In the first half of the year I have already reported on the Friends of Hue module, which the Asian manufacturer Sunricher has produced. It has exactly the same dimensions as the official EnOcean module used in the Friends of Hue switches.
EnOcean is known to use energy harvesting technology to power its module. Each time a button is pressed, just enough energy is generated to fire the radio signal in the direction of the Hue system. That’s a practical thing, but it has a decisive disadvantage: every keystroke also results in a relatively loud clacking sound.
Now Sunricher has already presented a solution for exactly this problem at the beginning of the year: A Friends of Hue module, which is powered by a button cell. Unfortunately, the YouTube video showing the switch in action has been taken offline again a short time later, and even inquiries from my side are no longer answered.
Comparison between real Friends of Hue switch and battery replica is on
But that just made things even more interesting for me, because I am convinced that the Friends of Hue switches with button cell instead of energy harvesting technology will be a bit better. In the meantime, my research has led me to a webshop in Great Britain, where Friends of Hue switches are sold with exactly this Sunricher module.
And it’s not even that expensive. The price for a switch including frame and rockers is about 40 Euro, which is much less than you have to pay for “real” Friends of Hue switches. Even with the shipping costs, it is still a good rate.
I expect delivery later this week and will then show you the differences between the two technologies again and guide you to the shop where you can order the switch. At the moment I’m a bit reluctant to do that, because it seems that we’re not quite in the official realm. Building a module is only half of the story – it becomes problematic if you then equip these modules with the Hue firmware, although you probably are not allowed to do so.