The Ecobee Switch+ is a light switch, but it’s also an Amazon Alexa speaker and a motion and temperature sensor, all rolled into one. It’s the latest smart home offering from the Toronto-based company known for popular smart thermostats like the Ecobee4.
While the Switch+ detects motion, it won’t work as a thermometer until a firmware update is pushed out later this year. When it does go live, though, you’ll be able to see temperature information on the room where it’s installed. If you already have an Ecobee thermostat, you’ll be able to control both devices through the same app. We’ll update this review when we get a chance to review the sensor technology.
The switch is also an Amazon Alexa speaker. It doesn’t just work with Alexa. It is Alexa. You can talk to it just like you would an Amazon Echo. In other words, you could consider buying this device instead of an Echo Dot. Watch full videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41q0Yx2v7Rc
The inclusion of Alexa makes it unique. While Alexa integration is becoming more common in smart devices that aren’t speakers, there’s a difference between those and devices that are Alexa voice assistants in their own right. A few smart home devices can boast such a thing — the Sonos One speaker, LG’s new InstaView fridge, and Kohler’s Verdera smart mirror are a few recent examples. This, however, is Alexa’s first appearance in a light switch.
The Ecobee Switch+ works well as a light switch. We appreciated that we had several ways to control the lighting, whether it be manually pushing the light button, using our voice, or relying on motion sensor control. The motion sensors worked without flaw, quickly turning the light on when we entered the room. We liked that it detected when we weren’t around and turned the light off. That’s important when kids are running around, leaving lights on. The Switch+ also has a do not disturb feature that allows you to turn off motion detection when you’re sleeping. That way the lights aren’t turning on if it detects you tossing and turning in the middle of the night.
If you want to play music from the Switch+, expect modest sound quality, as the speaker only measures about an inch in width and a few millimeters in height across the top. However, we were surprised with how loud the tiny device could become. We should note that with most Alexa devices, you can choose between a volume level of one through 10, but the Switch+ only seems to have a volume level of low, medium, and high. But that’s not the point of the Switch+ anyway. It’s a switch first, and an Alexa-powered speaker second.
This device can, however, connect to another speaker that works with Alexa via the Alexa Skill.
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The Switch+ comes with a one-year warranty.