In this post we will cover the Best HomeKit 3 way light switches, what you can do with HomeKit and smart lighting and how to wire a HomeKit 3 way light switch in your home. If you already know what HomeKit is and how it works you can scroll below to the list of the best HomeKit 3 way light switches.
Otherwise we will teach you about homekit, what you can do with it and smart light switches in general.
What Is HomeKit?
HomeKit is Apple’s smart home integration system that provides direct integration with Apple iOS and allows you to control smart home devices from one app the “HomeKit” app on your iPhone, Apple Watch or use Siri voice commands to control your smart home using Siri voice commands on your phone or Apple Watch. With HomeKit you can then control your smart light bulbs by saying voice commands to your iPhone like “Siri, turn on living room lights.”
What is a 3 way smart light switch?
3 way light switches are typically found at stairwells and allow you to turn on and off your lighting from both the top and bottom of the stairs so that you don’t have to walk up or down your stairs in the dark. Many municipalities require that 3 way light switches be installed at stairwells. 3 way light switches are also found in rooms where a person would like to be able to control the lighting from multiple locations, in larger rooms with multiple entrances a 3 way light switch may be desirable to allow for control when entering or leaving a room from more than one entrance.
How Do Smart HomeKit Light Switches Work?
Smart light switches use the existing wiring in your home for power and connect wirelessly to your wifi network to allow you to control your smart light switches via your phone or voice control. With HomeKit compatible light switches you can turn on and off your smart light switches using your voice and Siri commands right on your iPhone or Apple watch. With HomeKit light switches and Siri commands you can say “Siri, turn on my bedroom lights.” and Siri will turn on your HomeKit connected lights with your voice.
Some smart light switches connect directly to your home wifi network and other smart light switches require a smart home hub which then connects to your wifi network for smart home control.
Once connected to your wifi network you can control your smart light switches in your home or remotely with your phone or voice even when you are away from your house.
Best HomeKit 3 Way Smart Light Switch
There are fewer light switches that are compatible with HomeKit than Alexa or Google home and even fewer HomeKit 3 way light switches. However the 3 way light switches that are compatible with HomeKit, are great smart light switches, that are extremely high quality and some of the best light switches on the market.
I’ve narrowed it down to the two best HomeKit 3 way smart home light switches listed below. I’ve extensively tested these light switches and many others before providing the recommendations below. Either one of the lights switches I’ve listed below are excellent smart light switch options for your home.
I consider these to be the best smart home light switches because of their reliability, features, ease of installation, app functionality and integration with smart home voice assistants.
My HomeKit 3 Way Light Switch Pick’s: Lutron Caseta & Leviton Smart Switches
In my opinion Lutron Caseta 3 Way Light Switches and Leviton 3 Way smart switches are the top 3 way smart light switches that work with HomeKit.
This is because the light switches are easy to install and supported by two great lighting companies that keep the apps updated and continue to add features. I have tested these two smart light switches for years and installed dozens of them so I can speak to their reliability and longevity.
One important thing to note when choosing a smart light switch is if you have a neutral wire in your existing switch boxes. If you are not sure of what a neutral wire is or if you have a neutral wire we cover the topic extensively below so you might want to skip ahead to learn about neutral wires if you aren’t sure if your home has a neutral wire for your smart light switch installation.
Best 3 Way HomeKit Smart Light Switch: Tie - Lutron Caseta Dimmers & Leviton Smart Dimmers
We cover both of our favorite light switches in this section and keep scrolling to see our in depth coverage of the Leviton smart dimmers.
(Requires Smart Home Hub, But Does Not Require Neutral)
With these smart light switches you can control your smart lighting from your phone, or with HomeKit Siri voice commands. The Lutron Caseta Dimmers work with Alexa, Google Home and HomeKit offering full compatibility with the the most popular smart voice assistants.
These smart light switches offer easy setup, full range dimming and 4 button adjustment for easy control. The Lutron smart light switches have an on button, off button, dimmer adjustment up and dimmer adjustment down on the front of the switch for easy control. They also have side lit LED indicator to tell you what dimming settings the smart lights switches are currently set to.
The Lutron App is one of the most advanced smart light switch integrations and allows you to make a wide variety of adjustments, customization and configurations right in the app. You can create groups, make scenes, set schedules and customize your lighting to the perfect settings.
