I mentioned last week that the main reason why we couldn’t get smart lighting in the house was because of the difficulty in turning the lights on and off if you weren’t using automation. If you try to use the light switch to turn on and off smart lights, you won’t be able to turn them back on again with your app until the actual light switch has been turned back on.
So, when I saw the Brilliant Smart Home Control at CES this year I was super excited about it. Luckily they sent me one to try out, and I could not wait to get it installed!
Not only can the Brilliant Smart Home Control turn dumb lights smart, but you can also use it to control several other smart home devices on your network.
I’ve always been a little afraid of working with electricity. I was ok installing our Nest thermostat and our Ring doorbell, but for some reason replacing a light switch freaked me out a little bit. Of course, I turned the breaker off to the light switch I was working with, but I was still a little scared.
I took the cables off of the old light switch and made sure to label which ones were which. There were a few wires in the box including 2 transfer wires, a white neutral wire, the copper wire, and the load wire. Once I had them all straight I followed the instructions that were included with the Brilliant. They were very easy to follow, and once I figured out that the white wire wasn’t actually previously connected to the light switch and was sitting further back in the box, it was all pretty cake from there.
I put everything back together, and flipped the breaker back on and tested them out. The switch turned right on and allowed me to turn on and off the included lights right away with the “ditches” on the right side of the Brilliant’s display. Once I connected the display to our wireless network I was able to control the lights from the display as well.
Connecting the display to other smart devices
Once everything was set up, I was able to connect the Display to all of the WeMo switches in my house allowing me to turn on and off the lights in my office from the Display downstairs. It also connects with Philips Hue, so it can control those lights as well. Making it a great way to unify several different smart home lighting options.
In addition to the lighting options, you can also control your Sonos speakers or see and speak to the person who is at your door through your Ring doorbell. The Brilliant Smart Home Control can also connect to Samsung SmartThings, has Alexa Built-in, works with Google Assistant, Ecobee, Honeywell, Nest (although this connection is a bit iffy at the moment with the “Works With Google” issues), and more.
The control has a built-in camera, that has a privacy toggle you can switch on at any time, which allows you to use the control as an intercom in your house as well. There are 4 versions that allow you to replace switch plates that span from 1 switch to 4.
The Brilliant All In One Display can be on the expensive side, so, fortunately, you only need a few in your home to get the full benefits of the control. You can fill the need to make the other lights in your home smart through a smart switch like the Wemo or lights like Philips Hue.
The app you can install on your phone allows you to control all the lights on your system, and your Sonos, but if you are already on your phone, you may just end up controlling your Sonos from the standard app itself. Most of the controls will be on the actual display itself including connecting it to your other smart home accounts.
One area the app misses is the ability to intercom into the device from the mobile app and vice versa. If I have the Brilliant app installed my child should be able to approach the Brilliant and start-up an intercom video chat with my phone while I’m away. Perhaps that is coming in a future update? I doubt it would be too difficult to implement as the pieces are already in place to make it happen.
Overall, I’m super in love with this controller. It gave me the kick I needed to get my smart home dialed in. I have had a ton of devices, but I was still using individual apps to control them. Now I can control them all from one plane of glass! Check out my short video of some of the features.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com