TP-Link, best known in smart home circles for its Kasa Smart line of Wi-Fi products, is bringing its Tapo brand to the US for the first time. The product line includes a smart home hub that can control Tapo sensors and other devices that operate in the long-range 922 MHz frequency band and save battery life. The line also includes a variety of smart lights, switches, sockets, and even security cameras.
The Tapo brand has been available for more than two years in various European markets, and most of its products are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem. But Tapo devices are no Compatible with the Kasa Smart product line, TP-Link intends to operate the two brands independently. Users who decide to buy both brands will still need to operate them with different apps.
The Tapo Hub
The Tapo Hub functions as a bridge between Tapo’s 922MHz sensors and its 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. Operating in the sub-GHz frequency band will endow those devices with a longer range and longer battery life (TP-Link claims hundreds of meters and years respectively) while avoiding interference from other devices in the home that they use. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Zigbee. . The hub can control up to 64 Tapo devices, and the system can be controlled with voice commands from Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The Tapo H100 Smart Hub plugs directly into an AC outlet and is equipped with a 90dB siren. It can function as an alarm system with Home, Away and Sleep modes. The battery-powered Tapo T100 motion sensor offers a range of up to 7 meters (almost 23 feet) and a 120-degree field of view. It can automatically turn on connected smart devices (lights and bulbs) as it passes, and will generate intruder alerts if motion is detected when the hub is in Away mode.
The Tapo T110 Door / Window Sensor is a two-piece device that works very similarly to the motion sensor. TP-Link plans to offer a smart home starter kit consisting of the hub and door / window and motion sensors, but did not announce pricing for this or any of the components. Meanwhile, the Tapo S200D smart button is a battery-operated device that can be mounted on a wall plate or can be operated on a tabletop. Used in conjunction with the Tapo hub, it can activate any other Tapo smart home device.
Tapo smart lighting
In addition to the hub and sensors, the Tapo line also includes a range of smart lighting products, and each of the products announced at CES will be compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. The Tapo L930 LED strip light, which should be available in Q2, features 150 RGB + W LEDs with individually addressable color zones. The app-controlled strip will have more than a dozen lighting effects and can be synced to music. The Tapo L535E multi-color LED smart light bulb will arrive in Q3 in the familiar A19 form factor with an E26 base.
To control one lamp, the Tapo P125 mini smart plug is small enough that two of them can be installed in the same outlet. TP-Link didn’t provide much detail, but we’re assuming it’s an on / off switch and not a dimmer. It should be available soon. The Tapo P306 smart power strip is more interesting. It also plugs into a power outlet, but offers three smart outlets, three always-on outlets, two USB-A ports that offer 15-watt QC charging, and a USB-C port that delivers that, as well as 18-watt PD charging. It is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter.
Finally, there is a dimmer switch on the wall, the Tapo S500D is coming in the second quarter. You can turn the connected load on or off, as well as dim and light it using its built-in buttons, with your voice, or via commands sent over the Internet. Unfortunately, TP-Link did not provide us with prices for any of these new products, but we hope that we will review them as they become available.
You can read about the four new Tapo brand home security cameras that TP-Link announced at CES by following this link.