Remote control light switches are a great way to add smart home functionality to your home. With a remote control light switch installed you can turn on and off your lights remotely with your phone or if you have your remote control light switch connected to a compatible voice assistant like Alexa you can even control the smart light switch with your voice.
In this post we will cover how remote control light switches work, what you need to know about remote control light switches and the best remote control light switches we have tested.
If you are considering installing remote control light switches, you've come to the right place. We have everything you need to know below. I have smart remote control light switches installed in my home they are one of the best smart home upgrades I have made to my home. There’s nothing like laying in bed at the end of a long day and telling Alexa to “turn off the lights” without getting out of bed, it’s true bliss.
In our list below we’ve compiled the 8 best remote control light switches for your home.
What Is a Remote Control Light Switch?
The original remote control light switch was the “Clapper” which was a light switch that would turn on and off by clapping your hands. It worked ok, but was kind of clumsy because other loud sounds could set it off and resulted in the lights unintentionally turning on or off.
Remote control light switches have come a long way since then and are now packed with features that can perform a wide array of functions.
Remote control light switches are designed to replace your existing light switches and they allow you to remotely control the light switch by connecting to your wifi network which then connects the remote light switch to an app on your cell phone for remote control.
Within these apps you can control the lights, adjust dimming levels, set timers, set schedules and even connect the smart light switches to other smart home devices like motion sensors so they will turn on or off when motion is detected.
If you want to take it a step further you can connect your remote control light switch to a compatible voice assistant like Alexa, Siri or Google Home and control your smart remote control light switch using voice commands like “Alexa, turn on bedroom lights.” or “Alexa, set living room lights to 50%.”
How Do I Install A Remote Control Light Switch?
Remote control light switches are designed to use the existing wiring in your walls and their installation is as simple as removing your existing light switch and installing a new light switch. You then set the light switch up on your wifi network and you can start controlling it from your phone app for the remote control light switch.
Remote control lights switches communicate control commands over your wifi network so they don’t need any special wiring or control center or retrofit to your home wiring. They use the standard electrical wiring that is found in your home. You don’t need to upgrade your wiring to install a remote control light switch.
We have a ultimate smart light switch guide that covers the details of how to install a smart remote control light switch that is a great resource for detailed remote control light switch installation. But we will cover a few of the basics below.
Remote Control Light Switch Neutral Wire vs No Neutral Wire Installation
Most by not all remote control light switches require a neutral wire for installation, in fact some of the best remote control light switches like the Lutron Caseta Smart light switches don’t require as neutral at all.
A neutral wire is typically a white wire inside the electrical switch box that allows electrical current to flow back to your electrical panel. If your home was built after 1985 you most likely have a neutral wire in your switch box and you can use any of the remote control lights switches we recommend below. If your home was built before 1985 you may or may not have a neutral wire.
You can use the ultimate light switch guide instructions to determine if you have a neutral wire.
If you don’t have a neutral wire or can’t determine if you need one, no big deal just use the Lutron Caseta smart light dimmers that don’t require a neutral and you are ready to start setting up your remote control light switches.
Why Should You Get A Remote Control Light Switch
Millions of people have upgraded their homes with smart thermostats and smart doorbells but many fewer have upgraded their home with smart lighting even though it’s one of the best upgrades you can make to a house and it can significantly increase the value of your home when you go to sell it.
So why have so few people done smart light switch upgrades? Because most people think it’s too complicated or that they don’t really need it, but in reality smart remote control light switches offer a number of benefits that most people aren’t even aware of.
Upgrading your lighting to remote control switches switches can help you in the following ways:
You can save energy with remote control light switches because you can turn off lights remotely if you left them on.
If you have a kids and you hands are full you can quickly turn on and off lights with your voice without the need for your hands.
You can set schedules to turn on lighting at night or when you are away to deter criminals.
With smart remote control lights switches you can turn on and off lights while laying in bed, or sitting on a couch and avoid tripping in the dark.
Best Remote Control Light Switch
Below we’ve provided our picks for the best remote control light switches. We’ve extensively tested the light switches below to provide our recommendations for the best remote control light switches.
When considering which remote control light switch to get it’s important to know if you have a neutral wire which will open up a wide range of possibilities for smart light switches. If don’t have a neutral wire you will need to stick with the Lutron Caseta smart light switch lineup.
Our top two contenders for smart light switches were actually at tie. We think that both the Lutron Caseta and Leviton remote control light switches are great light switches and both have good features that could make either remote control light switch a top contender for your home.
In assessing the best remote control light switch we looked at reliability, features, ease of installation, app functionality, and the ability to use the smart light switch
#1 Best Remote Control Light Switch (Tie): Leviton Smart Dimmer & Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmer
I personally have a few of these in my home and they have worked flawlessly for years without any issues. They work with Alexa and the other major voice assistant services so you have complete flexibility in the future for which voice assistant you want to use for smart home voice control.
