Cheap wall switch options?

So now that connected bulbs are becoming quite cheap, I’m thinking about replacing a large number of my bulbs with connected dimming bulbs (I.E Cree or Sengled). The one thing holding me back though is the wall switches currently in place - I have yet to find any cheap replacements for the wall switches that would allow me to turn them off and on. Perhaps that’s redundant since the bulbs themselves are controllable, but there are still people in the rooms that want to control those lights without opening an app or talking to the Google Home. They can all be turned on with the switch, but if I turn them off that way, I can’t turn them on again - so I guess I need a connected button rather than a switch.

What do others do for these cases? I hate to spend $9 to $15 for a connected bulb then have to spend another $25-$40 to replace the switch… but is that the only way to really do it right?

Myself, I used Z-wave switches and regular bulbs wherever there is a switch and only have smart bulbs in stand alone lamps that are around the house.



So what it comes down to is that I can have a fully dimmable light with remote on/off control for $10 by replacing the bulb - but loose my ability to control it properly from the switch. Or I can have the same functions built into an in-wall switch - then use a normal light bulb for $30 + the cost of a dimmable CFL or LED bulb.

Why are the in-line wall switches so expensive when they can build the same thing into a bulb for so much less? I would think a switch form factor would be far easier to deal with.

Depends on how you look at it. A bulb takes care of itself. A switch might have to take care of 12 bulbs.

For my house I have lots of ceiling lights, my kitchen has 5, my basement has 10, each ceiling fan has 3. For me I can buy “cheap” dimmable bulbs and one switch for $35. So that basement is now waaaay cheaper having one switch and 10 “dumb” LED’s then a regular switch and 10 smart bulbs.

Personally I opted for all smart switches and 0 smart bulbs. We have small children and I wants all the wall switches to work for them and baby sitters. But to each their own.


What he said.

Most of my light fixtures are multi-bulb. All ceiling fans have 4 bulbs each. 5 sets of cans=about 18 floods(led). Bathroom has multi bulb fixtures…

I have all GE Smart Switches, Dimmers and Fan Controllers and it’s quite a bit of them. I usually catch them on sale at Lowe’s and buy 2 get 1 free with a Lowe’s $15 off of $50 coupon. This brings them down to the lower $20s.

Local control of lights even if cloud is down.

So in my case, Smart Switches were WAY cheaper than Bulbs and WAY more practical.


It’s good that you already have done your homework to know the pros/cons of bulbs vs switches.

I’ve had to add motion sensors and/or Alexa dots to be the trigger for my smart bulbs. I have a few switches but I don’t like to rewire them all and my house has custom wall plates that are the screwless type which is an added cost if I want the same look/feel.

In rare cases, the switches are used but mostly by people outside of our house. (don’t know any better) I occasionally need to a power cycle to get the zigbee bulbs back online again. I still prefer smart bulbs since it adds dimming capabilities and they are cheaper than switches in smaller applications. I’ve just added a room at a time but I’m about done now with the house inside and out.