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Home / Tips and Tricks / Do you have an older home? Cync’s smart light switches are for you – Review Geek

Do you have an older home? Cync’s smart light switches are for you – Review Geek

A smart Cync switch installed in a kitchen.
Josh Hendrickson

Most smart homes would benefit from smart switches. They control more bulbs for less dollars than a smart bulb (at the expense of the color options). But smart switches often don̵

7;t work in older homes without neutral wires. Cync (formerly C by GE) Smart Light switches are the perfect solution for older homes.

Older houses have no wiring

A light switch box with only two wires.
Josh Hendrickson

If you live in an older house (say 50 years or older) and you are trying to replace your light switch with a smart switch, you are likely running into a wiring problem. Most smart switches require three wires in your light switch box: line, load, and neutral.

Line and load make up the circuit that leads to your light bulbs and back to the circuit breaker. Every house has that wiring. But neutral is not that universal. For your average light switch, that’s not a problem as its sole purpose is to complete or break the circuit. But a smart switch needs power to run all other electronics, and most get that from the neutral wire.

If you don’t have a neutral wire, adding one isn’t easy. To run a wire to your light switch box, you will need to pull neutral wires from other switches (if you have one) or add them to your electrical system. You want an electrician, and it will be expensive.

Instead, it is easier to get a smart switch that doesn’t require a smart switch. But it wasn’t that much easier until Cync.

Expensive solutions that require hubs

If you want to install a switch that doesn’t require a neutral wire, there have been few choices. The most famous option comes from Lutron, under the Caseta brand. The switch from Lutron typically costs $ 60, and you have the $ 120 Lutron smart bridge. The smart bridge is basically a smart hub used exclusively for Lutron products, limiting its usefulness.

You only need to buy the hub once, but it’s still an expensive annoyance. It is one more device to plug in, possibly connect to ethernet and maintain. It’s easy to end up with multiple hubs, each for one or two smart gadgets if you’re not careful, making for an expensive messy mess.

The Lutron switch also does not work with every light bulb. If you have installed the wrong type of lamp, it may flicker. You can go through a tricky trimming process to fix the problem, but it’s easier to switch to a lamp that does support Lutron. That would be 150W dimmable LED / CFL bulbs or 600W incandescent / halogen bulbs.

Worse still, that’s the beginning and end of smart switches from reputable brands offering a “non-neutral” option. At least until Cync’s switch came. Now you have something more affordable.

Cync’s switch is affordable and hubless

Several smart switches in a row.

At an average price of $ 40, Cync’s power button style Smart Switch noticeably undermines Lutron’s offering, and that’s before the hub comes into play. Cync doesn’t need a hub at all, so you’ll save some extra money there. Instead, like many other smart gadgets, it uses your existing Wi-Fi system.

Installation is super easy. You turn off your switch’s circuit breaker, then remove the old light switch. Connect ground, line, and charging wires. You don’t have to worry about matching wires correctly; Cync switches are bidirectional. As long as you don’t connect ground to line or load, you are good to go. But if you don’t feel comfortable, hire an electrician.

When you install the switch, there is one more step. The kit comes with a bulb adapter that fits between your existing bulbs and the bulb. Screw your lamp on and then screw the adapter into your lamp, ceiling or when you have a light bulb. You only need one adapter per switch, even if you have multiple light bulbs controlled by one switch.

Cync’s switch works with incandescent, halogen, CFL and LED bulbs and if the load is higher than 150W, you may not even need the adapter. In my experience, I only encountered flickering issues with one light bulb. But when I replaced the bulb with another from the same box, the flickering stopped.

Once you’ve installed the adapter and switch, you can turn on the power and set everything up with the Cync app (for iOS and Android). Better yet, you can connect the smart switches to Alexa and Google for voice control and routine scheduling. With voice control and automation you have the full smarthome package for a price that is much cheaper than the competition.

Cync’s smart switches come in a variety of styles. You’ll save the most money on the push-button form factor, but you can spend more to get a traditional-looking paddle option. If you live in an older home with no neutral wires, Cync is the perfect option for making your lighting system smart.

A smart push button switch

With a paddle

If your home has neutral wires, Cync a traditional smart switch option also. If you go that route, you can skip the light bulb adapter. And if you have a room with many lamps, it is often cheaper to buy one smart switch than several smart lamps. It also prevents someone from flipping the dumb light switch and wiping out your smart bulbs.

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