Another nice feature of the Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmers is that they work with what are called pico remotes. Which you can see in the picture below. Pico remotes are small smart remote controls that look just like the smart dimmer switches that can be placed anywhere and used to trigger a lighting scene, turn on music or used as a 3 way remote switch. They have a thin profile and have a 10 year battery life.
When combined with a mounting kit these can be installed directly on a wall, without any wiring with a cover plate around them and they look identical to a built in smart dimmer switch. If you plan on mounting directly on the wall you will need both the pico remote and pico remote mounting kit.
The pico remotes give you versatility in control and the ability to add and extra light switch where you’ve always wanted one without needing to do any wiring.
These smart lights switches are one of the best smart light switches because they offer the easiest installation and will work with the existing wiring in your home. This is because the Lutron Smart Light Switches don’t require a neutral wire. This means that even if you have an older home that does not have a neutral wire these smart light switches will be compatible. We explain in depth below how to check if you have a neutral wire for your smart light switches but you don’t even need to check if you choose these smart lights switches because these smart light switches can be installed without a neutral wire.
Another advantage of the Lutron Caseta system is that if you want to add smart shades to your system in the future you can do so with the Lutron Caseta system which will allow you to wirelessly control your shades. Lutron even makes battery powered smart shades.
I love these switches and they are great, but there is one minor downside. Unlike the smart dimmers from Leviton we list below the Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmers require a smart home hub. The Leviton Smart Dimmer Switches listed below don’t require a hub because they connect directly to wifi.
The smart home hub is small and is about 3” x 3” x 1” and needs to be plugged in for power and connected to your wifi router or modem with an ethernet connection for control. It’s small and easy to place near your wifi router without issue. The other downside is that smart home hub only covers approximately 2500 square ft area. But if you need more range you can do so by adding Lutron Caseta Smart Plugs which also act as range extenders which give you an additional 30FT radius of connection for range. Essentially you if you combine the base station with multiple Lutron Caseta Smart Plug range extenders you have a 120FT diameter coverage circle from the base station that provides exceptional coverage for your home.
I have yet to have an installation even on large houses over 5000SF where we ran out of range with the Lutron Caseta system even though some of the light switches were installed outside of the listed range. Lutron is very conservative with their range estimates but if you have standard construction home without large brick or concrete walls in the middle of it you most likely won’t run out of range with these devices.
But if you did run out of range you could solve the issue by adding a second Lutron Bridge to cover a larger area. It would still need to be plugged into another wifi router but you could solve this issue by using a Google Wifi Mesh router system and plugging it into one of the remote ethernet ports.
Each Lutron bridge has a 75 device limit so if you plan on adding more than 75 devices you will need to have two lutron caseta bridges.
Lutron Caseta Smart Light Switch Summary:
Lutron Caseta Smart Switch Pros:
No Neutral Required
Compatible with 3 Way Switches, with easy pico remote installation
Dimmers and On/Off Switches Available
Alexa, Google Home & HomeKit Integrations
Lutron Caseta Smart Switch Cons:
75 Device Limit
2500 SF Range, can be extended with range extenders though.
Requires smart home hub.
Compatible Lutron Caseta Devices
Best Smart Light Switch: Leviton Dimmer Smart Light Switch
(No Hub Required, But Requires Neutral)
The Leviton and Lutron smart switches tied for first place, the key difference between choosing between these two switches is if your home wiring is newer (after 1985) and has a neutral wire in the switch box. If you have one you can use either light switch. If you don’t have a neutral wire you will need to use the Lutron Caseta light switches reviewed above.
With these smart light switches you can control your smart lighting with your phone, or HomeKit Siri commands. The Leviton Dimmer smart light switches work with HomeKit, but also support Google Home and Alexa voice assistants.
They offer full range dimming, easy installation and great phone app for both android and iOS that will allow you to create customized scenes set timers and dozens of other features.
What I like most about these smart light switches is that they don’t require any kind of smart home hub to work. The connect directly to your wifi router and set up on your phone once installed and have an easy setup through the app.
The paddle switch allows you to toggle the lights on or off when you press them and the dimmer adjustment is a small paddle located on the side of the switch. You can set the dimming levels in the app or on the switch and a small led behind the light switch cover indicates the current dimming level of the smart light switch.