These Leviton smart light switch dimmers connect to standard home wifi networks and are controlled via smartphone wifi app and don’t require any kind of smart home hub. The Leviton app is simple to use and connecting the lights switches to the app is easy, just make sure you follow the instructions to put the light switches into pairing mode when trying to connect the remote control light switches to the app.
Once you have the smart light switch dimmers connected you can control them through the phone app remotely with just a swipe of the app on your phone. Once they have been setup on the Leviton app, you connect them to Alexa through the Leviton Alexa Skill and these smart light switches are ready to be controlled with Alexa voice commands.
These smart light switches allow you to turn on or off the the light switch with a tap of your finger or your voice. For dimmer control they have well placed side toggle that allows for easy control by tapping up or down to increase or decrease brightness. The brightness can also be controlled from your phone or with voice.
These smart light switches can also work in 3 way smart light switch configurations, for the smart light switches to work in a 3 way configuration you will need both the smart light switch dimmer and the compatible smart dimmer “remote” switch which works in the three way switch configuration. Both the smart light switch dimmer and the remote smart light switch (only needed for 3-way light switches) are available on Amazon.
One thing to note is that the Leviton Smart Dimmer Light switches require a neutral wire in the switch box for proper wiring. Most homes built after 1985 have neutral wires built into the switches. For older homes without a neutral wire you will need to use smart dimmers that are compatible without a neutral wire.
Below we’ve covered the best remote control light switches for your smart home.
#1 (Tie) Lutron Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch
*These smart light switches don’t require a neutral wire which is perfect if you have an older home that does not have neutral wires in the switch boxes.
The Lutron Caseta smart light switch dimming kit offers everything you need make your existing light switches smart. The Lutron Caseta smart light switch dimmers wirelessly connect to a central hub that can then control any other Caseta smart light switches that you add to the system. The hub then connects to your router and can be controlled via wifi though the app for in home or remote control. The Lutron Caseta smart dimmers work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
The Caseta smart light switch dimmers do offer two unique features not offered by many other smart light switches.
The Caseta dimmers don’t require a neutral wire which can be very helpful if you are trying to rewire an older house which often don’t have neutral wires in the switch boxes. Most homes built after 1985 have neutral wires in the switch box but older homes typically do not have neutral wires in the switch boxes. The Lutron Caseta light switches are the best smart light switches for Alexa that don’t require a dimmer.
The Caseta smart dimmers also work with caseta pico remotes which are actually battery powered but look the exact same as normal light switches. This means that you can turn any switch into a three way switch even without rewiring the switch because you can just mount the pico remote on the wall and connect it to the hub and it will enable three way switch functionality through programming in the hub.
If you already have a three way switch and want to use the Caseta smart light switch dimmers you can just wire the circuit so that only one switch in the 3 way circuit is controlling the on/off function of the lights and on the other side of the circuit you will remove the old switch and cap or connect the wires as needed in the junction box and install the caseta pico remote where the old switch was and it will look identical to the fully wired smart light switch on the other side of the circuit.
#2 Runner Up - One Hour Smart Home Dimmer Switches
Our smart light switches work with Amazon Alexa for full voice control functionality of your smart home. The middle of the switch is a touch screen and you just touch, or swipe left or right to turn on or off the the smart remote control light switch. The touch screen display will also show the dimming level so you know what brightness your smart light switch is set too.
You can adjust the dimming settings of the smart switch from by pressing either of the buttons on the top and bottom of the smart light switch to find the perfect brightness setting for your home.
Our remote control smart light switches are controlled via the smart life app and have a direct integration to Alexa for flawless voice control of your smart light switches that work with Alexa. Just add the Smart Life Alexa Skill on the Alexa app and you are ready to start controlling your smart light switches with Alexa. Our smart light switches will also work with Google Home.
Through the app you can set schedules, turn on and off the lighting, and group the smart switches in multiple rooms. These smart lights switches connect directly to a wifi network and do not require any hub to operate.
These smart switches do require a neutral wire in the switch box for installation which most houses built after 1980 should have. If you home does not have a neutral wire in the switch box, the Lutron Caseta style of smart home light switches will work without a neutral and are compatible with Alexa.
#3 Tessan Smart Dimmers
These make smart dimmers from Tessan make list of best remote control light switches because they have the unique feature of being 3 way switch compatible. They can be installed in locations like stairways where you typically have more than light switch that controls the same light so you can turn the light on and off from both the top and bottom of the stairs.
The Tessan smart dimmers don’t have an integrated display showing the dimming level but for what they lack in display the do make up for with their simple button controls. The smart dimmers offer 3 button control with a dimming up button and dimming down button as well as an independent on off button. These smart switches work on the smart life app which is one of the leading smart home app integrations available on iOS and android. The One Hour Smart Home remote control light switches also use the smart life app for control.
The app allows you to set schedules, create groups and create scenes for your smart light switch control.
