It’s always been a mystery to me why home technology hasn’t made its way into the apartment world yet. Sure, there are a few players out there, but no clear winner. The Brilliant All-in-One Smart Home Control caught my eye as a possible contender. The light switch replacement hardware is aimed at being a home control Swiss Army Knife. Would it be simple and suitable for the apartment world? I set out to get some answers.
Unboxing Brilliant All-in-One Home Control
The Brilliant All-in-One Smart Home Control arrives in a minimalist white box, which feels very Apple-esque. They didn’t blow the budget on packaging but didn’t skimp either. The box top lifts off with a satisfying friction fit, revealing a well-designed installation guide.
It’s clear that Brilliant is anticipating a DIY audience and addresses the complexities of single pole and three-way installations more simply than I’ve ever seen it done before (very reminiscent of the way Nest demystified thermostat wiring). The only rub here might be that homeowners tend to run hot and cold around doing electrical work, so their DIY product may end up being professionally installed by a trade (electrician) ill-suited to finish out the setup process.
Brilliant All-in-One Home Control Installation & Configuration
I soon had the Brilliant All-in-One Smart Home Control installed, after swapping it out for an existing single-pole dimmer. It all worked like a champ, and it is worth noting they also have solutions for two-, three-, and four-gang electrical boxes. I love that there’s a way to test the wiring using a simple button before having to configure all the settings. This process would allow electricians to install Brilliant products in new construction without having to worry about damaging sensitive electronics.
I slid on the faceplate with a satisfying click and watched as it booted up. The Brilliant wizard couldn’t be easier. After a quick Wi-Fi search, I was online and downloading system updates.
The touchscreen is less sensitive than a smartphone, so typing takes a little getting used to. I set up an account with Brilliant, and the wizard continued along, showing me how to easily turn the light on and asking me if there were other Brilliant devices in the home.
I love that swiping up and down on the touchscreen turns lighting on and off. The last thing people want to do with a lightswitch is think about how to use it. Brilliant occupies real estate reserved for a device everyone knows how to use, so whatever goes in its place has to be insanely easy to operate.
The Brilliant All-in-One Smart Home Control comes with Amazon Alexa or Google Home built in. I connected our Alexa account and was immediately impressed with the far field voice recognition. I then added in my Sonos system which flowed seamlessly with easy-to-use music playback and elegant cover art.
There are dozens of other integrations, including ButterflyMX’s multifamily video door station, which leverages the Brilliant built-in camera and microphone. This is where I see a huge opportunity for apartment communities deploying hundreds of Brilliant devices throughout their buildings in an environment where having loose Amazon hubs or other IoT appliances are service nightmares. The intercom capabilities within the touchscreen enable room-to-room, room-to-app and front door answer capabilities. Brilliant’s approach of containing everything in the wallbox makes it a killer solution for the multifamily vertical.
Final Report on Brilliant All-in-One Home Control
Brilliant products look like a winner for multi-family and select single-family home applications. Traditional lighting control solutions are a better fit for large homes while Brilliant All-in-One Smart Home Control is a clear winner in smaller homes and condominiums. It’s safe to say I haven’t seen a piece of technology pack so much into such a small form factor. It’s a tall order to make usability simple in a scenario like that, and Brilliant definitely tows the mark. We’ll be watching how they continue to refine their apartment offerings and look forward to seeing more from them later this year.