Lighting Smart Home

Want to add smarts to light switches without replacing? Switchmate has them covered

editors-choiceControlling home lighting via a smartphone app can come in handy. But all too often setting up such systems can be overly complicated.

Switchmate does away with all of that complexity. It consists of a white cover that easily snaps over a standard light switch using magnets. It gets paired via Bluetooth with an Android or iOS app and the user can then easily take control of the switch via their smartphone. In a nice touch, the app can control multiple Switchmates. Notably, users can see the status of their lights within a Bluetooth range of about 150 feet. Each Switchmate will cost $60 and is scheduled to begin shipping in December. Its maker set an Indiegogo campaign goal of raising $50,000 by April 1.

Switchmate holds a great deal of promise if truly is compatible with any standard light switch and if the setup process is as easy as the campaign advertises. The device takes the ease of Emberlight one step further insofar as it attaches to a light switch instead of a light fixture itself, thereby eliminating the need to have a ladder or really tall person nearby.