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iotty smart switch in the test: WLAN switch unites functionality and design

iotty Smart Switch im Test: WLAN-Schalter vereint Funktionalität und Design

tl; dr: The iotty smart switches with LED glass design and WLAN can be controlled via the smartphone or a voice assistant and are a real eye-catcher also an enrichment for the look of the room. Installation, setup and operation convince as well as the functionality of the app, which still has potential.

Single and double switches with LED design

With the smart switch, the Italian company iotty offers smart touch-screen Wi-Fi light switches that do not require a bridge or gateway and can be operated directly via the push buttons or the smartphone, IFTTT or voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa , If they are retrofitted, connected lamps can be controlled without the need for networked illuminants and the switch must be permanently switched on.

iotty offers the Smart Switch in the two versions E1 and E2 as well as in the five colors white, black, gray, cream and blue, which can be installed in conventional German flush-mounted boxes – at least 32.5 mm are needed in depth. E1 is a single push-button, while the E2 version has a double pushbutton, enabling it to switch two connected loads separately. The iotty Smart Switch E1 costs 75 euros (RRP), the E2 is offered for 80 euros. The products can be used as an off and changeover switch or as a push button. Theoretically, they are not only suitable for switching light.

Both switches measure 87 × 87 mm and are 9 mm thick. They broadcast Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / e / i and Wi-Fi Direct in the 2.4 GHz range. The maximum load at the output is 5 amps each and a minimum load of 3 watts is required.

The switches themselves rely on a modern design with a toughened glass surface that is illuminated by LEDs. Rectangular recesses and a dot mark the buttons and the blue back-lit dot indicates the switching status of the switch. However, the touch surface does not cover the entire area of ​​the rectangular area, but actually only the center. The LED lighting of the switch can be set in the app, so not only switched on and off, but also regulated in their brightness. There is nothing to complain about when processing the two iotty Smart Switches, quite the contrary.

Installation by replacing the old switch

The connection of the iotty Smart Switch requires a neutral conductor and a phase. The latter is connected to the switch itself and to one or both inputs of the load to be switched. Make sure that the cables are not led down, but that the connections are on the left side of the switch, so it usually needs to be rotated 90 degrees before installation. The iotty switch does not have a spreading mechanism for installation in the switch box, screw holes in the installation box are required. This is not given in every old building and should be checked in advance.

In addition, a sufficiently strong WLAN signal must be present at the location where an iotty Smart Switch is to be installed.

With sufficient knowledge of electrical installations, the connection of the iotty switches can be done easily in a few minutes, provided you have cables and terminals and the space in the installation box is sufficient.

Setup, configuration and control via app

The iotty app is available for both Android and iOS and is required to connect the Smart Switch to Wi-Fi. Once this has been done, it can also be configured in the app and statistics on consumption and switching times can be viewed, whereby the power consumption and the electricity costs of the connected loads must be stored in the app itself – more than a calculation based on the switch-on and The stored costs do not occur, the switches do not measure the power itself. The user can also be informed via push notifications whenever a switch is pressed.

Without a user account, nothing works

An iotty user account must be created for the setup. A waiver of control via the cloud is not possible. This has the advantage that the light can also be controlled remotely. Then the user must first connect to the WLAN of the switch and then manually enter the SSID of the own WLAN – a list, from which simply the own radio network is selected, in order to enter then only the password, does not exist. This is, depending on the name of the WLAN, unnecessarily cumbersome. Once the switch is connected to the WLAN, the setup is complete and the switch can be configured in the app. The 2-speed switch E2 emerges as two devices. In addition to the basic choice of whether it should be used as a switch, on / off switch, which switches on as long as it is pressed, or changeover switch, names can be assigned for each control surface and also for the touch panel itself.

Geofencing also over the WLAN signal

Also, the switching via geofencing, so based on the position of the smartphone is possible, so that the light can be switched on automatically when you come home, or the garage door opens automatically when you are in the vicinity. Since this control can also be coupled to the connection to the domestic WLAN, the distance can be kept sufficiently low.

