There are plenty of options for smart plugs and switches used for an in-home appliance, which includes over 100+ brands. Herein, it becomes quite easy to find features that perfectly fit our needs and requirements.
However, it is necessary to note that an average smart switch can only handle electrical current between 10 to 15 amps, which is feasible for switching appliances like a coffee maker or a lamp. On the other hand, if you are looking for switches that would perform heavy-duty functions like an electric garage heater or a pool pump, you need to look out for something more.
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GE Z-Wave Plus 40-Amp Indoor/Outdoor Metal Box Smart Switch
Aeotec Heavy Duty Smart Switch
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|WiOn 50054 Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Box||–||BUY|
What should I consider?
If you think a switch is a simple element and using any can work for you, it is probably not. However, heavy-duty appliances require switches with features that would render long-lasting solutions, and thus, a switch that can turn redundant in few uses needs to be overlooked.
So here are few features that you must look out for:
Well, this is one of the reasons you have landed on this page. A standard smart switch can only handle 15 Amps of electrical current. At the same time, the switches that we found can handle electrical current between 30 Amps to 50 Amps.
However, another question here is how we can know how many amps do your appliances require? Even though the Amps are not listed on the device, you can still calculate it by using the simple question mentioned below:
Current (Amps) = Power (Watts) that is divided by the total Voltage (Volts)
For example, I have connected in my garage a heater with 5000W to a 240V outlet. The total current required by the heater is:
5000W/ 240V = 20.83 Ampere
Managing the Wires
Another important aspect to consider is the management of wires. Heavy-duty appliances require thick wires. Herein, opting for low gauge wires and stiff wires would make it impossible to route it through small spaces. Hence, having ample space to work inside the enclosure can benefit you, especially if you wish to connect more devices to it.
Many applications require switches that need to be installed outdoor or in proximity to water. Hence, it is necessary to opt for switches that come with a waterproof enclosure is ideal. However, waterproof doesn’t mean that they are completely waterproof. Thus, enclosures are rated using IP and NEMA systems. For example, a switch from GE is rated NEMA 3R, and that of Aeotec is rated IP44.
Switches with good signal strength are often used for outdoor purposes or in the garage, which is far from your smart home network. Thus, if you plan to opt for a switch with a long-range, then opting for the Aeotec switch is ideal, which offers a range covering up to 500 ft in the line of sight.
Wireless service protocol
Smart switches work similarly to smart home devices, which need to communicate with your smart home network that too wirelessly. From the below-listed switches, two utilize Z-Wace that requires a Z-Wave compatible hub similar to that of Samsung SmartThings. On the other hand, the remaining three utilize WiFi that needs a standard home WiFi router.
Quality of App
In the case your switch requires WiFi, then it is necessary to have an app as well. Based on the app’s integration, you will able to define if you can connect the device with your smart home. Among the three WiFi devices listed below, Miogro Switch offers a stable app that uses the eWeLink app that is also the default app for Sonoff devices.
Whereas, if you have a Z-Wave Switch, then the device will not require any app. Herein, the switch will be controlled by an app that includes a Z-Wave hub.
Often many smart switches consist of a button that allows you to manually switch the load on or off.
GE Switch offers the convenience of using manually that is often located outside the enclosure; on the other hand, other switches consist of one too, often located inside the enclosure.
The standard household voltage in the US is 120V. However, many heavy loads make use of 240V, and industrial locations use around 277V to 480 V.
Top 4 Heavy Duty Switches
After conducting in-depth research, and several switches that fit best for handling heavy loads, we decided to enlist the top five. These are easily available on Amazon.
Often we do research and list products that fit all requirements. But herein, we could find very few heavy-duty smart switches that are compatible and fits the feature requirements.
Note: We haven’t tried any devices ourselves but surely have conducted in-depth research about the product in addition to the user reviews. Thus, we have decided to opt for a DIY method rather than purchasing any finished product.
GE Enbrighten Plus Heavy Duty Smart Switch that utilizes Z-Wave Plus. It allows switching up to 40A (11000W @277V). The GE Switch and the Micro Switch are two of the most robust switches we could find.
In GE Switch, they are placed inside a weatherproof (NEMA 3R) enclosure consisting of lockable metal. In addition, it also has a manual switch located outside the enclosure and wire terminals that are robust and compatible with low gauge wiring. This leaves plenty of room to route your wires and connect more devices when required.
The GE Switch uses a Z-Wave Plus technology that allows the connection of Z-Wave to the hub. Herein, you can either switch on or switch off along with monitoring the total usage. The external antenna allows transmitting the Z-Wave to an extend of 150 feet.
Check the latest price of GE Enbrighten Plus Heavy Duty Smart Switch
Do you have home automation that uses Z-Wave? Then Aeotec is probably the best one for you that is popular among the range of switches and sensors.
Its heavy-duty smart switch variants are rated for 40 amps which are enclosed inside an IP44 enclosure.
Besides, the enclosure is small and is not robust as that of a GE Switch. On the other hand, it requires low gauge wires for 30 to 40 amps load that may be difficult to handle in limited space, especially if you want to connect more than one device.
Note: It features a Z-Wave Plus radio with a long-range antenna as long as 490 feet and has the longest range of switches.
Herein, you can switch on and off the power and monitor the total consumption of power with the Z-Wave application.
Similar to GE Switch, Aeotec also consists of a manual switch that is inside an enclosure. Thus, you will have to open the enclosure to use it.
Check the latest price of Aeotec Smart Switch
Microswitches come with wireless controls and from a renowned automation company, most of which are industrial applications. The heavy-duty smart switch is ideal for residential use, although it looks being made of robust quality that is fit for industrial use.
Although we haven’t used it yet ourselves, it does appear best as waterproof (NEMA 4), heavy-duty, and lockable enclosure comprising a 30A switch. This comprises a manual dial or an override inside the enclosure that makes it best to connect multiple devices.
It makes use of WiFi and also connects well-using eWeLink, similar to a Sonoff app.
Besides, it also features a modular design that helps in adding higher capacity contactors up to 100A if you require more power.
Check the latest price of the Migro Smart Switch from Amazon!
These switches also use WiFi to work efficiently. As a result, they look similar to other pieces of hardware that different brands sell. Besides, they are compatible with two different apps but function the same on both.
However, based on reviews, these appliances do not rank best in quality, wherein multiple reviewers highlight that the devices fail to work after prolonged use.
The WiOn model uses the WiOn app to set up schedules whenever required and adjust as per sunrise, sunset, or vacations. In addition, the brand also sells other outdoor smart switches that can be used using the same app, wherein you can control every appliance, including pumps, heaters, and switches, through the same app.
Whereas the DEWENWILS model uses an ECO Plug app and has different color schemes in addition to branding. However, its functions are similar to that of a WiOn app.
Related Article– Best Smart Switches That Work With No Neutral Wire
On comparing different switches, we understood that GE switches comprise high-quality enclosures and robust components. Besides, they have better Z-Wave than Aeotec in the case you want to install multiple devices.
If you need switches that suit best for long-range applications, then Aeotec is one of the best picks, although its quality does make the installation process difficult.
Micro makes the best-suited option for WiFi, which is easy to upgrade for higher outputs and takes loads higher than 40 Amps.
The remaining two in the list are cost-effective, but quality-wise do not rank well.