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

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.

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

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

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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@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!

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.

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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!

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.

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

Yes, I got it as well. Very excited… Especially for My Ecobee Device Integration…

Regards.

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Got one too. I didn’t provide a photo of wiring, just the switch where it would go. I know what a neutral is, and know that I have one in that spot!

Will be submitting momentarily – and I’m counting on @yvesracine to provide a device handler to augment his Ecobee device integration :wink:

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Yeah, fancy device is no good if it will not work with ST. Too bad just a year ago I put 50 home seer switches in. Wife will NEVER let me change them now. Think I would hate having different switches in a wall box. But wow, light, illuminance (?), alexa voice, motion and temp in one? cool.

probably start with device type for HomeSeer HSM200 and add (or something like that).

Not even sure I saw that the switch is zwave or zigbee though? So only handled through the ecobee API? Helps ecobee sell more thermos this way.

Yup, I got the same invite, I was going to share, but realized it had a unique code in the link. Hoping being ViBee will give me an edge LOL
I had to LOL that they required a picture of the wiring inside a light switch to verify you had neutrals in the box.

Do you know how many people will not know how to wire it but still sign up? I actually labeled my picture so they knew I was serious :slight_smile:

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I sent mine in along with a picture. Funny thing is that the email I saw made no mention of a temperature sensor in the switch