The KWC ONO Touch Light Pro Faucet Is Clever, But Is It Useful?

Okay, we’re beginning to see a pattern here. Not too long ago, we wrote about the Moen SmartSense touchless faucet that a user can operate in three ways. And we’ve written about Delta Faucet’s Touch2O Technology that allows a user to start and stop the flow of water with a simple tap anywhere on the faucet spout or handle. Here comes another introduction—this time by KWC, the high-quality Swiss brand.

I typically like European faucets; their designs are hip and stylish and the quality is first-rate. But KWC’s ONO touch light Pro leaves me puzzled. To operate the faucet, a home owner uses a portable wireless touch-operated control that can be positioned virtually anywhere near the kitchen faucet. “The cylindrically shaped device fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, making it easy to operate and convenient to choose one of three, user-programmed, preset temperatures, each with a 100 percent flow rate (1.8 gallons per minute, maximum),” the company’s release states proudly. “Simply touch the device once for the cold temperature, twice for the warm setting and three times for the pre-designated hot temperature.”

And for good measure, the device has a colored light ring that lets the user know the temperature that he or she has selected: blue indicates cold; orange, warm; and red…well, I’ll assume you know what red means.

Very cool, right? But seriously, a remote control faucet! I would still need to walk over to the sink so what’s the point. Plus the remote is relatively small, so if my manual dexterity is limited, the last thing I’m going to want is an even smaller device to manipulate. Let’s not even talk about using it with wet hands. The bottom line is that this product has a cool design, but the Delta that you can operate with your elbow is a more useful product.

The company says the remote control device can be placed anywhere.

13 comments on “The KWC ONO Touch Light Pro Faucet Is Clever, But Is It Useful?

  1. We at KWC Faucets appreciate HomeIQ taking the time to comment on the KWC ONO touch light PRO faucet. However, there are a few important details about this sophisticated concept that were not included or were incorrectly described. The following information will, we hope, create a much different impression of these faucets.

    One of the most important drivers of the touch light PRO concept is universal design. All the faucets in this series actually require one hard-wired control and allow an optional second control, which is wireless:

    1) A wired, permanently-mounted control can be installed on the wall, on a base plate connected to the faucet, directly on the counter top, or even on the vertical face of the counter. This flexibility allows for the control to be positioned where the user deems it most convenient, depending on age, physical ability and height. For children and wheelchair users, the preferred location may not be next to the faucet.

    2) A completely optional wireless control further enhances this flexibility. This second control has an integral magnet at the base, allowing it to be firmly attached to a variety of surfaces and then moved at will.

    A simple touch of the finger, elbow, knee, hip, etc. will activate either of these controls. Water temperature can be fine-tuned by rotating their tops.

    Safety is another key aspect of the touch light PRO concept. Much more than a mere gimmick, programmable temperature settings and visual feedback minimize the risk of scalding, especially for the young and the elderly, as well as for users with a limited sense of touch.

    We don’t expect sales of the KWC ONO touch light PRO series to be brisk. But by engaging in a creative search for new solutions in faucet operation and electronic controls, we hope to turn the everyday use of water into a satisfying experience that meets the most exacting demands of a wide variety of users.

    • Thank you for the response. We here at the blog want to be accurate in anything we write about so we appreciate the time you took to educate us on the product. One quick question: Are you marketing the product as a universal design or ADA-compliant unit or is it just a happy benefit?

      • And thank you for being receptive to the additional information. From the beginning, universal design was a key element in the design process of the KWC ONO touch light PRO product line. As a result, these faucets comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design when installed according to its requirements. It is a happy benefit, although a planned one. Ease of use by people of all abilities is definitely an important element of the product marketing.

  2. One of the main downfalls with Delta faucet or Brizo is that the faucet needs to be on, which requires another touch. If the temperature needs to be changed that requires another touch. The Ono Touch Light Pro concept is based on a person that is wheel chair bound. A person in this situation does not have a hard time reaching the stream of water, but adjusting the temperature can be quite difficult. Temperature can be adjusted from the wheelchair with the remote or by the handle that comes with the faucet. Question should be how can a faucet be called touchless when you have to touch it multiple times. The remote is a option for those with special needs and not a gimmick.

    • Those are great points. Thank you for enlightening. By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Delta rep or product manager use touch-less. Moen, however, does refer to its products as touchless. Still, the ADA angle of the ONO does make more sense the way you explain it. Do you happen to know how much it costs?

      • List prices of the various versions of the KWC ONO touch light PRO kitchen faucets range from $3013 to $5305. The optional wireless control with charging base lists for $1479. Actual prices paid at high-end plumbing showrooms are almost always less. Side note: our warranty only covers products purchased at authorized dealers, and KWC has no authorized dealers on the internet.

      • I’ve always been curious about the design of your products. Do you use an in-house team or do you partner with hot young firms the way Hansgrohe, Dornbracht, and Laufen do?

      • KWC has a long-standing partnership with the European design firm NOA Design Studio, founded by Michael Lammel and Bertrand Illert. The amount of direction KWC provides NOA depends upon the product. For KWC EVE, our company was open to new ideas. However, for the KWC SYSTEMA line, KWC management had a precise concept with a lot of technical requirements, and it fell to NOA to creatively realize our vision.

  3. I’m wondering what you or your readers have experienced with the Moen pulldown or pullout kitchen faucets — does the pullout really snap back? Are they relatively repair free after installation?

    Also, are there any other pulldown or pullout faucets that have gotten rave reviews from you or your readers? I’m looking for a transitional/traditional look.

    • Thank you for your questions, Karen. If you believe Consumer Reports–and I–the playing field is very level in the faucet category. I’m not a huge fan of most of the products Moen designs, but the snap back feature that the company offers really works when you play with it. How it will work over the long term is another question for which I cannot answer.

      When it comes to the longevity of the faucets, I defer to Consumer Reports. The magazine says (and I agree) that almost all faucets these days are good. They have better valves, a variety durable finishes (especially PVD options) can be found on most brands.

      Plumbers still tell me that consumers should look for products that are made with solid brass, washerless valves, and durable finishes. Physical vapor deposition (or PVD) is probably the best finish you can buy. After considering the fact that most faucets will work pretty well, the choice is mostly personal taste and style preference. Fortunately, there are some good brands out there—Grohe, Hansgrohe, Kohler, American Standard, American Standard. If money is an issue, try Vigo, Speakman, Danze, Graff, and even Glacier Bay (the Home Depot house brand). We didn’t specifically do a post on pull downs, but we did one on faucets. See our post here– Having said that, not all brands have good pull down versions.

      I hope this helps.

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