These smart light switches do require a neutral wire for operation which we cover in the section “Important Things To Know About Smart Light Switches Below.”
These smart light switches also allow for 3 way, 4 way and 5 way light switch configurations when paired with the proper Leviton 3 Way smart light switch remote. The light switches also include interchangeable cover plates to match the color decor of your home. They come with white and light almond switch plates in the package but you can custom order other colors if you want. The switch plates are completely interchangeable so you don’t need to re-wire switch if you just want to change the face plate.
There is no limit to how many switches you can connect in the app and as long as you have a strong wifi signal throughout your home you should have no issues connecting these smart light switches throughout your home with a good connection. One of the major advantages of these wifi smart light switches is that if a switch is out of range you can just add a wifi repeater like Google Wifi or Eero to create a whole home mesh network so the devices are never out of range of wifi.
Leviton Smart Light Switches Summary:
Leviton Smart Switch Pros:
Compatible with 3 Way, 4 Way & 5 Way Switches, with dimming remote installation.
Dimmers and On/Off Switches Available
Alexa, Google Home & HomeKit Integrations
No Device Limit
Works with Wifi does not require a smart home hub.
If you have wifi coverage these switches will work no base station range limitations.
Leviton Smart Switch Cons:
Requires Neutral Wire
Compatible Leviton Smart Light Switch Devices
Important Things To Know About Smart Light Switches
Smart light switches are powered just like a normal light switch and will work like a normal light switch even if your wifi network goes out. There are two main types of smart light switches, light switches that require a neutral wire and light switches that don’t require a neutral wire.
Do You Have a Neutral Wire?
It’s important to know if your home has a neutral wire in the switch box so you can determine what smart light switches will work in your home, so you can order the correct light switches for your home.
If your home was built after 1980 you most likely can use either type of light switch because most building codes required that a neutral wire be wired into the light switch boxes when your home was built. T
What Is a Neutral Wire?
The neutral wire is typically a white wire, and when using a light switch that requires a neutral wire it will typically have 3 connections. The Hot Wire (brings electricity to light switch), the Load Wire (path for electricity to the light fixture), and Neutral Wire (return path for electricity to your electrical panel). Below is a typical wiring diagram for a smart light switch that uses a neutral wire.
Some but not all smart light switches require a neutral wire for proper operation. This is because wifi light switches require a small amount of power even when they are off to be able to communicate with the wifi network to listen for a signal to turn on or off. The neutral wire on the light switch allows the internal wifi chip to always have power even when the light switch is off so it can communicate properly with your wifi network.
If you have an older home or a home that doesn’t have a neutral wire in the switch box you can still use smart light switches but you will just need to be more selective on what smart light switches you use and specifically choose a light switch that will work without a neutral wire. We cover the both the best smart light switches that require neutral wires and the best smart light switches that don’t require neutral wires below.
The wiring diagram below shows the wiring diagram for a smart light switch that does not have a neutral wire below.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Neutral Wire?
If you are not sure if you have a neutral wire for A smart light switch, the easiest way to tell if you have a neutral wire it to take off your existing light switch cover plate and check. The steps are below. If you don’t feel comfortable working with electricity you can always hire a local electrician to check and see if you have a neutral wire.
Step 1: Turn on your light switch, so you can see that the power is on.
Step 2: Go to your circuit breaker and turn off the power to the light switch you want to check for a neutral wire. When the light goes off you will know you have shut down the correct circuit.
Step 3: Remove the screws on existing light switch cover plate.
Step 4: If you have a multimeter or a voltage tester it’s alway a good idea to check with the voltage tester one more time that the power is off before you begin working on the light switch. We recommend the voltage tester or multimeter below to help you complete the project safely. Either will be able to ensure that the power is completely off before you begin work.
Step 5: You can now remove the two screws that hold the existing light switch in place and pull it forward out of the box. The light switch will typically have a a black wire or or black and red wire connected to two points on the light switch. To check and see if you have a neutral wire you will most likely need to pull the light switch forward. You can see in the picture below that this light switch has a netural wire available. Universally if your house was wired per code the neutral wire will be white.
This junction box has a neutral wire available so any style of smart light switch can be used.
