Smart home with digital tablet to control internet connected devices

© mikkelwilliam - iStock/Getty Images Plus

The Ultimate Smart Home: Controls

No more jumping between apps to control smart-home products. Wall-mounted smart-home control panels allow homeowners and their guests to adjust lighting, temperature, and more in one place.

November 22, 2019

Now that it’s been several years since voice- and app-controlled lighting, music, and thermostats have become mainstays in smart-home technology, users have noticed a few downsides. It can be frustrating having to switch between multiple apps to control systems, and it’s difficult for household guests to do simple things—like turn on the lights—when they don’t have access to the smart bulbs.

Smart-home controls, such as Brilliant, are attempting to solve that problem with easy-to-use home control systems that replace a standard set of wall switches. It allows anyone to control the lights, music, and climate in the room without needing to use the app on their phone or a hub.

I set up Brilliant Home Control in my own home. Installation takes only a few minutes and is compatible with most wiring configurations as long as a neutral wire is present. The device’s slider bars can be used as dimmers for the switches that have been replaced or can be programed to control several different devices. For smart-bulb users, Brilliant is able to provide continuous power to the bulbs and adjust the brightness, color, and scenes right from the screen or with one of the sliders.

If there are multiple Brilliant control panels in the same home, they can double as a video intercom system. With Ring integration, homeowners can also see who’s at the door; however, there is a lag to this feature. I tried this integration and found it was easier to take out my phone and use the Ring app directly. Currently, there isn’t a way to video chat with another device, such as the Echo Show, but a user can connect to the home’s control panels through their phone using the Brilliant app.

Other integrations include Honeywell, Ecobee, Sonos, Amazon, Google, Wemo, Philips Hue, and SmartThings, which covers nearly all major brands that you’ll find at your local electronics or hardware store. I was able to connect additional devices, such as LIFX lights, my front-door lock, and shades, as well as Lutron lights by adding them in the SmartThings hub app. Pairing Brilliant with a smart thermostat is a nice way to control the temperature of the house when the main thermostat may be located on another floor.

My wife and I now use our Brilliant Home Control with our theater lighting, outdoor patio lighting, and Sonos sound system, which is perfect for entertaining. Now anyone we have over can control the music and lighting without needing an app on their phone. When our control panel isn’t in use, we have it set to cycle through photos of our pets.

Brilliant is now partnering with builders that offer smart-home packages with cooperating companies, which gives the builder a point of differentiation. The company also offers consultations and training for new-home sales agents and will help developers create marketing materials. Learn more under “For Pros“ on Brilliant’s website.

Related