Den home automation

Just seen the Gadget show demoing the Den home automation sockets, definately worth keeping an eye on, the socket switches physically change position when the socket is switched on off, something that has long been needed in the Uk, actual normal looking sockets that are smart and react as expected without ugly plug in pocket sockets

Wayy too expensive at the moment to be rolled out at home as replacements but its good to see a better approach than is currently available

Does the physical switches change programatically as well? What if the physical switch is off and then you want to automate something plugged into it?

I’m not in the UK but am curious as to how this works.

Link for the curious:

My guess is that the switch is mechanically tied to the relay so it flips when the relay changes state - similar to an industrial contactor, where you can push down on the little tab to physically force a connection without a control signal (but the contactor won’t hold the position when you do that). In this case the switch’s controller would sense the manual state change and (de)activate the relay to maintain that position.

These look interesting. If they worked with smartthings out the box I would buy a single gang switch to test it out.

The switch state is not the momentary type, it is and works exactly as a normal Uk socket switch, they also report power and communicate 2 way, kind of Uk switch nervana
Sadly not zwave, from what i have read they use there own 2.4ghz wifi signal controled via the usual hub but can also work locally without internet but do need wifi

Unsure if they have an api for developers but i see no reason they wont if not now then in the future, as long as they are selling kit i doubt they will care

There are devices in the US market which do physically move when the network sends the command. They are designed to fit over an existing switch and literally physically move it.

It’s not really that different from a smart lock that moves the deadbolt when it gets a command. It just makes the device a bit more expensive and it’s one more thing that can go wrong. :pleading_face:

In the Uk JD, 99% of users will not use anything other than a BS registered standard looking electrical socket/switch, it has a lot to do with looks but mostly safety, our switches and sockets are the safest in the world. Pocket sockets provide the functionality the modern user requires but not the look. Now there is a standard looking switch/socket that works exactly as a standard item but with the benifits of SMART… if it wasent for the hefty price tag i would completely change all my house sockets for the DEN smart items, they are … from what i can see , the ultimate

With each socket there is also a small piece of card that fits over the devices socket 3 pins, i guess the card is nfc, so if you have an iron plugged in you tell the controlling app where the iron is dependant on where you place the card, you then have options to auto switch off after a user defined time, at a guess the usual timers for on off are also available

Not only that but if you move the device to another Den socket the socket communicates the devices location back to the hub so the same functionality is available, kinda making a dumb device relatively smart

As a small start up they odviously do not have the Samsung Smartthings heft but they do have innovation… something ST is now sadly lacking

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Been following these guys for a while, but avoided pre ordering due to the constant delays and limited communication. Based on their Twitter posts today, it looks like they’ve finally started actually shipping!

Is anyone here expecting a delivery soon? Would love to see if it’s possible to connect them up to Smartthings some how. I read that they’re actually using ZigBee 3.0 somewhere, I’m sure…

I’m hoping mine will arrive today.

The smart cards look really interesting and novel and if these sockets were using z-wave they would be perfect and reasonably priced repeaters, a much better solution to extend range that outlets that look ugly and get occasionally removed. I’d buy half a dozen to place around the house.

Sadly though “Den products talk to each other using a custom wireless protocol built on IEEE 802.15.4. Your Hub connects to your home’s Internet Router using a network cable and your phone communicates with the Hub through your home network.” And there “may” be an API one day but not yet.

I can’t use them in SmartThings therefore. Hoping someone figures that out though.

I’ve submitted a request to their support to ask about SmartThings.

Reading through their knowledge base articles it does state that they do something custom at the protocol level, and I can’t find references to ZigBee anywhere. :frowning:

Doesn’t mean it won’t work, but I’m not holding my breath

A few relevant tweets;

One report that they weren’t recognised by a ZigBee dongle.

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Such sad news… I do understand the logic in making their own hub, but the world really doesn’t need MORE proprietary smart home standards :roll_eyes:

Mine did arrive today.

Just noticed that their light switches are not repeaters , only the sockets which is a shame.

That’ll be because they done have power while off (hence no need for a neutral wire). They confirmed on Twitter that the use a capacitor to flick the switch to on. Seems really neat, I just wish they integrated nicely…

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They use earth leakage to replace the neutral wire, hence the switches require an earth. This they say in their docs will be less than 2ma.

The other thing with the plugs is the mechanised changeover is incredibly loud when activated, you wouldn’t miss this even in a noisy room and in a bedroom it would almost certainly wake you up which limits the places you could put them. Really not good at all but the rest of the build quality and design seems fine. The remote control is huge though.

Response from Den:

Thank you for your enquiry.

We have chosen to go with our own protocol instead of Zigbee as this allows us to offer a much better out of the box experience with our own hub and our own app, compared to the alternatives. We are mindful that our users are interested in integrating Den with other ecosystems and will be announcing details on how they can achieve this in the future.

Please send us an email if you have any further questions, alternatively check out our F.A.Q page at

Thank you,

Peace and Love,

Nevermind… it had so much potential!

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The units I have work well but the app crashes a bit still. It’s also now a pretty expensive solution, and you need sockets to act as repeaters but they’re probably the least useful in a switched capacity - as for example table lamps have secondary switches. Their initial estimate on pricing was only a third of the current RRP. Maybe they might offer low cost repeaters which would help.

Both sockets and switches don’t half clunk when they turn on and off… very loud. I wouldn’t want them in a bedroom or anywhere quiet - even over a six person discussion in a room they are intrusive.

But the idea is good and the tags very neat.