In an industry where most companies don’t take chances, iDevices has created a nice niche for themselves. Their ever-growing product lines features innovative designs that add those little extras that make them special. They also aim to reach a broad market by working with most platforms (Alexa, Google, Apple).
The iDevices Wall Switch connects to your existing WiFi (2.4 GHz only) and requires no pricey hub or bridge. Just the switch. While it offers most of the standard smart home features you’d expect, it solves a problem that is found in most of its competitors. It can work in 3-way and 4-way set ups. So if that is a need in your home, you’re looking at one of the few options available.
Works in 3-way set up
The iDevices Wall Switch utilizes a rocker-style face to manually activate the switch. Below the switch are two tiny buttons which are used in connecting the devices and resetting it when troubleshooting. Above is a clever tiny drawer that slides out providing your Apple HomeKit code and a spot to mark whether it’s the primary or secondary switch. In the middle sits a highly customizable LED light (similar to the one in the iDevices Switch smart plug) which we will get to later.
As mentioned earlier, this wall switch is not limited to single-pole configurations. You can use it in 3/4-way set ups. There is a caveat though. Both switches must be the iDevices Wall Switch. The way this is done is quite brilliant. Once both switches are installed, you pair them together by what I believe is Bluetooth. That way when one switch is turned on, it communicates with the other to let it know. Its surprising that other companies have not copied this approach.
Despite my love of the design, there is one gripe. It doesn’t come with a faceplate. This seems like ticky-tack way to save some money. You can fortunately pick up a standard decora plate at the hardware store for a buck that will fit perfectly. But I’m sure this has frustrated a few people who realized when their new switch arrived they’d have to make a trip out to the store.
Installation is fairly simple if you’ve had experience with other light switches. If not, there are thousands of videos and tutorials online to walk you through the process. You’ll be connecting three wires. The live, load, and neutral. Yes, this light switch requires a neutral wire (which should be in most homes). The device is a bit bulky in back so it might create a tight fit if you’re already struggling for space. This is not much different from other brands.
Customizable night light is nice bonus
The iDevices Wall Switch works with both Apple and Android phones. With that said, it does feel like the Android side wasn’t as high a priority. Despite it working, the product is geared toward the Apple ecosystem. Connecting is painless through Apple Home and requires hitting a couple buttons and scanning the included barcode. If you’re an avid HomeKit user, you know how simple this is. Android users require some additional steps that are not overly complicated.
Controlling the switch is rather simple. You’ll be able to turn on and off the device using your phone or voice. You can set up schedules and integrate it with other smart products in your home. For instance if you have the iDevices Wall Outlet, you can have that turn on when you turn on the light switch. That’s an easy way to use the switch to control more than what its wired to control. Of course, you can always use the physical switch on the wall. There is no dimming functionality (although the iDevices Dimmer Switch can handle that).
Perhaps my favorite feature on the iDevices light switch is the LED nightlight. This is typically an afterthought for most companies, but here they’ve made it something special. The night light is controlled independently as its own device. You can choose from an unlimited amount of colors and adjust the brightness too. There’s even an option to set it on a schedule. So you can have it light up only at night or use it as a fun way to let your children know it’s time for bed.
In testing, the switch performed admirably. Response times are instantaneous. The scheduling worked as intended too. To control it remotely, you will have to use their proprietary iDevices Connected app. If you want to control it through Apple Home when away from the house, you’ll need an Apple TV, HomePod, or newer iPad working as a hub. Perhaps the only issue I ran into was it not resetting itself after a brief power outage. I had to manually reset the switch (which is simple).
Voice controls through Siri were great. Since you can rename the device to whatever you want, you can give specific commands such as “Siri, turn on the kitchen light”. There is compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. These require a more complicated set up process. Alexa worked fine but there was nothing but trouble with Google Home. There is no compatibility with Nest, Wink, Samsung SmartThings, and other systems.
Great switch for Apple HomeKit users
iDevices has put together an innovative product that solves the pesky 3-way switch problem. If you’re an Apple HomeKit user in need of a smart light switch that can handle a 3-way set up, this is one of the best (and only) options. For single-pole users, the Elgato Eve Light Switch is a nice alternative, but uses Bluetooth to connect (which limits the distance it can be controlled at).
For Android users, things get murky. The Leviton DW15S-1BZ Decora Smart is cheaper and provides 3-way support. The Wemo Light Switch is a terrific option for single-pole switches. I’d probably go with them unless you’re in love with the idea of the night light. Still, this is a nice choice from a company that is continuing to put out unique, quality products.