About the Brilliant Smart Home Control
Total smart home control
Total smart home control
I get to try out a lot of cool gear before I write about it, which means I've ended up with a variety of smart products installed in my home. The Brilliant is the first one that brings them all together in one convenient place. This is helpful for me, the resident smart home "admin." But it's becoming essential for residents and guests who are less keen on all this technology.
Brilliant can replace 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-switch panels, allowing smart control of all the connected lights.
I must admit here that my husband is one of the less keen. He did finally download the Ring app so that he can answer our doorbell remotely, but I'm pretty sure he draws the line at needing an app to turn on the lights. That's one reason I was stoked to install Brilliant.
Now everyone from my husband to my house sitter will be able to access all the smartness in my home without having to download a single app. They can use Brilliant to answer the Ring doorbell, turn on our Hue and Wemo lights, and play music on any of our Sonos speakers. Crucially, it also controls the lights wired to each switch and makes them dimmable, even when the Wi-Fi® is out.
Brilliant also works with Lifx, Lutron, and Leviton lighting products. However, the latter two brands of products can't be directly connected to Brilliant. They only work with Brilliant when connected to it via SmartThings.
Use your voice
Brilliant's built-in Amazon Alexa also means that you can control the attached lights — and the rest of your connected smart home gear — using only your voice. And, of course, it can also do all the other Alexa stuff, too, like give you a weather forecast, set a timer, or tell you the score of last night's game. Alexa replies via the built-in speaker, but you also get some on-screen feedback, too, depending on what you ask.
Don't want Alexa listening in? Turn off the mic right from the main screen.
Hear your housemates
My house isn't that big, but before I installed a second Brilliant, if my husband was upstairs and I was downstairs, I couldn't hear what he was trying to tell me unless we both stuck our heads in the stairwell. Now we can use the video intercom on each switch to speak at polite volumes instead of yelling "WHAAAT?" across the house at each other. Freaked out by the camera? No problem — you can cover it with the built-in privacy slider when you aren't using the intercom.
I'm using the LCD screens on my Brilliant controls to display some of my favorite photos — including this one of my handsome cat Radar.
Set the scene
One side effect of installing Brilliant: it made me want to get more smart home gear for it to control (sorry, dear!). I mean, I'm just a couple more lights, a thermostat, and a few smart locks away from really making good use of the “Scenes” feature. For example, I could automate bedtime with a scene that would lock the doors, turn off all the downstairs lights, and lower the temperature, all with a single tap.
In the meantime, just adding that second Brilliant control has made my house a whole lot smarter. The new 3-switch Brilliant in my bedroom controls five connected lights. Almost every night I use my downstairs Brilliant switch to turn on my reading lights upstairs so I don't have to head up in the dark.
I saved perhaps my favorite feature for last — it's a digital photo frame! In addition to showing you the date and time, the 5" LCD touchscreen can be personalized with up to 25 of your favorite photos. I have mine set to only turn on when motion is detected so I don't waste my lovely pet photos on an empty room. Screen brightness is also adjustable.
Can you install it yourself?
Well, I did. But I have a fair amount of experience with electrical DIY. I also have very modern wiring in my house. Load, line, ground, and neutral wires must all be present in order for you to safely install Brilliant, and the appropriate breaker must be turned off. If you aren't confident in your skills, please err on the side of caution and have it installed by a licensed electrician.
Read my full review of Brilliant here.
- turn any wall-controlled light into smart lighting you operate by touch, mobile app, or voice
- replaces existing 2-switch panel
- allows touch control of lights wired to switch without Wi-Fi, but all other functionality requires an internet connection
- 5" diagonal LCD touchscreen with 720 x 1280 resolution
- screen is also digital photo frame — personalize it with up to 24 of your own photos
- dim lights with touch sliders and the screen will show you the brightness level of each connected light
- connects to compatible smart home products over Wi-Fi
- control your entire Sonos home sound system
- answer your Ring Video Doorbell or access its Live View anytime
- lock and unlock your August smart locks
- adjust Smart Thermostats including some Ecobee and Honeywell Lyric models
- control LIFX bulbs
- access Philips Hue lights and light groups discovered through the Philips Hue Bridge
- control lights, switches, and locks connected to your SmartThings Hub
- access dimmers, switches, and smart plugs by Wemo
- future updates will add new integrations
- voice control with built-in Amazon Alexa
- adjust connected lights
- control music selections with Alexa-compatible speakers and components
- set timers, check the weather, and access other Alexa skills
- also compatible with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant (devices sold separately)
- includes a microphone and camera with a privacy shutter
- install two or more and it can be used to make announcements to the entire house or as a video intercom between rooms
- check the camera's live view from anywhere using the Brilliant mobile app on your phone
- adjustable motion sensor
- set your lights to go on/off based on when people are in the room
- screen can be set to display photos only when motion is detected
- create "scenes" with your favorite combinations of settings for lights, music, temperature, etc.
