Update 7/16/2020: You can use these without a light switch all together. I got a little creative and just mounted one on two gang switch plate mounted to a one gang electrical box. used this Switch to separate A light and ceiling fan which I’ve wanted to do for a...
You can use these without a light switch all together. I got a little creative and just mounted one on two gang switch plate mounted to a one gang electrical box. used this Switch to separate A light and ceiling fan which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. This is only possible if you have A neutral in your light switch box and also a separate dedicated hot wire in your ceiling box. I happen to have both of these so I did not have to run any power to either box to make this work. I hardwired the lights with hue bulbs and the toggle switch on the wall I replaced with a lutron caseta fan dimmer and then wired it so that the switch only controls the fan and not the lights which are now hardwired because they are hue bulbs which can be controlled by the lutron aurora I was actually intending to cut open the wall and put a two gang electrical box in so that I could attach the switch plate to a two gang electrical box, but when I went to do that I realized that the electrical box was sandwiched by two studs so I could not put a two gang box in. I was actually intending to cut open the wall and put a two gang electrical box in so that I could attach the switch plate to a two gang electrical box, but when I went to do that I realized that the electrical box was sandwiched by two studs so I could not put a two gang box in. My solution was to use a bolt about the thickness of a toggle switch. I had to use a washer so the end of the bolt wouldn’t go through the toggle switch hole because The hole was a little bit too wide. After I mounted the Aurora on the end of the bolt I screwed the bolt in just enough to tighten it flush to the switch plate. I had to use a razor blade to gouge a hole in the wall so the switch plate was it flush even though there was a bolt sticking out in the back of it. But this hole that I gouged was much smaller than the hole I was going to cut to add a two gang box so that’s fine. To get the finely threaded switch plate screws I picked up some mr grip form my local big box hardware store. Maybe they sell it on amazon too? Not sure. It’s metal strips you can cut to size with teeth. It’s meant to fix stripped holes in wood and things. In this case screwed the switch plate screws directly into the drywall and then backed them out then I cut multiple tiny strips of the metal and shoved them in holes. After I put enough strips in there the switch plate screws did end up grabbing onto the metal so I could secure them to the drywall.
The end result was that I had two switches and a nice switch plate on the wall, one controlled my lights and the other one control my fan. From the outside appearance you would never know that there isn’t actually a switch in the wall or even a two gang electrical box. You can see the end result in the very last picture. It is the one with the fan dimmer on the right and the aurora on the left.
We’ve had these installed for a while now and my son very much enjoys taking them off the wall. He does it with ease and lately he has Raised his interest in this hobby. Yesterday during bath he left the tub, climbed the step stool up to the switch, pulled it off and put it in the tub, and then Proceeded to start pushing the button while it was submerged. Surprisingly, it worked in the tub and continued to work after I pulled it back out and away from the little hands that had it. I decided to set it on a continuously running air purifier for the evening to be on the safe side but I’m not even sure that was necessary. To this moment it is still working! So in case you have some small hands in the house hold you can rest assured, that it is indeed waterproof At least to a certain point.. I guess?
Summary: This switch is perfect for some areas of our house. I wish it had more flexibility in terms of controls like the hue dimmer remote (namely the ability to have multiple presses control different scenes and homekit support), but where that isn’t completely necessary, this works well. It can, however, be rigged to control homekit devices through homekit automations with hue bulbs. We ended up putting some on normal toggle switch plates for now but some we have put in all decora style switch plates that we really like by using an adapter from amazon (more on that in 4th paragraph under “style”). Beware though, toddlers love to push the button and I wouldn’t say this thing is super durable.
The switch looks pretty good but in my opinion could look better. As you may be able to tell, it looks a lot like one of those cheap rotary dimmers. That is just as true in real like as it is in the pictures. This could be looked at as good or bad. If you are going for the high tech modern look I’m afraid I wouldn’t say this item really fills that need. If you are looking for something that looks normal, blends in, and is functional then this will be perfect for you. I have only a couple of complaints about the style.
Namely that the base for this white switch is grey? Which I can’t make any sense of. I think it would look better if the base was white, maybe even more modern. I’m not sure what the motivation was behind the seeable base being grey.
And secondly the light that lights up in the switch during use is just a small dot in the top (pictured) I think it would look better if they would have made just the center of Switch glow in its entirety, but due to the construction of this switch that might of been too difficult to engineer?
We wanted to use them with all decora style plates we really liked and we were able to do that by using adapters which you can find on amazon by searching “Toggle Switch Adapter Plate“. The one we used was about $12 and made by a brand called taymac. You can see the end result in the picture, it turned out pretty well. The aurora switch doesn’t completely cover the adapters’ depression but it almost covers it and it’s hardly noticeable what of the depression isn''t covered.
