Battery-free and responsive, the Senic Friends of Hue outdoor switch is a great way to manually add control to your outdoor Hue lights. This switch looks great and is quite flexible in how you can program it - but there would be a few good options for when you press and hold a button.
There are a growing number of Philips Hue Outdoor products available, but the only official way to control them from the outside is through the outdoor motion sensor or app. Then, for many of us, we will end up with a wireless remote control placed near a door. The Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch offers a battery-powered alternative.
Designed for outdoor use, this wireless switch can be placed anywhere outdoors, giving you control of outdoor lights. It works by reaping the power of the physical click action and offers flexible customization options.
Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch is a robust version of the Senic Friends of Hue Smart Switch. This model has a hard rubber coating and is rated IP44, which means it can withstand dust and rain. There are two switches on this model, which you can program to do different things (more on that later).
Available in black only, this small square switch will integrate well into all exterior configurations. You can screw it in place or use the sticky fasteners provided to attach it less permanently.
Opting for the latter, I had the switch in position in a few seconds. The only real requirement is that the switch be located about 30 m from another Hue device, allowing it to connect to the mesh network.
Then, it is easy to associate the switch with a Hue Bridge through the application by pressing and holding the buttons when prompted. Note that this switch does not require batteries; instead, it harvests the power of the click, so it will never need loading.
Once in the Hue application, the switch is fully configurable. It is actually a four-button controller (up and down on one switch and the same again on the second switch), allowing you to program what each button does.
Each button has two options: press and hold. The press option allows you to select a scene, turn on the lights in their last state, or turn off the lights; the standby option allows you to turn off the lights, do nothing, or increase or decrease the brightness.
Normal operation, such as, would be to activate the simple push options or select a scene for the top button of a switch and off for the bottom button; to press, you would choose to increase the brightness (up) and decrease the brightness (down).
This only lets you know what to do with both switches. The main options are to have separate switches to control different rooms (garden and storage, for example) or to have a single switch to control the standard functions (on / off and variation), and the second switch to offer a range of more many scenes.
In the latter configuration, it would be good if the standby options also allow you to select a scene, as this will expand your options.
The Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch also appears in the HomeKit as a four-button switch (each with two actions), so you can control any device that also works with the Home app.
Thanks to the Zigbee protocol running Hue, the Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch is quick to react. Touch a button and the chosen scene or action happens almost immediately: the system is certainly so fast that this wireless switch is as responsive as a physical wired switch.
Using the wait option to decrease, I was impressed by the reaction of the system. The dimming or glow happens while you hold down the button, changing so fast enough that you don't get tired, and slow enough that you can release the button when you're at the desired brightness.
As with the standard indoor model, you may need to reconnect the Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch if you change the channel on which the Zigbee network is running. You only need to change the channel if you have problems with the lights not connecting. When you do, the Hue app will tell you which buttons to press to reconnect the switch.
Want to control your Hue lights from the outside? Well, this is definitely the product for you.
If you can place a regular Hue wireless controller next to a door, then you can remove the remote section and pull it out when you need it, which can be a more flexible option.
If you want to manually control the Hue outdoor lights, then there is no real alternative to the Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch. Fortunately, although this switch is quite expensive, it is also very good and does not require batteries.
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No, it collects energy from the action of clicking the button.
You can only connect the switch to a Philips Hue Bridge, although this also makes the device appear in the HomeKit.
RRP from Great Britain
First time revised
Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch
Philips Hue external switch
Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch
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