option for your home.
Lutron's Caséta Dimmer Starter Kit system is a reliable, versatile, and intuitive choice that works with the Amazon, Apple, and Google smart home ecosystems. It’s one of the only dimmer switches that doesn’t require a neutral wire, which isn't often found in the electrical wiring of older homes, making it a stellar choice no matter where you live.
The starter kit comes with the required hub and Lutron's Pico Remote that can be used to control the lights when you're at home. It’s responsive, fading on and off to the app's digital dim slider in real-time. Some smart dimmers offer the ability to customize these fade on and off rates, but Lutron dimmers do not. The app worked well during our testing across Android and iOS.
The Caséta Wireless starter kit is more expensive than the competition, but once you're up and running, additional Lutron dimmers, light switches, and outdoor plugs can be added to your system for whole-home lighting at your fingertips. The dimmer also pairs with Lutron’s sensors for motion-activated lights.
It doesn't truly support three-way switches, but you can remedy this by using the Pico wireless remote kits—included in the starter kit—to mount its remotes over additional switch boxes. Overall, its versatility, ease of use, integration with a plethora of smart home platforms make the Lutron a brilliant choice for any home.
The second-generation Meross Smart Wi-Fi dimmer is our pick for a value-packed switch. The newest version works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri (the previous generation did not offer HomeKit compatibility). It also wins lots of brownies points for the clear-as-day instructions and handy wire-label sheet. If you’ve never rewired a light switch, the Meross dimmer is a great place for beginners to start. The single-pole switch doesn't need a hub, supports SmartThings, and requires a neutral wire.
Already running an Amazon Echo ecosystem? This switch can automatically connect with Alexa after connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network, which makes the setup process even easier.
The app is simple and offers just enough options to get your lights operating on routines and schedules. There's also an auto-shutoff feature. The physical switch has two buttons that can be toggled up and down, but they only adjust the brightness at 20% increments at a time, so you'll need to rely on smart assistants or the Meross app if you don't prefer one of the five brightness settings. The switch also lacks customizable fade on/off rates. It’s not the end of the world, but these are a few limitations to be aware of before you buy. Overall, this is a value-packed dimmer switch that’s well-built and isn’t loaded with potentially confusing bells and whistles, making it a good choice for smart home novices.
Hi, I’m Rachel Murphy, Reviewed’s smart home staff writer. I live in a smart home that’s full of smart cameras, smart speakers, and more. During my tenure at Reviewed, I’ve tested video doorbells, smart coffee makers, and other gadgets that can be controlled remotely or via smart assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The previous round of testing was completed by Sarah Kovac, Reviewed's former smart home editor.
In order to adequately test these dimmer switches, we installed them in real homes and connected them to Wi-Fi. We evaluated their setup processes, apps, physical dimming performance, digital dimming performance, smart home ecosystem integrations, remote control capabilities, and how well they work with popular virtual assistants, including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
What You Should Know About Smart Dimmer Switches
Do I Need Smart Bulbs or a Smart Switch?
Replacing every light in your home with smart bulbs can get expensive quickly (especially if you have lots of multi-bulb fixtures). That's one of the best things about buying smart dimmers and switches—you can convert an entire chandelier's-worth of "dumb" bulbs to smart ones with one switch.
Depending on the smart dimmer switch you choose, the initial cost of installation may be slightly higher than it would be to simply install the cheapest smart bulbs, but your dimmer switch will never burn out or need to be replaced, which will save you money over time.
Plus, you will never run into the frustrating scenario where you are yelling at Alexa to turn on the light, but she can't because somebody turned the regular light switch off without thinking, and therefore your smart bulbs are off-line and there you are just screaming into the darkness for no reason. Not that we have ever experienced anything like that.
Smart bulbs might be a more attractive starting point for those who want to ease their way into smart lighting slowly, one bulb at a time. The more expensive smart bulbs are also loaded with lots of options when it comes to color lighting and scenes. A smart dimmer won't offer you the same bells and whistles, but it's generally just less fussy—and tech that's less fussy is something we could all use a little more of.
Wondering if you need a single-pole or three-way switch? Three-way switches are used when a light fixture has two switches in different spots, like at the top and bottom of the stairs.
There’s always a potential privacy risk involved when you use internet-connected devices at home. To help safeguard your smart home, there are some steps you can take. First, look for devices that offer two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile device to verify it’s really you. That way, if someone tries to hack into your account, you will receive an alert and can quickly take care of the problem. Many devices also allow you to activate email or other push notifications in the settings to alert you if someone has logged on.
But many smart dimmer switch companion apps, including many in our guide, do not offer two-factor authentication. Apple HomeKit offers two-factor authentication for all Apple accounts, which provides an extra layer of security to your HomeKit smart home.
Additionally, make sure to use a unique, strong password composed of multiple characters, numbers, and letters for each of your smart home accounts. Data breaches feel like the norm as of late, making it all the more important to use different passwords across multiple websites and apps.
Leviton’s second-gen dimmer switch is a notable upgrade over its predecessor, offering compatibility with all three smart assistants in a single switch that supports single-pole and three-way connections.
We had no problems integrating the dimmer switch with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri and using voice control to dim the lights during our tests. New to the second-gen switch is compatibility with August, Yale, and certain Schlage smart locks, so you can add lighting controls based on the status of your door lock.
