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Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Plug-In Dimmer review

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you own a lamp. You like this lamp, but it’s either on or off, with nothing in between. You can’t dim it, and you wish that you could. Better yet, you wish that you could dim it with a simple Alexa voice command on your Amazon Echo smart speaker (let’s go ahead and say that you own one of those, too).

You’ve got a couple of options. One would be to pick up an Alexa-compatible smart bulb from a name like TP-Link, Lifx or Philips Hue. Another would be to smarten up the lamp itself.

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This is where a product like the Wi-Fi-enabled Leviton Decora plug-in dimmer comes in. Plug it in and plug that lamp of yours in behind it, and you’ll be able to turn it on and off or dim it up and down remotely using the My Leviton app on your Android or iOS device, or by using Alexa voice commands. The asking price? $48 per plug.

That’s a little steep for my tastes, especially considering that you can pick up a Belkin WeMo Mini smart switch for $35 or less. That switch won’t let you dim the lights, but it boasts better third-party connections than the Decora lineup, and it also features a much, much less awkward design that doesn’t block adjacent outlets or force you to plug your lamp in at an uncomfortable angle on the bottom of the device.

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You’ll need to plug your lamp into the bottom of the Decora dimmer, which can be a little awkward in some setups.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Still, the Decora plug has some good stuff going for it. Despite the fact that my phone timed out during my first attempt at pairing with the plug, I came away impressed with the My Leviton app. It’s simple to use, yet fully featured, with good controls for organizing multiple plugs by room and programming automated lighting changes. You can also customize things like the lamp’s dimmable range or the fade duration whenever you turn it on or off.

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