On our most recent IoT Podcast, Michael called in to our voicemail hotline with a question about his under cabinet light strips. He’s looking for a switch or other option to add some smarts to them, although he’s using a set of smart LIFX light strips. If Michael is going to use a switch, it can’t have a neutral wire and he does use SmartThings.
We have a couple of options to suggest here, which apply both to Michael’s situation as well as anyone else who uses light strips under their cabinets. In a recent kitchen remodel, we actually added regular light strips, so I had a similar similar situation to deal with.
In my case, my under cabinet lights are plugged in to a regular outlet that’s already controlled by a switch. For me, it was easy to swap the old switch for a new Lutron Caseta switch. And Michael can take a similar approach although he’d need a different brand for the switch.
We found a GE smart dimming switch that doesn’t require a neutral wire for around $50 on Amazon, for example. That would work with his SmartThings setup and let him manually control the lights when required. He could also save a few bucks and opt for a non-dimming version of the same GE switch for $33.
Thinking outside the box a little, this solution actually doesn’t require a switch. A smart outlet for the under cabinet lights may do the trick as many of them have buttons to turn the power on and off. Of course, if the outlet for these lights is hidden in a cabinet like mine, that may not be ideal. Still, it’s an option that’s worth mentioning.
A programmable button might do the trick here since LIFX does integrate with SmartThings. Although expensive at $80, the Flic Smart Button three-pack fits the bill here. So one button could be used to control under cabinet lights and two others are ready for future use in this case. One caveat though: That integration is cloud-based so if your home internet is down, the button won’t work.
So regardless of whether you have a smart or non-connected light strip under your cabinets, there are several options to add some smarts to them.
To hear Michael’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: