TP-Link, primarily known for their router and networking equipment, but also for being the first company to release a Matter-enabled smart plug, has announced two new Matter over WiFi smart switches, as part of their growing Tapo line of smart home products.
The two switches in question are a smart rocker/paddle switch (Tapo S505), and a smart dimmer switch (Tapo S505D). There is a third switch listed on the company’s website – the TS25 – although this seems to be exactly the same as the S505D, so we’re unsure whether this is a TP-Link branded version of the same switch, or there’s something to differentiate it from the Tapo version that we’re unaware of.
Both switches will be Matter compatible out of the box, but sadly for some users, both switches will require a neutral wire. Even though they’re Matter-enabled, it’s also a shame they haven’t dipped into Thread so far, which for many is a more smart-home-friendly protocol going forward, so your 2.4GHz will have to accommodate these.
Neither switch is capable of being used in a three-way setup, so only single-pole use cases are suitable for these.
The Dimmer is cable of standard dimming controls of course, but also features a ‘Fade on/off’ function that turns the lights off in a slightly more gradual way, rather than starkly on or off.
One other feature that may be of interest to those worried about leaving their home unattended whilst at work or even on vacation, is ‘Away mode’ which can “…Randomly turns devices on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home.” Whether this is achieved via the Tapo app or directly on the switch, we’re unsure but it’s unlikely to be a feature exposed directly to Apple HomeKit/Apple Home. This feature is available on both the standard and dimmer switches.
The standard switch will sell for a very reasonable US$24.99, whilst the dimmer will sell for slightly more, at US$27.99, and as they’re Matter compatible, they will work with not only HomeKit, but Amazon, Google, and SmartThnigs too.