All the help you need and more! But feel free to contact us if you still need assistance.
DOES A SMART SWITCH REQUIRE NEUTRAL WIRING?
Yes, and no. All smart switches have built-in electronics that need to remain powered all the time for the purpose of wireless control. The neutral wire allows for a complete circuit to exist between your main power source and your smart switch, thus providing the power required for the built-in electronics. Houses with neutral wires connected to their light switches should use live+neutral smart switches. This is the preferred configuration.
If your house does not have neutral wiring, don't fret. A complete circuit can exist between your main power source, your smart switch, and your device (light bulb or ceiling fan) thus providing the necessary power required for wireless control. Houses without neutral wires connected to their light switches should use live-only smart switches. Some lights may experience intermittent flickering with live-only smart switches, this can be rectified.
HOW CAN I KNOW IF MY EXISTING HOUSE SWITCH HAS NEUTRAL WIRING?
If you understand electricity well, the quickest way to do it will be to open up your existing switches to have a look at the wires placed behind. The standard neutral wire is blue in color. Always remember to take all necessary precautions such as cutting power to the switch and testing of wires, among others, prior to inspection.
If you are not sure how to do this, contact a professional to do it for you.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ZIGBEE AND WIFI SWITCHES?
Zigbee and Wi-Fi are different protocols for communication that both run on the 2.4GHz bandwidth. In a nut shell, Wi-Fi is favored for devices with more data throughput, such as smart doorbells or cameras (due to the need to transmit video). Zigbee is favored for low data throughput devices such as switches and sensors. Our products have already been pre-selected for the best protocol for each device usage so buying from us means getting the best protocol for that device. Read our in-depth explanation here.
HOW OFTEN DOES A BATTERY-OPERATED SMART DEVICE LAST?
The battery life of our Zigbee smart devices is typically between 1 year and 2 years. Standard replaceable batteries are used in our devices, we recommend Energiser or Duracell for a longer battery life.
Wi-Fi devices consume more power and typically lasts 3-6 months, for that reason, we recommend Zigbee smart sensors.
I ALREADY OWN A GOOGLE NEST DEVICE, DO I STILL REQUIRE A GATEWAY?
Google Home is an additional layer on top of your smart home that offers voice control, smart personal assistance, and basic scheduling.
In a typical Zigbee smart home, 1 Zigbee gateway in a central location is required. Each gateway can support up to 75 different Zigbee devices. The gateway functions as the nerves of your smart home sending out signals based on preset criteria and operating your devices without human interaction.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY “OLD” NON-SMART DEVICES IN A SMART HOME?
Don't toss out your old gadgets just yet, instead, incorporate them into your smart home. A non-exhaustive list of devices that can be incorporated includes standing fans, ceiling fans, table lamps, humidifiers, air-coolers, ventilation fans, and perhaps anything else you may plug into a power socket. The degree to which they can be automated varies from device to device.
I'M ABOUT TO DO MY RENOVATION, WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING MY RENOVATION IF I WOULD LIKE A SMART HOME IN THE FUTURE?
A good thing to do during renovation is to ask yourself what kind of smart devices you would like to incorporate.
Smart doorbell? Consider some power wires to the the doorbell switch so you never have to charge doorbell batteries.
Smart switches? Consider drawing neutral cabling during the renovation to facilitate the installation of L+N smart switches. Also, try to refrain from installing physical 2-way switches, you can still have them in your smart home, but you'll save time and money by not having to run the physical wiring.
Smart curtains or blinds? Consider placing a power socket near the window at an elevated position to power the curtain or blind motors.
Smart ceiling fans? Consider getting fans that are controlled using infra-red or 433MHz radio-frequency that are compatible with off the shelf smart remotes.
MANY OF MY SMART DEVICES WENT OFFLINE SIMULTANEOUSLY, WHAT WENT WRONG?
If all your Wi-Fi devices are offline, this is typically an indication that your router is off. Turn it back on, or restart it by cycling power to the device.
If all your Zigbee devices are offline, this is typically an indication that your Zigbee gateway is off. Turn it back on, or restart it by cycling power to the device.
CAN I STILL USE A SMART SWITCH LIKE A NORMAL SWITCH?
Yes, smart switches have many built-in redundancies. Our switches can be activated semi-autonomously by the gateway, through voice control, and through our companion mobile app, or you can manually activate it by pushing it – just like a normal switch.
