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Considering smart switches/smart lightbulbs

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Considering smart switches/smart lightbulbs
« on: May 30, 2017, 12:35:34 am »
Hi everyone,

Long-time Echo owner, first time poster.

I've started, little by little, making our 1984 condo more Alexa friendly, especially concerning lighting (I want to, basically, be working on the desk, and be able to turn on any light through Alexa as the day starts to fade).  Baby steps for now: all I have so far are two TP-Link outlets, which work amazingly well with two lamps.

Now, I've started to consider a few trickier projects, especially one concerning our ceiling lights.  Namely, we have two separate lightbulbs around the living room that are receding, dimmable BR30 lights. 

They're controlled by two separate wall switches, both with two controls on them:
- One has an on/off switch, and then a dimmer wheel
- The other not only controls the ceiling light (through an up-and-down knob) but a separate simple on/off switch that controls a separate light altogether (and that separate light has no reason to be smart)

So, with all that said: I've been looking around and am starting to consider two options for that, both with their pros and cons, of course:
- Option 1: I can simply install smart BR30 lightbulbs, which are not that expensive and easily connect them to the Echo like everything else.  The one downside I see (and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong here!) is that it'd only be controlled, then, from the Echo.  We would, in that case, lose the ability to control it via the regular switch, as the Echo would tell the bulb itself to be on or off (my wife and I sometimes have diverging schedules, and would like to avoid having to ALWAYS talk out loud to turn lights on - yes, I do know I can often use an App to do that, too, but still...)
- Option 2: I can install a Smart Switch, which is a little more expensive, but would solve the problem explained above (I believe, as I can always just walk to the switch and click on it instead - which I can't do with a lightbulb).  But I have zero experience with electrical work, and also, as I explained, those two switches are double switches, and I foresee ending up with a hole on the wall as I replace them for a different and probably smaller smart switch.

Anyway, I may just be overthinking all of this, but I'd love input from fellow forum members.  If anyone has done something similar, or has any expertise to offer, I'd love to hear it!

Thanks in advance!
D.

Re: Considering smart switches/smart lightbulbs
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 05:21:54 am »
if you have a lot of visitors, then the best would be to go with the wall switches.  this way you do not have to worry about the visitor turning the light off using the switch.  it they did, the result would be you would have to turn the switch back on before the light can be smart again.   they are easy to install but you need to make sure there is a neutral wire.