Is the Sengled Smart Light Switch a viable option for your smart home? Is it an alternative to the Philips Hue Switch?
So with the supply chain crisis with many products around the world, one product has been hard to get, the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch. Normally available at Home Depot and all over online shops, this was the ideal switch for hue lights. However, they are near impossible to get, so I set out to look for an alternative. On this search, I came across the Sengled Smart Light Switch.
Sengled is a well-known brand in the smart home space, so seeing that they offer a smart switch that looks like the Philips Hue switch was quite interesting. How does it perform though? I purchased the Sengled Smart Light Switch on Amazon for $19.99 which is an awesome price if this works as expected.
The package came and was packed pretty well. Just your standard product box, nothing too special. The kit comes with the wallplate, the switch, and mounting tools.
Sengled Smart Light Switch Build Quality
The build quality is what you’d expect from a $20 device. It’s plastic, very light with 4 large buttons. The buttons aren’t as tactile as I’d like them to be but they get the job done. There is a little LED light that activates when the buttons are pressed. This gives you an indicator that you pressed the button. As mentioned, it’s pretty light, so I wouldn’t drop it on a hard surface as it could damage it.
The wallplate is also pretty sturdy and feels solid. It has a magnet on the back that keeps the remote in place while mounted on the wall.
Setting Up The Switch To The Hub
So this switch requires a hub, whether you get the Sengled hub or my recommendation, the Smartthings hub (Now Aeotec for hardware). The Sengled Smart Light Switch is fully compatible with the SmartThings platform so setup was a breeze. Simply add a device as normal, choose the brand, Sengled, then choose Light Switch. Once that is complete, pull the battery sticker and click next. Smartthings found the light switch in a few seconds, ready to rock and roll.
Operating The Sengled Smart Light Switch
Once the switch is all set up, now it is time to program it. Since I use the Smartthings hub, I wanted to connect this switch directly to my Philips Hue Lights. It was a simple process all done in the automation tab
As you can see in the image below, I created a simple routine to turn on the 2 lights at 65% brightness.
Next, is the automation for when the off button is pressed.
This simple on, off automation, works pretty well. You can set power state, brightness level, and bulb color if yours supports that. If using something like Smartthings, you can control just about anything that is connected to your smart home. TVs, AC units, bulbs, anything. So it’s a great low-cost option if you need a universal smart button.
Performance of the Sengled Smart Light Switch
Now, here is where I see a little bit of a hit. This is a Zigbee device, connected to a Zigbee hub. I noticed a small delay with the button press before the lights turn on and off. Not a big delay, maybe around 1 second to 1.5 seconds. I checked the device structure via the Smartthings admin panel and it is showing it’s connected via the cloud and NOT local. Not too sure why this is and would explain the slight delay that is happening.
Don’t get me wrong, the delay isn’t breaking, it’s just something I was looking for and I just can’t unsee things like this.
Other than that 1 item, the performance is pretty good. The switch does what it was programmed to do without any real problems that I can see.
Now, one of my biggest issues with this switch is with the dimming. This switch has a dim up and dim down button. These will not work unless you physically set up automations at particular brightness levels for each time you press the button. This in my opinion is not worth doing. Unlike the Philips Hue switch, it will dim whichever bulb(s) it is connected to without having to set up any automations.
While this is not a deal-breaker for me, it’s just something I will never set up. I don’t like clutter in my automation lists, and setting up this switch with all those extra automations is a no-go for me. So this switch would only serve as a power on and power off button for the time being.
Overall Thoughts On The Sengled Smart Light Switch
Overall, this switch is a pretty good buy. Right now, at the time of this writing, the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch is impossible to find, which makes this Sengled Smart Light Switch a decent alternative for basic power on and off functionality. Especially when the remote is detachable from the wallplate.