#4 Wemo Remote Control Light Switches
Wemo remote control smart light switches have been around a long time and in the latest iteration of smart light switches Wemo has updated the design for a more eye appealing switch. These smart light switches will work with both Alexa and Google Home. They have built in back lit dimming indicator that allows you to easily see the current dimming status of the light switch.
Wemo has a robust easy to navigate app, with these smart light switches it’s important to follow the instructions during setup to make sure you get a good connection to your wifi network.
The Wemo light switches work on the same phone app as the popular Wemo smart plugs. These smart remote control light switches require a neutral wire and will not work in a 3 way configuration.
#5 TP Link Smart Remote Control Dimmer Switches
TP-Link is a well known smart home brand that has been around for a long time making both remote control light switches and smart home plugs. These smart home home dimmer switches from TP-Link work with Alexa to offer full smart home voice control functionality.
They will also work with Google Home for voice control and the TP-Link app allows you to control the light switches remotely for on/off control, dimming adjustment, and settings schedules.
You press the large paddle on the switch to turn on and off the light switch and there are two smaller buttons on the top of the light switch that allow for dimming adjustment.
These smart light switches do require a neutral wire but were easy to install and setup with Alexa. TP-Link also makes a similar On/Off version of the switch that works on the same app and has all of the same functionality minus the dimming capability.
It should be noted that these smart switches will only work for single switch configurations and will not work in a 3 way switch configuration where you have two lights switches controlling the same set of lights.
#6 Remote Control Light Switch: C by GE
The C by GE remote control light switches work with both Google Home and are packed with features but I’m just not a huge fan of the look and design of these smart switches but they might work for you. GE is a recent entrant into the wifi smart light switch market and the only thing that concerns me is if they will continue to support the long term functionality of the GE smart switch app.
All of the other remote control light switches we have listed either belong to the companies that for the most part only produce light switches or lighting components or are part of a smart light switch collective that runs their smart switches on the smart life app which is one of the most well known and best supported smart device apps on the market.
In terms of features these smart light switches do include dimming control, a back lit on/off button and they do have the option to have a motion sensor built in making them compliant with California standards for switches located in bathrooms, utility rooms, garages or closets.
#7 Remote Control Light Switch Ecobee + Smart Switch
The Ecobee + Smart Remote Control Light Switches are unique in that these smart light switches actually have Alexa built in meaning that the have a small microphone and speaker so that you can issue voice commands directly to the Ecobee switch.
They also have a built in motion sensor so they can be set to turn on when motion is detected and automatically turn off after a set period of time. If you live in California this is important because new building codes state that you must use at least one motion controlled light switches in bathrooms. utility rooms and closets. This smart switch does not include dimming functionality but we’ve included it because you might need a smart switch with motion detection in your home and this switch has that feature.
Summary: Best Smart Remote Control Light Switch
The Leviton and Lutron smart light switches are the top remote controlled light switches and will work with your phone for remote control as well as Alexa, Siri or Google Home devices. If you have a neutral wire you can select your remote control smart light switch from any of the remote control light switches above.
However if your existing wiring does not have neutral wiring in the switch boxes the Lutron Caseta light switches are the best option because they don’t require a neutral wire and will allow you to utilize your existing wiring without the need to add a neutral wire which can be a big project in most cases.
If you decide to get a remote control light switch I highly recommend pairing it with a smart voice assistant like the Alexa Echo Show 5 or Alexa Echo Dot. This is because using your voice to control your remote control light switches add’s a whole new level of hands free functionality to your home for a small investment.
I use my remote control light switches everyday and love the piece of mind I get from knowing that I can turn off all of my lights off in my home before I go to bed even if I accidentally left a light on.
Remote Control Light Switch FAQ:
If your internet goes out will your Remote Control Light switch still work?
Yes, all of the remote control smart light switches we have listed above will still work like a normal light switch if the internet goes out. This means that you can go turn on and off the light switch just as if it were a normal light switch by pressing the button. If the internet goes out you will lose remote control functionality on the light switch until the internet is restored. You will not need to reprogram or reset the lights switches when the internet is restored. The light switches will automatically reconnect when the internet is back up.
How Hard Is It To Install A Remote Control Light Switch?
It is medium difficulty if you are comfortable installing a regular light switch you should have no problem installing a smart light switch. Just make sure you turn off the breaker to the light switch before you begin work. This video below shows the installation process for Lutron Caseta Light Switches.
Are Remote Control Light Switches Reliable?
Yes, in our experience the remote control light switches we have listed above are extremely reliable and in years of living with and testing these smart light switches they have worked great and been reliable.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Someone Install A Remote Control Switch?
If you don’t feel comfortable installing a remote control smart light switch you can always hire someone to install the smart light switches. We have found that one of the best deals for installing a smart light switch in on Amazon Home services where they will send a qualified installer to install the smart light switches for you.
Typically the cost to install a smart light switch is between $30 and $150 per light switch depending on where you live and the complexity of the job. You can typically get a discount on the cost per light switch if you have multiple light switches install all in one trip.