Iotty Smart Switch App

Many options require a lot of configuration

The iotty app allows in addition to a normal timer and the coupling of the switching state to external influences such as the weather or the times for the sunrise and sunset, which can handle other applications. Somewhat awkward, however, is that for each switch its own timer must be set. It is not possible to simply have multiple switches perform identical automation at the same time by simply adding more elements to an automation. Especially in the absence simulation, this must be entered individually for each switch, instead of being able to select several, which are then switched independently of each other at random. In addition, a stored automation such as the timer can be edited later, but the selected device can not be changed over. If you want to subsequently change only the device, a new automation must be created.

There is also no switching on or off of automation at iotty. If an automation is to be paused, it must be deleted. If you want to use them again, a complete rebuild is necessary. This is unnecessarily cumbersome and better solved by other systems.

If a switch is operated, this can also trigger all or a few other built iotty switch, if desired. Anyone who also integrates the switches in IFTTT can also control other smart home devices in the house via the switches.

The app still has potential

Even though the app already offers a lot of options with which it does not have to hide from the competition, there are cases in which one wishes as a user further setting and combination options, including the option mentioned above, a time switch to multiple switches expand and not have to set up an identical timer for each switch. Instead of the width, the app now needs some development into the depth of the individual, already offered functions.

Iotty Smart Switch: Notification of actions taken
Iotty Smart Switch: Notification of actions taken

In addition, it was sporadically in the test that saving an automation with the error message “A task was canceled” or “The request timed out” was not saved, after which it must be completely new, because the app does not jump back to the input mask, to cause a re-storage.

Control by voice via Alexa and the Google Assistant

The iotty Smart Switches can also be controlled via voice over Alexa and the Google Assistant. Alexa needs to activate the “iotty Smart Home” skill in the Alexa app and search for the devices. The Google Assistant, on the other hand, activates “Home Control” in the Google Account and then searches for the devices.

The control of the switches via the speech assistants is afterwards completely problem-free and reliable possible. There were no problems during the test – neither during setup nor during use.

Apart from Alexa and Google Assistant, the iotty smart switches with the latest app update also support SmartThings, Samsung's smart home system. Since this ComputerBase is not yet available, the link could not be tested.

Conclusion

Optically and technically convincing

Visually and technically, both iotty Smart Switches convinced in the test. Cabling is easier than with additional flush-mounted switches from Devolo, Qubino or Fibaro (test). These must be accommodated in addition to the actual switch behind this in the installation box and the space required is greater. In addition, these always require a smart home hub, which is not required at iotty thanks to Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, there is no lack of on-the-go control, but this requires the creation of an iotty user account.

However, WLAN also has the disadvantage that the switches can not be readily integrated into a smart home system, as would be possible with Z-Wave or Zigbee in compliance with the standards. The ability to use IFTTT or language assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, bounces off this flaw, but requires additional knowledge and effort especially in the case of IFTTT.

Many options in the app, but still potential

In the configuration options in the app iotty should fix a few minor vulnerabilities with great effect to make the control more comfortable. Because the breadth of possibilities is extremely good, but it is still lacking in depth. If the entire home on vacation is to be controlled via a random mode, it should not have to be set individually for each device, but should be able to consider all devices at once. The ability to combine multiple switches in one automation is currently missing, as well as the pausing of automations, so they do not have to be constantly deleted and recreated.

In addition, the app sometimes fails when storing automations, which is annoying because they have to be recreated again and again. However, the range of functions and the possibilities in the app itself to couple actions and conditions and to make them dependent on other influences such as the sunrise, a connection of the smartphone to the local WLAN or the weather are very extensive.

Due to the touch surface, the user receives no haptic feedback when operating the switch, only the audible release of the relay in the switch can be heard. For double switches, therefore, you usually have to look which button you want to operate in order not to trigger the wrong one or both.

Check compatibility before purchasing

When installing, buyers must take into account that they need both a neutral and a flush-mounted box with screw sockets to secure the switch. Both together is not always given and should be checked before buying necessarily.

The biggest shortcoming for the installation of the switches should be their price of 75 and 80 euros, which is why, if they fit with their own style and decor, they should also be seen as design objects that can replace the 20-year-old, yellowish, German standard switch. The LED lighting is certainly an eye-catcher and provides conversation with guests.

The smart sockets with LED lighting and the blind control will be followed by two other iotty products in early 2020, which will help expand the system.

ComputerBase has loaned the two smart switches from iotty for testing. An influence of the manufacturer on the test report did not take place, a obligation for the publication did not exist. There was no NDA.

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