Lights have always been an integral part of home dcor not only from the point of illumination but because it adds colour and vibrancy to the artwork and finishes of interior furnishings. While a lot of detailing used to be put into illumination, switches were, for long, not considered a part of the dcor. However, today, switches are also being looked at as an integral part of the overall interiors, thanks to the continuous enhancements, research & development and technological innovations in smart switches and increasing investments in aspirational smart homes. Demand Drivers

Owing to favourable government regulations and policies, there is a renewed focus on creating housing stock to meet the aspirations of home buyers. Real estate developers are focusing on developing connected homes to attract consumers. In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in investments in smart homes, as home automation is slowly taking the centre stage. Further, growing awareness about benefits of internet of things and connected products is increasing the consumer investment on smart home technologies such as smart switches. Thus, evolving trend of IoT based home energy management system is expected to strengthen the growth of smart switches.

Modular switches are gaining traction over the traditional ones due to its ease of installation, safe design, and operational efficiency. In fact, modular switches have evolved to be rather known as smart switches. Realty developers have started offering automation solutions with smart switches in housing projects. In the next three to five years, this market will surely prosper, opined Manoj Verma, Executive President & COO Automation Solutions, Polycab India. Technology Advancements

Traditional and smart switches industry has been witnessing continuous technological innovations and enhancements in electrical technologies. Smart electric switches are a modern modular technology and have some of the key advantages such as low electricity consumption and compact design

Apart from this, manufacturers are developing advanced electrical switches that are more energy efficient and require less maintenance. Moreover, the rising number of affluent middle-class population is expected to increase the demand for smart home products such as smart switches. Additionally, the rise in penetration of internet and rapid advancement in Internet of Things (IoT) is facilitating the expansion of smart switches market in the upcoming years.

Home automation sector in India has been gaining immense traction over the last five years, buoyed by increased cognizance of IoT solutions, increased spending on home appliances led by positive changes in consumer behaviour, and the emergence of homegrown companies. Smart switches are the modification of conventional switches with an innovative technology that allows you access to smart phones to control lights, fans, and other electrical appliances. It also provides the ease to control through voice by using virtual assistant like Alexa, Echo. The advantage of having smart switches is it is convenient, easy to control, and is cost effective. 2022 will be a big year for smart products, with a whole wave of next-generation technology making a fast, efficient, fully functioning, and interconnected smart home a reality, said Rajesh Nandwani, Business Unit Head of Wiring Devices, Panasonic Life Solutions India.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the latest technologies in smart switches are as follows:

Wired Technology: Wired communication technologies of the light control switches market include Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI), Power-line Communication (PLC), and various wired hybrid protocols that include various company-specific proprietary protocols. Wired communication protocols are preferred where performance and reliability are crucial.

Wireless: In a wireless system, lighting control devices communicate through the air using radio frequency (RF) waves and other technologies without the need for wires. Wireless communication protocols are needed for aiding the communication between the evolving technologies. The technology is still in its early stages of adoption. However, it is increasingly being considered as the future owing to the elimination of wiring and the ability to drive more monitoring and control points. The most common wireless technologies for smart light control switches and dimmers include ZigBee, Bluetooth, EnOcean, Wi-Fi, and wireless hybrid protocols. Covid Impact

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has brought the significance of hygiene and infections control to the fore. Need for touch less or contact less operations have increased adoption of smart switches as these can be operated via mobile apps / voice. People are spending longer hours at home hence the need for higher degree of comfort leading to increased adoption for centralised controls (mobile app / Voice) where a consumer can control different functions of the home without any hassle.

Work from home has driven the demand for energy to an all-time high and is also resulting into a much larger electricity bill. Consumers are looking at smart switches and sensors as strategies for energy savings and cost reduction as these are easily retrofittable in their existing homes without having the need for any electrical and structural changes, opined Vivek Yadav, Senior Vice President, Havells India. Way Forward

Smart switches are a modern modular technology and have some of the key advantages such as low electricity consumption and compact and dynamic design. While there is a rise in adoption of smart electrical switches, high cost of smart switches may impact the growth of smart switches market.

Despite the growing awareness and inclination towards smart home solutions, there persists a myth that smart homes are expensive and requires a lot of maintenance. In reality, turning your home into a smart one neither requires a large sum of money nor extensive effort. A little planning in choosing the products that fit your budget and preferences can go a long way in making your living space smarter, Nandwani said.

Yadav noted that in the past couple of years these switches have already become affordable to an extent that the cost has come down to a level where a customer can automate a 2 BHK flat for around Rs 30000, also being modular in form factor helps the customer pick and choose the circuits they want to automate, hence making the solution highly scalable for the customer to add or remove devices as per his convenience and budget.

A report by Researchnester noted that Asia Pacific smart switches market is expected to attain a CAGR of 3.2% during 2017 and 2024 to reach noteworthy revenue. In Asia Pacific region emerging economies such as China and India and positive GDP figures are believed to foster the growth of smart switches market.

As Verma sums up, From consumer standpoint, brands need to create adequate awareness pertaining to aspects such as performance, features as well as reliability of the product. In absence of these, it is generally found that consumers end up using smart switches from the unorganized markets or of an inferior quality with the product typically not lasting beyond three months. Thus, while the potential of smart switches is humungous, the pertinent challenge is to impart required awareness to the end consumers including on aspects of after sales service and support.

Post Views: