You may remember the LoraTap switch test which had fired from all woods while burning during our tests. Fortunately, this article is no longer available on Amazon, and the brand had informed us of the development of a new product to replace it. It's done with a new version of their connected switch for roller shutters.
Recently on sale for 19,99 € excluding promotion, it is the cheapest of the switches we tested, and one of the most affordable overall. But what is it? Was the upgrade effective? Will LoraTap be able to forget its previous product? The company specializing in wireless products prides itself on only bringing quality products to the market. This new model of LoraTap is an EU model, CE and FCC (US) standard. Its characteristics are substantially, or even totally, the same as all the other connected switches: closing / opening / pause modes, works with Smart life, tactile ... the visual is also almost identical. But The manufacturer explained to us the modifications made and the why. Suspense, suspense ...
LoraTap SS001KS: clean and design… like the others
The switch is delivered in a small brown cardboard box with a sticker showing the visual and characteristics of the products. The highlighting ofAmazon Echo is visible. However, as with the old model, an FR was added to the ballpoint pen. We quickly realize that the packaging is almost identical, so the basis is the same.
What do we find in it? Well LoraTap kept the old recipe, and for once, it's a good idea: the switch, four screws in two different sets, a small screwdriver, a wago 3 inputs, a piece of blue wire. There is also a note for the customer service contact, a free gift card (after rating the product on Amazon), multilingual assembly instructions and a quick installation guide in French (hence the FR in pencil referring to the language of the instructions).
Several good surprises:
- The guide is really comprehensive and in good French. Nothing to say about it, it explains the connection, the pairing with Smart Life ...
- The small screwdriver, even if of basic quality is a nice little gesture,
However, the Wago and the wire allow us to confirm from the start that the connection mode is therefore the same as for the old model… Hmm hmm… And indeed, in terms of design, no apparent change. We are still on a beautiful product but almost identical to the other connected switches.
The facade is in 4mm tempered glass with a white background, three pressure zones. It's clean, it's sober, it's pretty, but it doesn't stand out from the competition: no identification, no enhancement. The three buttons are open / pause / close the curtains. The dimensions are fairly standard for the front (8,6 cm per side) and a depth of 2,5 cm for the transplanting system. Once set up and well glued to the wall, count a small centimeter of thickness. So identical to the others and to the old one. It is therefore clear that this new switch is made on the same mold as the old one. This can also be seen on the terminal block.
No change, really? And no, that's not quite true. Indeed, LoraTap explained to us that the first modification made to the switch concerns precisely this transplanting stud. The previous model had a big safety problem: the neutral pad was completely open and if the supplied wire was pushed too far, it could touch the phase wire and make a short circuit. This is exactly the problem we encountered, and which therefore confirms our conclusion at the time. The manufacturer has sealed off the end of the neutral transplanting block and it is no longer possible to make the neutral and the phase touch each other. Good point !
The transplanting block is completely standard size and adapts without any problem to the placo boxes of the French market. A little more, once the front has been removed, there are not two holes on the sides of the internal face but 4 holes allowing it to be screwed into the flush-mounting box without any problem on all types of boxes and in n 'any meaning.
In terms of technical characteristics, basic: it works on 100-240V at 50/60 Hz, so no problem. Rated power 600 W, 100-250 V, 50/60 Hz. At the connection level 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi only. So in principle, it is suitable for most installations and shutters with 4 wires: neutral, earth and two phase returns.
LoraTap SS001KS: a special installation
Regarding the installation, the diagram is relatively simple and identical to what we have for the other switches but with the specificities of LoraTap. The most annoying is the location to put the neutrals ... As you can see, the neutral pad is still very embedded in the terminal block while the phases and returns are about 0,5 cm. There, we are at a depth of more than 1 cm to put the neutrals ... and it is in fact possible to put only one wire and not two as is done with the competitors. However, this time, the assembly guide has been revised and highlights this specificity and the use of a Wago.
But why this choice? The use of the Wago, or a domino, and the piece of wire are therefore mandatory. This can be a real problem if you run out of space behind the terminal block once everything has been reassembled. We therefore advise you to put the thread on a single domino (connecting the two phases) which will be narrower. If it's already in place, all the better and chances are you won't be bothered. But if we can avoid the addition of wire, domino or Wago, that's much better. Less risk of mini arc due to more or less tight or inserted elements. However, the assembly was done without any problem, the neutral wire sinks to the stop and does not go any further. It is much more reassuring.
Regarding the installation, we refer you to our installation tutorial for roller shutters, but know that this is done quite easily once you have found the arrival of cables for your roller shutter and the arrival of your own wires. A neutral is necessary but if you have roller shutters this is usually the case.
At the beginning of the article, we told you that we are not on touch buttons. By removing the glass front, the mechanism reveals its secrets: three small springs will make contact to engage the mechanism. By pressing on the front, we will press on the springs and therefore activate the raising or lowering of the shutter. And we come to the second change made on this new version: the springs of the previous model were a bit long and that can also explain the problems that users encounter with this type of system. If the front panel is not properly placed (too much or too little for example), there may be permanent or random contact with one of the springs and therefore cause the shutter to open or close unexpectedly. To overcome this, LoraTap has shortened its springs a little to avoid this type of problem.
You will notice that this time, no spark, no lead that jumps ... the installation went very well, in about fifteen minutes, pairing included. Changes made by Lora Tap are very welcome and reassuring. In addition, one of the strengths of this switch is the fact that there is no no continuous backlighting (it is the only one with the Earthsmart to do this). It is very appreciable if it is installed in a room.
LoraTap SS001KS: Smart Life, the safe bet
LoraTap has decided to allow the control of its switch via the application Smart Life and it is a wise choice. No difficulty to install it because it is done like a plug. Be careful, because when it is just powered on, our switch does not flash. It is necessary to come and press the pause “button” (the one in the middle) for about 5 seconds to put it in pairing mode. If necessary, it is also possible to redo it to rediscover your switch. Don't forget to activate the Skill Alexa to be able to use it with Alexa.
As with all connected shutter switches, it must be discovered as a standard wall switch and not a curtain switch (under Zigbee only on Smart Life), and from this arises the subtleties:
- In native mode, to open or close the shutter, you have to say on or off. Not very practical, eh? It will therefore be necessary to create routines under Alexa to use a more intuitive vocabulary (see the tutorial for the routines).
- At present, it is not possible, under Alexa, to control the “pause” function during descent or ascent (the middle button). This will require going through a scenario under Smart life and then put it into a routine under Alexa (see tutorial).
You are then free to create the routines and scenarios you want to control your shutters by voice. It is even possible to create a scenario so that the shutters close at sunset time or open at sunrise time, without any intervention on your part.
In conclusion, this new version of the switch from LoraTap seems more qualitative than the previous version and above all much more secure.
The manufacturer has a big strong point: he is aware of his weaknesses and has been able to bring his product up to standard. However, what makes it different from other switches on the market? The visual is the same, the operating mode as well as the characteristics. It is always embarrassing to have to put an extra Wago or a domino if you run out of space in the embedding hole (not to mention the safety aspect with the fact of putting in extra wires and dominoes) but it has the advantage of not having a backlight and being relatively affordable.
It is ultimately a product that keeps its promises and a good quality / price ratio.
LoraTap Connected Roller Shutter Switch€19.99
- The little extras in the pack: screws and tools
- The absence of permanent light
- Very good improvement of this new reference: safety (modification of the studs) and use (shortening of the springs)
- Smart Life and Alexa a little limited for this type of device, without hack
- Neutral stud too deep making the use of a wago compulsory: possible embedding and safety problem