Alexa, how do I Alexa my lighting?
December 5, 2017 5:38 PM   Subscribe

We'd like to control our lighting with our Amazon Dots. But there's so much stuff to look through? Can you help us get our bearings so that we know what we'll need?

1) Hub or no hub? I've seen switches that require a hub and some that don't. Is there a reason why hubs are good and not just an extra expense?
2) We bought our house from an electrician who put recessed lighting everywhere. So many bulbs. We won't be replacing them all, so we'll need to control the lighting through specialized dimmers not smart bulbs. They're on Lutron dimmers. Does that affect what we will want/need?
3) In another room, there are a pair of standard fixtures not on dimmers that can be controlled from two switches. Does having two places to turn the lights on/off affect what we need?
4) Finally, we have two floor lamps with nonstandard bulbs I'd like to control via an addon/plugin device at the outlet. Hub or no hub?

Thanks in advance!
posted by DirtyOldTown to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
One last thing: I notice the Lutron dimmers do not seem to have a third neutral wire. I see that some smart dimmers require those.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2017

Check out the Lutron Caseta system. They're replacement switches which do not need the neutral wire and are super quick to install. I like them because I still have a physical switch (so you can use any bulb you want), but can also control though my phone (you need the bridge to do this), and they have remotes (I have one next to my bed that's linked to all indoor lights so I can turn everything off at night with the press of a button). The system also has plug in dimmers as well for floor lamps. All of it is controllable through their app, Alexa, Homekit/Siri, or Google Assistant.
posted by noneuclidean at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oops, missed your third question. In situations where you have multiple switches controlling one light, you just replace one switch with a dimmer, and for the other one(s) you remove the old switch, connect the two wires together, and install a remote (which looks just like a switch) in the wall plate. The remotes are handy for adding switches to a room as well with minimal fuss (I did this in a room where the only switch was on the opposite side of the room).
posted by noneuclidean at 6:52 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not much detail to add, but I’ve been transitioning my house over to Caseta, and it’s been easy and relatively painless.

The hub isn’t required for the switches to work, but you need it to control them with the dots
posted by mr_roboto at 9:34 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

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