Whether you typically rely on voice assistants, smartphone control or preset automations, it seems like there always comes a time when reaching into your pocket or barking commands across the room just isn’t ideal. To help you get the most out of your smart home, we’ve rounded up our favorite remotes and controllers.
A smart home remote is a great way to fill gaps in your home’s control, whether its making it easier to activate preset scenes at night or giving guests a more familiar means of turning the lights on and off. Perfect for times where your phone might be in another room or it’s too late to speak with your preferred voice assistant, dimmer switches and other physical remotes bring more simplistic control back to your devices without overriding automations or sacrificing smart functionality.
Just like other smart home accessories, there are plenty of options on the market to fit a variety of needs and home automations platforms. If you’re still getting started with building your smart home and are on the fence with which system to opt for, we’ve got you covered with a handy guide on deciding between HomeKit, Alexa and other options.
Philips Hue Dimmer Switch |
For smart home owners who have centered their abode’s lighting around the Philips Hue platform, the $25 Hue Smart Dimmer Switch is a perfect addition to an existing setup. With four programmable buttons, it works with any device or system compatible with the Hue bridge, meaning HomeKit users will be able to configure functionality in the Home app.
Similarly, the $50 Hue Tap is another great addition to a Philips Hue smart home setup. Unlike the Smart Dimmer switch, the Hue Tap runs entirely on kinetic energy, meaning you’ll never have to worry about it running out of power. It can be configured to set four different scenes and brings the same compatibility as other Hue products.
Elgato Eve Button |
Some of our favorite smart home accessories on the market come from Elgato, making its $50 HomeKit-enabled Eve Button one of our highest recommended remotes. It packs the company’s typical high-end form-factor and stylings and I’ve been using the controller for the past few months as a way to set scenes in my bedroom, and it works phenomenally. The remote’s single button can set three different scenes based on whether you single, double or long press it.
Lutron Caseta Starter Kit |
If you’re looking to outfit multiple rooms with physical remotes, Lutron’s line of Caseta dimmer switches are perfect for whole-home coverage. They’re more cost-effective than other options and can control everything from brightness to setting your favorite scenes. The $190 Lutron Starter Kit is a perfect way to dive in and boasts support for HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant and more. For extra coverage, additional dimmer switch kits are available for $60.
Belkin WeMo Light Switch |
In terms of more traditional control, WeMo’s $40 Light Switch replaces your normal wall switch and is a great way to keep your home’s smart functionality. It works natively with Alexa and Google Assistant, and HomeKit users can purchase an additional bridge to integrate any WeMo accessory with Siri. Belkin has been in the smart home game since the beginning and is considered a fan-favorite by Amazon shoppers.
Nanoleaf Aurora Remote |
Having recently gone hands-on with Nanoleaf’s latest smart home accessory, it’d be hard to exclude the unique dodecahedron remote. The $50 Bluetooth remote can be configured to handle up to 12 different scenes and works with HomeKit as well as any other platform compatible with Nanoleaf’s Aurora lights. It isn’t the most practical for quickly setting your lights, but I’m still a huge fan of the remote nonetheless.
Feel like we left out a noteworthy smart home remote? Let us know in the comments below with your suggestions.