In the ever-evolving world of smart home technology, finding a unified, user-friendly controller has been a long-standing challenge. Google has been doing its part with its Home app on smart displays, and perhaps most notably through its Pixel Tablet. But we’re still in search of something better, aren’t we?

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast like me or someone who simply wants a convenient way to manage your smart home, the search for the right solution can be a bit daunting. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various devices, but recently, I came across the Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control panel, and it has piqued my interest.

The Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control Panel – A Simple Solution

The Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control panel is a flush-mount touchscreen device that promises to simplify your smart home experience. Priced at $399, it may seem a bit steep, but it offers a unique blend of features and convenience that might be just what you need.


Easy Installation and Versatility

One standout feature of the Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control is its hassle-free installation. You can attach it to your wall and plug it into a nearby outlet, with a thin cable that can be discreetly routed through the wall if needed. This makes it an ideal solution for homes lacking a neutral wire or for renters who want to avoid messing with electrical panels.

The device itself is impressively slim, protruding from the wall by less than an inch. While Brilliant also offers wired versions of its smart switches, this plug-in model caters to a broader audience, offering a versatile solution without requiring complex electrical work.

Customizable and Convenient

via Brilliant

The Brilliant control panel features a user-friendly interface with four customizable shortcuts front and center, allowing you to effortlessly control various smart devices individually or in scenes.

Two touch-capacitive sliders provide precise control over functions like dimming lights and adjusting volume. It even includes a built-in microphone, speaker, and camera (with a physical shutter) that can serve as an intercom or connect to your smart doorbell.

With an integrated motion sensor, ambient light, and temperature sensors, the Brilliant panel can trigger actions based on your preferences. Additionally, onboard Alexa support enables hands-free voice control, although it lacks voice support for Siri or Google Assistant.

Comprehensive Device Compatibility

The Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control supports a range of popular smart home brands, including August, Ecobee, Google Nest, Honeywell Home, Kwikset, Lifx, Philips Hue, Ring, Schlage, Sonos, TP-Link, Wemo, Yale, and more.

For devices not directly supported, integration with Samsung SmartThings provides a workaround. However, it’s worth noting that direct connections tend to be more responsive than those routed through SmartThings.

Pros and Cons

The Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control panel undoubtedly has its merits. It excels in terms of user interface, boasting a straightforward and intuitive experience, and the touchscreen responsiveness rivals that of a smartphone. Moreover, the ability to stream camera feeds and pair them with smart locks adds a layer of security and convenience.

In terms of figuring out how to control things or manage rooms and lights, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Contrast that with the way Google Home continues to change, and the fact that it’s tucked behind an app, and you might see why one would buy the Brilliant device.

The device’s price tag of $399 might be a deterrent for some, especially when you factor in the cost of additional Brilliant switches for a whole-home setup. Furthermore, the system’s reliance on cloud-based integrations can introduce lag and potential connectivity issues. Plus, its limited compatibility with certain devices and ecosystems might leave some users wanting more.

My dad has but a few smart devices in his home and only recently converted to WiFi-based solutions for TV and entertainment. He rarely touches a smartphone, let alone install apps for his lights and speakers. Whereas I once thought he was “living in the past”, I understand the simplicity of the old-fashioned approach.

He wouldn’t have any clue as to how to get certain products to work with Google or tie them to a room. But, something like the Brilliant panel makes a great deal of sense. Placing it in a room where he spends much of his time, and giving him easy access to other devices and settings would be helpful for him. Telling him to use a Pixel Tablet, however, would only aggravate him.

Is the Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control for You?

Ultimately, whether the Brilliant Plug-In Smart Home Control panel is the right choice for you depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you already own devices directly compatible with Brilliant and are seeking a user-friendly solution for controlling them, this device could be an excellent fit. However, if your smart home setup is more extensive or complex, you may encounter limitations due to the current ecosystem and integration challenges.

In an ideal world, where the smart home standard Matter has gained widespread adoption, a device like Brilliant would truly shine by offering seamless interoperability. For now, it’s a promising option, but it may not be the perfect solution for everyone. Consider your existing smart devices, your budget, and your desire for simplicity when making your decision.

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