The 4 Best In-Wall Smart Light Switches and Dimmers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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The 4 Best In-Wall Smart Light Switches and Dimmers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

People may take light switches for granted because they’re, well, pretty boring (not to us, though!). Smart switches, however, are more convenient and add a little pizzazz, letting you control your entire home’s lighting with an app or a voice command—whether you’re in bed for the night, at the office, or on vacation.

After testing all the best smart dimmers and switches, we’ve found something for every lighting need. Our top overall pick is the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer KS220 because it’s easy to use, affordable enough that you could install several throughout a home, and compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and IFTTT.

This reliable, affordable dimmer switch uses Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a hub, and it’s easy to use both at the switch and in the app.

This traditional rocker dimmer (which, unlike a toggle switch, you don’t flip up or down) is reliable and inexpensive. The companion app has a few quirks, but the switch works well on Wi-Fi and is compatible with a few smart platforms.

This traditional rocker switch works with all Z-Wave smart-home hubs, including HomeSeer, Honeywell, Ring, SmartThings, Vivint, and Wink. It’s also the easiest to use of the Z-Wave models we tested.

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In addition to connecting over a reliable network, this model works with many smart-home devices, doesn’t require a neutral wire for installation, and has an easy-to-use traditional rocker paddle.

Installing a dimmer switch requires tools and the confidence to handle electrical wiring. It’s not complex, but some people may be better off hiring help.

Smart switches are bulky. Confirm your switch box’s size, and if it’s crowded with wiring, get a smart switch that uses terminals, not wire leads.

Older homes may not have a neutral wire (usually white) in the switch box; if you have no neutral, be sure to choose a smart switch that doesn’t require one.

Never pair smart bulbs with a smart dimmer. Most aren’t compatible and so will flicker, flash, strobe, or buzz.

This reliable, affordable dimmer switch uses Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a hub, and it’s easy to use both at the switch and in the app.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer KS220 is similar to our previous pick, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer HS220 (which is still a good choice if you don’t want to use your dimmer to control a fan or don’t need HomeKit support). The KS220 connects directly to your home Wi-Fi network, includes three buttons (for dimming and on/off), and looks good on a wall. The app allows you to create automated Schedules and to control groups of switches. It also lets you program the dimmer to react based on how you touch it—so a long press or a double-tap, for example, can instantly turn the switch on or off, instruct it to fade to off, or tell it to go to a preferred preset dimming level. The KS220 adds a new streamlined LED and support for Apple HomeKit. If you don’t need dimming capabilities, we also recommend the slightly less expensive TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch KS200.

This traditional rocker dimmer (which, unlike a toggle switch, you don’t flip up or down) is reliable and inexpensive. The companion app has a few quirks, but the switch works well on Wi-Fi and is compatible with a few smart platforms.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri Shortcuts, Google Home

The Feit Electric Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer is a great alternative if you want something reliable and inexpensive but don’t love the three-button layout of the Kasa Smart KS220 dimmer. We prefer the Kasa Smart app and some of the additional features it offers, but this Feit dimmer is simple to operate, provides the ability to schedule your lighting based on a variety of conditions (even the weather), and is compatible with several smart-home platforms.

This traditional rocker switch works with all Z-Wave smart-home hubs, including HomeSeer, Honeywell, Ring, SmartThings, Vivint, and Wink. It’s also the easiest to use of the Z-Wave models we tested.

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Compatible with: Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus hubs and compatible devices

If you already have a smart home that supports Z-Wave devices, choose the Enbrighten In-Wall Z-Wave Smart Dimmer. It requires the use of a Z-Wave smart-home hub and is compatible with many of the most popular hub models, including those from HomeSeer, Honeywell, Ring, SmartThings, Vivint, and Wink. Among the Z-Wave dimmers we tested, this model is the least expensive and the easiest to use, providing remote control, customized Scenes, and scheduled use so you can turn the lights on and off at set times of the day.