IF MY WI-FI IS DOWN OR MY ROUTER IS OFF, CAN MY SMART HOME FUNCTION?
If your Wi-Fi is down, your Wi-Fi smart home devices will be offline, however, your Zigbee smart devices will continue to function as long as the Zigbee gateway remains on. Automation, scheduling and routine tasks will continue to function for Zigbee devices.
I WANT A SMART HOME, HOWEVER, I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF VOICE CONTROL, IN WHAT OTHER WAYS CAN I USE MY SMART HOME?
Voice control is only one aspect of a smart home, it happens to also be the most publicised. However voice control is perhaps just the tip of the iceberg. A truly smart home is controlled using a combination of voice, gateway, time, and even environmental conditions.
I'M INTERESTED IN A SMART HOME, BUT I'M NOT SURE IF I WILL ENJOY IT OR TRULY UTILISE IT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You should not commit to any bundle packages or bundle deals with companies that try to pressure you to buy in bulk. Instead, a smart home should be personalised to your routines, your preferences and your home. You should start small with a single room or with a solution-centric approach and scale from there.
HOW MUCH DOES AN AVERAGE SMART HOME COST?
The cost for a smart 4-room HDB home with SwitchSmart typically ranges between $1300 and $2500. We advise consumers to scale according to your household requirements.
CAN I BUY SPECIFIC “PARTS” OF A SMART HOME AND NOT OTHERS?
Yes, our smart home solutions are designed to be both scalable and modular. Get the solutions you need to live life, don't live life to get the solutions you need.
I LIVE IN A HDB/CONDO/LANDED PROPERTY CAN A SMART HOME WORK WITH MY HOME?
Our smart home solutions will work on all property types including commercial properties.
CAN MY SMART HOME BE HACKED? WHAT IF SOMEONE STEALS MY DATA?
Our smart home devices are designed with your security and safety in mind. Right from the development phase our products strictly adhere to strict international security standards and industry requirements. Our IOT solution has acquired certifications and verifications in ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, ISO 9001, EU GDPR, CCPA, TRUSTe, and CAICT to ensure consumer cybersecurity is assured.
I HAVE A VISUAL/MOBILITY IMPAIRMENT, HOW CAN A SMART HOME BENEFIT ME?
Smart homes are designed with convenience and personalisation in mind. Ranging from voice control to routines and scheduling, the range of flexibility available is sufficient to help you with most of your needs. Our commitment to assist everyone extends to the differently-abled and, as most of the problems faced here are unique, it is best to contact one of our smart home designer here, so we can better understand your needs.
I LIVE WITH AGED PARENTS WILL A SMART HOME BE FRUSTRATING FOR THEM TO USE?
No. While the technical portions of a smart home will require some time to get used to, all our smart home devices are built with a layer of redundancy allowing manual operation so it can be just like operating a traditional switch or device. There are also ways to configure your smart home to be as seamless as possible by incorporating products such as motion sensors, door sensors, or temperature and humidity sensors to ensure device operation can take place even without interaction. If you're not sure how to do this, please reach out to our smart home designers here, so that your smart home can be personalised for you and your parents.
I LIVE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN, IS A SMART HOME SAFER FOR THEM?
A smart home is just as safe as a regular home but with added functionality. Children are some of the best beneficiaries of smart home technology. A smart speaker can function as a study aid and children tend to follow strict routines making a smart home more energy-efficient while aiding them in their daily routines, such as getting ready for school every morning.
I HAVE A FUR KID AT HOME, CAN A SMART HOME ADD VALUE TO PETS AS WELL?
Yes, in addition to using surveillance to be able to check in on your pets from time to time, we are also rolling out a smart pet feeder soon which has the capability of dispensing food at preset intervals and servings. This not only allows you to feed your pet when you’re not home but also helps to control the diet and food intake of your pet. Furthermore, the smart pet feeder includes other features such as a 2-way mic and a camera for you to alert your pet to the presence of food and monitor your pet while feeding.
WILL A SMART HOME INCREASE MY UTILITY BILLS?
No, it will not. The resting usage of our smart home devices is <0.3W. For illustration, our zigbee devices can run on AAA or AA batteries for up to 2 years before requiring a battery change! These numbers are negligible on a day to day basis. In fact, a smart home can actually help you decrease your utility bills. There are many functions that can be programmed such as turning off the fan/light when no one is in the room after a set period of time. These are just a few of the many examples, to learn more about creating an energy saving smart home, please contact one of our smart home designers here, to assist you in this field.