Brilliant's smart home controller is a light switch in disguise – and it's available now

A new hub for your home

Brilliant is a light switch in disguise

Brilliant's Smart Home Controller is finally available to buy, and the company is currently rolling out its Alexa-powered, touchscreen display.

The Brilliant Smart Home Controller is essentially a more advanced smart light switch, except instead of just controlling the lights it controls your entire smart home. It replaces one or multiple light switches in your home, and comes in multiple configurations for double and triple switch plates.

Read this: The best smart home hubs

It also comes with Alexa built in, so that you can simply use Amazon's butler if you don't want to get up and walk to the touchscreen panel on your wall. Brilliant aims to control your whole smart home, from your locks to your lights to your temperature, and it connects with a number of different products from Nest, Ecobee, Philips Hue, Ring, Sonos and more.

The unit also comes with a microphone and camera so that if you have them installed all over the home you can use them for in-house communication, like making dinner announcements or chatting with people from room-to-room. Don't worry, there's a privacy switch that covers up the camera should you not want anyone snooping on you, but it is very Disney Smart House.

Brilliant wants to unite all the products in your home to make it as easy as possible for entire families to control smart homes, not just relying on voice or one app that everyone has to set up to use. Just walk on over to the Brilliant controller and do your thing. Which also means using Alexa if you want to, not because you have to.

Brilliant's smart home controller is a light switch with Alexa that does more

However, Brilliant also needs to build integrations for products into its system, something CEO Aaron Emigh told The Ambient it's working on.

"Our integration strategy is to integrate with the top products in each of the major categories, and we'll keep refreshing that over time," he says. "Then also to integrate with the hubs, and then give you sort of long tail integrations through the hubs."

Those integrations help Brilliant simplify the setup process. The unit will try to autodetect new products whenever it can, but when it's first set up you'll use the Brilliant wizard to add new devices to your home. Once it's all up and running, the controller will detect new smart home devices via Bluetooth and automatically set them up.

That simple setup is something Emigh is striving for; he founded Brilliant due to the frustrations he had setting up his own smart home. So Brilliant doesn't just want to sell its smart home controller to consumers directly to make their homes smarter. It's also in talks with home builders and architects to integrate Brilliant right from the jump. So if all goes according to plan, you could buy a home with Brilliant already there.

Brilliant still works even if you don't have smart home devices. There's still Alexa doing Alexa things and it's still a light switch, with touch panel grooves used to turn the lights on or off with a quick drag.

Brilliant's smart home controller is a light switch with Alexa that does more


In a demo at Brilliant's San Mateo office, the system functioned pretty seamlessly. We were able to jump between commanding Alexa to turn on Sonos speakers to controlling lights to getting a video feed from a Ring Video Doorbell to communicating between controllers with video chat. We were also able to create quick scenes and upload a picture to be wallpaper from our phone via the companion app.

Swiping up and down the touch grooves to command the lights was a bit finicky – and didn't feel the smoothest – but the touchscreen control was responsive and light and fun to use. It feels a lot like the touchscreen smart home controllers from the early 2000s, but magnified and taken to another level.

.We've also just got one in, so hold tight for our verdict once we've had some time to play around with it.


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