The UK has lagged some way behind the US when it comes to HomeKit devices – especially if you want things that don’t look like HomeKit devices. This is set to change in October when LightwaveRF will offer its new light switches and plug sockets.
Unlike things like Elgato Eve, which require a relatively bulky addition to a power socket, and Philips Hue switches, which supplement existing wired ones, Lightwave is offering units that can simply replace your existing fittings …
They appear, from the low-res photos provided so far, to be exactly what I asked for in my Smart Home Diary series: brushed aluminum smart units that look as discreet and stylish as the dumb ones I already have installed.
The Smart Dimmer is a dimming light switch, while the Smart Socket is a double-gang plug socket, complete with physical switches.
There’s also a Smart Radiator Valve to allow temperature control of individual radiators – though that is white plastic, and looks as bulky as existing ones.
The company says that all the devices offer built-in energy monitoring, which is a feature I like about my Elgato Eve plug sockets, as well as two-way switching and communication. To this end, the plug socket switches appear to be press/touch ones, rather than the usual up/down mechanical switches, so you can continue to switch on devices even if the socket has been switched off manually. This will solve the problem I have of a rampant energy-saving partner with a habit of switching things off at the socket!
Lightwave also says we can expect more HomeKit-compatible products to follow.
The bad news is that HomeKit compatibility has been achieved via a hub, known as Link Plus. We’re reaching the point now where we’re soon going to have more hubs than Ethernet sockets to connect them, and the prospect of having to add a separate Ethernet switch just to create additional sockets.
The company says that all the new products will be available on October 3. No pricing is yet available. I’ll be aiming to review them as soon as they are available.