You can also see below the hot wire with incoming electricity and the load wire with outgoing electricity. Sometimes the wires for hot and load are both black, both red or the hot wire is black and the outgoing load wire is a different color. The color conventions for what wire is hot and which is the load wire might differ between municipalities and installing electricians. However there are several ways you can determine which wire is which, but before doing that we recommend that you take a picture of your existing wiring configuration so you know what is what when you start doing the work.
Typically the hot wire for incoming power will be wired to the bottom of the existing light switch and the top wire will be the outgoing wire for the load wire going to the light switch. Sometimes the light switch is labeled and you can read the designations for connection on the back of the light switch.
I have a neutral wire for my smart light switch now what?
If you have a neutral wire you can use any of the smart light switches we list in this post. You can even use the the smart light switches that don’t require a neutral if you want. But the point is all smart light switches will be compatible with your houses wiring.
I Don’t Have a Neutral Wire For My Smart Light Switch, What Can I Do?
If you don’t have a neutral wire for your smart light switch you will need to stick to light switches that don’t require a neutral wire for operation. The light switches we recommend are the Lutron Caseta Light switches which don’t require a neutral wire. which we covered above in our “Best Smart Light Switches Section.” You can also click on the graphic below if you want to order the correct smart light switches from Lutron Caseta that don’t require a neutral below. The kit below includes everything you need to get started with smart light switches from Lutron Caseta including the hub that will connect the light switches to the internet. Once you have the Lutron Caseta Hub you can add up to 75 devices on one Lutron Caseta hub, so you only need to buy individual Lutron smart switches to expand your system.
If you already have the Lutron Castea Hub or want to add multiple smart light switches to your home you can buy individual smart light switches that will work with the Lutron Caseta Hub. We’ve included the correct smart light switches that don’t require a neutral and can be used to expand your smart lighting system below.
HomeKit 3 Way Smart Light Switch Wiring Diagram
There are a few things you should know about setting up smart light switches in a 3 way smart light switch configuration. A 3 way light switch is a light switch that allows you to control turning on an off the same light fixture from 2 different locations. Typically you will find 3 way light switches at the top and bottom of stairs so you can turn on and off the lights from either the top of bottom of the stairs and you don’t have to walk up or down the stairs in the dark.
There are two primary ways that smart light switches are wired in a three-way light switch configuration, they either have a hardwired remote 3 way light switch like the Leviton Smart Light Switches or they use a wireless 3 way remote switch like the Lutron Caseta Light Switches. Below we show you the wiring diagrams for both type of 3 way HomeKit light switches.
If you opt to use the Lutron Caseta smart light switches you can turn any normal switch very easily into a 3 way switch with the addition of a pico remote. The pico remotes act as 3 way light switches when paired with the Lutron Caseta light switches. The Pico remotes wirelessly connect to the Lutron Caseta light switch you designate by holding down the smart light switch for 10 seconds to put it into pairing mode. Once in pairing mode you hold down the Lutron Caseta Pico remote for 10 seconds and the light switch and remote will be paired. Installing an Lutron Caseta 3 way light switch is incredibly easy because you only need to wire in one smart light switch and the other side of the switch is a pico remote.
The Lutron Caseta smart light switch pico remotes functions as a 3 way switch and can be placed over an existing junction box and installed with a cover to be made to look like a standard hardwired switch. If you have an existing hardwired 3 way switch installed and you change your system over to the Lutron Caseta light switches all you need to do is remove the old light switch from the junction box and wire the 3 wires on the old switch together.
The Lutron Caseta smart light switch pico remotes look almost identical to the Lutron Caseta smart dimmers and have all of the same functionality. The directly connect to the switch that you pair them with so they will always function as a 3 way switch even if your internet is down. The pico remotes are battery powered and specifically engineered to last with 10 years of battery life. To replace the battery you just take off the switch plate, lift off the pico remote, open the remote and replace the battery.
In my opinion the using the Lutron Caseta light switches is the easiest way to add a 3 way light switch or convert an existing light switch to a 3 way HomeKit compatible light switch.
