Smart home technology should always enhance your home and never complicate it. That’s why I believe in having wall switches for essential functions, even if they’re also controlled by motion sensors or other means. One of the newer option in this segment is the Tap Dial, and I’m excited to share my thoughts on it.
For about a year now I’ve been using Philips Hue’s latest offering when it comes to switches, the Tap Dial switch, an upgrade from the old Tap. This switch comes with a few features I’ve been longing for, so let’s dive in.
The Tap Dial switch features four buttons and a rotatable ring for dimming your lights. It’s battery-powered and lasts for about two years.
Instead of comparing it to the original Tap, let’s contrast it with two other switches I have.
When I began replacing our old smart system, we used xcomfort switches. These switches are part of a robust system designed for professional installation. They’re wireless and battery-powered with a battery life of around eight years.
In my search for Hue-compatible switches, I found the Friends of Hue Scenic switch. It looked like the xcomfort switches, but its loud clicking sound made it a no-go for me. So, I turned to the Sunricher Friends of Hue switch, an unofficial option that’s also battery-powered. I use these switches throughout my house.
The Tap Dial may not look like a traditional switch, but it’s more similar to these options than the dimmer switch or the old Tap.
The battery-powered design ensures quiet operation and low resistance. The Tap Dial has four buttons and a rotating dimmer, unlike the “hold to dim” feature on other switches.
An interesting feature is the ability to dim on and off. The Tap Dial offers this option, which isn’t available out-of-the-box with Friends of Hue but could be achieved with Home Assistant if you’re tech-savvy.
Each button can control a specific scene or toggle between customizable scenes. Holding any button will turn off the assigned zone, room, or lamp. This switch can control up to five separate rooms, with one room controlled by the rotating ring.
The Tap Dial comes with a wall plate for mounting, either with screws or the included 3M tape. However, I wish they had designed it to fit the 55mm standard used in many European countries. Without that compatibility, users may need a 3D-printed adapter for grouped switches.
Despite this limitation, the Tap Dial is a solid option for those using Philips Hue throughout their homes. It’s great to see Philips Hue expanding its range, as homeowners need reliable switch options.
Now, we can only hope they develop a hub for those who exceed the maximum number of bulbs, but that is a story for a another day.