Lightwave has been around since 2008 making smart home products and the Lightwave generation 2 product line is the latest from the company offering light switches and power sockets with new features like support for a wider range of bulbs and support for Apple HomeKit.
With the boom in smart home and home automation many players have released products that are designed to make our life easier through making our homes smarter and Lightwave with their power sockets, light switches is one of the big contenders in this smart home space.
So in this Lightwave generation 2 review I will be covering the lightwave powersocket and light switch smart home products giving you an overview of the features, including the design, setup, usage and how it works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa. So sit back, grab yourself a drink and take in the Lightwave generation 2 review.
Must read review: Belkin Wemo Insight switch
What is the Lightwave generation 2 power socket and light switch dimmer?
Lightwave generation 2 is a smart home system that replaces the old light switches and power sockets in your home with smart devices that you can control via your phone or a voice assistant from either Alexa or Siri. The Lightwave generation 2 is an upgrade from the generation one which mainly brings better support for bulbs and support for Apple HomeKit.
For the benefit of this Lightwave review, Active JR will be using the following
Lightwave generation Lighting and Power starter kit, which includes
- Link Plus – The Lightwave Hub
- Smart Dimmer 1 Gang – Stainless steel
- Smart Socket 2 gang – Stainless steel
Additional products and services that were used to make this review. Whilst you do need a wifi router with connected internet and a smartphone, the other devices and services are optional.
- Wifi router – Required
- iPhone X – You need a smartphone
- Apple TV Gen 4 – Required for HomeKit support remotely
- HomeKit – Optional
- Amazon Echo with Alexa – Optional
- Google Home with Google Assistant – Optional
Lightwave generation 2 power socket and light switch dimmer Key Features
- Pricing starts at £229 for a starter kit (This review covers that kit)
- Light switches and power socket options
- Works with your existing home Wi-Fi network
- App for control in the home or Remote control out of the home via iOS/Android app
- Works with IFTTT, Alexa, HomeKit., Google Assistant
Lightwave Generation 2 dimmer and power socket review in pictures
Lightwave generation 2 light switch dimmer and power product range and pricing
Lightwave Power & Socket – Generation 2
Lightwave currently offers one and two gang dimmers available, a two gang socket and of course the new Link Plus device. The one gang dimmer and socket retail at £59, the two gang dimmer is £99 and you can pick up the Link Plus device for €129.95. The smart power socket only comes in 2-gang currently and this is £59.95 There’s also a couple of starter kits and the one used in this review is the lighting & power starter kit at £229 which includes the smart socket 2 gang, the smart dimmer 1 gang and the Link Plus device to connect it all up
You can also buy products from Lightwave that control your heating and monitor energy usage and I will look to cover these products in another Lightwave generation 2 review in the future.
Lightwave generation 2 deals
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Lightwave generation 2 review – Design
- Currently only available in Stainless steel
- Premium Apple build and finish
- Currently limited to 2 gang power sockets and 1, 2 gang dimmers
Whilst I will go into each of the Lightwave Gen 2 products individual below, I just wanted to call out that my first overall impressions of when receiving the review units I was impressed with the packaging, it has an Apple Like feel to its presentation and box opening experience.
Lightwave Smart light switch dimmer design and build
In the box
Lightwave 1 gang dimmer
- Smart dimmer – generation 2
- 10mm spacer
- 2 fitting screws
Generation 2 Smart Dimmers are built to a high standard which currently only come in a brushed stainless steel, the switches look and scream premium home appliance. The only slight disappointment is that, currently they only come in one finish.
On Generation 2 dimmer products, Lightwave has included a single LED that glows red when the switch is off and blue when it’s on. Switches are available in 1 & 2 gang options (£60 and £100,) depending on the current setup the smart dimmers are replacing or how you want to control the lights in that room.
Lightwave switches have a deep box that houses the tech bits at the back so depending on the light fitting box in your home you may need to use the 10mm black spacer provided to give it some clearance and 2 fitting screws.
Lightwave Smart sockets design and build
In the Box
- Smart socket – Generation 2
- 10mm spacer
- 2 fitting screws
The build quality is the same as the smart dimmers and come only in a high standard brushed stainless steel finish and only come in double sockets
Each socket has a single button that toggles it on or off with a LED light indication red for off or blue for on which I didn’t think was overly bright should you want to install it in a bedroom for example, but I did see some user reviews on Amazon complaining about this… people will complain about anything these days.
Again the smart sockets are deep and you may have to use the 10mm spacer which is included when installing them into shallow wall boxes.
Lightwave generation 2 review – installation & Setup
- Easy DIY install
- Easy to follow instructions and online guides
- Don’t overtighten the screws as the devices are plastic and could snap.
Fitting the Lightwave dimmers and power sockets are just like fitting any other socket or power source and can be achieved by anyone that is confident in DIY involving electronics. It was that simple, my 15-year-old son installed the power socket under my supervision and everything worked fine from the go, I might get installing more as I buy them!
I found out of the dimmer and the 2 gang power socket, the power socket was the most complicated as you have multiple wires to deal with. My advice when installing lightwave is to take a picture of your current socket or power sockets wiring configuration in case you need to refer to it, or indeed install your old ones again.
When install depending on the type of back box that is installed you may need to use the 10mm spacer provided to give you a bit of extra clearance. One thing to note is the body of the dimmers and power socket is made of plastic so you need to be careful when attaching it to the wall box not to over tighten the screws and end up breaking it, this could be costly.
