In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle, Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results, and Colton Pratt, project manager, walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons. 

Controlling your lights, music and thermostat by voice or an app on your phone is old news at this point. It can be frustrating having to switch between multiple apps and difficult for guests who don’t have access, which can be a major downside to smart bulbs.  

Brilliant is attempting to solve that problem with an easy-to-use home control system that replaces a standard set of wall switches. It allows anyone to control the lights, music, and climate in the room without needing an app on their phone or a hub because it works via Wi-Fi.

Installation takes only a few minutes and is compatible with most wiring configurations as long as you’ve got a neutral wire present. The sliders can be used as dimmers for the switches that they’ve replaced or can be programmed to control several different devices. For smart bulb users, Brilliant is able to provide continuous power to the bulbs and adjust the brightness, color and scenes right from the screen or with one of the sliders.

If there are multiple Brilliant control panels in the same home, you can use them as a video intercom system. With the ring integration you’ll see who is at your door, however there is a delay to this feature, so I found it was easier to just take out my phone and use the Ring app directly.

Other integrations include Nest, Honeywell, Ecobee, Sonos, Amazon, Google, Wemo, Philips Hue and SmartThings, which pretty much covers all of the major brands that you’ll find at your local electronic or hardware store.

I was able to connect additional devices such as our Lutron and LIFX lights, front door lock and shades by adding them in SmartThings. Pairing with a smart thermostat is a nice way to control the temperature of the house when the main thermostat might be located on another floor.

Brilliant home control was the perfect addition to our basement; it now controls our theater lighting, outdoor patio lighting and Sonos sound system, which is perfect for entertaining. Now anyone can control the music and lighting without needing an app. When it isn’t in use, we’ve got it set to cycle through photos of our pets.

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of  Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

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