Dimmer Switches Get Smart: The 10 Best Lighting Control Dimmers

The 10 best lighting control dimmers for a smart, automated home.

One of the core features of any residential lighting control system is its ability to dim the intensity of your home’s lights. Doing so saves electricity, improves your home’s aesthetic qualities, and enhances the overall functionality of the lights. Ordinary dimmer switches are able to accomplish these tasks, but why not invest in a switch with the additional smarts to adjust the brightness of the lights automatically and offer other innovative features? The following 10 dimmers switches (in no particular order of importance) are some of the brightest stars in the home lighting market. Be sure to check them out when you’re ready to swap your home’s old light switches for something smarter.

savant dimmer pic

1. Savant
The Savant SmartLighting keypads require no external processors, controllers, or proprietary RF bridges or repeaters to automate your home’s light fixtures.  Simply wire it in as you would an ordinary light switch and pair with your home’s Wi-Fi network. All the smarts required to automate the lights are built inside the switch. Available for the keypad is a variety of custom engraving and color options, as well as hundreds of icons and text. Each keypad is installed and configured using Savant SmartConnect technology. Simply sync your Apple iOS device to the keypad and the Savant SmartConnect app turns your mobile device into a powerful tool for setup and configuration. $215

Keypad-ETii from vantage

2. Vantage
Vantage’s EasyTouch II style RadioLink Scenepoint Dimmer is a unique combination of beauty and brains. Available in one- to five-button configurations, EasyTouch II enables you to consolidate cluttered wall switches into one functional keypad. Laser engraving allows each button to be labeled and backlit, and only the lettering on each button is illuminated. EasyTouch II also boasts the ability to control various settings per load. For example, pushing the fan button can regulate the speed or turn the fan off. If you leave the room, the fan will automatically turn off. Control of lights and fans are also possible from a smartphone or other mobile device. $277

Leviton Decora Rocker Slide Universal Dimmer

3. Leviton
The Decora Rocker Slide Universal Dimmers from Leviton provide smooth, slide-action, full-range dimming of incandescent, LED, CFL, halogen, magnetic low voltage, electronic low voltage, and fluorescent lights, and are designed for both single-pole and three-way applications when used with a three-way switch.  Featuring a Decora rocker switch that provides preset On/Off switching and a smooth, integrated slider bar for fine adjustment of lighting levels, the Decora Rocker Slide Universal Dimmers also offer microprocessor-based control to fine-tune LEDs and CFLs for optimal performance. The products’ streamlined style complement any home’s decor, providing a sleek, uniform appearance when paired with other Decora devices. $29.99

Caseta Wireless In-wall Dimmer, lutron

4. Lutron
Creating a smarter and more connected home has never been easier with the new Caséta Wireless smart home system from Lutron, which provides convenient control of lights, shades, and thermostats anytime, anywhere, with either a remote control or the free Lutron App. Lutron’s Caséta Wireless dimmers, (along with Lutron’s Serena remote-controlled shades, Pico remote controls, and third-party devices, like thermostats) are connected to the Lutron App via the Lutron Smart Bridge, providing an affordable smart-home solution for the do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me consumer. The Lutron App is compatible with any iOS- or Android-based smartphone or tablet. $80 for Caseta Wireless dimmer with Pico remote control; $150 for Lutron Smart Bridge

CLW-DIMCN-P, crestron

5. Crestron
The Cameo Wireless In-Wall ELV Dimmer (CLW-DELVEX-P) from Crestron is designed for dimming low-voltage lights, and supports loads such as tungsten-halogen, incandescent, and dimmable Edison Screw Base LED fixtures. Versatile and affordable, the Wireless In-Wall ELV Dimmer features field-replaceable, engravable buttons and can be configured with various button layouts and designer colors. Its streamlined design matches the entire line of Cameo dimmers, switches, and keypads, making it a great addition for new or retrofit installations. In addition to its attractive look and feel, infiNET EX communication technology brings proven reliability to the CLW-DELVEX-P. $270

vivido_montage_dimmers, urc

6. URC
URC’s new Vivido Intelligent Lighting Line includes gorgeous, controllable RF dimmer switches. These can be put in both old and new homes and usually requires the addition of no new wires. They handle multiple bulbs and are able to dim virtually any dimmable LED, CFL, incandescent, MLV, ELV, halogen, or fluorescent bulb in your home. Vivido can also be controlled from a URC Total Control automation system. This allows you to control lights and scenes–at home or while away–by using URC remotes, keypads, and mobile apps. Vivido is compatible with Z-Wave products so the line can be combined with automation systems for centralized, elegant control of lights and door locks, shades, and more. The dimmers are available in three colors; also available is a battery-powered dimmer that can be installed anywhere in the home. $49 to $99

KPC7, elan

7. Elan
The KPLD7 Keypad Load Dimmer from Elan is an all-in-one keypad controller and light dimmer in a single package. Incorporating the functionality of the KPC7 Keypad Controller and a 400W Dimmer Switch, this keypad can store up to 16 scenes while controlling six different zones. Each button can be programmed to trigger specific lights, fixtures in a single room, or the lights in your entire house. Lights connected to the keypad can reach any desired brightness level at a rate from .8 seconds to 1 hour. Each light can be programmed to dim slowly or turn off instantly, all at the touch of a button. The dimmer comes pre-programmed with eight preset scenes, creating inviting moods by engaging various light levels. The dimmer controls incandescent lights, low-voltage halogen, magnetic, or dimmable electronic transformers. $400

8. Control4
The Wireless Keypad Dimmer can transform a standard light switch into a fully customizable source for control of all your connected smart home devices. With one simple press of a customized button on the Wireless Keypad Dimmer, you can easily orchestrate additional lights to turn on to your preferred level, your favorite playlist to start playing in that room, and even arm your security system for the night. The dimmer is available in nine colors and finishes. Contact your local Control4 dealer for pricing

Insteon SwitchLinc Dimmer Switch
9. Insteon
The SwitchLinc Dimmer from Insteon is a high-tech yet easy-to-use dimmer that adds convenience and comfort to your home by giving you the ability to set the speed at which a light fades on and off, a preset on-level for always remembering your favorite brightness level, and best of all the ability to remotely control the dimmer from a handheld remote, wall keypad, computer, or mobile phone (controllers are sold separately). High-end quality, at-a-glance LED status indicators, and remote access and control round out the features.  $79.99

Linear WT00Z, nortek
10. Nortek Security Control
The GoControl 3-Way Z-Wave Smart Switch from Nortek Security & Control is able to turn on, off, and dim as many as five other Z-Wave-compatible lights. Because the 3-way switch does not directly control a lighting load, it can serve as a virtual 3-way switch and be wired anywhere power is available. This simplifies the challenges that have historically made three-way light switches difficult to install. With the flip of one switch, you can control as many as five different lights. $39.95 EH

  • louisb

    As I search the internet for smart switch options I am once again reminded of why U.S. companies continue to be the bridesmaid and never the bride in technology/design. We refuse to adopt a standard leaving people with no direction. And then look at the design offerings from Lutron, Insteon, Leviton and the like, still producing wall warts while european companies such as Vitrum, and Basalte are producing art.


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