First they came for your lights bulbs, now they're here for your switches. Signify, the company behind smart lighting leader Philips Hue, wants to make your dumb switches smart with its new Hue Wall Switch Module.
Signify debuted this long-awaited wall module on the very last day of CES, along with a revamped dimmer switch and a couple outdoor lighting products, finally producing a product that solves the problem they created.
You know the scene, you sit down on your couch ready to relax with a good book and you ask your voice assistant to set your lights to "reading." Nothing happens. Someone turned off your lights at the switch. Your beautiful Hue bulbs are useless.
You have to get up and walk to the light switch like a philistine.
Now, for just $39.95, you can wire a Hue Wall Switch Module into your existing light switch, so your smart bulbs are always usable, no matter the state of the switch.
Using the Hue app you can program the module to do what you want when the switch is turned off or on. The obvious choice being have it initiate a scene that turns the light off, but leave it still powered on.
You can assign up to three scenes, controlled by switching the light on, off then on again.
Sadly, it won't make dumb bulbs smart, as a more traditional smart switch would, because it only works with Hue bulbs.
There are some existing solutions for this - the lovely Lutron Aurora is our current fave. But this only works on a toggle switch, not a paddle switch, and it certainly changes the aesthetic of your home. With this new module you get to keep your existing switches.
Installation is similar to a smart switch but crucially it doesn't require a neutral wire, as it draws power from a coin cell battery. Signify says this should last for 5 years.
It's also super slim, 10.2 millimeters / 0.4 inches, so should fit in most wall boxes and the module has two inputs so you can wire it up to two single switches or one switch with a double rocker, or just to one light switch.
Three-ways and lights controlled by more than one switch will need one module in each switch.
The module also works with push button dimmer switched, allowing you to dim the light in the traditional way.
The Philips Hue Wall Module launches in Europe this Spring and North America in the Summer. It's $39.95 for one or $69.95 for a two pack.