TCS

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TCS

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Selected products from this vendor are presented on this page, with my assessments where I have personal experiences to share. The links are primarily directed to the vendor’s own pages, in English; for local pages/prices you will have to conduct your own search.

About the vendor and its products

TCS is a large supplier of a broad spectrum of products for control/communication of buildings, but the reason for being included in my pages is that it offers a smart switch as part of a system called “Friends of Hue”. This is an arrangement where switches from other manufacturers than Philips Hue itself can be used with Hue light sources. Since “Friends of Hue” switches are wireless, switches of both European and American design can be used globally.

TCS’s version of a switch for “Friends of Hue” is rather unique, and I am not completely sure I fully understand how it works. The company calls it a “hidden socket” and as far as I can tell, it is installed behind a light switch; this is done by removing the old wired wall switch and replacing it with the new socket, which is also wired. On top of this sits a “wireless” switch that conceals the socket and can be opened/closed to give access to the outlet. The switch works as other “Friends of Hue” switches, but the added benefit is that the house now has an extra power outlet (there is even a version with two USB A ports) and typically at a different height than traditional outlets, which are usually located down by the floor. The only downside I can foresee is that there is no longer any way to turn off the power to the light source which was previously controlled by the traditional wall switch. If the new smart switch should not work (and I know from own experience that this happens from time to time), there is no other way to turn off the light than the crude way of screwing out the bulb.

As far as I understand how “Friends of Hue” works, these switches can be configured in the Hue appen if it is to control only Hue lights, but they are also compatible with HomeKit and thus control other HomeKit-compatible devices.

Our experiences

We have no experiences with products from this vendor, but I must admit I harbor some fascination for this hidden socket.

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