I would not recommend using this switch in super rugged scenarios or if you are going to have this switch in direct reachability of a toddler who loves to “push the button”. It is pretty easy to remove (my 2 year old has no problem with that), and it is also possible to break the clip to fasten the switch to the base. I haven’t personally broken it, but I received a warehouse deal that I am returning which has a broken clip (so most likely someone else broke it and returned it). Aside from it getting broken I’d also be scared for it to go missing. It’s quite small and if it ended up in some crevice I’m not sure how or if we’d ever find it again. I’ve had to completely take it off the wall a couple times when my two year old is having a little too much fun with it.
Also, in general, this switch just seems cheaply made. I’m not too upset for the amount of tech you get packed into this tiny little device for such an affordable price, I wouldn’t expect much more. But you just have to be careful.
It works well. It does the job. The two main purposes of this switch are equally successfully fulfilled. Even when my toddler takes the switch off the wall, he still can’t flip the switch underneath with the base installed (and he tried). It also obviously keeps any unknowing guests from turning off your smart lighting which was a main concern for Me.
As far as lighting the lights goes. Yes it works. Sometimes there is a very slight delay, but really maybe half a second or something. It’s not bad. It’s not as seamless as a regular switch.. But when all your lights are hooked into a network you can’t really expect it to be. That being said if a delay at all will bother you, you may want to consider the hue dimmer remote switch, I’ve found less delay with that. (there are switch plates you can Find on the internet That hold the remote magnetically and cover the switch just like this dimmer too, just search hue dimmer switch plate and they should come up. Keep in mind they are rough 3D printed plastic they’ll need to be sanded and painted to look as perfect as a store bought switch plate but they work well ). But still like i said the delay is only sometimes there and it’s minimal when it is there.
It can be flipped upside down to lock a switch in the opposite position (for example for three way switches or switches put in upside down). The light in the switch even automatically rotates to the other side of the switch to accommodate the new direction.
On this switch only the side of the switch turns when dimming not the whole switch like on a cheap rotary dimmer. The center of the switch never rotates. Also, only the center of the button can be pushed in not the whole switch, like the cheap rotary dimmers. Not that that matters to me but maybe it’s notable for some people.
If you’re worried about set up and installation don’t be. The whole process is less than a few minutes per switch including both installing dimmer over The toggle switch and hooking it up to the lights in the hue app. It’s very easy, fast, and self explanatory. Go to accessory set up in settings panel in hue app. Then click on friends of hue and Lutron aurora is right on top for me. It tells you exactly how to set up the switch right in the hue app, I didn’t hardly need the instruction manual and I didn’t need any kind of Lutron app at all.
My only complaint here is that I wish they would implement the ability to double or triple tap to activate different scenes. In the areas of the house where we needed this option we just bought the hue dimmer remote switch, but since I know the aurora is capable of this (you have to double and/or triple tap during set up) I wish they would add it as a feature of the lighting abilities too. For now all you can do is just set up which scene you want activated (or last on state) and it is what it is.
Also you cannot use this to control anything else in home kit like you can with the hue remote dimmer switch because this is not a homekit device. It works with the hue lights and nothing else so if you were hoping to have this control other devices or set a scene in homekit it won’t work. You could do a work around with an automaton if you really wanted to (set an automation in homekit: if the bathroom light turns on/off then the bathroom fan turns on/off) but you cannot just make a button press activate a homekit scene or accessory otherwise. We have now done this with a light on a homekit scent diffuser (made by vocolink for $50) that we placed in our bathroom. I currently have it set up to turn on green when the bathroom light is turned on during the day and turn off when the bathroom light is turned off. It works with near 100 percent accuracy and sometimes the diffuser light comes in a smidgen quicker than the bathroom light some how. I also have the diffuser light come on to a more night time like color after a certain hour at night too which is possible because you can put time restraints on your automations in homekit. You cannot, however, use homekit automatons to dim and brighten a homekit device (as in the diffuser light) when you dim and brighten the hue light with the aurora switch. There is no way to set that up, it can only be triggered by an on/off. You can however set what brightness you’d like your homekit device to turn onto when your hue light comes on. But it will always turn on to that same brightness with the exception, of course, of putting time restraints on it (before 5pm turn to 100% brightness after 5 pm turn to 50% brightness.. etc).
Over all I’m pretty happy with this switch and we have now purchased multiple for different areas of the house and they all work well with the exception of the ones that arrived broken.