I am looking to buy a remotely controlled light switch. What options are there? I do not want companies or brands or models or whatever. I am looking to buy light switches from which I can build my own personal controlling system. What types exist? Which are wired and which are wireless?

EDIT, with more info on what I mean When I said I don't want brands or models I mean I do not people to my shopping. If you have an answer that also includes a brand or model it's ok. I put that part in my question so as to prevent brand-only answers. Now for the usage. For now I am trying to create a wall panel that will control the lights of my house, either wirelessly or wired, I do not know. In the future it might lead to home automation. But for now I just need to control them remotely. I just do not know from where to start.

  • What type of "control system" are you building? If you do not want brands or models what info are you looking for?? Is this for home automation or something else? Nov 26, 2014 at 12:31
  • @SpeedyPetey edited my question with more info Nov 26, 2014 at 12:34
  • Quick tip: If you go with the X-10 protocol (control signals transmitted through the power lines themselves), which was one of the earliest solutions to gain widespread support, be aware that the X-10 company themselves are NOT the best manufacturer thereof. Their build quality is adequate but not great, and their competetors generally offer improved function. I've got an X-10 (brand) kit that I've been playing around with as "cheap and cheerful", but it isn't what I'd install for longterm use.
    – keshlam
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:56
  • Also, watch out for the fact that most fluorescents really don't like dimmers... and many of these remote switches can dim. That's actually the main thing holding me back; I want to replace more of my CFLs with dimmable LED bulbs before putting them under remote control. Pity CFLs last so long...
    – keshlam
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:58
  • 1
    What problem are you trying to solve? A panel that controls all the lights in the house is one possible solution, but there may be others. The others can only be seen by focusing on the problem rather than a construction project.
    – user23752
    Nov 26, 2014 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


I've seen every type of "home automation light switch" system, but they all require some sort of "hub" by a company. Some communicate wirelessly and others do not. They also have varying levels of security.

Random home switch by company that requires a hub

If you are still against a hub, there is one more option you have:

Solid State Relay

Solid state relays. You can wire them inline before all your lights, then put an arduino with it. Example: http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Controlled-Relay-Box/?ALLSTEPS

However you will not have physical switches any more- you will need to replace them all with some sort of momentary switch which ties into the arduino and relays.

  • 2
    How is an Arduino not a "hub" in the way you described? Single centralized device, bridges gap between protocols, and relays control signals...
    – gregmac
    Nov 26, 2014 at 15:18
  • @gregmac: Good point! I think of it as not a hub since you have so much control over it, as opposed to a pre-made home automation hub which you have to play by their rules Nov 28, 2014 at 15:22
  • That's definitely a concern, and something that should be considered when buying any of these types of devices. Good questions I would ask are: Does it rely on a 'cloud' service? What happens if your internet connection is down? What happens if the company shuts down their servers? Is there any type of SDK or API that can be used to interact with it? Is there an active user community? Is there an ecosystem of plugins/companies around this that add value?
    – gregmac
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:35

Your kind of looking at brands as there is no universal protocol.

The cheapest is probably x-10 which uses a very unreliable signal thru the house wiring.

Beyond that google around insteon vs. zigbee vs. z-wave vs. upb for a flavor of option$

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