Like most smart dimmer switches, a neutral wire is required. The switch, which does not require a hub, however, offers full-range dimming and adjustable fade rates to customize your smart lighting setup. The app supports scheduling and a useful auto-shutoff feature for when you only want the lights on for a certain amount of time, though it lacks geofencing, which means it can’t do things like turn on when you arrive home. Another downside to the switch is that the dimmer slider pops out partially, so you need to give it a gentle push back to secure it.
The dimmer can be paired with the battery-operated Leviton Decora Smart Anywhere Switch Companion, which lets you add a wireless three-way switch for additional lighting controls throughout your home. Overall, Leviton's second-gen dimmer performed well during our tests, and we think it would make a reliable smart dimmer for any home, no matter which smart assistant you prefer to use.
The Martin Jerry dimmer is a pleasure to work with and install. While the appearance of this dimmer isn’t quite as sleek as some others we tested, the physical switch is sturdy, the installation directions were clearly written and easy to follow, and the Smart Life app is intuitive and pleasant to use on both iOS and Android.
While this dimmer is not compatible with Apple HomeKit, it worked well during our tests with Alexa and Google Assistant. It does not offer customizable fade on/off rates. But as long as you have a neutral wire and you don’t need to integrate with HomeKit, the Martin Jerry dimmer offers a lot of value. As with many smart home devices, this dimmer requires a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection. Overall, it’s a great a budget smart dimmer switch, but it’s not as versatile as our Best Overall pick, which works with all three smart assistants.
It took us several attempts to get Wemo’s second-gen smart dimmer switch up and running, but once we did it was smooth sailing from there. Wemo’s switch has one of the most satisfying digital dimmers, allowing you to slide your fingers up and down the switch to control the brightness of the overhead lights. Like others in our guide, the single-pole switch requires a neutral wire for installation.
This dimmer is full of useful features like Away Mode, which randomly turns the lights on and off to make it appear you're at home when you’re not, and Night Mode, which automatically dims the lights at certain times of the day. Schedules and timers are also supported in the Wemo app.
The app is straightforward and easy to use when it comes to enabling these features and controlling the dimmer.
One thing to know about the switch’s design, which might not be evident to the naked eye, is that it works with single and multi-switch rocker switch plates, but it does not fit with metal faceplates. Despite the setup headaches, Wemo’s dimmer switch is a solid and reliable choice that’s full of features and smart home versatility.
This switch looks a lot like a Kasa smart light switch, but it has up and down buttons to dim the lights, as well as an indicator light that shows what level brightness the lights are set to. The dimmer switch does not work with Apple HomeKit, but it worked well during our testing for hands-free voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The companion app offers features like creating groups, setting timers, and scheduling. Away Mode, a setting that turns the lights on and off at random times, is also available. This feature is available on other smart dimmers, but not all.
The Kasa app offers unique features like runtimes for daily, weekly, and monthly totals. It’s not energy monitoring, but these helpful insights can help you cut back on your power consumption, resulting in potential savings on your next electric bill. In the app, you can customize each light switch with a photo from your library—a custom feature we don’t see often.
One annoying thing about the lights is that the power supply light on the front of the switch remains on at all times. It’s not glaringly bright, but if you like to sleep in total darkness, check out others in our guide that don’t glow. If you can get past this, Kasa’s dimmer switch is a reliable addition to your light fixtures that works with Alexa and Google for hands-free voice control.
Getting the Legrand Radiant Smart Dimmer Switch up and running presented us with some challenges during testing, as we could not get it to connect after several attempts. Once we finally got it connected in the Legrand app and with smart assistants Alexa and Google Assistant, it was a delight to use. It boasts compatibility with single-pole and three-way switches, making it an option to replace any switch in your home.
Unlike many other dimmers on our list, Legrand's comes in three colorways (white, light almond, and nickel) to match your home's decor. A neutral wire is required for installation. Features like scheduling, timers, geofencing, and scene control are offered in the companion app. Overall, the switch works well for hands-free voice control but is more expensive than other dimmers in our guide that offer similar smarts, features, and a hassle-free setup.
Leviton's Decora Smart Wi-Fi Voice Dimmer with Alexa is the only dimmer switch we've tested with a smart assistant built into the switch itself. Our testing revealed that the switch is easy to use, works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and is simple to control using the My Leviton app or voice controls. When using the My Leviton app and smart assistants, there’s hardly any delay in turning the lights on/off or adjusting the brightness.
Like most dimmers, a neutral wire is required for installing this there-way smart dimmer switch. Right up front, we ran into a few connectivity issues during our testing when the switch randomly lost its connection to Wi-Fi. Those problems were quickly resolved when the switch reconnected to the internet all by itself each time. The Alexa dimmer switch’s onboard microphone range isn’t quite as powerful as a standalone Echo speaker, so you’ll need to stand close to the switch for Alexa to hear you correctly.
You may be wondering why you need a dimmer switch that houses Alexa, and the truth is, you probably don’t, especially since the sensitivity isn’t as good as what you’ll get in an Echo speaker (or your phone for that matter). But, if you’re installing the dimmer switch in an area of your home where you might not normally place an Echo speaker (like the dining room), it’s nice to have Alexa hidden in the switch, so you can easily control your lights (and more) without taking up any extra coffee table space.
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
Rachel Murphy is Reviewed's home editor. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a freelance writer for publications like Insider and Mashable, and as an associate editorial producer for Good Morning America. Aside from smart home tech, her interests include food, travel, parenting, and home renovation. You can usually find her sipping on coffee at any time of the day.
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