Anyone who has picked up any Google Home or Alexa hub will quickly get addicted to the idea of automating things around your house using IoT smart devices. There are a huge number of smart devices available on the market for lighting with support for Google Home and Alexa built-in out of the box but what happens if you have regular light switches in your home and want to control these over the internet.
Smart light switches do exist and while they can be very handy for controlling lights that use the smaller G7 or G9 bulbs, you will need to get an electrician in to help you out like the installation of a smart light switch is not always a simple case of taking out the existing switch and putting a new one. There is also a justified concern over whether it is safe to have a smart light switch that you cant easily detach from the power source if something were to malfunction.
Using a Smart Bulb With a Standard Light Switch
Rather than go down the road of replacing all of the light switches in your home, it is a much easier task to simply replace the bulbs, something you periodically need to do anyway.
Smart bulbs will work with a range of different light fixtures from ceiling lights to lamps. All you need to do is remove the current bulb and replace it with the smart bulb. Once the bulb has had a moment to boot up, you will be able to set up the smart bulb to allow for remote control.
In order for this bulb to function, you will need to ensure that the light switch is ALWAYS left in the ON position. In order to turn the light off, you will need to use voice commands via Alexa or Google home or just simply use the app that you used to set up the bulb.
What Happens If I Turn off the Light Switch For a Smart Bulb
This is very common when you first set up the smart bulbs. You have years of habit built into your brain that tells you to flick the switch on the wall when you want to turn off the light. When you turn the switch off, all power to the smart bulb will be cut off and the bulb will lose connection to the internet. If you check your smartphone, you will likely see that the bulb is listed as being “offline” or “unavailable”.
To fix this, simply turn the light switch back on. After a minute or so, the light will reconnect to the internet and will be available from your smartphone or various hub devices again
Most smart bulbs have functionality built into them that when power is supplied to them after being powered down, it will default to the “on” position so, in an emergency, you should have no problem quickly turning the light back on.