Once you have the sockets and dimmers installed its just a matter of installing the Link Plus hub, which was again fairly straightforward. One other thing to note, the Link Plus is connected to your router via an ethernet cable and needs power. So you will a spare power point next to your router and a spare ethernet port on the router itself.
Setting up in the app is straightforward with easy to follow step by step instructions. The setup process involves pressing and holding the button on the smart device and following the steps in the App. You give the device a name, add it to a room and you are all done.
Lightwave generation 2 review – Features and App
- Smart dimmers & power sockets can be operated from the app or traditional buttons
- Automation built into the app
- Support for Alexa and HomeKit, Google Assistant
What I really like about Lightwave smart devices is it doesn’t expect you to change the way you normally do things. So when walking into a room you can use traditional buttons on the smart device just like you would with a normal light dimmer. I found this useful especially if I didn’t have my smartphone close by, this is one thing I find annoying with Philips Hue at times. You can also lock a smart device within the app, this will disable the hardware controls on the Lightwave device to stop people from turning things off.
Lightwave does not offer accessories like you get with lighting products like Ikea or Philips Hue, but being honest I didn’t see much need for it and never been a fan of these light accessory devices. With Lightwave you have enough with the buttons on the smart devices, using the app or voice commands via something like Siri.
Using the app you can automate your devices, choosing when they should come on or off. There are Dawn and Dusk options, or you can set a specific time if you prefer. I did find using the automation features that it would be enough for most users, but if you are a user of HomeKit then you might not find the features you require such as triggers or the ability to use other smart devices to trigger actions with the Lightwave app.
When using the Lightware dimmers, I did have to change my LED lights as I was using some cheap bulbs I got from Amazon and replaced them with some on the compatible list due to flickering, but other than that things worked great and I have had no issues for over a month of use.
Apple Homekit support with Lightwave
Lightwave added HomeKit support for generation 2 devices when they were launched and I suspect this was to address the lack of support in generation 1. Adding Lightwave to Apple HomeKit is as simple as adding any other compatible HomeKit device and its done via the Home app on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 9 or later.
Must read:HomeKit complete guide
Using Lightwave with HomeKit was really good and I was able to use Siri for voice commands and control the smart devices in the Home app itself. If you already use scenes or automation in HomeKit, you can then add Lightwave kit to that automation. So for instance, I have a “Goodnight” automation, this turns all my smart devices off that I want off and keeps on those I want to keep on such as CCTV cameras and outside porch light. When I installed the Lightwave power socket, it was connected to my playroom TV and was added to the “Goodnight” setting and would be switched off if I forgot or if I had falled asleep catching up on my latest Netflix session.
The other great feature of HomeKit and Lightwave is the ability to use other smart devices with Lightwave. So for example, if you have another device which has motion detection built in you can use that to trigger a Lightwave device to come on or turn off.
Of course, using Siri with an iPhone or iPad is one way to interact with Lightwave Gen 2 devices, but you can also use HomePod and a MacBook with Siri built in.
Just one thing to call out, if you name the smart device in the Lightwave app, that name will not rename in the HomeKit app. Not a massive deal breaker, but I have seen this work correctly in other HomeKit compatible smart devices
Amazon Alexa support with Lightwave
Amazon Alexa support is built into the Lightwave Link Plus skill supporting both Generation 1 and Generation 2 products. Toggling your lights and sockets with your voice is natural and easy. You do need to enable support via Alexa Skills, but this is a simple process.
Whilst I do use Alexa in my home, I don’t tend to control my smart home due to my preference for Apple HomeKit, however, it does work and if you have Alexa you won’t be disappointed in the support
Google Assistant support with Lightwave
Google Assistant was only recently added to Lightwave generation 2 and I used it in the same way as Alexa. Overall Google Assistant gives you the ability to turn smart devices on and off and check the status of a device.
Must read review:Google Home with Google Assistant
Will the Lightwave generation 2 save me money on energy?
Will any smart home devices save me money on energy? The simple answer is no, not if you don’t change habits and usage. I have am a big smart home user with multiple devices in my home and the biggest energy change I have seen is using LED bulbs and upgrading my heating controls to Hive. But ultimately smart home devices provide a variety of benefits from being able to switch off devices remotely, control scenes in the home or put some automation in place, but you will only save energy with smart devices if you don’t change habits on how you use energy.
The bottom line, Lightwave generation 2 smart devices will complement your life and work well in a home, but you really need to think how you use the automation features to squeeze any savings on energy
Should I buy the Lightwave generation 2?
I don’t want to tell you what to buy, but I think the Lightwave generation 2 power and socket devices are great and I have actually gone out and bought a 2 gang dimmer for the kitchen. I also use Philips Hue in a number of rooms in my home and I love the control over colour and scene selection, but Hue can be rather expensive when you have 6 G10 bulbs in a kitchen for example and a 69.99 dimmer is a great choice if you want to control lots of lights in a room without replacing each bulb at a rough of cost of 24.99 each.
The bottom line is that whilst these are not the cheapest power and light controls you can get, they are a great product with excellent build and features along with integration to a number of third-party services like Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Alexa. I would go as far as saying, if Apple built there own smart devices, this is what they would look and work like.
Lightware provided the devices free of charge for this review, however, Active JR remains in full control of the review and editorial content. See the review promise for more details