In addition to connecting over a reliable network, this model works with many smart-home devices, doesn’t require a neutral wire for installation, and has an easy-to-use traditional rocker paddle.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

The Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Dimmer DN6HD is the least expensive smart dimmer switch we’ve tested among those that don’t require connecting to a neutral wire. It communicates wirelessly with the $20 plug-in Decora Smart Wi-Fi Bridge, which lets you add and control up to 25 dimmers and switches using the My Leviton app. We like that the bridge and app allow you to mix and match non-neutral-wiring devices like this dimmer with other items in Leviton’s Decora line, such as switches and dimmers that do use a neutral wire, as well as other dimmers, in-wall outlets, and smart plugs. This Leviton smart dimmer is also compatible with more smart-home platforms than any of our other picks, and its support for installation in three-way configurations (with an add-on switch or dimmer) allows for more creative lighting-control scenarios. Leviton’s companion app is notably easy to use, allowing you to set up the switch and create Schedules and Scenes; we especially like that you can control the light directly from the dashboard of the app without having to search for it first, as you do with some other dimmers. The only downside is that the DN6HD requires that Wi-Fi bridge, but you can buy it as part of a starter kit that includes both the bridge and one dimmer and slightly reduces the cost.

A smart plug boosts the IQ of un-brainy devices like lamps, fans, or string lights, letting you schedule or control them by app or voice commands.

These smart devices can transform the ambiance and comfort levels of any space in the time it takes to open an app and screw in a light bulb.

I first started testing smart-home devices more than 20 years ago, back when the only smart-home devices were X10. Since 2016, I’ve been covering smart-home gear for Wirecutter, and I’ve had my hands on everything from smart bulbs, smart plugs, and water-leak sensors to smart video doorbells, outdoor security cameras, and security systems. I’ve also written tech articles for The New York Times, Wired, and Men’s Health, among others.

Although I performed hours of testing on each switch myself, my husband, who is a licensed electrician, completed each installation. He has installed literally thousands of switches and was able to help me evaluate each installation and the build quality of each switch; this also made swapping out switches 10 times faster than if I’d done it. If you aren’t comfortable or familiar with wiring, it’s always best to have a professional do it.

No one likes entering a dark house. Smart lighting allows you to turn lights on and off from almost anywhere using a smartphone, as well as to use an app to set timer-like Schedules so that your lights power on and off automatically based on the time of day, among other variables. You have a lot of smart-lighting options to choose from, such as bulbs and plug-in switches, but in-wall smart light switches are more permanent fixtures that allow you to control one or more lights on a circuit. They also allow family members and guests to operate light fixtures at the switch.

Most smart switches entail an easy swap (although you should hire an electrician if you aren’t comfortable with turning off the power and poking around inside the wall). And smart dimmers can help you save on your electricity bill because you’ll frequently set the light level at less than full blast.

Most wireless switches connect directly to your home Wi-Fi network, but some need a smart-home hub or proprietary network bridge that sets up a separate wireless network. In-wall wireless switches can control one or more lights at a time and typically can integrate with other smart devices, so you can have your lights triggered by motion sensors, smart locks, cameras, or even the sound of your voice.

One problem that comes up a lot when you’re using modern LED lighting and dimmers (smart or regular) is buzzing or flickering, which can be maddening—especially since these switches can be so pricey. We spoke with Brent Protzman, director of building science at Lutron, and he explained that LED bulbs can be much more prone to issues. “The behavior of the electronic driver inside the LED lamp is quick and directly responsive to the everyday fluctuations on a home’s electrical supply,” he said. “Some LED bulbs may also make an audible buzzing sound due to the vibration of its components, and the level of vibration (buzzing) depends on the LED design.” So if you experience buzzing with your new switches, before ripping out the switches (and your hair), try swapping out the bulbs for a better fit. Or, before buying, vet the dimmer on the company’s website or with its tech support to confirm that the dimmer is compatible with your bulb or fixture.

For years, we’ve been keeping up with reviews and roundups of in-wall smart dimmers and switches. For us to consider a model for testing, it needs to be wireless and designed for installation inside the wall. All dimmers are also switches, and we favor dimmers because they’re better for setting a mood and saving electricity. We consider all of the following features:

Prices for these switches vary widely, but the majority cost $15 to $75, with models that have a built-in Alexa speaker and microphone at the higher end of that range.