- app requires smart device with iOS® 9 or higher or Android™ 5.0 or higher
- allows you to turn lights on and off remotely
- must mount vertically — won't work in horizontal orientation
- If you don't have experience working with residential electrical wiring, we recommend hiring a licensed electrician to install Brilliant
- neutral and ground wire required
- automatic line and load switching
- rating: 120V AC 60Hz
- wattage limits: 300W incandescent, 150W LED and CFL
- supports most multi-way lighting scenarios (lights controlled by more than one switch)
- magnetic low voltage (MLV) lighting systems are not supported
- connects to your network via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
- 4-13/16"W x 5-5/16"H x 7/16"D (dimensions from wall out)
- Brilliant will not work:
- in a multi-way light circuit that has a dimmer in the circuit
- to replace a 4-way switch in the middle of a multi-way circuit
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # BHA120US-WH2
What's in the box:
- Double switch faceplate with 5" diagonal touch screen (white frame)
- Base (with four screws attached)
- Eight 5" 14-gauge wires (tinned ends)
- 8 Yellow plastic wire nuts
- Installation Guide
- Note on proper wiring
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More details on the Brilliant Smart Home Control
Overview: Brilliant Home Control puts control of all your smart home products in one place. Installation is as easy as replacing an existing light switch (120VAC 60Hz only). When connected to your Wi-Fi network, Brilliant works with many popular smart home devices, including Ring, Sonos, Philips Hue, SmartThings, August Lock, and select Honeywell Thermostats. It also has an Alexa interface, and works with the Google Assistant. You can install multiple Brilliant controls throughout your house and control all your devices from every room. Each Brilliant device has a built-in camera and microphone that lets you place video or audio calls between rooms (if more than one control is installed). The Brilliant app for your smart phone or tablet puts controls into your hands. This Brilliant Control 2-Switch model fits into a dual gang box, and has a 5" (diagonal) LCD touch screen. Additional Brilliant Controls are available in one switch, three switch, and four switch models.
5" LCD Display: The Brilliant 2-Switch Control has a 5" diagonal LCD touch screen display (2-7/16" x 4-5/16") with 720 x 1280 resolution. You can control your devices using tap and slide touch gestures. Up to 25 photos can be uploaded from your phone to display on the screen when the switch is idle, turning the Brilliant Control into a digital picture frame.
Touch-sensitive Dimmers: Beside the LCD display are two "channels" for controlling the lights that are hardwired to the Brilliant Control. Each channel allows you to dim or brighten the connected light bulb by sliding your finger up or down. If you don't have the control programmed to dim, you can toggle the light on or off by touching the top (on) or bottom (off) of the channel. Touching the dimmer control activates the display to let you see the dimming level (0% to 100%) of each light switch.
Motion Detection: The Brilliant Control has a built-in PIR (passive infrared) motion sensor that works within a range of 8 to 15 feet. You can program the Control to wake up the display when motion is detected, and to turn off the display after you leave the room. Specific devices (lights) can be programmed to turn on or off when the motion sensor detects a presence in the room. The motion-detected action can be set for all the time, or only during certain hours of the day.
Integrated Camera/Microphone: Each Brilliant Control has a built-in camera and microphone. The camera has a field of view of 50 degrees vertical and 86 degrees horizontal, and allows you to conduct room-to-room video chats (with two or more Brillant Controls). You can also make intercom announcements to the entire house or to individual rooms. When used with Ring Video Doorbells, you can see who is at your door when the doorbell rings. The camera has a privacy shutter that can be closed whenever you want to disable the camera.
Controls: Brilliant Home Control provides control over multiple types of devices:
- Lights: Brilliant turns your standard lights into smart lights, and intelligently controls Philips Hue and other smart lights from your wall switch through voice or touch controls. Lights hardwired to the Brilliant can be toggled on/off or dimmed (if the bulbs are dimmable). Brilliant works with single pole and 3-way and multi-way circuits.
- Door Locks: You can lock and unlock your door from anywhere with August, Schlage, or Yale smart locks.
