Kitchen Lights

I have flood lights in my kitchen on a regular old dimmer. Can I just replace the current dimmer with a smart things dimmer to control my kitchen lights with my Amazon Echo? Any recommendation on a smart switch dimmer?

Yes, the below dimmer isn’t the only one you can use but it’s among the most common. Keep in mind all these switches will require a neutral connection so make sure you have that.

I had couple of GE Z-waves go bad on me and switched to Leviton. You might consider Leviton’s dimmer; which, for another $10 over the GE models, gets you an LED indicator and, IMO, a more reliable product. I have it hooked up to our dining room light, and frequently use the dimming feature with our Amazon Echo (e.g., “Alexa, set the dining room to 40” gets roughly ‘intimate dinner’ lighting.)

I’m curious, what is different about the functionality of the LED on the Leviton vs. the GE?

1 Like

Not much, but the dimmer interface is different, and from a human factors perspective, the GEs are not entirely intuitive.

The paddle for the GE switches is tap at the top for on and tap at the bottom for off. To dim, you hold at bottom for darker and hold at the top for lighter. I have observed guests get baffled by this, and occasionally leave lights on, at minimum dimness, because they can’t figure out why holding the bottom of the paddle doesn’t power off the light. I suspect they walk away thinking, “that Matt is so damn eccentric with these weird lights and stuff.”

The Levitons, on the other hand, are intuitive. The whole paddle is a toggle. Press for on. Press again for off. And it’s the same interface whether the light is a dimmer model or not, but the non-dimmers lack the horizontal bar. That’s more idiot-proof, in my opinion. The dimming is achieved by the thin bar in the middle, which has above it a little LED that tells you the dimness setting – whether the light is on or off. You press the right side of the thin bar for brighter and the left for darker. The trade-off is that the GEs have a little blue LED at the bottom-right that you can set to be on (or off) when the light is on; the Levitons don’t have that.

It isn’t entirely comfortable to press the thin dimmer bar because it is so thin, but truth be told I have all the dimming done by Alexa now because it’s faster than pressing the button.

1 Like

Agree with matt but the mushy dimmer buttons on the Leviton make it a no go for some people.

Questions of preference on the add-on switches. I was leaning towards the GE because of the add-on switch’s ability to match the dimming functionality at either switch location (unless I’m misunderstanding). Do the add on switches for the leviton dimmers let you change the dimming level as well? Or can you just put two dimmers in (ultimately more expensive)?

Have the same question wmbest… hope somebody can tell us.

I bought and installed the Leviton before we had some guest recently. They get the on off function but the dimming function seems to escape them. I guess if I get it and my wife gets it then it’s ok. it works great with the Amazon Echo. The only part that was strange on the install is that you had to use the Neutral. it showed it on the instructions but I don’t think my brain wanted it to be so.