Flip the Switch to a Smart Switch
Earlier this week I decided that I need to do a bit of an upgrade on my light switch for the entry. I hate leaving my dogs in the dark and I hate seeing the bill when I get it from Xcel when I leave the lights on all day in anticipation that I might not be home before the daylight runs out. So I decided to install one of those wi-fi enabled light switches that I can flick on with the simple touch of a tap on my screen of a smart phone.
I ventured over to Best Buy at Centerra and picked up a WeMo light switch for $49.99 + tax.
It's sleek and has a cool power button like my Xbox!
Time to install it! The first thing you need to do when you are working with any electrical components is turn off the breaker you are working on so you don't fry yourself.
Now that you have got that taken care of, let's head on over to the switches that you will be replacing.
4 flathead screws hold on the wall plate, so remove those and you will be left with the guts of the switch. I didn't take a photo of this step because I was excited and wanted to start installing the new switch. there are 4 screws that hold both of the switches in place. If you are replacing only one switch... two screws!
Now pull one switch at a time out and start your process of the transition to the new switches. I chose to replace the other switch to a decorator switch to keep the same theme throughout the house.
Now that I have the WeMo switch wired up, it's time to mount it back to the wall. The best tip I can give you is to make sure that you do not tighten the mounting screws down all the way to account for wiggle room for the plate.
The other switch was simple to wire up. One wire at a time from the old switch to the new switch so you don't mess anything up, then mount to the gang box in the wall.
The face place I decided to go with all throughout the house are smooth face plates that mount to a plastic bracket. When you get the mounting plate level, tighten the switches to the wall, then proceed to secure the mounting plate to the switches.
A simple snap of the out display plate puts everything back into place and looking good!
Now head back out to the breaker box and flip the breaker back on. Head back inside and follow the instructions on the Wemo switch to connect to the Wi-Fi and you will be able to turn your lights on wherever you are! Here is a quick demo of what you can do with your phone.
Like I said before, I bought this for the sole intention of turning on the light by the off chance that we do not make it home in time to turn on the lights. My dogs like to run around and I don't want them to get hurt because they decided to run down the stairs in the dark. In addition to the versatility of being able to turn on the light any time I chose, I save energy by not leaving the light on all day for no reason. This quick and simple DIY took less than 30 minutes to complete from start to finish. I also chose to install LED lights in most of my house so far. I have seen a $30 decrease in my utility bill since doing so. All of the 60 watt lights were replaced with LES 60 watt equivalent bulbs that only draw 9 watts. A great investment for the LED buld and the WeMo switch if you ask me! In two months time, I should make the money back that I spent on the smart switch and the LED bulbs.