Resembling a suburbanite-friendly version of HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey” (but lacking the homicidal tendencies), the new Switch+ is marketed as a lighting control appliance, but also plays music and helps with general lifestyle needs and tasks such as weather reports, traffic updates and adding items to shopping lists.

  • The ecobee Switch+ and Noon's smart switch are easy-to-install lighting kits that replace existing light switch plates and connect directly with Alexa.
  • The ecobee Switch+ can be bought for $99, and the Noon for $149.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Ecobee, a smart home device company, has released two new devices to help Amazon’s Alexa control your home — the Switch+ and the ecobee4 smart thermostat.

Resembling a suburbanite-friendly version of HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey” (but lacking the homicidal tendencies), the new Switch+ is marketed as a lighting control appliance, but also plays music and helps with general lifestyle needs and tasks such as weather reports, traffic updates and adding items to shopping lists.

For $99 on pre-order, the Switch+ seamlessly replaces standard light switch plates and screws. The result is an elegant, futuristic conversation starter.

In addition to telling Alexa how you would like your lighting, the Switch+ can respond to its companion app or movement in the room.

The device also connects to other ecobee appliances you may have in the house, such as the company’s other new release, the ecobee4 smart thermostat.

The $249 home environment control module is also equipped with Alexa’s VAI intelligence, and is paired with a stand-alone room sensor for greater control of a specific room’s temperature settings.

The ecobee4 has enhanced microphones to improve Alexa’s hearing over distances and through ambient noise, such as children or the television.

All ecobee smart appliances can be accessed from anywhere using the app.

Another smart lighting option available for homeowners and buyers is one offered by Noon.

Similar to the ecobee Switch+, Noon’s smart switch replaces traditional switch plates and works with Alexa and Google Home. Unlike the more utilitarian look of the ecobee, the Noon switch resembles a small, black iPhone hanging on your wall.

The Noon switch can connect to Philips’ interior Hue bulbs, offers an app and learns your comings and goings to better predict how to illuminate your home for energy savings.

The smart lighting switch can accommodate up to ten extension switches, and displays on its dark glass screen a series of icons with simple labeling to swipe between lighting scenes.

Users can jumping between lighting schemes for “Entertaining” or to “Relax,” for example.

These kits offer builders and homeowners an easy and affordable way to modernize a home. They also provide agents with a very cool closing gift idea.

Above all else, dropping price points and easy integration with the market-leading Amazon Echo are making smart home fixtures more common, and something agents need to be more prepared to discuss knowledgeably.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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