We’re going to go over some common reasons why disconnection occurs, and we’ll show you how to get that switch working again.
What Causes a Smart Switch to Disconnect?
Smart switches depend on a wireless internet connection to function correctly. When this connection is interrupted, the switch can stop responding to voice or app commands. You may also notice the LED on the switch turns red or blinks.
To get the switch working properly, you’ll first need to troubleshoot why it disconnected. The good news is there are only a few reasons that a disconnect occurs. Here are some of the most common.
Upgraded Internet Equipment
One of the most frequent reasons that switches stop working is incompatible Wi-Fi. Many newer routers use a 5 GHz signal by default, which means some older 2.4 GHz switches will not connect after a router upgrade.
In this case, you either have to switch off 5 GHz or replace older 2.4 GHz switches. In the same vein, if you’ve moved your router, the switch might now be out of range.
If your switch stops functioning after a recent storm or other power outages, this is probably the cause. Not only can power outages affect smart home components, but power surges can also damage your router. When this happens, you’ll have to fix the router before you can reset your switch.
This is another common reason for smart switches to become temperamental. When you discover your switch is offline, you should check to ensure your internet connection is still working. While this seems like common sense, you’d be surprised how many times a spotty internet connection is responsible for a switch that refuses to work.
Wireless Password Changes
If you’ve changed your router password recently, then you’ll need to update your switch’s Wi-Fi credentials to reconnect it to your home network.
Resetting old passwords is an essential part of having a secure network, but sometimes Wi-Fi password changes can wreak havoc on smart home products. Before you change your Wi-Fi password, be sure to consider the number of devices you’ll have to reconnect when you make the change.
Internal Equipment Malfunction
If you’ve purchased inexpensive light switches from some discount retailers, there is a possibility that these switches have malfunctioned internally. Occasionally, the low prices on these units reflect sub-par manufacturing.
If you’re planning on upgrading your home with smart lighting, it’s always better to purchase products from a trusted manufacturer with a comprehensive warranty—especially when dealing with electrical products that attach to your home’s wiring.
Recent Firmware Updates
Sometimes, updating the firmware on a smart switch will cause the unit to lose access to your Wi-Fi network. When this happens, a quick reset should get the switch working again.
Do I Have to Replace the Switch?
In most cases, you will not have to replace a malfunctioning smart switch. However, if your switch shows visible damage, such as burn marks, or you smell burning plastic near the unit, the switch will likely need replacement. If a switch trips electrical breakers, then you should also replace it.
If any of these signs are present, then it is best to consult an electrician immediately as there also may be problems with the wiring in your home. But if not, you can usually get by with just a simple reset.
How to Reconnect Your Smart Light Switch
Reconnecting a smart switch usually consists of three steps:
- Put your smart switch into discovery mode.
- Connect your mobile device to the smart switch.
- Connect your smart switch to your wireless internet via the mobile device.
It should also be noted that in some cases resetting a Wi-Fi switch can cause the loss of automations. Before you begin the reset procedure, make sure to record these for later.
For this guide, we’ve also included reset procedures for some of the most common smart switches. While this list isn’t comprehensive, your switch may have a similar reset procedure. For full details, you should always consult the documentation that came with your model.
In this example, we’re using a Kasa Smart switch by TP-Link. To put this switch into discovery mode, you’ll need to turn the switch on and then hold the button until the LED starts flashing.
For switches like the Lutron Caseta, rapidly tap the on button three times. On the third tap, hold the button until the dimmer lights begin to cycle. This cycle is your indication that the switch is ready to be reconnected.
For Insignia switches, hold the reset button. After 10 seconds, the switch should click. Continue to hold the reset button for another five seconds, and you should hear a second click. The second click activates discovery mode. Once you hear it, you can release the button.
If you’ve got a Belkin Wemo switch, first press the button for one second and release. Then press and hold the button for five seconds. After five seconds, release the button. Your WeMo switch should blink orange rapidly, indicating it is now ready to reconnect.
Finally, Feit smart switches take a little more work to reset. First, you’ll need to remove the wall plate. Once you remove the plate, you’ll find an air gap slider inside. Pull out the air gap slider, then hold the button on the switch for 20 seconds.
Note: Removing the wall plate for your smart switch exposes your home’s high-voltage wiring. Touching live wires can result in serious injury. If you are not comfortable around live wiring, please consult a certified electrician before attempting to reset this switch.
Some manufacturers also allow you to reset your smart switch from an app without pressing any physical buttons. Consult your switch’s documentation to find out if this is possible with your specific model.
Use the App to Reconnect to Wi-Fi
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After the switch is in discovery mode, open the companion app on your mobile device. Using the app will allow you to select your model and start the pairing process.
The app should ask to connect to your Wi-Fi. Enter your credentials, and the switch should reconnect. After this process is complete, test the switch by cycling it on and off a few times.
Enjoy Your Reconnected Smart Switch
When working correctly, smart light switches offer convenience and voice control of your home’s lighting. Unfortunately, the devices depend on a wireless network. That means most switches are prone to occasional disconnection. However, there are only a few reasons why disconnection occurs, and most aren’t serious.
While malfunctioning smart switches can be a hassle, this guide can help to get everything working again. Though it may seem like a daunting task at first, reconnecting a smart switch is relatively easy and usually only takes a few minutes.
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