Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi review: Recent upgrades pile on the control options

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Leviton is no stranger to the light switch, and it was an early mover into the smart home space. That kind of maturity is good news for those seeking product stability, but it also means shoppers face a daunting, complex market, as Leviton now sells more than a dozen smart switch products based on Bluetooth, HomeKit, Z-Wave, and—in this case—Wi-Fi protocols.

We looked at several models in Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi lineup earlier, but largely found them wanting because of their limited options: You could control them with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands (or by manipulating the devices themselves), and that was about it. Leviton has since updated this product line to add compatibility with IFTTT (If This Then That) and some Nest devices (specifically, Nest Learning Thermostats, Nest Cams, and the Nest Protect smoke/carbon-monoxide detector). The Leviton app has also been updated with home and away occupancy modes.

The principal appeal of Wi-Fi smart devices such as these is that they don’t require a hub or bridge to connect to your home network. That means you can control them directly from your mobile device—there’s no need to also have a SmartThings, Wink, or other smart-home hub or bridge installed.

Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi app Christopher Null / IDG

A crude geofencing mode lets you turn lights on or off while you’re away, but the mode must be manually engaged.

As fans of the similarly configured LIFX Wi-Fi light bulbs can attest, that’s good news if you’re looking to simplify the amount of gear you need to manage. If you also want ceiling-fan speed control, however, be aware that nothing in Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi family is capable of that. The company currently manufactures only Bluetooth and Z-Wave in-wall fan controllers.

All Decora Smart Wi-Fi products are configured through the same process: You connect to a temporary Wi-Fi network that the switch creates, and then transfer control to your permanent network. The My Leviton app walks you through the simple process, after which all your Leviton switches appear within the app, one atop the other. To power them on or off, just tap the on/off icon to the left. If the switch includes a dimmer, it can be controlled through the drop-down on the right. Schedules can be set—somewhat unintuitively—through the + icon in the app’s top right. This section of the app is used to add a new anything: devices, rooms, schedules, and more.

Since our last review, Leviton has worked to add connectivity features to the Decora Smart Wi-Fi line. Last year, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant were your only choices; today, Nest and IFTTT are also supported. A flavor of geofencing has also been added, so you can lights and smart plugs automatically turn off when you leave and on when you return home. This feature, however, is not tied to your device’s GPS location; rather, you must manually select the occupancy mode, which appears at the top of the app’s dashboard, to Home or Away. Another setting can be used to randomly turn lights on and off while you’re away after sunset.

Each of these options can be used with individual switches or with multiple switches that have been grouped together in the app.

Let’s drill down into two of the devices in this line that we didn’t cover earlier.

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