Leviton Decora Sensible Wi-Fi review: Latest upgrades pile on the management choices

Leviton is not any stranger to the sunshine swap, and it was an early mover into the smart home house. That form of maturity is sweet information for these searching for product stability, nevertheless it additionally means customers face a frightening, advanced market, as Leviton now sells greater than a dozen good swap merchandise primarily based on Bluetooth, HomeKit, Z-Wave, and—on this case—Wi-Fi protocols.

We checked out a number of fashions in Leviton’s Decora Sensible Wi-Fi lineup earlier, however largely discovered them wanting due to their restricted choices: You possibly can management them with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice instructions (or by manipulating the gadgets themselves), and that was about it. Leviton has since up to date this product line so as to add compatibility with IFTTT (If This Then That) and a few Nest gadgets (particularly, Nest Studying Thermostats, Nest Cams, and the Nest Defend smoke/carbon-monoxide detector). The Leviton app has additionally been up to date with house and away occupancy modes.

The principal attraction of Wi-Fi good gadgets corresponding to these is that they don’t require a hub or bridge to hook up with your own home community. Meaning you’ll be able to management them instantly out of your cell machine—there’s no must even have a SmartThings, Wink, or different smart-home hub or bridge put in.

Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi app Christopher Null / IDG

A crude geofencing mode allows you to flip lights on or off when you’re away, however the mode have to be manually engaged.

As followers of the equally configured LIFX Wi-Fi gentle bulbs can attest, that’s excellent news for those who’re trying to simplify the quantity of substances it’s worthwhile to handle. In case you additionally need ceiling-fan velocity management, nonetheless, bear in mind that nothing in Leviton’s Decora Sensible Wi-Fi household is able to that. The corporate at present manufactures solely Bluetooth and Z-Wave in-wall fan controllers.

All Decora Sensible Wi-Fi merchandise are configured by way of the identical course of: You connect with a short lived Wi-Fi community that the swap creates, after which switch management to your everlasting community. The My Leviton app walks you thru the easy course of, after which all of your Leviton switches seem inside the app, one atop the opposite. To energy them on or off, simply faucet the on/off icon to the left. If the swap features a dimmer, it may be managed by way of the drop-down on the proper. Schedules may be set—considerably unintuitively—by way of the + icon within the app’s prime proper. This part of the app is used so as to add a brand new something: gadgets, rooms, schedules, and extra.

Since our final review, Leviton has labored so as to add connectivity options to the Decora Sensible Wi-Fi line. Final yr, voice management through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant had been your solely selections; right now, Nest and IFTTT are additionally supported. A taste of geofencing has additionally been added, so you’ll be able to lights and good plugs mechanically flip off if you go away and on if you return house. This characteristic, nonetheless, isn’t tied to your machine’s GPS location; slightly, you could manually choose the occupancy mode, which seems on the prime of the app’s dashboard, to Residence or Away. One other setting can be utilized to randomly flip lights on and off when you’re away after sundown.

Every of those choices can be utilized with particular person switches or with a number of switches which have been grouped collectively within the app.

Let’s drill down into two of the gadgets on this line that we didn’t cowl earlier.

Decora Sensible Wi-Fi In-Wall Dimmer (DW6HD-1BZ)

leviton decora smart wifi dw6hd 1bz Leviton

The small rocker on the right-hand facet of the dimmer adjusts the brightness, whereas the bigger rocker turns the sunshine on and off. 

It is a rocker-style swap, and each white and light-weight almond paddles are included, however the matching wall plates are bought individually. As with every swap, Leviton’s DW6HD-1BZ takes a modest quantity {of electrical} know-how to arrange. A barely unorthodox {hardware} design options just a few screw terminals in uncommon areas, so that you’ll need to pay shut consideration to the onionskin handbook—although it has hardly been designed with user-friendliness prime of thoughts.

The odd design has a objective: Whereas some good switches are constructed to assist single-pole functions (i.e., a ceiling gentle managed by a single swap on the wall, versus a lightweight that may be managed by switches at two or extra areas), Leviton’s SW6HD permits for a three-way set up—for those who purchase the suitable matching swap (which prices lower than the good model as a result of it doesn’t want an onboard Wi-Fi radio).

The dimming features are contained in a small plastic ridge to the proper of the rocker. Every click on up brightens the sunshine a step, and every click on down dims it. The rocker itself merely powers the sunshine on or off, however the swap remembers the final brightness worth between energy cycles. Except for the jumble of logos printed on the swap, the design is clear and restrained and may have little bother becoming into any surroundings.

Decora Sensible Wi-Fi Plug-in Outlet (DW15A-1BW)

leviton decora smart wi fi dw15a 1bw Leviton

Leviton’s Decora Sensible Wi-Fi DW15A-1BW can management gadgets with small motors, however you may need its mannequin DW3HL-1BW if you wish to dim a linked lamp.

Want a grounded outlet? Leviton’s DW15A accommodates a three-prong plug in a barely bigger kind issue than the DW3HL-1BW we reviewed earlier. To your bother, you quit dimming options: Within the app, you’ll be able to solely flip the DW15A on and off, no matter what you could have linked to it.

Whereas this outlet will work with a lamp or different gentle supply, it’s primarily designed for small home equipment, together with followers, small fountains, and different motorized gadgets rated at as much as 0.5 horsepower and 15 amps of energy draw. Once more, the dearth of variable energy means you’ll be able to’t, say, use it to regulate the velocity of a linked fan, although as with the DW3HL-1BW it labored completely properly in my testing for straight on/off functions.

Is the Decora Sensible Wi-Fi lineup now worthy?

Leviton’s hubless, Wi-Fi-connected line has undertaken some good upgrades within the final yr, however rewiring in-wall switches hasn’t turn out to be any simpler. That stated, new connections to Nest and IFTTT could ease the sting of {the electrical} work a bit, whereas Leviton’s cell app covers the fundamentals with out complicating issues too terribly. The plug-in gadgets are a lot simpler to work with than the in-wall gadgets, however each product within the line now deserves consideration by smart home upgraders.

Editors’ word: Leviton has added a brand new integration with the Schlage Encode Sensible WiFi deadbolt lock, afffecting each this, the first-generation product and the brand new second era of gadgets. The mixing allows exercise on the lock to set off lighting scenes. For instance, you’ll be able to create a “leaving house” that turns off lights managed by Decora Sensible Wi-Fi scene when the one-touch lock characteristic is used on the deadbolt’s keypad. Conversely, you an create an “arriving house” scene that turns lights on if you lock the deadbolt utilizing the  lock’s keypad.

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