My husband, a licensed electrician, installed each model. Some switches come with electrical leads attached; others have only terminals. They are equally easy to install. But if you have a tight fit in the wall, consider buying switches with terminals because that design helps limit the wiring you need to cram into the switch box.

The part of a wireless switch that goes inside the wall is bulkier than that of the average light switch, due to the extra technology built in. That doesn’t mean you need to get out a handsaw, but it does make the installation slightly more difficult than your average light-switch swap. Most of the models we review for this guide require a neutral wire. If your switches are older, you may not have such a wire inside the existing box. If that’s the case, you must either buy a smart switch that doesn’t require a neutral wire or hire an electrician to rewire the entire switch configuration. (You might also consider putting a completely wireless in-wall switch in that location.)

Even with the larger switch body and the wiring requirements, my in-house electrician needed only about 10 to 15 minutes to complete each installation, including shutting off the electricity at the circuit breaker and removing the old switches.

We tested each switch separately for a minimum of two weeks (most of them for much longer, and some for years) using the same LED bulbs, Wirecutter’s runner-up pick, the Feit Electric 60 W Equivalent Daylight Dimmable A19 Light Bulb. All of the switches here allow you to turn lights on and off remotely, as well as to set Schedules using each device’s respective smartphone app. Dimmers add the option of triggering a connected light to dim at a certain time of day. All of the models in our tests switched lights on and off without delay (except where noted in the Competition section), both when we physically touched the switch and when we used the app controls.

To test remote functionality and features, we used apps on an iPhone 12, an iPad, and a Google Pixel 7 Pro, when possible. We also used an Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show, as well as Apple HomePod Mini speakers and a Google Nest Mini, when testing devices that were compatible with voice commands.

Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and investigates as much as possible how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process for in-wall smart switches, we looked at all of the security and data-privacy practices behind our picks. We also reached out to the companies that produce our top picks to have them answer an extensive questionnaire (see Privacy and security: How our picks compare).

All of our picks require a password for you to use their companion apps. However, only TP-Link and Leviton offer two-factor authentication, a common system that does a good job of ascertaining that you are indeed you by sending your phone a verification code that you must then enter when you log in to the app.

Data sharing is a bigger concern, but it’s often what makes these devices work better; for instance, companies may share the location of your smartphone in order to trigger your smart light switches to go on and off based on sunrise and sunset times. If these types of features are of no interest, you can turn off location sharing in your smartphone’s settings. All of the companies behind our picks said they never share data for marketing purposes. However, if you opt to connect your devices to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, or Samsung SmartThings, you are bound to that platform’s rules. (Apple says that HomeKit limits data collection, no data is used for targeted advertising, and user permission is requested for data to be shared.)

Wirecutter long-term tests all of its picks, and the process includes tracking any hardware and software incidents that may surface. Should we find any privacy or security issues affecting any of our selected models, we’ll report them here and, if necessary, update or alter our recommendations.

This reliable, affordable dimmer switch uses Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a hub, and it’s easy to use both at the switch and in the app.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer KS220 is the best smart light dimmer. It’s reliable, easy to use, and affordable enough that you could reasonably install smart dimmers all over the house. The Kasa Smart app is one of the friendliest we’ve tested, with clear controls for Presets, Schedules, and Timers. It also responded quickly in our tests, and it allows you to group a switch with other Kasa Smart devices (such as smart plugs and smart bulbs), as well as to set up integration with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, or IFTTT.

The KS220 is a slight upgrade over our previous top pick, the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer HS220, because in the KS220 the company added support for Apple HomeKit. If that’s a feature you don’t care about, choose the HS220, which is a few dollars cheaper. We found both of these standard single-pole dimmers (meaning the device can control just one circuit from one location) to be dead simple to use—which is exactly what you want in a light switch. There’s no trying to figure out what the buttons do and no need to root around the phone app. Each of the switches features three buttons: a large button for on/off and two small buttons to adjust dimming. (In addition to this single-pole dimmer, TP-Link also makes the single-pole Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch KS200.)

Once you’ve pressed the switch, a thin strip of LEDs atop the dimming buttons briefly illuminates to show the dimming level; it shuts off after a few seconds. When the switch is turned off, a faint circular LED in the center of the large button lights up; it’s bright enough to be visible in a dark room but not enough to keep you up at night (though you can opt to turn it off under Device Settings in the Kasa Smart app). You can dim or shut off the switch by going into the app or by using voice commands spoken to Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri (as in “Alexa, dim the mud room to 25%”). The KS220 remembers dimming levels, so if you turn off the light when it’s dimmed to 50%, for example, the next time it’s triggered it automatically turns on to the same level (unless you’ve scheduled it to do otherwise).

The Kasa Smart app, available for Android and iOS, allows for a level of customization that’s uncommon at this price. It includes options to set dimming fade speeds for when the KS220 is turned on and off, as well as how long you want that fade to last (four preset speeds vary from instant to a few seconds). Those controls are useful; you might, for example, want to hit the switch and exit a room without having to feel your way around in darkness. The app also gives you the option to program custom actions for the switch—go on and off instantly, fade off, go to a preset dimming level—based on whether you tap the switch twice or do a long press. For example, we set a double-tap to turn the light on to 50% and set a long press to fade it off after a few seconds.

One thing we loved was the Dimming Calibration feature, which you can find at the bottom of the Device Settings menu in the Kasa Smart app. If you’ve ever dimmed lights using a smart switch and thought they didn’t seem dim enough, or if you’ve encountered flicker, this is how you fix it. Open the setting and drag your finger on the dimming strip to find the minimum level at which the bulbs light up. Once you’ve got that, tap Test. The lights will then brighten from the lowest setting to the brightest; the process should be smooth, without any flickering. If you see flickering, you may need to adjust the levels or, potentially, change the bulbs if they turn out to be incompatible.

We tested the KS220 at a variety of dimming levels, with both the Android and iOS apps, Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Home. We grouped it with the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim EP25 so that we could turn on several devices with a single tap in the app or with a voice command. We also created an Alexa Routine to have the Kasa Smart switch trigger whenever someone approached our Arlo Essential Video Doorbell (our top doorbell pick), and we paired it with IFTTT to turn on whenever someone walked past a Wyze Cam v3 (note that we no longer recommend Wyze cameras—see this post  for a full explanation). In all of our tests, the switch worked flawlessly and reacted quickly.

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch Dimmer KS220 supports up to 300 watts of power, whereas our other picks support twice that. Why does the wattage matter? If you use low-wattage LED bulbs or lights with just two or three incandescent bulbs, it isn’t an issue—for example, a 75-watt-equivalent LED bulb draws only about 10 watts. But if you hope to control multiple high-wattage lights using the same switch, you should confirm that it can support your needs.

Like many of the switches and dimmers on our list, the KS220 requires a neutral wire. That means installing it may be a problem in homes with old electrical wiring (houses built before 2011 weren’t required to have a neutral wire for switches). If you have an older house or aren’t sure whether the wiring includes a neutral wire, we recommend our upgrade pick, the Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Dimmer DN6HD.

This traditional rocker dimmer (which, unlike a toggle switch, you don’t flip up or down) is reliable and inexpensive. The companion app has a few quirks, but the switch works well on Wi-Fi and is compatible with a few smart platforms.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri Shortcuts, Google Home

If you prefer a traditional rocker-style switch or need a three-way configuration, we recommend the single-pole Feit Electric Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer. It connects directly to Wi-Fi without the need for a hub, and it works with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri Shortcuts, and Google Home. The Feit dimmer is easy to set up and control, but it doesn’t offer as much customization as the TP-Link Kasa Smart KS220. Also, we encountered a few quirks with the app that pushed this dimmer just below our top pick.

The Feit dimmer looks like a traditional rocker switch, but only the bottom paddle is pushable. It delivers a satisfying snap when it powers the light on and off, and it offers smaller dimming controls at the side of the paddle. LEDs at the top of the switch display the dimming level; you have the option to adjust the brightness of the LEDs from high to low or turn that feature off completely. Unlike the Kasa Smart dimmer, the Feit dimmer doesn’t provide customizable switch controls, such as for double-tapping or using a long press. However, it does work as a single-pole or three-way switch, so you can have switches in two spots to control a single light, as you would at the top and bottom of a staircase.

