Best smart lightswitch

I’m moving house soon and want to go fully automated :joy:

I’ve been looking at smart switches and would like to know if anyone has opinions on the best product to use?

I previously had a single Aqara switch (zigbee). I really like the aesthetics of these, and they make 2 versions, one of which doesn’t require a neutral line.
Mine was paired with zigbee2mqtt so I didn’t need to use the Aqara hub. It worked pretty well for about 2 years, but then the lights started to intermittently flash and I had to get rid of it. It also sometimes lost connection, which was annoying.

The other one I’ve used is the sonoff mini. These are really cheap. They run on Wi-Fi so no need for a hub or bridge. Connection is a more stable (in my opinion). the only problem is they need live and neutral, so not always easy to wire in behind the switch. You also need a deep backbox.

Another other option is the Shelly 1
no experience with these but look very similar to the sonoff mini. Unfortunately they still need a neutral line.

I think you should look into switches that have power monitoring ability; this could give you a large advantage in automation. For example if you use a shelly PM1 for your outside lights and you know that you have five 20 watt light bulbs at night which would be 100W, then all of a sudden your are at 80W; you could deduce that one of your light bulbs just went out and needs replacement. I use power monitoring for a few reasons. One specific example is to know when the TV is on then an automation turns on backlighting.

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Can’t talk about the Aqara one, but I have both Sonoff Mini and Shelly 1 in my house (all flashed with tasmota). The Shelly 1 is more expensive, but accepts current on it switch lines, the Sonoff Mini does not.
It depends on the current wiring which you need to choose.

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thanks. The shelly sounds like a more premium product to the sonoff.

Do you have the standard Shelly 1 monitoring current, or is it the Shelly 1 PM?

It looks like the Shelly 1L doesn’t require neutral!

The Shelly 1 does not power monitoring, only the Shelly 1 PM (and the Shelly 2)

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I tarted with z-wave because I was running homeseer. I have about 90 nodes. I also have 5 shelly devices. 3 shelly 1’s and 2 shelly 2.5’s. If shelly were available when I started I would have gone wholly that route.

My issue with z-wave/zigbee:

  1. Z-wave is the most expensive.
  2. One bad device in a mesh network can reek havoc and the offending device can be hard to find (9 failures in 7 years has taught me this).
  3. Z devices seem to be more susceptible to damage from current surges. I installed surge protection at my main and sub-panels and this has nearly eliminated failures in the devices.

I agree with @GleenHA that power monitoring is preferred.

I am in US where neutral is mostly present so that is less of an issue for me.

Hope you find this of value.

I have plenty of those.

Those are zigbee devices, work perfectly with zigbee2mqtt. There are 1,2,3 channel versions, and can work with or without neutral line. Never had any problem.

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Perhaps we should first define “best”.

Otherwise 10 people might have 11 opinions. My vote goes to Lutron Caseta.

Thanks. Interesting to hear your zwave experience is similar to my zigbee. I only had one device, but the connectivity wasn’t very reliable, and it finally died (maybe due to a current surge).

I’m definitely leaning towards shelly.

Please note only Shelly1 has dry contacts and is capable to handle up to 16A. others are 10A.

Using Shellies has one advantage over integrated ones like ie tuya/Xiaomi agara: you can use it with any wallswitch, while relays built into wall-switches limit your choice to a few available designs.

I’m using mostly Shelly relays. all with native fw through mqtt. And found them very reliable

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