I can’t find this despite lots of googling: I want to flip a switch in my living room and have every floor lamp turn on also. But I don’t need a remote, I don’t need internet connectivity, I don’t need schedules, and I definitely don’t want anything battery powered. “Just” one central classic switch which has multiple plugs slaved to it, so they operate with its status.

In my imagination this would involve swapping the wall switch with something smart, and it and the main light would continue being connected to the outlet as normal. And then a couple slaved plugs that connect to normal wall sockets that turn the lamps on and off.

What I’m looking for is simplicity. No fancy colours, no remotes to recharge. Am I missing a google keyword? I’m an IoT virgin, so far my findings are dominated by SmartThings and Hues and remotes and hubs, and it all seems too complicated for my needs. Any insights, suggestions, or gentle introductions welcome.

  • 1
    I read about those kinetic switches which grand their power by the physical pressure on the plate. If I check e.g. Amazon for "kinetic switch" I get some results. Give it a try and leave a comment which one works for you.
    – rekire
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 6:13
  • This is tricky because it's hard to know when to turn them off. You can plug any old dumb smart thing into a plug/socket powered by the switch and chain other devices to turn on when it "boots", but then how to know when to turn off the chained devices? you can ping the master and timeout, or do like i did and use a super capacitor to provide enough juice to the master that it can fire-off a "hey, my power is disconnect" broadcast to the system.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 20:14
  • Thanks for replies. I went and asked in a store but they could offer no concrete products. I guess normal wall-switches are in short supply for smart lights.. the kinetic switches are interesting though, not quite sure they do multiple slaves but it’s a creative solution. Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


Insteon components can be used stand-alone without a hub.

Purchase any combination of dimming plugin module, on/off plugin module, or duplex outlet (dual control-each outlet can be controlled separately or linked together).

Replace a wall switch and link it all together manually. You will get exactly what you asked for, the ability turn on/off one switch and have multiple things turn on/off. You can also add many more devices (now or later) than you will ever need... you can keep it super simple or make it very complex.

Manual linking does work, but is a tedious process with a learning curve. You can also add a hub which gives you all those things you don’t want, like internet, schedules, remote from your phone etc etc. but with the added advantage of more simplified setup. (No manual linking -much easier to do linking with hub). AND once the modules are setup (I.e. linked or programmed) the hub can be unplugged and put away and it all continues to work standalone without the hub. I mention that because there are bundles and starter kits that make the hub essentially free.

Not obvious to newcomers: 1) Insteon and smarthome.com have the same owner, it’s always least expensive to buy direct from smarthome.com 2) smarthome has lots of sales and promos, never pay the regular website full price. Also don’t miss the multi-packs that also save. 3) many items are available on amazon but mostly avoid it, some of the product has really old date codes and firmware when purchased through amazon.

Many Insteon items are available in other electrical standards than USA. Such as European, although it’s easier to see compatibility from the country in question, the US site doesn’t show all international product. See here for more international purchasing options.

Disclaimer: I don’t work at smarthome/Insteon. I just have a huge complicated Insteon system with over 100 switches and modules. (The only two non-Insteon switches in my house both control garbage disposals.)

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