The Feit app looks a lot like several others in the smart-home world, as it comes from Smart Life/Tuya, which also develops apps for Monoprice and Treatlife, among other companies. It has a no-frills layout, with on/off functionality available on the home page and under the main page for the dimmer. On that dimmer page, you’ll also find the Schedule option. The Smart tab at the bottom of the main page allows for creating Scenes and Automations, which let you schedule the dimmer based on set times, local sunrise and sunset, and even weather conditions. Just keep in mind that for some of those Automations to work, you need to grant access to your location.

Our one gripe with the app (an issue that affects every smart device that uses this app) is that the Schedule feature is restricted to turning a switch on or off and doesn’t allow you to customize the dimming. To schedule the light to go on at specific dimming levels, you need to use the Automation feature instead. On the same tab, you can also set timers, which can turn lights on and off after you leave the room. It’s good that both features are present in the app, but considering how user-friendly this Feit dimmer is otherwise, it just seems odd that these functions are on a separate page.

Unlike our top pick, the Feit dimmer omits a few nice-to-haves such as customizable fade times and the ability to program settings when you double-tap or long-press a button. If those things don’t matter to you, and if you prefer a standard rocker switch or need an inexpensive three-way configuration (which requires purchase of a second dimmer), the Feit dimmer is a reliable, affordable alternative to the TP-Link Kasa Smart KS220.

This traditional rocker switch works with all Z-Wave smart-home hubs, including HomeSeer, Honeywell, Ring, SmartThings, Vivint, and Wink. It’s also the easiest to use of the Z-Wave models we tested.

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Compatible with: Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus hubs and compatible devices

The Enbrighten In-Wall Z-Wave Smart Dimmer is a great in-wall dimmer for anyone who already uses a Z-Wave smart-home hub, such as a hub from HomeSeer, Honeywell, Ring, SmartThings, Vivint, or Wink. Many of the basic lighting features, such as dimming and scheduling, are standard across most hubs, but it’s important to note that special features, including support for voice platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home, are contingent on the hub you use. Also, because the Enbrighten dimmer connects to a third-party hub, it can’t ever receive any firmware updates that might bring new or improved features or security fixes—that is, the hub may get updates, but the dimmer does not.

Like our runner-up from Feit, the Enbrighten dimmer is a sturdy, traditional rocker-style switch. The switch itself delivers a nice snap and allows you to dim the lighting with a long press. It also has a tiny blue LED on the bottom, which you can adjust to be always on, off, or contingent on the status of the switch.

We paired the Enbrighten Z-Wave dimmer with the SmartThings Hub and the Ring Alarm system. The dimmer performed well in our tests, reacting quickly to commands. Of course, your mileage may vary, depending on the hub you use. Speaking of which, depending on your hub, you can pair the dimmer with other smart-home devices, as well as create Scenes for one-touch access to your favorite dimming levels. For instance, we created a Dinner Scene that would turn the light on to 50%. You can do the same in Alexa or Google Assistant; in our tests, using both, we frequently barked out orders to turn the switch on and change the dimming level, and the switch responded accordingly.

The model we tested is the 500S, which requires a neutral wire. If you are in need of a Z-Wave dimmer and don’t have a neutral wire, choose the 700S version.

In addition to connecting over a reliable network, this model works with many smart-home devices, doesn’t require a neutral wire for installation, and has an easy-to-use traditional rocker paddle.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

The Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Dimmer DN6HD is our favorite smart dimmer that doesn’t require the use of a neutral wire. Its app includes dimming, scheduling, and grouping by room, and in our tests it performed consistently when we controlled it remotely. This is Leviton’s first no-neutral smart dimmer, so it requires the Decora Smart Wi-Fi Bridge, a separate hub that enables smart features and the ability to connect to various Decora smart devices through the My Leviton app, but that hub is the cheapest and easiest to use among any we’ve tested with smart light switches.

