As a kid I used to tie one end of a long piece of dental floss to my light switch and the other end would lay by the side of my bed. I’d then crawl under my covers and turn off my bedroom light by pulling on that dental floss. I might as well have been a king.
Now that I’m 30, and married, the dental floss trick isn’t that cute.
After all these years, I still haven’t lost the desire to turn off my bedroom lights without getting out of bed.
But if not with dental floss, then how?
Turn off bedroom light with home automation
The best way to turn off your bedroom lights is with home automation. You can use a smart light switch, smart bulbs, smart plugs, or some combination of all three. Whichever smart products you choose, you’ll be able to turn off the bedroom lights from under your covers.
First I’ll walk you through my bedroom setup, why I set it up the way I did, and exactly how you can implement it. Then I’ll cover some alternative ways you can accomplish the same thing.
My smart light switch setup
My bedroom has a total of 5 light bulbs, all controlled by a single switch next to the bedroom door.
There are additional light bulbs in each of my bedroom closets, but they are rarely left on. It just wasn’t worth the money, or effort, to automate them too.
Given that all 5 bulbs are controlled by a single switch, I decided that simply swapping out my light switch for a smart light switch was the best way forward.
If I used smart bulbs for this automation I would have had to replace 5 individual bulbs. 5 decent smart bulbs cost between $40-$55. Whereas the single smart light switch I ended up buying (and highly recommend) cost $19.99, and works flawlessly!
Not only was it cheaper to use a smart light switch, but I also got to keep the existing light switch functionality.
When you use smart bulbs you have to make sure the light switch that controls them is ALWAYS in the on position. If someone accidentally flicks the light switch off, your smart bulbs won’t work. That’s because smart light bulbs require some amount of electricity at all times in order to work properly.
If you read my blog you know how I feel about this – smart home automation should add functionality, never remove it.
Speaking from experience – your wife, family and guests will all forget that they can’t use the light switch and it will constantly get shut off. You can buy a magnetic switch cover like this to remind people, but really?
So by using a smart light switch, I spent less AND my wife and I can continue actually using the light switch as we please.
What you’ll need to setup the “turn off bedroom light” automation
Here’s what you’ll need in order to setup the turn off bedroom light automation:
1) A smart light switch
- I use the Kasa Smart Light Switch by TP-Link. This switch is super cheap and after a year of use, I’ve never had a single issue. You really can’t beat the price and quality. That said, this switch does require a neutral wire to setup. You can check the price on Amazon here.
- If you don’t have a neutral wire I highly recommend the Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch. Another great smart switch, but it costs a bit more. You can check the price on Amazon here.
2) A smart phone/tablet
- This will allow you to download the Kasa Smart app on Google Play or Apple’s App Store. The Kasa app will walk you through installation and setup of the smart light switch.
3) A 2.4 GHz WiFi connection
- The Kasa Smart Light Switch uses WiFi to establish a connection with your phone and other devices.
- If you go the Lutron Caseta route, those smart switches require the Lutron Smart Bridge. You can check the price on Amazon here.
4) A smart speaker (optional, but recommended)
- If you’re interested in turning off your bedroom lights with your voice, in addition to your phone, you’ll want to buy a smart speaker. If you don’t want to do this, no worries, you can control your smart light switch 100% from the Kasa Smart app.
- The Kasa Smart Light Switch is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so either is fine!
How to setup a smart light switch
Changing out your first light switch can be intimidating. Whenever you’re working with electricity it’s a good idea to be cautious. The reality is, if you take a few simple precautious, changing out a light switch is safe, and easy.
I won’t detail the step by step process of taking out a light switch and installing a new smart light switch. That’s already been documented really well by many others. Here’s one of the best:
But I will emphasize a few things:
1) Make sure you turn your electricity off before you start working on any wiring! This is so obvious, but 99% of electrical injuries can be avoided by just taking this step.
2) The reason I love the Kasa Smart Light Switch is that their app helps walk you through in such simplistic terms, exactly how to install and connect their light switch (with pictures!). The user experience is second to none. It’s hard to screw up.
3) If you’ve never heard of a neutral wire before, take a few minutes to read about it. It’s really not complicated and most homes have it.
Now that you’ve installed your smart light switch and connected it by following the instructions in the Kasa Smart app, you can turn your bedroom lights off with just a click of a button.
You can also use the Kasa Smart App to setup some basic automations like setting a timer for your bedroom lights to turn on or off and creating a schedule with days and times that you want your bedroom lights to turn on or off.
Connecting your smart light switch to a smart speaker
If you’re interested in taking this automation a step further, you can sync your smart light switch to a smart speaker.
This way you don’t even need your cell phone to turn off your bedroom lights, you can just say “OK Google, turn off bedroom lights”.
Amazon Alexa works just as well.
Personally I use both Amazon and Google smart speakers in my home, so I’ll show you how to add your smart light switch to both.
Connecting Google Home to your smart light switch
1) In the Google Home app, click on your profile image at the top right
2) Click Assistant settings
3) Click + Add
4) Click Link a smart home device
5) In the search bar type “Kasa” and then click “TP-Link Kasa”
6) You’ll then be presented with the Kasa Smart login page. Enter your email and password that you used to setup your Kasa Smart account and Authorize Google Home to sync.
7) Once you’ve authorized Kasa, your smart light switch should appear as a device on your Google Home landing page. Try saying “OK Google, turn off bedroom light”.
Connecting Amazon Alexa to your smart light switch
1) In the Alexa app, click the three lines at the top left
2) The select Skills and Games
3) Click the magnifying glass at the top right
4) Type in “Kasa skill” and then select TP-LINK Kasa and enable that skill
5) Once you authorized Kasa, your smart light switch should appear as a device on your Alexa home page. Try saying “Alexa, turn off bedroom light”.
Adding smart plugs and smart bulbs to the automation
Maybe you want to use a smart light switch for the majority of the lights in your bedroom, but you also have two lamps on either side of your bed and a closet light that you want to automate.
For the lamps by your bed you can use smart plugs. Smart plugs are cheap and easy to setup and turn your normal lamps into smart lamps.
For the light in your closet you can use a smart bulb. Again, you won’t be able to use the closet light switch any more but I imagine that’s not too big an issue for a closet.
Both the smart plugs and the smart bulbs are easily setup using an app on your smartphone.
Once setup you’ll want to group all these products together, and name the group “Bedroom lights”. That way, when you say “OK Google, turn off bedroom lights”, the smart light switch, smart plugs and smart bulb, all turn off at the same time.
Creating a group in the Google Home app
1) Click the “+” symbol at the top left
2) Select Set up device
3) Then Set up new devices (or Have something already set up? if you’ve already setup your smart plug or smart bulb)
4) Chose your home
5) Google Home will then look for your device
6) Once Google home has found your device you’ll be given the opportunity to select the room you want your device to be added to. Select “Bedroom”. Once all your devices have been added to “Bedroom” you should be able to turn them all off together.
Creating a group in the Amazon Alexa app
1) Click Devices on the bottom right and then click the “+” symbol at the top right
2) Select Add Group
3) Then either select Bedroom or type in the group name you want and click Next
4) Select the smart light switch, smart plugs and smart light bulbs you want grouped together
Turn on bedroom light with home automation
Maybe it goes without saying, but just to be sure – the exact same setup that I’ve detailed above can be used to turn on your bedroom lights as well.
This is great early in the morning when you want your bedroom lights on but aren’t quite ready to get out of bed.
Try saying “OK Google, turn on bedroom light” or “Alexa, turn on bedroom light”.
If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to turn off the bedroom lights (or turn on the bedroom lights) without getting out of bed, home automation is your best bet.
Whether you decide to use smart light switches, smart plugs, smart light bulbs, or a combination of all three, is up to you.
Syncing these smart products to a smart speaker, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, will add voice capabilities to your automation.
“OK Google, turn off bedroom lights”.