Today I'm going to be talking about thinking outside the square a little when it comes to Smart Switches.
When we think of installing Smart Switches like the Lykalyte Wifi Smart Switch we immediately think of swapping out like for like i.e. I have a 1 gang switch that switches on my outside light, I'll swap it out for a 1 gang Wifi Smart Switch so I can automate it. This is great because we achieve our objective of making the outside light smart and can then control it remotely, set up routines or automations and use voice control etc. Then I swap out the 1 gang light switch in the laundry for another 1 gang Wifi Smart Switch and so on.
But we might be missing out on some extra functionality. How so you might ask? Well the way these smart switches work they have an extra functionality that you might not immediately think of. Bear with me; there are two parts to this, first the wifi switch creates a physical connection in the circuit and second it creates a wireless connection as well. When you connect a smart switch up the unit itself is powered to not only power a relay for the circuit but also a wifi signal for the switch. So once powered there doesn't need to be anything else connected in the circuit for the wifi connectivity to still work. What I'm talking about here is that the switch can actually control (turn on/off) any other device that is connected through the same app in this case the Smart Life app over wifi.
Lets go back to my example and instead of changing out the laundry light switch for a 1 gang Wifi Smart Switch as well, I'll change it out for a 2 gang Wifi Smart Switch. The physical wiring is still the same in that the laundry light is connected to the relay and wifi but I now have a second wifi switch/button that is connected to the wifi only. I can now program the second button through the app to talk to the outside smart light switch over wifi and tell it to turn on and off as well. As long as your wifi is up and running the second switch will act like a second physical switch a virtual two-way switch for the outside light without the need for extra physical wiring.
I have this set up in my own home where I have 3 exterior lights of which all were wired to a single 1 gang switch each. I swapped out the 1 gang switches for 2 gang Wifi Smart Switches. Now the top button on each switch still turns on/off the single corresponding outside light but with a simple automation the bottom button on all three switches now turns on/off all 3 lights at once.
This is just one example of what is possible but there are so many other possibilities depending on what other smart devices you have.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Cheers Luke.Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Burst