Original article by: High Tech Dad
Back at the end of 2018, I attended a media-only tech event in San Francisco. As I perused many companies and their products, there was one “new” company that really caught my eye, Brilliant. It was a company professing to have an integrated yet elegantly designed smart home switch that didn’t require a hub. After spending quite some time at their booth, I ended up awarding them “Best of Show” at the event. Recently, I was building out my office and realized that it was pretty “dumb.” It needed some smart home technology to bring it to the modern age. So, I decided to install another Brilliant Smart Home Control switch to add to my ecosystem. And I realized I still believe it is the best smart switch and control that I have reviewed (and seen, for that matter). (*Disclosure below.)
After the tech media event, the Brilliant folks were kind enough to supply me with two 1-Switch Panels to test their integrations and ecosystem fully. I installed one in our kitchen and one in our master bathroom. My full review of the Brilliant Smart Home Control switch still reflects my opinions of this smart home product. And over the past couple of years, we have been using it daily to control lights, locks, our Sonos speakers, and other connected smart home devices.
As I was building out my office, I realized I wanted a smart switch. So, I decided to test out a “highly-rated” and inexpensive one on Amazon. I simply wanted to be able to use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant or Samsung SmartThings to lazily be able to turn on my lights from sitting at my desk. I got this $20 “smart” switch and tried to install it. It didn’t work. I did have the required Neutral wire (note: many if not most smart switches require a neutral wire). Despite being wired up correctly, the switch didn’t work. It was back in the box, and headed back for a return within an hour.
I realized, I really wanted to have a Brilliant Smart Home Control switch in my office. I ended up getting one!
Installation was a Snap!
The designers at Brilliant really thought through the physical design of their smart switch. And the physical design truly hasn’t changed much over the past couple of years. I can’t really see the difference between the smart switch back then and the one I installed. And, assuming you have the proper wiring (again, you MUST have a neutral wire), you can get the Brilliant switch installed in just a few minutes.
The first step to installing the Brilliant Smart Home Control switch is to turn the power off to where you will be wiring the switch in. You would do that at the circuit box. The best thing to do is to turn on the lights on your old switch and then turn off the circuit breaker for that switch. If the light is off, you can pretty much assume the power to the old switch is off. And, if you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, get a good electrician to do it!
Next, once the power is off, remove your old switch. Don’t completely remove it, as you will want to take a photo of the existing wiring in case you need to refer to it later (or, gasp, put the old switch back). It’s important to look at the wiring as well. In my case: Green/bare copper = ground, Black = Line or Load, and Grey = Neutral. You should have two wires for Line and Load. The Brilliant smart switch is actually smart enough to know which is the load and which is the line (one comes from the circuit breaker, and one goes to your light switch).
READ FULL ARTICLE