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Product Test: The “Friends of Hue Smart Switch” from Senic & Gira put to the test

Welcome to the Friends of Hue Smart Switch: If you’re always on the look-out for the next big thing in the field of smart gadgets, then Philips Hue lights won’t have escaped your attention. These innovative lights – which can be controlled via an app or voice assistant technology – are finding their way into more and more homes. Sometimes though, you don’t always want to use Alexa or grab your mobile phone to switch a light on or off. There are plenty of situations where a simple switch does the job just as well.

With this idea in mind, the “Friends of Hue” family -which includes Berlin start-up Senic- was created. Earlier this year, Senic partnered with Gira to launch a smart light switch. The solution is designed to simplify the control of all Philips Hue products and to complement the Gira E2 design line. To find out just what makes the Smart Switch from Senic so special, we put it to the test.

Hand pressing the Friends of Hue Smart Switch
Friends of Hue Smart Switch great for the sofa
Friends of Hue Smart Switch for children

How the Senic Friends of Hue Smart Switch works

The new switch provides an easy control option for all of your Philips Hue products. To use the switch, you’ll need Hue lights and a Hue Bridge. Once you’ve got these components in place, the Smart Switch can be connected to your lights in just a few minutes using the Hue app: Simply open the app, select “Senic Friends of Hue Switch” and follow the instructions provided to program your switches.

The process, we found, couldn’t be any easier. We were surprised just how simple it was to get our switches up and running.

Once your switch is set up, you can use it to turn the light on and off, dim or activate specific light moods. The same way you can with the app. Each two-button switch can be assigned four functions – you can dedicate all four to a single light or configure the functions in pairs, with two functions per switch for two different lights.

Here’s an example of what your setup could (potentially) look like:

  • Top right: Switch on light (morning light/bedroom)
  • Bottom right: Switch on light (night light/bedroom)
  • Hold top right: Dim light (bedroom)
  • Hold right bottom: Switch off light (bedroom)

What’s unique about this switch is that it works without wires or batteries: With EnOcean technology on board, each flick of the switch generates enough energy to send a signal to the Hue Bridge. This does mean that you need to apply a little more pressure to the switch than usual, and the click sound is a fraction louder than a traditional switch. However, the Smart Switch responds instantly, and the signal has a 30-metre range. This enables you to control your lighting from another room.

Smart lighting control with the “Friends of Hue Smart Switch”. Source: Senic

Simple and flexible: Installing and using the Smart Switch

The switch is supplied with an adhesive wall sticker and four double-sided adhesive dots, enabling you to affix it to virtually any smooth surface. Next to the bed would be a great choice: in many bedrooms, there’s no way to switch off the light without getting out from under the duvet. If you want to install the switch in an existing frame, you’ll need to remove the current switch and disconnect the power supply running to the switch. If this is the case, consult an electrician for advice.

We were also impressed by the functionality of the product: The Smart Switch performs just as well as a standard switch and eliminates the need to unlock your phone and open the Hue app.

Friends of Hue Smart Switch bedside table

By the end of our test, we were converted: The Smart Switch from Senic and Gira is a stylish alternative to standard Philips Hue dimmer switches, particularly for fans of Gira’s modern switch designs.

We were also impressed by the functionality of the product: The Smart Switch performs just as well as a standard switch and eliminates the need to unlock your phone and open the Hue app.

What do you think of this innovative new way to control Philips Hue products? Let us know in the comments!

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