A cheap, non-smart wireless switch (for a light)?
November 24, 2017 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I have a dining room light with a (normal) light switch in the adjoining living room. I would like to be able to control the dining room light while in the dining room, but the electrician told me that rewiring to put in a regular switch in the dining room would be expensive.

So what I would like is a two part wireless system with (a) a wireless receiver switch that goes in place of the existing wired switch, and (b) a remote wireless transmitter button that I can stick on the wall in the dining room. That would allow me to control the dining room light while in the dining room.

But when I look for solutions, all I can find are sophisticated, expensive switches that I can control from a smartphone/Alexa/etc. I don't want all that (and don't even have the devices to use it)!

The other kind of solution is a wireless relay that attaches to the light fixture itself, which I also don't want. I want something that goes in place of the existing wired switch.

Any solutions that you know of?
posted by splitpeasoup to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty common, lots of choices.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2017

Looks like you could use a Lutron wireless switch and pair it with one of their Pico remote controls.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:16 PM on November 24, 2017

Seconding the Lutron Caseta. I used it to put a secondary switch on the other side of a big room and it was very easy to set up.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:35 PM on November 24, 2017

Lutron Caseta seems to have more features than I need (which no doubt drives up the cost). I don't need dimming or smartphone compatibility; I just want an on-off switch that can be placed remotely. I feel like the $79.95 smartphone/smarthome-compatible Caseta may be overkill for me.
posted by splitpeasoup at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2017

Also, I want this to be compatible with LED lights, which rules out such products as the Skylink SK-8.
posted by splitpeasoup at 2:20 PM on November 24, 2017

Well, you already said you didn't want a remote with a receiver in the ceiling box, but in case you change your mind here is a $21 on/off remote for a ceiling fan. You'd stuff it into the ceiling box that the light fixture is attached to. You would just cap off the wire that goes to fan control. (You would leave your light switch on all the time.) They also make remotes that fit over the light switch, or wall controls that replace the light switch but are really remote controls that just live in the box. Either way you'd still need a receiver, and those other options cost more.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:47 PM on November 24, 2017

We're using LED lightbulbs with the Skylink, seems to work fine. (We did have to replace it once, the first one was defective.)
posted by stray at 2:59 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

just in case no other good options come up,I used the $50 Caseta switch and remote combo, which is compatible with smart phones and smart home hubs only if you buy extra equipment. But point taken on the extra features :)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:03 PM on November 24, 2017

Nthing Lutron Caseta, just don't buy the hub (you need the optional hub for the smartphone functionality; the switch works perfectly fine without it).
posted by halogen at 3:10 PM on November 24, 2017

IKEA's Trådfri bulb and switch comes in at $26.99, and is well regarded, so that's a bit cheaper, and works fine without bothering with a hub or anything.
posted by ambrosen at 3:20 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd also recommend the Lutron Caseta, but if you're looking for something cheaper, don't immediately rule out an inexpensive wireless relay (e.g. $30 or less). It is not clear to me whether you ruled out wireless relays because you needed to control the fixture from both the original switch location and the dining room, or because you don't want to rewire your fixture. The only reason I bring it up is that there is no particular reason that the relay needs to be near the fixture it controls. If your existing switch is "before" the fixture, not "after", you can simply remove the switch from its electrical box, wire the relay in place of the switch inside the box, and put a blank faceplate on the electrical box.
posted by RichardP at 3:29 PM on November 24, 2017

We too are using LEDs with our Skylink and like stray says, they work fine. (In fact, the Skylink worked great when other, more complex wireless switches did not.)
posted by eschatfische at 6:36 PM on November 24, 2017

There is already a wire going to the light from the "wrong" switch. You probably need to install a new box and then move the wires. This is not a difficult process although I was intimidated the first time I performed similar work.

Try reading the directions here and seeing if they apply to you.
posted by pdoege at 8:49 AM on November 25, 2017

@RichardP: thank you, your solution is brilliant, so that's exactly what I did ($30 acegoo relay in place of the existing switch). Clean and easy to put in and works like a charm. The extra-sweet thing is that there are no batteries involved (I guess it's a piezoelectric switch?), so I never have to worry about changing any. Thank you!!
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:33 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

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