6 gadgets to replace your old-fashioned switches

Lend your home some personality with these smart gadgets


LIFX Z is a custom-controlled LED strip which can change up to eight colours
LIFX Z is a custom-controlled LED strip which can change up to eight colours

Dim the lights, set the mood and prepare for sparkles that you can control with your voice or a smart device. There are lights that help you sleep, lights that act like burglar alarms and fairy lights that twinkle in rainbow colours. We tell you of the best gadgets out there that can help you say goodbye to old-fashioned switches.

iDevices socket

The Socket Wi-Fi-enabled light-bulb adaptor enables you to control any standard light bulb remotely. You can change the illumination power using voice commands on your smartwatch or phone. You can design a custom lighting schedule, convert the bulb into a night light or control the ambience of the room. It works with the iDevices app, iPhone’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistants.

$59.95 (around Rs.4,000, shipping extra); idevicesinc.com.

Caséta wireless starter kit

Replace your old light switches with Caséta’s smart switch and bridge. You can dim the lights and tweak shades and colour temperature. The kit works with the Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Nest. You can use the smartphone to schedule when your lights will turn on, off or change colour.

$99.95 onwards (shipping extra); Casetawireless.com.

Stack Classic and C by GE

Can’t be bothered with deciding which lights would work for you? You can opt for Stack Classic, which uses inbuilt sensors to figure out the natural light and dim automatically. Or the C-Life bulbs, which offer every level of brightness for daily activities, while the C-Sleep bulbs support the body’s natural sleep cycle by automatically transitioning from bright to warm as night approaches.

$89, starter kit; Stacklighting.com

$79.99, C by GE; starter pack; Cbyge.com.

LIFX Z

How about a rainbow-coloured fairy light to get you started for the season? Now available for pre-order, LIFX Z is a custom-controlled LED strip which can change up to eight colours. Each meter of the strip has eight zones, which can be individually set to glow in a specific colour. You can have eight different colours or make your own pattern. The strip can be put under cabinets, cornices, or behind the TV set for highlights. The starter kit comes with an AC power plug for India and 2m of strip lighting.

$89.99, starter kit (shipping extra); Lifx.com.

OAKTER KITS

Oakter’s kits make your standard light fixtures smarter. The Indian company offers a main hub that connects through Wi-Fi or 3G and smart plugs through which up to 50 appliances can be controlled. The configuration is simple. You plug in and set up your preferences using the Oakter app. The app can control lights, fans, water heaters, kettles and air conditioners from your smart device.

Kits start fromRs.4,750; Oakter.com

Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2, a feature-loaded hub which comes in a sleek design, controls lighting as well as security. The hub uses an Ethernet port, a Wi-Fi radio or Bluetooth to connect all the smart products in your home, be it lights, locks, washing machines, thermostats and other appliances. The hub can be set up easily with the Wink app, giving you control of all the smart things at home.

$99 (around Rs.6,615) on pre-order at Wink.com.

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