Brilliant Is my Favorite Smart Home Control

I’ve found my favorite smart home controller and its name is Brilliant. With a name like that, it could be difficult to live up to the hype, but the features and performance do just that. With a vivid touch screen display, Amazon Alexa built-in, and lots of smart home device integrations, it’s difficult to beat the Brilliant home control.

Each of Brilliant’s devices is built to replace a light switch in your home, whether it be a single switch, two switch, three switch, or four switch. This design makes so much sense because it allows for plug and play compatibility with almost any home. Each device has a gorgeous touch screen, camera, microphone, and speaker also built-in. Depending on the model, you’ll have one, two, or three slider controls that allow you to quickly switch your lights on or off or adjust the dimming level. If you have the single switch Brilliant controller, swiping up or down on the screen will turn your lights on or off.

Brilliant turns your existing lights into smart lights, whether they are LED, CFL, halogen, or incandescent, and as I mentioned, it works with dimmable lights. Brilliant works with some of the more popular smart home devices on the market, including Sonos, Ring, Hue, SmartThings, Ecobee, Schlage smart locks, and more. Thanks to the large touchscreen display and smart device integrations, Brilliant is one of the most approachable smart home controllers on the market today.

The approachability of Brilliant makes it the perfect smart home controller for families. My kids have already learned how to turn the lights on and off and dim them thanks to the intuitive user interface. It’s also a great smart home controller for people who have a lot of guests because you don’t want to have to explain your smart home system to them every time someone new arrives.

With Amazon’s Alexa built-in, you can now have Alexa in every room thanks to your Brilliant switches. You can do almost everything you can do with an Amazon Echo, except for playing music. It’s perfect for turning your lights on or off with your voice, asking for the weather forecast, or using other Alexa-compatible smart home device voice commands. When you ask for the weather forecast, Brilliant displays the forecast similar to how it would on an Amazon Echo Show. It’s a nice way to add voice control to your room in conjunction with Brilliant’s other great features.

The beautiful touchscreen is perfect for displaying your favorite family photos. Thankfully Brilliant has a great picture frame feature that cycles through selected photos while the control is not in use. You can simply upload your photos to the unit from Brilliant’s smartphone app, frame them just right, and you’re all set. We love seeing our family photos being cycled through on the Brilliant’s display, it’s a huge improvement to our old light switch.

Brilliant integrates with a ton of popular smart home devices. A full list of current integrations includes:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Homekit (coming soon)
  • Philips Hue
  • Lifx
  • Wemo
  • Lutron
  • Leviton
  • Nest
  • Ecobee
  • Honeywell
  • Ring
  • August
  • Kwikset
  • Schlage
  • Yale
  • Emtek
  • ButterflyMX (coming soon)
  • Sonos
  • Samsung SmartThings

Our friends at Brilliant were kind enough to send over two separate devices; one 2-switch control and one 1-switch control, which allowed us to test Brilliant’s video intercom feature. We installed the two switch unit in the kitchen where we have our recessed lights and pendant lights switched separately while we installed the single switch in our bedroom. The kitchen is a perfect place for our Brilliant controller as it’s the central point of our home. We love having our photos displayed on the vivid display while also having the ability to control all of our smart home devices from that central location.

Ring live view

Installation is as easy as removing your existing light switch and replacing it with the Brilliant control. You’ll want to have some basic electrical knowledge, but it was very easy to do from a guy who is admittedly not the most handy man on the block. The basic installation steps are as follows:

  • Turn off electrical circuit
  • Uninstall existing switch, remove wires
  • Install Brilliant control by connecting wires, screw Brilliant control into the wall
  • Slide front screen onto backplate
  • Turn on electrical circuit

Check out some photos from my installation:

Throughout our time with Brilliant, we’ve been impressed with the way the devices make us feel like we’re in the future. From being too lazy to get out of bed and saying “Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights” to being able to see who’s at the front door via the light switch in our kitchen, we think the Brilliant smart home control is the way to go if you want a user-friendly smart home.

Vivid family photos

With the Ring integration, we were able to see who was at the front door or watch the live view of our cameras while being able to have two-way conversations. With the Sonos integration, you can see what’s currently playing, choose a new playlist, change volume, and more. While we don’t have any smart locks currently installed, we could see how that integration would be incredibly useful.

Video intercom

We also really liked the video intercom feature. Being able to quickly check in on what’s going on downstairs is a neat feature if the kids are playing while the adults are upstairs. It worked well and there was very little lag. There are a lot of settings and customizability you can do with the Brilliant’s settings, including whether you want the screen off most of the time, or if you want it to turn on when the camera senses motion. You can also set the lights to turn on or off when motion is sensed. Settings are easy to change within Brilliant’s great user interface.

App screenshot while framing photos

Since it’s my job to look at both the positives and negatives, I’ll mention the few downsides that I found in testing. First, Brilliant is not compatible with ALL smart home devices. You’ll want to review the full list of integrations to make sure your devices work with it before purchasing. Second, there isn’t a lot of room for adjustment to make sure your Brilliant is level. If you have an older home and your recessed junction box for the light switch is crooked, you’ll notice that your Brilliant is cooked too. The crooked light switch is much more obvious when you have a gorgeous touchscreen on the wall compared to a bland light switch. The single switch Brilliant is a bit crooked in our bedroom and I did as much as I could to straighten it out. While not the end of the world, adjustability during installation is something Brilliant could improve on. Third, and least important, is that the Brilliant will be a magnet for your kids’ attention. They WILL want to touch it all the time until they get used to it, so be warned.

Simple setup

Overall, we’re huge fans of the Brilliant smart home controller. It was easy to install, assuming simple electrical knowledge, has great features including a gorgeous, crystal clear touchscreen display, and integrates with a number of smart home devices. All of our guests have been impressed with the aesthetics and functionality and we can’t say we blame them.

You can get your Brilliant smart home control directly from Brilliant.tech.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like:  Well designed in both aesthetics and features; Beautiful, vivid touchscreen display; Easy to install; Easy to set up and use; Compatible with great smart home device brands

What Needs Improvement: Not compatible with all devices/brands; Not a lot of adjustability to level the screen; Will draw kids like a moth to a flame


About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.