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    Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Button Controller review: This device fits its niche almost perfectly

    Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Button Controller is sort of a miniature nerve middle on your residence’s lighting, supplied your property’s lighting is managed by different Decora Smart Wi-Fi units (e.g., switches, dimmers, retailers, plugs, and ceiling-fan controllers). It can management multiples of those different units, it will probably set off multi-room lighting scenes, or it will probably merely perform as a distant toggle change for them.

    It’s an uncommon gadget, nonetheless, in that it will probably’t management an area load. As such, you wouldn’t use it to exchange an present change or dimmer. That makes it most helpful for brand spanking new building, though an expert electrician or a educated DIYer can carry out a retrofit set up. In that case, you’ll want to tug Romex cable from someplace, reduce a gap within the wall the place you need the controller to be, set up what’s often known as an “old work box,” after which make your wiring connections (you’ll join solely the road, impartial, and floor wires). Leviton tells me they’re engaged on a second model of this controller that will have the ability to management an area load.

    An actual problem-solver

    I simply occurred to have an identical multi-button controller that was put in once I constructed my home again in 2007. But it by no means labored the way in which it was alleged to and has been one thing of a vestigial eyesore ever since. But like Leviton’s product, it was wired with only a line, a impartial, and a floor wire, and it didn’t management any load itself. Leviton’s 4-Button Controller was not solely precisely what I wanted, it additionally solved one other downside that’s bedeviled me since we moved in.

    Leviton

    Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Button Controller isn’t a lot to take a look at, nevertheless it’s as helpful as a pocket on a shirt in the correct circumstance.

    The mild on my again porch is managed by a single change in my solar room, which is adjoining to my main bedroom on the far aspect of my residence. When I’m in the principle a part of the home at night time and want to show that mild on, it’s an extended stroll to get to that change. My earlier resolution was to put in a Z-Wave good change there and join it to my Vivint good residence system. That enabled me to regulate the change with my smartphone at first, after which with a voice command once I deployed Amazon Echoes round the home. But there have been occasions once I didn’t need to bark at Alexa, and it’s not at all times handy to stroll over to an Echo so I can use whisper mode.

    When I put in Leviton’s 4-Button Controller, I changed that Z-Wave change with a Decora Smart Wi-Fi change and assigned one of many controller’s buttons to toggle that mild on and off. I can nonetheless additionally use voice instructions, however I solely must stroll a number of steps to press a button. The controller’s buttons also can do far more than toggle lights, and in some eventualities, every button can management multiple distant gadget.

    leviton 4 button controller back Michael Brown / IDG

    The Leviton 4-Button Controller might be back- or side-wired. Note that you simply’ll want line, impartial, and floor wires, however there’s no connection for an area load.

    Programming the buttons

    You have three selections for programming every of the controller’s 4 buttons utilizing the My Leviton app: First, you may set every button to toggle a single Decora Smart Wi-Fi gadget—a light-weight change, dimmer, ceiling-fan controller, outlet, or good plug—on and off if you press the button. Second, you may program every button to “control” a number of units (turning on a ceiling fan at a predetermined velocity—low, medium, excessive, or max—turning a dimmer on at a predefined brightness—on a scale of 10 to 100 p.c—or turning a change on). Alternatively, you may program the button to show any of these units off. The third choice is to have a button run an “activity” if you push it. Activities are sequences of occasions—turning a number of dimmers on at a predefined brightness, for example.

    I discovered the toggle perform to be essentially the most helpful choice. Think of it as a distant management for another Decora Smart gadget you have got put in in your house. You can flip a light-weight on earlier than you head to a different room, in order that the room is already lit if you get there. And in case you forgot to show a light-weight off if you left a room, you are able to do it remotely from the controller.

    You’ll must know what state the gadget is in earlier than you press the button, although, as a result of there’s no suggestions loop. A inexperienced LED beneath the button will mild up if you press it, nevertheless it doesn’t keep lit to inform the managed units are on. The LED on the fourth button might be programmed to remain lit as a location help at nighttime, or you may go away it turned off in case you don’t need the sunshine air pollution.

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