The Friends of Hue switches have been on the market for almost two years now. Philips Hue and EnOcean supply the technology, and various manufacturers supply the matching plastic parts to ensure that the Friends of Hue switches match the respective switch ranges. Among others, Gira, Busch-Jaeger and Jung are among the manufacturers involved.
A big feature of the Friends of Hue switches: they work without a power supply or battery. The other side of the coin: In order to generate the energy required to send the radio signal, the switches clack relatively loudly with each press of a button.
Chinese manufacturer Sunricher has taken care of exactly this detail. They have created modules with a very similar design and instead of kinetic energy generation they have opted for a simple button cell, which should have a service life of up to eight years and can be easily replaced.On the following pictures you can see the two modules in direct comparison, on the left the module from Sunricher and on the right the module from EnOcean:
And you can even buy the switch already. In a Dutch online shop, you currently pay around 40 euros per switch, plus around 6 euros for shipping. Here I ordered two switches and the delivery was without problems. Alternatively you can also visit this German online shop and pay about 50 Euro plus shipping costs of about 5 Euro.
Unfortunately the quality of the plastic parts is quite modest and no comparison to the products of brand manufacturers like Gira or Busch-Jaeger. But you can easily replace the Sunricher module and make your existing Friends of Hue switch so pleasantly quiet. How this works and how big the difference in volume is, you can see in the following video in German language.
The direct comparison of the Friends of Hue switches in the video
But there is one problem: The story is not yet quite official. There is currently no indication that Philips Hue has certified the Sunricher module. I rather assume that Sunricher more or less legally installed the Hue firmware for the Friends of Hue switch on its module.
From a technical point of view, however, the Sunricher module is far superior to the official Friends of Hue module because it fixes the biggest weakness: the loud clicking. And the argument that you have to replace a battery, I can’t accept with a lifetime of eight years. Even if in the end it is only five years – the button cell can be replaced cheaply and easily.