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Step-by-Step Guide Of How to Install a Smart Light Switch

Tips for Installing a Smart Light Switch

If you're looking to upgrade your home lighting to be controllable by Alexa or Google Assistant, you don't actually have to replace all of your light bulbs with smart bulbs. Instead, you can simply install a smart light switch to control your existing fixtures. While your first instinct may be to have this done by an electrician, smart light switch installation isn't overly complicated, and you may well be able to do it yourself if you follow these simple steps:

  • Verify what kind of existing wall switch set-up you have and check the wiring
  • Choose the smart switch you want
  • Remove the old switch
  • Connect the wires on your new smart switch device to the wires in your wall
  • Carefully test them out
  • Connect them to your home wifi network.

Does this sound a bit complicated? Don't worry - we've got you covered with this step-by-step guide.

How to Install a Smart Light Switch Properly

Step 1: Learn Your Smart Switch Set-Up

To convert an existing light switch to a smart switch, you first need to determine what kind of set you have because the type of smart switch you'll buy needs to be compatible. You need to buy a "single-gang" set-up if you have one switch. Two switches need two-gang, and three switches need a three-gang. 

Step 2: Find Out What Type of Wiring You Have

In order to check the wiring, you first need to shut off your power via the fuse box, as you definitely don't want to risk getting an electric shock while poking around in there. Next, make sure you have a non-contact voltage tester. Note - if you're replacing more than one existing fixture, don't assume they're all wired the same. It's very common for each room to have different switches set up depending on who installed them and when. Therefore, these steps will need to be repeated in each room. 

Step 3: Find the Existing Switch Where You Want to Install the Smart Switch

This is pretty simple - all you need to do is unscrew the wall plate and pry it off the wall. If it's stuck, it's probably just because the paint has dried and is fusing it to the wall. A flathead screwdriver or even a butter knife should do the trick.

Step 4: Exam the "In," "Out" Wire, and a "Neutral" Wire

Make sure your existing switch has the four main types of wiring needed to install a switch. There should be an "in" wire, an "out" wire, and "ground" wire and a "neutral" wire, which is typically white. If you're missing a neutral wire (which is possible if you're living in an old home), you need to buy a specific kind of smart light switch that doesn't require a neutral wire. If you're confused by this, don't worry. Your new device should come with a comprehensive smart switch wiring diagram you can refer to. 

Step 5: Connect the Your Smart Light Switch's Wire to the One from Your Wall

Next, simply remove your old switch once you disconnect the wires and start your smart light switch installation. It's pretty simple, just connect the "in" wire to the "in" wire, the "out" wire to the "out" wire and so on. Use a wire stripper to prepare your wires for the new switch, and use wire connectors to make sure you don't have any exposed or loose wires.

Step 6: Power on and Test the Wire

At this point, you can turn the power back on at the breaker box to test out your new switch. If it turns on, you're all set, but if it doesn't…

Step 7: Turn Off the Power at the Breaker Box

If the new smart switch doesn't turn on, go back to the breaker box and turn off the power before you start playing around with the wires. You want to make sure they're all adequately secured, as if the smart light switch isn't working, chances are one of the wires is loose. One tip - the wall box might be tight, but don't shove all of the wires inside. Make sure they're neatly placed as they can easily get loose if not organized properly.

Step 8: Screw the Smart Light Switch

Once all of the wires are in place and the smart light switch installation has gone off without a hitch, you can snap the light switch plate on the wall or screw it on, depending on the model. You're almost done!

Step 9: Connect Your Smart Switch to the Internet

The hard part is over! Now, all you have to do to start getting the most out of your new smart lighting set-up is to finish off your wifi light switch installation. This should be pretty easy. The smart switch you bought should have an app for you to download on whichever device you choose to use. Once you've downloaded the app, connecting it to your wifi should be pretty straightforward.

Step 10: Remote Control Your Smart Switch with App

At this point, you'll want to connect your smart light switch to whatever smart hub you're using so it can be controlled with Google Home or Alexa. At this point, you can take full advantage of all the features your smart switch comes with!

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