At CES earlier this month, Signify announced three new partners for its Friends of Hue program. All of them are from German-speaking countries and are therefore especially interesting for us. Before I provide you with further details, I would like to give you the official text of the press release:
“The partnership program of Philips Hue also has some new features: the smart lighting can now be controlled with new intelligent switches developed by Voltus and Jung. Voltus, a German online dealer specializing in lighting and controls, has introduced a battery-free switch that can be integrated directly into the Philips Hue system. In addition, new intelligent switches will soon be launched in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands as part of a partnership with switch manufacturer Jung. Insta, a German specialist for intelligent building technology, has also joined the ‘Friends of Hue' program.”
Most interesting innovation is likely to come from Insta
In the case of Voltus, I can tell you pretty much exactly what's coming – although that's really no surprise. For some time now, the dealer has been offering a conversion kit for the EnOcean module from the Friends of Hue switch, the EHAK02. It is available for 19.99 euros and consists of a support element, intermediate ring and two rockers. In the future, they plan to offer a complete Friends of Hue switch whose estimated price will be in an attractive range of below 50 euros. According to my information, the product is already finished and they are just waiting for Signify's approval.
A Friends of Hue switch will also be available from Jung, which will supply the market in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The new release of Insta could be exciting. The company from Lüdenscheid in Germany has already indicated that it will not only release a simple Friends of Hue switch with the familiar EnOcean module. As soon as I have further details here I will definitely inform you. The product should be ready for the Light+Building trade fair in March at the latest.