My editor says the Switchmate is “100 percent ridiculous.” To be honest, he’s not wrong. In an era when humanity is rushing headlong into the smart home, the Switchmate says, “Whoa, hold up there fella. Let’s think about this. Maybe all you really need is a fancy light timer.”
And fundamentally, that’s what the Switchmate is: a ridiculous yet surprisingly compelling way to put some basic automation into your lighting without having to actually rewire anything. In fact, the Switchmate doesn’t even require you to plug anything into a wall socket.
The system couldn’t require much less brainpower to install. You load up an app on your smart phone and place the two-AA-battery powered Switchmate on top of an existing light switch. Literally this is a smooth hunk of white plastic that sticks to a light switch cover thanks to the magic of magnets. It doesn’t matter that the switch cover is plastic. There’s metal inside the wall, so it sticks. Inside the Switchmate, a small motor turns the light on or off. You can push the button on the front of the Switchmate to flip the switch—or (better yet) use your smartphone app to do it. Just pair the app to the switch, and your dumb old light switch is suddenly much smarter. Read more at Wired.