The Brilliant Smart Home control panel is unlike any smart home technology I’ve used

Photo credit: Brillant; Brandon Map

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There are a lot of interesting things that make us wonder: do they really work? In our I tried it series, we decided to use them in the real world and determined that, in fact, they really do.

On trial: Brilliant control panel for smart home

The tester: Brandon Carte, publisher obsessed with gadgets and overwhelmed with connected home apps.

the brief: While smart homes are designed to make your life easier, they come with their fair share of headaches, especially when it comes to setting up new devices and managing them all with your smartphone. Whether you have a full-fledged smart home or are just starting to get familiar with home automation, chances are you’ve got a cluttered folder on your smartphone with multiple apps from all the old smart home devices you have. installed.

A company called Brilliant hopes to put an end to all your smart home woes with its Brilliant Control, a smart home control panel that aims to make interacting with all your smart devices easier and more streamlined.

After being targeted by Brilliant’s flashy Instagram ads for weeks, I set about testing his smart home system to see if it was – ahem – like. brilliant as it seemed.

Photo credit: Brandon Carte

Photo credit: Brandon Carte

The Brilliant Control Panel, which looks like a small smartphone screen, replaces your existing light switch to give users touch and voice control over their smart home, without the need to juggle dozens of apps on a smartphone or a tablet. The control panel is available in six colors to blend in perfectly with your decor.

For now, Brilliant integrates with smart cameras, doorbells, lights, locks, thermostats, switches and music streaming services, but the platform continues to evolve as more and more. more smart home equipment is released. More recently, Brilliant added support for controlling an internet-connected garage door opener, but you can find a full list of compatible products on their website.

I do not consider myself an electrician in any way and was able to install the Brilliant Control without a hitch. All you need is access to a circuit box and a neutral wire. Depending on whether you have one, two, three or four switches, installation time may vary. It took me about 20 minutes to remove my existing single switch and replace it with the Brilliant 5 inch touchscreen. I found Brilliant’s included instructions (and app) to be clear and easy to follow. I also appreciated the many diagrams and pictures that I could refer to.

While the physical installation was a snap, setting up the Brilliant Control Panel did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. The reason is that Brilliant does not integrate directly with Lutron Caséta smart light switches, which I use at home to control the lights in my living room.

He does however, integrate with SmartThings, so once I linked my Lutron lights to SmartThings, I was finally able to control and dim all of my lights using the switch. I also have smart bulbs in the lamps in my bedroom, which means that if I accidentally left the lights on, I could turn them off from the hallway using the Brilliant switch.

I had no problem connecting my Sonos speakers to the Brilliant ecosystem. You can control music playback and adjust the volume from the panel, but Brilliant unfortunately does. not allows you to browse music downloaded from music streaming apps like Spotify. Even though the Brilliant looks like a smartphone, there are no apps, so I couldn’t type “The Rolling Stones” from its touchscreen to play Stones. It can only play playlists or albums that you save as favorites in your Sonos library.

If you have multiple Brilliant control panels installed in your home, you can use them as a video intercom system, which would be handy for owners of large homes. Brilliant even integrates with Amazon’s Ring platform so you can see who’s at the door after someone rings your doorbell. There is a built-in privacy shutter which keeps the camera locked when the camera is not in use.

Photo credit: Brillant

Photo credit: Brillant

Brilliant also has Amazon Alexa built in, which is great if you don’t already have Alexa in your home. I chose not to configure the Alexa feature because I have an Alexa speaker in my office. But that does mean that every time I say “Alexa” the Brilliant cheekily replies “You are not signed in to Amazon,” which quickly became annoying. What I liked the most about the Brilliant was using it as a digital photo frame. The app allows you to upload photo albums so that you can always have a thumbnail slideshow on your wall.

My biggest complaint about Brilliant is its high asking price. The gadget starts at $ 300. As much as I loved having a one-stop-shop to set my Nest Thermostat, turn off lights in specific rooms, and be able to skip songs without taking my phone out of my pocket, no matter how handy, the Brilliant control panel doesn’t. not so revolutionary considering its high price.

Closing arguments: The Brilliant Smart Home Control Panel was created for people like me who are buried in dozens of smartphone apps and looking for a better, more streamlined all-in-one solution to manage and control their smart home devices.

Does that make things easier? Absoutely! While the Brilliant control panel does what it says, $ 300 is a hefty entry cost for such a specific use.

Read more:

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