The easiest way to add home automation and voice commands to your existing lighting fixtures is through smart switches. Unlike smart bulbs, installing smart home light switches doesn't require a ladder or stool. Safety should always be your top priority when working with electrical wires.
Remove the screws: There are usually two sets of screws on the old switch: one set secures the switch to the wall plate (flat-head screws), and the other set secures the switch to the electrical box (Phillips-head screws). No-screw wall plates: Some newer wall plates have snap-on panels with hidden screws, which usually detach using labels on the bottom of the plate.
Check the wiring: Gently pull out the existing switch to inspect the wiring. (Remember to turn off the circuit breaker.) Hot wires: One side of the receptacle will have two screws that secure the two black wires. Open the switch to connect the two wires to allow current to flow up to the fixture. The bottom screw (closest to the switch's off position) is the line wire, which comes out of the circuit breaker.
Installing a smart home light switch is essentially the opposite of removing the old switch: Make sure power is off. Connect the wires to the appropriate location on the smart switch; most switches will have labels on the switch, and you can also find icons in the user manual. The switch may use slots, screws, or colored wires to connect to your wiring setup. Many switches come with connectors, such as wire nuts and lever nuts, to make the process easier.
If you're installing many switches without connectors, 2-wire and 3-wire lever nuts will achieve a simple, secure, and safe connection. After connecting the wires, give them a little tug to make sure they're secure—you don't want them popping out when you push the wires back and switch the wire box back in.
Be aware that smart switches are bulkier than regular light switches, so don't try to force them into a box that's too small. Use the correct screws to secure the switch in place. Connect the wall plate; some smart home light switches don't include wall plates—you may need to purchase them separately.
By installing smart home light switches in this way, you can control the switch with your smartphone from the couch, or let your home run automatically without lifting a finger. Whether you're using a standalone Wi-Fi light switch or a Z-Wave/Zigbee switch that requires a hub, the process is more or less the same. Download the switch's mobile app, create an account, and then select Add Device from the menu. Once the switch is connected to the app, you can name it and assign it to the appropriate room in your home.