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ecobee Switch+ is a smart light switch with far-field voice technology and built-in Amazon Alexa virtual assistant voice control.
The Switch+ is like a smart personal assistant and simple light switch wrapped into one. With the built-in microphone and speaker for Amazon Alexa, the Switch+ enables invisible voice control in any room it’s installed in. It also provides smart light control by detecting occupancy and daylight. Also, a software update coming this summer will enable the Switch+ to function as a sensor to manage hot or cold spots in a room when the switch is paired with an ecobee thermostat. Like all ecobee products, the Switch+ integrates with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT.
Inside the box you’ll find the Switch+, a wall plate, 4 wire nuts, 2 mounting screws, and the setup guide. The install is fairly simple and only takes about 45 minutes. Even though you can follow the setup guide that comes in the box, it’s probably easier to download the free ecobee app because the app will actually walk you through the entire process with helpful videos.
After installing, you can use the ecobee app to finish setting up the Switch+ by creating your free ecobee account, giving your Switch+ a name & location, and connecting it to your WiFi network. Keep in mind that even though it has built-in WiFi, it does not have Bluetooth enabled at this time. Once it’s fully set up you can control your Switch+ from anywhere using the ecobee app as long as you’re connected to the internet.
On the app home screen you can quickly turn the light on or off using the main button or you can tap the middle icon at the bottom to bring up more controls. the Smart On feature will automatically turn on the lights when someone enters the room. If you enable daylight detection, Smart On will only activate when the room is dark. Smart Off will turn the lights off when no one is in the room, and you can set the off timer to different intervals based on your preference. Another awesome feature is the built-in night light which will automatically glow when the room is dark. And if you have your Switch+ set up as an outdoor light, you can set it to automatically turn on at sunset which is nice.
Amazon Alexa is a big part of the Switch+ because it allows you to perform voice commands like asking it to set a timer, read the news, give you the weather forecast, and more. This is all part of ecobee’s “Whole Home Voice” vision to deliver effortless hands-free voice control in every room without dealing with hubs or wires.
To start using Amazon Alexa, first link your Amazon account within the ecobee app. Then download the free Amazon Alexa app and sign in with your Amazon account. Next, add the ecobee skill and authorize Amazon Alexa with your Switch+. Then you can ask Alexa to discover devices, and Alexa should respond with the name of your Switch+.
What’s really cool is the built-in speaker that I mentioned earlier, and if you’re in the US and have Amazon Prime you can tell it to play any song that’s available on Amazon Prime Music and it will play it out of the speaker. Don’t expect to use this as a high fidelity party speaker for loud music but honestly if you just want to listen to low-level background music while you’re working or studying, this little speaker does the job. You can also listen to iHeartRadio and use Tune-In Radio for audiobooks & podcasts, with support for SiriusXM & Pandora coming soon.
Switch+ doesn’t currently have Spotify integration but if you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker, you can ask Alexa to play music on Spotify that way. I don’t have a Sonos speaker but I was able to add a skill in the Alexa app that lets me control the playback of Spotify on my iMac which is pretty cool. And that is the key, search the Amazon Alexa app for any skill that you’re interested in and if it’s available you can add that skill to the ecobee Switch+. And you can also control other smart lights in your home if they’re connected to your Amazon Alexa account. I was also surprised at how well the Switch+ picked up my voice from across the room and even when I was playing music pretty loudly it heard me most of the time.
Overall I think this is a pretty neat smart device that is perfect for people who want voice-control in their home without adding bulky hubs or wired speakers since this is just a small light switch basically hidden on the wall.
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