Home Automation Part 3: TCP Lighting kills automation support

Three years ago I evaluated the LED lighting landscape and came across a very promising brand, TCP Lighting. My first impression was that they were quite expensive but the expense was justified because of the feature rich app that accompanied the bulbs. The app allowed customers to set their lights to follow timers, react to ambient light (sunrise, sunset), Monitor light activity from the app, and even control lighting while away from home.

tcpapp

 

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Recently TCP removed their support for their remote lighting component. When I called them about this their res

ponse was that the support for the app was provided by a third party who pulled out of their agreement and locked the ability to control them out. Their only solution offered was for me to purchase a third party device “WigWag” at a cost of $149 to make them work again, as a customer I feel betrayed.

The lights advertised a 25 year lifetime and the feature to control the lights remotely was a central reason to chose their product, to allow this to fail is negligence, and not finding a suitable solution is a betrayal of their commitment to their customers.

I learned a few valuable lessons,

1. never deal with TCP again.
2. Only purchase home automation devices with a long market presence.

I wish my home automation story had a happier ending but after investing in my TCP bulbs to which I had paid a premium all I have are standard LED bulbs that flicker every time the power goes out because they are trying to connect to the command module, which simply has no purpose anymore.  I doubt that they will have much success in a market flooded with cheaper alternative LED’s considering that their customer service says “We just manufacture lightbulbs, we don’t provide automation”, which is contrary to their packaging.

Lesson Learned.

 

 

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