The new ecobee smart light switch with built-in Alexa voice control


(Yves Racine) #1

The biggest suprise with the new ecobee4 thermostat, it’s not the thermostat itself, but the smart switch with voice control that you can install throughout your home. See the picture below

The new switch is here.

Here is a demo:

Regards


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(Greg) #2

So it’s an occupancy, temp, and voice sensor in a light switch form factor. Is it a light switch as well?


(Yves Racine) #3

Yes, I haven’t tried it yet (as it will be released later this year), but it’s a multipurpose light switch that you can place in some strategic locations in your home.


(Yves Racine) #4

And, don’t forget. You can order the ecobee4 (available now) with its sleek design and all the goodies.

Here is the announcement:

CNET says : “There’s no comparison – the Ecobee4 is the best smart thermostat available today.”

Suggested Retail price: $249 with the integrated Alexa voice skills, not too bad!

For a comparison of Ecobee vs. other ST connected thermostats, refer to

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=My_Ecobee_Device#Why_ecobee_vs._other_connected_thermostats.3F

The best features for ST users:

-The rich APIs that you can exploit thru MyEcobee device that allows to control almost every aspect of your smart thermostat in Home Automation scenarios under ST.

-The HomeIQ portal which allows you to access ALL your data (contrary to Nest).

See HomeIQ screenshots here:





Regards.


#5

I wonder if the light switch will also work with HomeKit. If it does, it puts market pressure on Lutron to add an occupancy switch ( A light switch with an integrated motion sensor) to their Caseta line.

Choice is good, and competition is usually good for consumers, and this is definitely an interesting development. :sunglasses:

Adding Alexa to every room for home automation just by adding a light switch is also a really interesting development. This is one of those where the thermostat is acting as the hub. Of course some people don’t want an always listening device in every room, so you do have to wonder if they’ll also offer an “Alexa – free” model.

All in all, I definitely agree: the not yet released light Switch was the most interesting part of the ecobee 4 announcement. :sunglasses:


(Yves Racine) #6

Hi, there are no details about the light switch’s compatibility with homeKit…

See press release.

Regards.


(Dale C) #7

It doesn’t look like it is worth changing out for those already with ecobee3 with Alexa/Google Home through SmartThings? It would be a step backwards.


(Yves Racine) #8

Hi,

It’s worthwile for the exisiting Nest Users (and potential new smart thermostat customers) who are tired of waiting for Google/Nest to make a move toward more Home Automation features (and decent APIs).

Ecobee is the best thermostat on the market now!

I know a lot of people using Nest that are thinking of switching to Ecobee.

And, I know 2 community users who are doing the switch now (and like My ecobee device even better)!
Regards.


(Sid) #9

The switches wont be dependent on the thermostat i believe. Will Alexa work with the switches if i dont have an ecobee thermostat?


(Yves Racine) #10

I’m not sure as the technical details are missing…


(John) #11

As excited as I got about this, the biggest downfall is that you still, most likely, won’t be able to use with Hue bulbs, since they don’t remember state…

I’m starting to reconsider using Hue bulbs since they lock us out of 98% of the smart light switches on the market. However, with over $600 already invested in Hue, its hard to look back.


(Jimmy) #12

unless you want color lighting, there is no reason to use smart bulbs on a circuit with a smart switch.


#13

Almost all the smart bulbs currently marketed, regardless of brand, are designed to always be on power. It’s the bulb that should decide how much power it will draw. If you regularly turn current on and off to the bulb, you are at a very real risk of damaging the radio inside it because of inrush current. It’s OK if there’s an occasional power outage, that shouldn’t be a problem. But if you are using any kind of switch, dumb or smart, to cut power to the bulb on a regular basis, you’re going to end up paying a lot more for those very expensive bulbs because you will shorten their usable life.

There are many alternatives to this. They are discussed in the following FAQ, and include a non-loadbearing switch, a battery operated switch, a smart switch cover that fits over the existing switch, etc. All of these will cause a signal to be sent to the bulb to turn on or off rather than just cutting current to it.

If the new ecobee switches are recognized by HomeKit, they could work just the same way in a HomeKit system. If the new ecobee switches are recognized by SmartThings, then again they could be used in the same way.

So there are definitely smart switches that can be used with smart bulbs, but they aren’t used by controlling the current sent to the bulb.


(Jimmy) #14

Is it correct to assume these new switches will be wifi since they will need internet for Alexa?


#15

They haven’t released any technical specs on them yet, but I would assume so. There are quite a few Wi-Fi light switches on the market now.


(John) #16

@JDRoberts, interesting, definitely didn’t know about the constant load surge on the circuitry of the light. Thank for the information. I’m definitely aware of the battery based, non-wired switches. I’m actually using the Phillips Dimmer Switch for all Hue bulbs hat use a switch. It works well enough, I just don’t like being tied down to one solution; that’s my main gripe!


#17

As long as your hue bridge is integrated with your SmartThings hub, you can use any switch that SmartThings recognizes to control your hue bulbs. The switch will talk to the SmartThings hub, the SmartThings hub will talk to the hue bridge, the hue bridge will talk to the hue bulbs, and the bulb will go on or off or Dim as desired. So you have more than a dozen Switch choices once you add SmartThings into the mix. :sunglasses: :level_slider: :bulb: Which is why if SmartThings will be able to recognize this future ecobee switch, it could also be used in the same fashion.

The only question is how much additional lag is added by this “man in the middle” approach. And that will just vary from house to house. There’s no question that the Hue dimmer talking to the hue bridge Will be somewhat faster than another switch going through the SmartThings hub, but many people find the difference is less than half a second and others with a little longer lag still find it acceptable to them, particularly if the switches are mostly used as a “Plan B” and they also use voice and/or motion sensors for the lights.

Again, the switch FAQ goes into all of this, so if you’re interested, I would go ahead and read that.


(John) #18

Thanks for that information, @JDRoberts! I will re-read the FAQ as I must have missed that part my first time around (which was a while ago). I’ll be interested to see how the button mappings work between switch -> smartthings. Thank you, helpful as always!


(Ron Talley) #19

Any word on how much these will cost? How awesome would it be for it to also be able to be used with the new Alexa intercom skill!

Motion, Temperature, Dimmer and Alexa all in one! Whoa!!!

I would pay $75 if you can also use the intercom feature.


(Brian) #20

I just got an invite to beta test one of these. Anyone else get one? I submitted for consideration.


Ecobee4 is avalable Now - The best Thermostat on the market according to CNET!