Like a few of the other models on our list, the DN6HD doesn’t require a neutral wire, which makes installation a little easier. And it’s great if you have an older home or older switches, since many homes don’t have that extra wire inside their existing boxes. The dimmer itself is a traditional-looking rocker that is easy to operate at the switch and produces a nice little snap when pressed. When you turn the switch on, a set of LEDs lights up to the left and then turns off; you can adjust how long those LEDs stay illuminated in the app under Advanced Settings > Device Options. Turning on the light brings up the previous dimming level, or you can set the dimmer to go on at a specific level every time someone uses it. Once it’s powered on, you can adjust the dimming levels in the app or by way of a smaller set of controls on the right side of the switch.

To connect the DN6HD to the My Leviton app, you need the $20 Decora Smart Wi-Fi Bridge. (Leviton also sells a starter kit that includes one dimmer and the Wi-Fi bridge.) The bridge is extremely easy to set up: Just plug it into any outlet and connect it to the My Leviton app. The DN6HD and the Decora Smart No-Neutral Switch DN15S connect to the bridge via an encrypted low-power RF network that the hub creates. Although one Decora Smart Wi-Fi Bridge should cover about 2,500 square feet, Leviton recommends keeping switches within 50 feet of it, which may be a potential problem in larger homes and may require the purchase of more than one hub. During our testing, we had no issues with the bridge installed in our test home’s living room, which is about 30 feet away from the home-office router, with the dimmer in an upstairs bedroom another 40 feet away.

The bridge creates a wireless network to better connect spots in your home where Wi-Fi may not be its strongest, and each hub can support up to 25 of these no-neutral switches and dimmers along with other Leviton devices (such as smart plugs, in-wall outlets, and other dimmers and switches) in the My Leviton app. This means you can schedule and control devices individually or grouped under one app, in addition to using a third-party platform such as Apple HomeKit.

The My Leviton app is easy to use. You can trigger the dimmer on or off, or bring up Home and Away settings on the app’s dashboard. Tapping the three dots on the dimmer icon brings up dimming controls, a timer, and the Device Settings menu for fade on/off rates, dimming ranges, and more. The Scheduling and Grouping functions are available via the icons at the bottom of the app.

Though we didn’t test the DN6HD in a three-way configuration, it also works that way when paired with the Decora Smart Anywhere Dimmer Companion DAWDC or the Decora Smart Anywhere Switch Companion DAWSC.

Many Wirecutter readers are concerned about how the world is impacted by the manufacturing, shipping, and normal use of the products we recommend. Wirecutter takes this topic seriously, too. That’s why we’re looking into the overall sustainability of all of our picks.

Our product recommendations are based completely on the criteria outlined in How we picked and How we tested. But we also offer the following information for anyone who may want to use environmental impact as a deciding factor in their purchases. We also recognize that the following may not paint a complete picture of a product’s supply chain and overall environmental impact.

In-wall smart switches and dimmers have the potential to save energy by putting a frequently used device on a customizable schedule, relieving you of having to remember to turn off the lights and ideally trimming the amount of time they’re on. They can also pair with other smart-home devices, such as sensors or cameras, so that they’re in use only when needed. And when you use a dimmer to lower the lighting levels, you reduce the amount of energy consumed by the fixtures that the dimmer controls; that may not add up tremendously when it comes to a single bulb or room, but across a household the effect can become more substantial, especially over time.

Although warranties average about one or two years (with Enbrighten standing out for a five-year warranty), these devices are long-term purchases because their makers can upgrade them via firmware. (In this regard, Enbrighten is the lone exception once more; it doesn’t issue software or firmware upgrades, since its device relies on a third-party hub.) This means that the dimmer switches may receive new features, security fixes, and other improvements to stay current.

We asked all of the companies behind our picks about sustainable practices, recyclable materials, and recycled packaging. The companies that responded noted that all of their assorted packaging and documentation pieces are recyclable, but TP-Link was the standout, claiming that some of the internal plastic components in its devices are made from certified recycled materials and that the external chassis is recyclable.