- Doorbell: Connect your Ring Video Doorbell and see instantly who is at your door on the Brilliant display.
- Music: Brilliant has built-in Sonos controls, allowing you to play your music and adjust your audio settings from the wall switch.
- Thermostats: If your home has a Honeywell T-series or Lyric Thermostat, you can adjust the temperature and manage your home heating and AC system from any room with a Brilliant control.
Brilliant Scenes: You can combine control of all your devices into a Brilliant Scene. For example, you can create a "Good Morning" scene that turns on your lights at 100% brightness, start playing a pre-selected song on your Sonos speakers, and raise your thermostat to the daytime temperature. A "Good Night" scene might lower the lights and the temperature in your home, turn on some relaxing music, and lock all the doors. Brilliant Scenes can be accessed on the Home Screen on the display.
Brilliant Partners: Brilliant Home Control works with smart home products from many different partners:
|Smart Home Companies||Devices and Products||Integration|
|Ring doorbells and security camera||Notification appears on Brilliant Control when someone rings the doorbell. See and talk to person at the door. |
View live video from Ring security cameras.
|Sonos||Sonos speakers||Control your music playback on your Sonos network.|
|Philips Hue||Philips Hue smart lighting products||Toggle lights on/off |
Control light intensity
Include lights in Brilliant scenes
|SmartThings||SmartThings Hub and connected devices||Control lights, switches, and locks through SmartThings Hub|
|Honeywell Lyric||Lyric T-series and Lyric Round Thermostats||Adjust the temperature in your home through the Honeywell Lyric line thermostats.|
|Ecobee||Ecobee 3 and 4 series Thermostats||Control your heating and AC system through the Ecobee thermostat.|
|Wemo||Wemo light switches, dimmers, and smart plugs||Turn on/off or dim lights or devices controlled by Wemo|
|August Locks||August Smart Locks||Lock and unlock your door remotely from the Brilliant control|
|Yale Locks||Only Yale locks that are "connected by August"||Lock and unlock your door remotely from the Brilliant control|
|Amazon Alexa||Alexa is built into the Brilliant Control -- no separate Echo or Dot is needed. If you already have Alexa, you can use an Alexa skill to control devices connected to the Brilliant Control.|
|Google Assistant|| |
Brilliant supports the ability to allow the Google Assistant to control whatever Brilliant is directly wired to. Google Assistant not currently built-in.
|Apple HomeKit||Control lights connected to any Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch with Siri or Apple HomeKit.|
Brilliant App: The Brilliant Smart Home System App, available for iOS and Android, gives you remote and mobile access to the Brilliant Controls in your home on your smartphone or tablet. From your smart device, you can access your smart home devices by room or device type, execute Brilliant Scenes you have created. If you have separate apps for each smart home product you own, the Brilliant App gives you access to each of those products from one location. The Brilliant Smart Home System App is compatible with Apple iPhone and iPad with iOS 10.3 or later, and Android smartphones and tablets running version 7.0 and up.
Frequent Updates: Every two weeks, a software update is sent to your Brilliant Control devices. These updates introduce new integrations, and fix any bugs that may have been discovered.
Optional Faceplates: Brilliant offers optional faceplate frames to match your decor. The frames are easy to replace, and are available directly from Crutchfield in White, Metallized Silver, Ivory, Cool Grey, Black, and Light Almond.
Installation Requirements: The Brilliant Two Switch Control fits into a dual gang electrical box, and replaces existing light switches. After installation, the faceplate protrudes approximately 3/8" from the wall, which is slightly less that a typical toggle-style wall switch. The box includes the Brilliant faceplate and base, plus extra wires and wire nuts. Installation requires the following technical specifications:
- Dimensions: Width 4.762" Height 5.304" Depth 0.4" (faceplate) / 1.755" (with base)
- Gang Box Size Requirements (2-Switch model):
- Interior Width: 3.58" minimum
- Interior Height: 2.75" minimum
- Wiring: Neutral and Ground Wire required; Automatic Line and Load Switching
- Voltage: 120V, 60Hz
- Power Consumption: 0.75 KwH per month each
- 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz
- WPA or WPA2 password
- Internet access
- DHCP (dynamic) IP addressing
- Internet: Working broadband Internet connection with at least 2 Mbps upload speed.
- Lighting Type: LED, CFL, Halogen, Incandescent
- Maximum Wattage:
- 300 watts per switch (Incandescent, Halogen)
- 150 watts per switch (LED, CFL, Electronic Ballast)
- 150VA (Traditional Ballast)
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