I’ll start this letting everyone know I am new to all of this, so I apologize for my ignorance.
I just purchased an older home with no overhead lighting. Each bedroom has 1 switch that controls 1 outlet, they all also have 3 outlets that are always on.
I would like to install something that would allow me to turn the switch on and it would turn on lamps that are not actually plugged into the the outlet that is currently controlled by that switch.
Could I replace the current dumb switch with a smart switch to control smart plugs which the lamps are plugged into to? Could I use smart bulbs in the lamps rather than the smart plugs. Sorry I don’t really know how this stuff works!
Welcome! Absolutely, any of that is possible. And, as @HalD mentioned, we do need to know what country you are in as the device selection does vary.
I myself am in the United States living in a house that was built in 1955 and had exactly the same set up.
What we did in most rooms was put a plug-in hanging lamp into the regular dumb outlet. We then put smart bulbs in the lamp. And we used a “smart switch cover“ which is a battery powered device that goes over the existing switch, and is able to get a message to the bulbs in the lamp. That gave us dimming at the wall switch and did not require any rewiring, with a minimal dollar investment. It was also completely intuitive for guests and other visitors. And we could easily add voice control. And in some rooms the same wall switch also turns on a table lamp on two sides of the room, as well as the overhead pendant light.
But there are a lot of different ways to do this. Again, though, the first thing we need to know is what country you are in.
I am in the US and do not have a neutral wire in the junction boxes.
I’m not so concerned with the dimming or voice activated control, I want to turn the switch on and have a light in the opposite corner of the room to turn on, rather than the outlet the dumb switch is hard wired to.
Since you have no neutral in your switch boxes you will have very limited options for smart switches. If it were me I would leave your switch as it is (though I would personally change it to a rocker style switch similar to this one) and then add this switch beside it:
Purchase a double gang wall plate that will work with this and your existing switch. Again I prefer the look of two rocker switches beside each other vs a toggle and a rocker. This comes with a wall mount so just line it up beside your existing single switch box where a double gang switch plate will cover both.
This switch doesn’t control anything directly. Via rule you can set if pressed turn on/off another smart switch in the room. For your lamps you can either use plug-in type smart switches or change the receptacle to a smart one that has one always on outlet and one smart outlet - I have many GE/Jasco smart receptacles in my home.
Replacing the existing switch is definitely one option, and these days there are several brands with no neutral options, including Lutron, Homeseer, and GE. Also, the Zooz brand mentioned as well as the Homeseer and GE would all also require a smartthings/Aeotec hub, so we should mention that.
Anyway, for the use case described I prefer a smart switch cover that goes over the existing switch, especially as a first project for someone new to home automation.
In North America, the Lutron Aurora works well and is totally intuitive for guests.
We now have 5 of these in our house for exactly the use case the OP describes: to have a wall switch which will turn on both an overhead light and one or more table lamps around the room.
There’s no wiring required. The aurora fits over the top of the existing dumb switch. It takes about two minutes and a screw driver and you’re done.
You can now get Hue brand bulbs in several different max brightness levels. We use two 1100 lm bulbs, each about the equivalent of a 75 watt bulb, in the entry way ceiling fixture, for example.
To save money on bulbs, we also use some INNR models which work well with this setup and cost less. However, these don’t have the power restore behaviour that the more expensive Hues do, so we only use them where we don’t mind if the bulb comes on 100% bright after a power outage. (In contrast, you have the choice with Hue models to set an individual bulb to restore itself to its previous state before the power went out.)
Anyway, I really like this setup for this use case. So most people would need:
One hue hub starter kit with hub and two bulbs: $50
One Lutron aurora switch per switch position: $40
Additional bulbs that work with the Hue hub. Price varies depending on brightness, brand, and features. $15 each is typical for a 60 w equivalent with power restore feature, although you can go lower without it.
No wiring, flexible choices for each location, works with most other home automation systems if you want to start expanding, including the various voice control options. And it’s fast and easy to set up without touching the wiring. Win/win.
If you also want a handheld remote, like something to put on the nightstand in the bedroom, you can use anything that works with the hue hub. There are several options. These Don’t fit over the existing light switch. You can either mount them on the wall anywhere you like or leave them flat on a table.