Skip to content

How to make a dumb switch smart

By Mark's Tech Blogs

22nd July 2021

Creating a smart home has never been easier but home automation can get pricey. In this blog we share 2 ways to make a dumb switch smart…and the best bit? Every product mentioned in this article costs less than £25 and some less than £10.

1. The SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher

The Switchbot smart switch button pusher is the most expensive item in this article costing £25 but is the most versatile and requires zero wiring. This little bot connects to your phone via bluetooth and let’s you set timers and remotely control it’s little arm from your phone.

You can use it with pretty much anything that has a button and it even works with on/off switches thanks to it’s accessory and switch mode. If you want voice control and out of home control you’ll need to buy a Hub Mini but we love these little bots because they’re simple to install, have a great app and incredible battery life and work well. The only downside is that in switch mode they struggle with stiffer switches.

2. The SONOFF Mini

Next up is the SONOFF mini which we’ve been using on bathroom extractors to make them smart. The SONOFF Mini sits on the cheapest end of the spectrum and costs just £12 (or as cheap as £8.70 each if you get the 3 pack).

The SONOFF Mini requires some wiring and goes between your live supply and your device. It’s pretty easy to wire (SONOFF recommend 2.5mm wire) and is surprisingly small. You connect to it using your phone initially and then it connects to your home wifi. It gives you app control, support for voice assistants such as Alexa and (for $10 a year) IFTTT support. If you use Homebridge on a Raspberry Pi you can even easily get Apple HomeKit support.

We like these because they’re cheap and work well however you need to think about where you have space for it within your home wiring before picking one up.

If it’s an electrical device such as a lamp you want to make smart you might want to check out the SONOFF Basic.

Making a “dumb” switch smart

Making your “dumb” switches smart has never been easier and the two items we’ve mentioned above will allow you to make everything smart from your coffee machine to your bathroom extractor fan. We love making dumb things smart because it saves on waste and saves you money. What are your top tips for adding automation to existing products?

If you’ve enjoyed this post check out our other reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *