Home solutions manufacturer Leviton has released two Decora Smart Home Line additions that are designed to simplify and maximize capabilities,
The Decora Smart Voice Dimmer and Wi-Fi Four-Speed Fan Controller expands the line’s offerings with two first-of-their-kind products that have Amazon Alexa voice control capabilities without needing any additional hubs or accessories. The Voice Dimmer has all of Amazon Alexa's features built-in, from music control, to setting timers, and even creating to-do lists.
“We really want to declutter the smart home as kind of our main goal with that product,” says Greg Rhoades, director of marketing at Leviton. “Because you have hubs, you have smart speakers, and now you’ve got two things sitting on the counter of the kitchen. And especially in a space where you’re cleaning everything, and sanitizing everything, you really want to remove as many of those pieces and parts from the equation as possible.”
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Imagine this: Your client loves to cook, but while they are engrossed in a recipe, they suddenly want music to play, or the fan to turn on. Maybe the client even needs help with measurements or wants to announce that dinner is ready. With just their voice, they can do all of these things through the Decora Smart Voice Dimmer and Wi-Fi Four-Speed Fan Controller and for under $100, the company says.
Decora aims at simplifying and condensing the modern smart home. The number one smart home addition are light controls, Rhoades says. And the voice-activated dimmer and fan controller only require a Wi-Fi connection and neutral wire.
All of Leviton’s smart products can be controlled via voice or their mobile app, My Leviton. The ease of use for consumers transfers to ease for installation as well. Neither the dimmer nor fan controller require any substantial electrical changes and can be wired the same way normal light switches and ceiling fans are, the company says.
If a client wants to start with one voice dimmer and add more in the future, the products do not require set-up all in one go. Rhoades says smart home products can be confusing and need multiple phone apps or installations, but all Decora Smart products can be controlled within their app.
“It’s not just a one and done operation, it’s something you can build off of,” Rhoades says. “Now what we’re starting to see are professional contractors are taking note of this as well and realizing, ‘Wow, for a Wi-Fi system, it is reliable, it is capable.’ It’s not going to drag down the Netflix bandwidth and your kids are gonna be screaming. It’s something that is real now and allows you to build a system for something so much more affordably than what you used to.”
The dimmer and fan can be paired with other Decora Smart products, allowing clients to schedule “scenes” as Leviton calls them, or create intertwined schedules for their lights, locks, and fans. The most popular choice, Rhoades says, is their “all off” function. A homeowner can say those two words and sit there as all their smart home devices shut down for the night. There is no limitation to the scenes a homeowner wants to program.
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Accessibility is also a large function of the Decora Smart line, Rhoades says. Leviton sees interest in these Decora Smart products from many different sectors, whether it be energy efficiency, safety, or convenience. For homeowners who need a universal design, being able to control the home via your voice can be empowering.
“So many people today want to be able to age in place,” Rhoades says. “Especially now with all the stress that we’re seeing, they just find comfort in being in their familiar space, and having a home that is outfitted to a system in that endeavor is incredibly important. Leviton absolutely pushes this for universal design applications, maybe those people are in wheelchairs, or aging in place. Being able to remain comfortable in your space, your home, for longer and being able to vocalize that as you enter a room or have it automated for you based upon your time of day and your general activities.”
The Decora Smart Voice Dimmer and Wi-Fi Four-Speed Fan Controller are meant for the everyday homeowner, and Leviton sees them as much more than a “wow” factor in a luxury home as smart products used to be. Their wall-mounted dimmers were designed to blend in with other switches, and to appear approachable and easy to use. Designers and homeowners can choose from various colors to blend the products in with the overall room design.
“Making sure it’s familiar and kind of regular-looking is really important to us, because in a kitchen, these smart devices might be ganged side-by-side with four common devices, and we don’t want them to stick out,” Rhoades says. “We don't want grandma to come in the room and say, ‘How the heck do I work this thing? I’m just trying to turn the light on!’ So making it appear as the other device is important, but we also offer six different color options which no one else in the smart space is doing.”