You can add a second light switch anywhere in your house without wiring a new three-way switch thanks to smart home technology. This guide will show you what you need, and how to do this without paying an electrician to run wires through your walls, ceiling or basement. Or, without spending all day doing it yourself. If you can replace a normal light switch, you can complete this project.
This is simple DIY home improvement project is a great reasons to go with a smart home upgrade. I came up with the idea while talking to my parents about dipping their toes into smart home gadgets with an Echo and a smart plug. My dad said that he should have wired a second switch by the door to the garage when he installed a new light in the ceiling. He didn’t want to crawl around in the attic again, and I told him that I had the perfect solution.
With a Lutron Caséta light switch and a Pico remote you can add a second light switch without wiring. You will need to replace your existing light switch, but that is simple enough that anyone can handle it.
What You Need:
- Lutron Caséta Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch & Remote Kit ($59.95)
- Lutron Claro Wall Plate ($3.96)
- Philips and Flathead Screwdriver
It’s handy to have a drill to install the Pico Switch wall plate and you may want a flashlight handy since you will need to turn off the power.
You may need to buy a new wall plate for your main switch if the one you’re replacing is a more traditional thin style switch. Optionally, you can get the Lutron Caséta Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit for $99.95 with the switch, Pico remote and the Smart Bridge that will then allow you to use your phone or voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to control the lights.
For about $60 you can add a second light switch without wiring and for about $100 you can make this a smart home upgrade. One reason I love the Lutron Caséta light switches is that with one $55 switch I can control multiple lightbulbs. With this option you get a physical control, which is important at the door, and you can use normal light bulbs.
How to Add a Second Light Switch Without Wiring
Once you get the new switch and your tools, you can get started. Go to your breaker box and turn off the power to the lights that you want to control. After yo udo this test to make sure there is no power to the lights or switch by trying to turn it on.
- Unscrew the wall plate.
- Unscrew the existing switch.
- Mark the wires before you remove them.
- Disconnect the wires from the current switch.
- Connect wires to the corresponding parts of the Lutron switch.
Once you have these steps done, you should secure the switch, but don’t reinstall in the wall yet. Turn the power back on and make sure the switch works. If it does, turn the power back off and screw the switch in place and put the wall plate on. If it doesn’t, you can troubleshoot.
Now that the main switch is in place, you need to pair the Pico remote to the switch. Follow the directions that came with your Pico remote if you are doing this without the Smart Bridge.
If you bought the Smart Bridge or the starter kit, plug-in the Smart Bridge and set that up now. Once that is set up, you can add the switch you installed and then add the Pico Remote and choose to control the light switch you just installed.
Once you know that the Pico remote is working, you can install the wallplate bracket where you want the second light switch. Once it is on your wall, insert the Pico remote and install the wall plate.
Now you can control your lights from the second switch without any additional wiring. The second switch looks just like a normal switch. If you prefer to keep the second switch somewhere else, you can put the Pico remote on a pedestal or use the adhesive back to mount it anywhere you want to hide the small remote.
Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant
The Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant is an awesome new way to use the Google Assistant in your home -- and with a screen.
Essentially the Lenovo Smart Display is a vastly better version of Amazon Echo that looks like it should be in your home and with loads of features that Alexa doesn't deliver.
The Smart Display is a Google Home with a screen, that comes in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes. In addition to standard Google Assistant controls, you can also interact with touch, and you can see your results on the screen. This works great with YouTube and other video results, recipes, directions and other activities.
The Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant built in is $199 for the 8-inch model and $249 for the 10-inch model with Bamboo back. The Smart Display arrives in early Summer 2018.
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