Best HomeKit 3 Way Light Switch: Summary
Both the Leviton and Lutron Caseta smart switches are great HomeKit 3 way switch options. I do tend to lean towards installing Lutron Caseta 3 way smart light switches because they don’t require a neutral and are quicker to install. With the pico remotes you can make a 3 way switch quickly and easily and it looks like and operates just like a hardwired 3 way smart light switch.
The only thing you should note with the Lutron Caseta smart light switches is the 75 device limitation per hub and that the initial coverage area is 2500 Square Feet but it can be expanded with the addition of Lutron Caseta smart plugs which act as range extenders.
Related Smart Light Switch Posts:
Smart Light Switch FAQ & Resources
4 Way HomeKit Smart Light Switch Wiring
A 4 way switch is a switch that is controllable from 3 different switch locations. Both the Lutron Caseta and Leviton smart light switches are capable of 4 way smart light switch control. For the Lutron Caseta light switches the conversion to a 4 way switch requires you to just purchase another pico remote and connect it to the light switch you want to control.
To configure a leviton smart light switch in a 4 way smart light switch setup you will need to one standard Leviton smart light switch and 2 matching remotes for 4 way control. The diagram below details the wiring diagram for 4 way smart light switches.
Can you wire smart light switches in 5 way configurations?
Yes, you can wire smart light switches in 5 way switch configurations you need to follow the same wiring diagrams as detailed in the 3 and 4 way smart switch wiring diagrams. If you are wiring your smart light switch in a 5 way configuration we recommend using the Lutron Caseta Smart Light Switches or the Leviton Smart Light Switches. The Lutron Caseta Smart Light switches will require less work to install in a 5 way or more configuration because you can just add another pico remote to add additional control.
Will My Smart Switches Work If The Internet Goes Out?
Yes, your smart switches will still work like regular light switches if the internet goes out. Just press them to turn them off or on. You won’t be able to remotely control the light switches or control them with your voice until your internet is restored but their normal light switch function will work without issue.
If you directly paired your Lutron Caseta Pico remotes with your smart light switches they will still work correctly as 3 way switches even if the internet is out. The pico remote connects directly to the 3 way switch it is paired with and does not require the internet to work.
How Much Does It Cost To Have 3 Way HomeKit Smart Light Switches Installed?
It typically costs between $75- $200 per pair of 3 way switches to have a smart light switch installed depending on where you live not including the cost of the light switch.
How Long Does It Take To Wire A 3 Way Smart Light Switch?
For experienced pro’s it can take less than 30 minutes to wire a 3 way smart light switch. For the average person it typically takes 15-30 minutes for the first light switch installation and with it taking less time to install additional switches after learning how to do it.
My Smart Switch Wiring Won’t Fit? What Can I Do?
Most of the time you will find that it’s easy to install smart light switches in the existing junction boxes. However we do recommend that you use larger electrical boxes if you are building a new home or completing a major remodel to make the process easier. We have found that in most cases even if a junction box is packed with electrical wiring you can get a smart light switch to fit in the existing electrical box. There are a couple of tricks to getting the smart switch to fit in the existing junction box. First when you removed the old switch were there any wires you could eliminate? Often existing old style switches used a jumper wire that ran from a wire nut to the light switch, new smart switches typically have wires included on the back of the switch. Can you eliminate an old jumper wire?
Secondly, if you are wiring new wiring give yourself extra wiring in the box, this sounds contrary to what you should be doing but giving yourself longer wiring terminals allows to effectively fold the wires, and position the switches as needed. Copper wire can fold very tightly into small spaces but you must have the extra length of wire to be able to do this.
You can also use a low profile push in wire nut these can be helpful because they are typically thinner than traditional wire nuts but they also let the wires rotate to some degree inside the nut which allows you to move wires around easier in the box.
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get your light switches to fit and you don’t have conduit and metal boxes you can always pull out the existing electrical box and install a deeper retrofit or (old work) box to accommodate the smart light switches. Installing an old work box is a fairly easy process but will require you to break apart the existing switch box in the wall to remove it.
Do I Need Special Wiring Or Control Center For My 3 Way Smart Light Switches?
No, smart light switches work with the electrical wiring already in your home and connect to your wifi network. Some smart light switches require a small home automation hub which is about 3 inches by 3 inches by 1 inch thick. Anyone trying to sell you on a big rack full of equipment is up-selling you things you don’t need.