Noon Lighting System review: It’s the very best smart switch for your home, and it’s priced accordingly

When you get down to it, most smart switches are not all that smart. A wireless radio that talks to a hub or an app? Maybe a touch-sensitive dimmer? That’s it? Surely we can do better than that in late 2017. Noon Lighting thinks it can, and even in version 1.0, its eponymous Noon Lighting System is easily the most inventive and capable smart switch on the market. It’s also very expensive, but oh so worth the cost.

The central idea of the Noon Lighting System can be found in the Noon Room Director, a single rocker-sized switch with an OLED touchscreen embedded into its surface. The Room Director replaces one centrally located switch and does the heavy lifting for the system. Additional switches in the area can be replaced with the less-expensive and touchscreen-less Noon Extension Switches.

Updated January 21, 2020 to report that Noon Home has been acquired by Racepoint Energy, a sister company to the smart home component manufacturer Savant. We have made an inquiry as to how this change will impact the retail availability of Noon lighting products and will update this story when we hear back.

Now here’s where the magic starts: The Room Director can control not just the circuit it’s wired to, but as many as 10 Extension switches, too. If your living room has three or four switches used to control various lamps and light fixtures, you no longer need to wander the room to turn them all on or off or adjust their brightness. You can program the Room Director to handle all of them. But that’s not the end of it, because the Room Director supports multiple lighting scenes that you create through its savvy, well-designed app.

Noon Room Director and two Extensions Christopher Null

The completed assembly is sophisticated and clearly future-forward.The Director connects to your Wi-Fi network and talks to the Extension Switches using Bluetooth.

I installed the system in my kitchen, which has three types of lights: overhead canister LEDs, under-cabinet fluorescents, and a chandelier with incandescent bulbs in the dining area. With Noon Lighting I was able to set up scenes to turn on all the lights at full blast, or just a few of them at a lower brightness level in whatever combination I desired. Every Noon switch includes a dimmer system, so you really have a mountain of options available.

The Room Director is the centerpiece, and it works beautifully. Its integrated OLED is bright and vividly displays the name of the scene you’re running along with its icon, automatically lighting up when you pass by. To switch scenes, you simply swipe up or down on the switch panel. To turn the whole thing off, just depress the bottom of the switch as you normally would flip a switch.

light grouping Noon Home

You’ll assign your lights to rooms first, and then you’ll organize them into groups that can be controlled all at once with a touch or with a voice command if you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Extension Switches work independently of the Room Director, too, so if you have a scene active with all the lights on, but you change your mind about one of them, you can still flip the switch to turn those lights off, or use the integrated hardware control to dim them. Of course, you can do all of this via the app, too, and change anything on the fly if you want to tweak any of the settings. My family ended up balking about having the under-cabinet lights on so frequently, and disabling them in the scene was trivially easy. On the whole, the versatility of the system is incredible.

Normally I would have installed all of this myself, but Noon offers professional installation at a price of $150 plus $20 per switch after the first three, and at the company’s request we tried it out. The installer (a Noon employee; yours would be a local, approved electrician) spent about 90 minutes asking about our setup, performing the installation, walking me through the app, and training me on the system. It was very professional and painless, the only hiccup being that the system wouldn’t work with a fourth switch in the kitchen because that one junction box turned out to be missing a neutral wire. (Both neutral and ground wires are required for any of this to work.) That left me with one extension switch that still works, but not perfectly. (Noon has since released an update for the system that enables it to work in the absence of a neutral wire.)