Hey gang, Valkor here. For some, setting up a proper smart home can be a rather time and wallet-consuming experience. You have to gather the right components, maybe there’s some wiring involved, and then you have to program it all through your smartphone or tablet. For some, this could be an arduous task. But thanks to Switchmate, there’s one aspect that’s so easy even a child could do it.
Switchmate is the answer to making smart lighting simple. It’s a small box, with a flat-panel switch that magnetically attaches to your current light switch (either rocker or toggle). Once that's done, the next step is to download the companion app, where you have a choice of figuring things out on your own or using the walkthrough that'll guide you through the setup of your Switchmate. The app pairs your mobile device to the Switchmate panel through Bluetooth. And once completed, you’ll be well on your way to switching your lights on and off at your leisure.
To go a little deeper, the Switchmate app gives you a several options to personalize your experience, such as naming your panel, setting up a time when your lights go on or off, or turning on the “Welcome Home” feature, which will flip on the lights when you enter your home (if the Switchmate Panel is nearby). While I was given the chance to test out one Switchmate, you have the option of adding several. So, imagine walking through your home and switching on and off lights like your some kind of "light switch Jedi"? That actually sounds pretty awesome.
I took the Switchmate for a run using my own bedroom light switch. And once the device was attached, the app setup and the two devices connected, it simply became a matter of me flicking the lights on and off at my leisure until the bulb blew out! Needless to say, I got a little carried away.
If you’re interested in smart lighting without feeling like it might be too complicated or time-consuming to piece together, then you can’t get any simpler than with Switchmate. On the box it states “One-Second Installation”; and while it takes a second to snap the panel over the light switch, there’s still a certain level of setup you have to go through with the app. But even that’s not at all difficult and you’ll have your Switchmate up and running in a few minutes. With the app, everything is clearly laid out and easy to navigate as there’s really only a few steps to think about. And get ready for “Welcome Home” to be your new favorite feature. It simply works as you walk through the door and your lights instantly shine. So for those of you who are new to the smart home experience and you’re looking to get your feet wet, then there’s no better way to get started than with Switchmate.
The Switchmate takes two AA batteries (included), which is something of a downer since I thought we were moving away from such items. Currently, in my home at least, there aren’t too many devices that make use of them. I would think a rechargeable battery, with a decent amount of internal power, would work better, especially if I have to take it off the wall anyway. I may as well take it off to recharge rather than replace the batteries, which I’ll have to go out to buy more or keep some in stock.
Switchmate is only the beginning of what a simpler smart home can be. And I look forward to what else those behind this product have in store for the future. Until then, if you want smart lighting made simple, then you can’t go wrong with Switchmate, which gets a 4.5 out of TOV 5 stars!