New Smart Home Control plug-in turns out better than expected

New Smart Home Control plug-in turns out better than expected
Smart plugs are a simple way to achieve smart lighting, but they can only control one device and only function with lamps. One of the more advanced whole-home smart lighting systems is produced by Brilliant, and its control panel integrates with a wide range of third-party goods, including Ring security systems and Sonos speakers. But up until recently, if you weren't comfortable working with high-voltage wire, you had to hire an electrician to install one of its control panels. That barrier is removed by Brilliant's new plug-in Smart Home Control.

This "install it anywhere" version of Brilliant's most recent Smart Home Control is affixed to the surface of the wall and receives power via a thin cable from a USB wall wart rather than being mounted in an electrical box within the wall and hardwired to your home's electrical system. The control panel, which is a 5-inch-diagonal display with two touch-sensitive grooves to its right, snaps onto the plate after you plug one end of this tiny cable into the backplate, which is screwed into the surface of your wall, as you can see in the pictures on this page.

Additionally equipped with a built-in speaker and microphone, the panel works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. You may stream video from your home security cameras to the panel's display or from the panel to your preferred smart display thanks to the motion sensor and camera with a privacy shutter that are both built into the device.

The display can show a wide range of data, including controls for third-party items, weather forecasts, photographs, Brilliant's own smart home app, lighting settings, and more. An example is displayed on a transparent label in the pre-installation image at the top of this article. The panel's touch-sensitive grooves may be programmed to perform a wide range of tasks, from altering the volume of a Sonos speaker to dimming compatible smart lighting. The entire structure hugs the wall perfectly and is about 5/8 of an inch thick.

According to Brilliant, its new controller is ideal for both professional installers who are not licensed to carry out electrical installations and consumers who don't want to deal with wire. You can drill a hole in the wall behind the plate, drop the wire down the wall, and fish it to the electrical box containing the outlet you wish to connect it into if you don't want a wire dangling from the panel. That can be trickier than it seems. Despite the fact that Brilliant includes about 15 feet of wire, there may be one or more wall studs between the spot where you wish to hang the panel and the outlet where you need to plug it in.

Brilliant's product line includes touchscreen-equipped 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-switch panels as well as a single-gang touchscreen-only switch. You can operate a variety of third-party smart home items once you download the Brilliant app, including Sonos speakers, Samsung SmartThings gadgets, Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale smart locks, Ecobee, Nest, and Resideo smart thermostats, among many more. Two other smart lighting-only items are available from Brilliant: a smart plug and a single-gang smart dimmer without a display. Amazon now has the Brilliant Smart Home Control Plug-in Panel for $399. sent us a sample so we could give it a try. We've requested a few additional Brilliant goods so that we may review the current state of the ecosystem as a whole. Over the next few weeks, we'll post a comprehensive assessment.
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