Remote light switches

I’m not looking for a “smart” switch, that does stuff based on the time, or that I can activate when I’m not home. But I am re-doing my basement, and I’ll have a light in the TV area without any good place to put a switch. Honestly, I’d like to be able to turn it on from the other end of the room, but I’d like to be able to dim the lights from the couch, and running wires all over the place to make a 3-way switch is possible, but the electricians will be really pissed I didn’t ask before, and… there’s not really a good place to PUT that nearby switch. I’d really like it to be a remote, lying on the coffee table.

Yeah, I guess I’m supposed to be able to use my phone. But other people live in this house, other people will use this area, and a remote switch seems like the obvious interface.

Does anyone have experience with this? What are my options here?

It looks like Phillips does a nice-looking remote switch that works with their proprietary bulbs, but maybe that ALSO needs a bridge and software on my phone, and … Is there something simpler on the market? And something where I don’t vaguely worry that the lights will be used to hack my phone.

$18 at Amazon

You plug light into this. You plug this into the wall. You turn on/off lights with the included remote.

I use these for christmas lights all the time

I use these:

It’s addressable via voice assistant (e.g. Alexa) and IFTTT (although a couple of IFTTT routines haven’t successfully run in the past couple of days). There’s also Kasa apps for Android (and, I assume, iPhone) from which you can command the switches.

However, I splurged and got Hue bulbs for my basement, linking them to a motion sensor, and setting up Alexa routines to turn them off when I go to bed or when I leave the neighborhood, in case I forget to turn them off when I’m done in there.

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My house has lots of “smart” stuff now. For example I like working with all the lights on in the room so every morning I walk into the office and say: “Alexa, turn on the office” and then all the lights come on, and vice versa at the end of the day.

Similar story in my bedroom, when I’m ready to go to sleep I can just say “Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights” and all the lights go out.

The porch light even goes on at sunset and off at sunrise.

Can even control the main TV if the kids aren’t being good about bedtime… “Amazon, turn off the TV”


I just say the magic words “Alexa, good night”, and my bedroom lights and gadgets are turned off, my perferred sleepy-time white noise playlist is started, and the alarm system is appropriately set.

I have an analogous “Alexa, good morning” routine as well.

Ooo you’re more advanced than me

Alexa, do we have enough ice cream for all but one of us?

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I do have one of these amazon shelf things that automatically orders more laundry detergent when the weight on the little black scale is low enough

That looks great. Except it’s a ceiling mounted light… It needs to talk to a light switch.

Yeah, really not looking for voice activation (i expect to host noisy activities there) and i don’t need anything more complicated than on/off/dim.

And I’ve had a lot of unhappy experiences with motion sensing lights.

How about this?

You may need to get the electrician to wire it into the light, but that is a lot easier to ask for than “could you please go back in time and add the wiring for the light that I really want?”

I’m thinking a bit old school, but get a remote that has a housing at the top of the stairs. Go to the stairs, grab the remote, turn the lights on, go down the stairs, watch TV or whatever. When you’re done, take the remote, go up the stairs, turn off the lights, put the remote back in its housing.

Dammit! Ninja’d by DP!


This isn’t what you asked for, but we have a gadget that fills a similar role in our den. It’s a free standing light that is adjustable in an amazing number of colors, patterns, brightness levels…We usually use Alexa to turn it on/off, change basic colors/patterns/brightness levels… It also has a remote control that can do a few more things than Alexa can manage. It has an app that you can do an incredible amount of customization with. We typically do not use the feature where it pulses to any ambient music, but it does that too.

Not seeing how that gadget dims the overhead light… But it would go nicely with my old lava lamp to provide entertainment.

Had a ceiling fan / light installed that came with a remote control. But honestly, the remote control sits in a drawer and never gets used. Seems to work just fine, but we only use the wall switch (which is in a convenient place).

Like any remote, you have to worry about losing it.

That’s exactly what i want. It’s a big room, and i think the expected use case is to turn on the light when entering the room, sit down near the TV and talk a bit, fuss around to get the right show cued up, and then went to dim the lights. A remote that sits on the coffee table, next to the TV remote, would be perfect.

Not sure if you want the ceiling fan, but I bought mine at Costco for like $79. :woman_shrugging:

A search for “remote control bulbs” on Amazon turns up many hits. I can’t attest to their quality, since I’ve pretty much been standardizing on Hue in my house as bulbs come up for replacement.

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