There’s something special about the TP-Link HS200 Smart Light Switch. There are pros and cons like any product, but as you’ll see, the pros eventually win out.
The TP-Link HS200 Smart Light Switch is a $25 wall-mounted light switch designed to replace your traditional light switch with a more contemporary looking, Wi-Fi enabled smart controller.
I’ll start by saying that if you are not comfortable doing home wiring and electrical work, you will want to look into hiring a professional to do your installation. If you know what you’re doing, it wires up exactly like any other three-wire light switch (all models require a neutral wire).
I should also add that this model is a single-pole switch, not a three-way, though TP-Link does offer a three-way switch. For those of you unfamiliar with these terms: a single pole switch makes or breaks the hot wire of a circuit from a single location. Three way switches are used in pairs, each one providing two paths for completing a circuit. This allows you to use two switches to control power to a single circuit from two different locations, such as each end of a hallway.
This switch does not require any kind of smart hub in order to work once you download the Kasa app (available at your favorite app store). Once the wiring is complete, you can jump into the app, hit the plus icon in the top right corner, and follow the step-by-step instructions. You can also get wiring instructions there if you haven’t installed the switch yet.
Once your switch is connected to the Wi-Fi it can be operated one of three ways:
Voice: This requires a smart hub; fortunately for me, I’m one of those millennials who has an Amazon Echo on every floor of his house. All I had to do was go into my Alexa app and add the device there, a process that was pretty easy and straightforward.
The Kasa app; Wherever you happen to be, you can turn your lights on and off, program your lights to follow a specific schedule and set timers all using the internet. There’s even an “Away” mode that will randomly turn the lights on and off to simulate someone being home for when you are out of town.
Normal mode: TheHS200 can be flipped just like a regular switch. This is maybe one of my favorite things about it. If I were to lose my Internet connection, the lights would still work just fine with a regular flip of the switch. It’s also worth stating that if you install these switches all over your house and were to sell it in the future, the buyer never has to set them up as smart switches as they’ll work just fine as a regular switch.
I didn’t like everything about the HS200. Personally, I’m very particular about uniformity — my bedroom lights are controlled by three separate switches: one for the fan, one for the overhead light and one for my bedside lamps. My house was wired using toggle switches — e.g., the ones most people have — and TP-Link only makes deco-style switches (the big flat ones).
This meant, though I only wanted to change the switch that controlled my lamps, I had to change all three of my light switches to make them look the same. A minor gripe, but a gripe nonetheless.
Additionally, upon opening the box you will find zero instructions of any kind. Now, maybe I’m a bit old-school, but my first instinct wasn’t to check the app for wiring instructions. However, once I read the side of the box it became more clear.
So, to buy or not to buy? Well, at a cool price of $25 each (with multi-packs available for less money per switch), I can personally say that nearly every switch in my house will probably be replaced by a TP-Link HS200 switch within the next year.
The TP-Link app is intuitive and tight, the setup is easy, and with the company offering dimmer and three-way switches — well, these fantastic switches are a simple way to make your home just a little bit smarter.
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