Smart light questions: I want to put two existing outdoor lights on timers

Is it possible to take a 3 gang light switch and only make one of the 3 switches smart? Also would any smart switch work with any switch? Is there anything else I should know about a smart switch before getting one? My goal is for 2 outsides lights to be on timers.

Lutron is going to be the most recommended for you. You’ll want the smart switch the most upstream in the line.

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We need to know what country you’re in before any recommendations are made.

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I am in the U.S.A.

As long as it’s using normal wiring, it’s no problem. When you take the switch plate off, you will see that they are actually three separate switches underneath and you can replace just one of them with a smart switch. But there are some wiring configurations where that won’t work, so again, details matter.

Also would any smart switch work with any switch?

Not necessarily. You need to check the specifications for the existing switch and for the new smart switch. Just as one example, there was one person who had outdoor floodlights that were very bright and very high wattage on a dumb switch, and he tried several smart switches that kept turning themselves off before he realized that they were not spec’d to handle a load that high. Once he realized what the problem was, he was able to get an appropriate smart switch.

Is there anything else I should know about a smart switch before getting one? My goal is for 2 outsides lights to be on timers.

Yes, but it depends on the exact details of what you’re trying to do.

First of all, this forum is for people who are using the Samsung smartthings ™ home automation platform. It is not a general home automation discussion forum. So all the questions and answers are assumed to be in the context of the Samsung system.

If you’re not already using that system, it would probably be overkill for the use case you’re describing. In fact, if you just want lights on a timer, you can even get switches which don’t work with a full home automation system. They literally just have built-in timers. Lutron makes a bunch of these which are very good, but there are other companies that do as well. This type of switch have the advantages of being simpler, typically less expensive, and very reliable.

On the other hand, if you go for a full home automation system you could also turn the lights on and off with a phone app even when you were not home, you could have the lights turn on as you pull into your driveway, things like that. Oh, and you could also use them with a voice assistant like Amazon echo or Google home.

Again, though, if you are just looking to automate a couple of lights, but you do want to be able to use them with a voice assistant or to have the lights turn on when you get home, you still don’t need smartthings or a similar full featured platform. You could just get the Lutron Caseta system.

But that starts to be lots of questions and lots of answers again, depending on exactly what you want to do.

If you’re not intending to use the Samsung smartthings system, you might want to ask your questions over on the Reddit sub forum on home automation. That community is brand agnostic. :sunglasses:

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