If you don’t have great Wi-Fi: The Lutron Caséta Wireless In-Wall Smart Dimmer was a pick dating back to when we started this guide, and we will continue to sing that dimmer’s praises. That said, we like the Lutron Caséta Diva Smart Dimmer a little better. It features a traditional rocker paddle, has the ability to remember the last-used dimming level at the switch (but not in the app, unless you create a specific Scene), and can work in three-way applications with a second hardwired or wireless switch. Both Lutron dimmers require the Lutron Caséta Smart Bridge, don’t use a neutral wire, and use ClearConnect wireless, which is especially helpful if your home has Wi-Fi dead spots. Ultimately we prefer the Leviton Decora Smart No-Neutral Dimmer DN6HD since it is more affordable and adds the ability to recall the last dimming level whether you use the app or physically press the switch.

If someone is always leaving the light on: The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer Switch With Motion Sensor ES20M includes motion detection so that lights can trigger upon occupancy and also allows you to schedule them to keep them from going on and off all day. Otherwise, it functions a lot like our previous top pick, the Kasa Smart HS220, and it doesn’t have HomeKit support. If lights being left on is not a particular worry for you, we recommend choosing our current top pick, the Kasa Smart KS220, or its predecessor over this model, which costs a few dollars more.

If you’re all-in with Aqara: The Aqara line doesn’t offer a dimmer switch, just single-rocker and double-rocker Zigbee switch models, available with neutral-wire or no-neutral installation; both models require the Aqara Hub M2. We tested the single-rocker version. It felt flimsy, and the internal relay made an abnormally loud click when triggered, whether we used the app, voice control, or manual control. Otherwise, functionally the Aqara switch works fine and supports all three of the major smart-home platforms. You also get stats for wattage and kilowatt-hours in the app, but only with the neutral-wire models.

If you’re all-in with Wyze: The Wyze Switch is an inexpensive option for people who just want to turn lights on and off. It doesn’t dim and doesn’t support HomeKit, and in our tests it made a loud pinging sound when it turned on or off. However, it’s cheap, and it worked well in all of our tests. Also, you can program the switch to control other Wyze devices based on how long or how much you press it.

Securam announced the Wi-Fi Security Switch SH-SD01, a dimmer that includes a laser-based motion detector, an ambient-light sensor, a night-light, and backlit buttons.

A new version of the Wemo Smart Dimmer launched over the previous summer with support for Thread. However, we are waiting on testing because this device won’t be upgraded to support Matter, and the company plans to release a new version once that platform launches later this year.

TP-Link’s Tapo S505D Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer Light Switch will have dimming and scheduling, an Away mode, and support for Matter. Pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

The Nanoleaf Sense+ Controls Smart Light Switch was one of our favorite announcements from the CES 2023 trade show. It has built-in motion and ambient-light sensors, along with Thread and Matter support. It also includes Nala, Nanoleaf’s Automations Learning Assistant, which can learn your lighting routines.

The Meross Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer Switch and Remote Kit MSS565 was noticeably smaller than other smart dimmers we tested, making it easier to fit into an existing electrical box. However, it doesn’t allow you to set custom dim levels when making a Schedule (though you can set that by using HomeKit or another smart-home platform). We found the button configuration to be unintuitive, too.

Our previous runner-up, the Monoprice Stitch Smart In-Wall On/Off Light Switch With Dimmer, is a solid rocker switch, but it’s often out of stock or overpriced. Our top picks are much easier to find, as well as much easier to use, with better features overall.

The Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer D26HD works with all major voice platforms and can also work in a three-way installation (with the addition of the Decora Smart Anywhere Dimmer Companion, which usually costs a little under $30). At about $50, this dimmer is more expensive than all of our Wi-Fi picks. Also, we don’t love the feel of this one as much as we do the first-gen model.

Both the Eaton WFD30 Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer and the Schneider Electric Square D X Series Dimmer work in single-pole and three-way configurations. Beyond that, neither model offers anything special, even though each one is about twice the price of our top pick, the TP-Link Kasa Smart KS220. When we used the Eaton model manually, it felt fine, but it responded only if we hit it in just the right spot. In addition, the Schneider app constantly logged us out, and because Eaton has no app, you would need to connect and operate that dimmer through Amazon Alexa.

We dismissed the HomeSeer HS-WX300 In-Wall Dimmer & Switch because it didn’t offer better features or performance than our Enbrighten Z-Wave pick when used with a SmartThings Hub, even though it’s more expensive. When we used it with a HomeSeer hub, we got more features, but the setup was difficult—and not just because adding devices and events is possible only through the web interface (not in the HomeSeer app).

The Legrand Tru-Universal Wi-Fi Enabled Dimmer is expensive. And it’s a bit trickier to work with than other models we tested, due to a required QR code (on a little sticker affixed to the front—better hang on to that), a slightly larger depth (1.77 inches total), and longer wires (which crowd the switch box).

The Merkury Smart Wi-Fi Dimmer Switch would often disconnect from our wireless network, even though all other devices were performing fine—even the Geeni Current+Charge, our top in-wall smart outlet, which uses the same app. And when the Merkury dimmer was connected, its reaction time was often (but not always) slow.

The C by GE Smart Switch Motion Sensing + Dimmer is pretty, but we can’t recommend it. This model is interesting because it’s one of the few switches we’ve tested that don’t require a neutral wire. However, in our tests it constantly asked us to connect to Bluetooth and had a handful of connection issues, and we found the app to be more confusing than necessary.

We dismissed the Treatlife Smart Dimmer Switch and the Treatlife 3-Way Smart Dimmer Switch because our picks performed better. All of our picks have better apps, too, and we had issues with the Treatlife single-pole dimmer delivering a painfully slow response, through both the app and voice commands, over multiple days of testing.

Providing single-pole, three-way, and four-way functionality, the iDevices Wall Switch includes a night-light feature (which you can turn off or tweak to show a variety of colors using the company’s iOS or Android app), as well as HomeKit support. However, it’s very expensive for a non-dimming smart switch.

We have yet to find a switch with Alexa built in that works successfully—and we’ve reviewed three of them to date. In our tests, the Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Voice Dimmer DWVAA had problems with Alexa, often failing to recognize our commands, as well as frequent connection issues. The iDevices Instinct doesn’t dim, feels a little cheap for the money, and doesn’t use the same app as other iDevices products. And the Ecobee Switch+ doesn’t dim, is overpriced, and was often buggy during our testing.

This article was edited by Jon Chase and Grant Clauser.

Houses built before 2011 weren’t required to have a neutral wire for switches, according to the National Electric Code, but most built after 1980 may have them anyway. The only way to know whether you have a neutral wire is to turn off the circuit, remove the wall plate and switch, and check the switch box. (It’s typically the white wire spliced with another white wire that isn’t connected to the existing switch.) If you’re looking to buy smart switches and aren’t sure whether you have a neutral wire, opt for one of the models that don’t require a neutral wire (such as the Leviton DN6HD).

Most standard light bulbs work with in-wall smart switches and dimmers. However, it’s always a good idea to check the specs, before you make a purchase, to be sure that the dimmer will be compatible with your choice of bulb type (we prefer LED) and the maximum load expressed in watts, which could be an issue if you have one switch that controls high-wattage bulbs or multiple banks of lights.

Never use a dimmable or smart dimmable light switch with smart light bulbs. Those dueling technologies can cause the bulb to flash, flicker, or buzz and otherwise malfunction. And even though some companies (such as C by GE) make smart bulbs and smart switches that can be paired, we don’t recommend them.

Many smart-home devices ask you to enable location services on your smartphone to enable their smart features. For instance, geofencing is a feature that turns your smart switch on and off based on the location of your smartphone—so, for example, your lights can come on automatically when you arrive home. Also, many smart lights can be triggered based on local sunrise and sunset times, which are determined by your location. If you aren’t interested in such features, it’s typically fine to disable location awareness or opt to enable it only when the app is in use.

Michael Brown, The best smart switches and dimmers: The foundation of your smart home, TechHive, January 23, 2023

Ry Crist, Smart bulbs vs. smart switches: The pros and cons of connected lighting, CNET, September 22, 2015

Nicole Van Zanten, Best Smart Light Switches and Plugs You Need 2023, Ideaing, December 27, 2022

Rachel Cericola is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter who has been covering smart-home technology since the days of X10. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Men’s Health, USA Today, and others. She hopes her neighbors read this bio because it would explain why she always has four video doorbells running simultaneously outside her home. 

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The 4 Best In-Wall Smart Light Switches and Dimmers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Port Networking Switches Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).