The new Philips Hue compatible dimmer switch, is the next special product to make use of your Hue Lamps in your home. It’s also the cheapest accessory you can get, from Philips that will enhance your smart hue lighting project. Most of us seemed confused on what is the difference between the Dimmer Switch and the Hue Tap switch which was released a few years ago.
The two unique features that the Hue Dimmer Switch has over the Tap, is that it doesnt require a bridge to function and that it is battery-powered. Although you will get more features if you use it with a Hue bridge 2.0
So after 6 months of owning both, its time to give you all a quick run down on our day-to-day use. Plus the procedure we used to hack them up a little to get the most out our little dimmer.
Hue Compatible Dimmer Switch Features
One the best switches you can get for your Hue system is the Hue Dimmer switch – it supports short and long presses, and double taps (using 3rd party apps). It can be detached from its base and is very affordable. The battery should last a few years.
There are two version available they are:
Philips Hue Dimmer 466706 Recipe Kit – Which has an included a white Energy saving a19 LED bulb that will last up to 25000-hours.
The other is the cheaper stand alone Philips 458158 Hue Dimmer Switch. Both are the same, unit apart from the included bonus globe in the kit version.
Why is the Hue Dimmer So Special?
- You can place your Philips Hue Compatible Dimmer Switch anywhere: You can mount the back plate with the included adhesive tape or screw it onto any wall.
- It has 4 Buttons: On/Off, Dim Up Dim Down
- The remote control is attached magnetically to the back plate mounted on the wall.
- Guaranteed deep dimming, Pre set so it works out of the box.
- Battery life: Dimmer Switch 3 years, Panasonic 1 x CR2450
- Add more Hue Lights to your Dimmer Switch or upgrade with a Hue Bridge for extra special features with your Smartphone like Timers, Alarms, Motion sensors and extra Dimmer switches.
- Compatible with all Hue Globes and LightStrips
Hacking The Hue Dimmer Switch For Extra Features
One of my favourite pastimes is hacking products to get more out of them than was intended. The Hue Dimmer switch is perfect for messing around with, as it has all the hardware, but very little on the side of software.
Philips Hue has provided some great products and to their credit allows 3rd party developers to come in and invent fantastic features for the Hue range.
I like this approach, the Hue Community has been busy bringing out some crazy features for many of the Hue devices, that sometimes it hard to keep up with. One of the features i especially like is the ability to use the Dimmer switch for more than just On / Off and dimming. I want to be able to change colors and scenes all with either multiple presses of different buttons, or long presses of buttons.
This is now a reality thanks to some great Android software from All 4 Hue.
Philips Hue Dimmer Switch Hack for Multiple features.
To have access to extra 3rd party features on your Dimmer you must be using a Bridge. This is the brains of your system and as such opens up a whole lot of extra possibilities with your Hue setup. So to start reprogramming your Hue Dimmer we can use an android app called All 4 Hue. This is a very simple hack that will open up a world of possibilities.
- Create the special scene that you want to assign to a button.
- Create a new rule using the All 4 Hue app. Go to menu > then rules,> add new rule. Give the rule a description.
- Add in new sensor and select the available Hue dimmer switch. Select from the drop down menu “which button must be pressed to trigger the event.” So like in the video shown below they selected “Button Dim Down Long press released”
- Go back and select the action. This is the scene we created in step 1. Click to select scene. Select back
- Select the affected lights. So all, or just a few.
- Select back again and this will save your rule to the bridge.
- It may take a minute or 2 for the rule to go active.
Thats it you are done. On a side note your official hue app may ask to fix or erase this modification, just ignore the recommendation it will be fine.
How to Pair 2 Hue Dimmer Switches Together Without a Bridge
Begin by pairing one dimmer switch with one light. Follow the instructions that came with your dimmer. If you haven’t used the dimmer switch before, do the following steps
- Pull out the plastic tab that is insulating the battery to power up the dimmer. Check if the orange light on the front is blinking. If not press the reset hole with a paper clip for a few seconds. The light on the front should go from green to orange.
- Bring the 2 Dimmer switches close together and press the ON button at the same time. Hold the On buttons in until both lights on the Hue dimmer go from orange to green. As shown in the below image.
- Take your new Philips Hue Dimmer switch close to each light or lamp you need to control and hold the on button in for a few seconds until the globe flashes. You have to be very close like within 30cm of the light. This will make sure you pair the correct globe.
- Test out the old and new Hue dimmer switch to make sure it turns on the correct group of globes. If not just do step 3 again.
Thats all you need to do to pair 2 dimmer switches together. Now you can use any one to control your lights.
Unpairing Lights From the Hue Dimmer Switch
If you decide that you would like to remove a light from the dimmer control, you will need to follow this procedure.
Take your Hue compatible dimmer switch close to the light globe, within 30cm and press and hold the off button until the red light flashes. This may take about 10 seconds. The LED light on the dimmer remote will go from red to green when complete.
Check out the video on How to pair two Dimmer Switches with your lamps.
Philips Hue Compatible Dimmer Switch 6 Month Review
We have been using a few of these Hue Compatible Dimmer switches along with Tap switches to control our whole house. These are attached to a single Hue Bridge 2.0, which has been set up to control our lights. We have now replaced our whole lighting system with this setup.
- Dimmer switches for dinning and living rooms.
- Tap Switches for Bedrooms and Kitchen.
- Motion Sensors for stair lighting and hallways.
We felt we didn’t need dimming control in bedrooms or the Kitchen. The kids love being able to change the color in their room with just a touch of the tap switch. No more having to get out their phone or tablet to change the lamp color.
The dimmer switch is attached to the wall via the self adhesive tape, so installations were simple. This switch can then be removed because it is held to the backing plate via strong magnets. I love this as I can take the dimmer off the wall and sit on the couch to watch TV or a movie. Our lights can then be conveniently turned on and off quickly, because I have the remote in my hand.
The only side effect is sometimes we forget to place the Hue Dimmer back onto the wall so it gets lost behind the couch cushions.
For more information check out the Philips Hue Dimmer switch manual pdf
Buy Philips Hue Dimmer Switch in Australia
In some parts of the world in including Australia it’s often hard to get the latest version of Hue products, and when we do its at often inflated prices. For some reason we pay extra for certain products here in Australia, and it’s not because we are paid any better than other countries.
With Philips Hue now being sold on the global market on Amazon, it enables us here in Australia to purchase these items. This Hue Dimmer switch, is often available at better prices than our local retailer who may stock an older model.
I have no issue buying from online stores but would prefer to buy locally. It’s a shame the local stores often mark these products up so high it hurts my hip pocket.
Often Amazon wont sell or ship to Australia for certain products, but this item is available to purchase with very reasonable shipping fees. I will be looking forward to the time Amazon opens up some local stores and shipping warehouses here in Australia later in the year.
Philips Hue Dimmer Switch Not Reachable Blinking Red light Reset Procedure
This is an interesting issue, there are no instructions that I could find on how to do a hard reset for the Hue compatible dimmer switch. The reason you may want to do this is if your dimmer stops working with your hub, is not reachable or is not being recognised by the Philips Hue App.
You may have a blinking or solid red light on your Hue Dimmer Switch. Or orange its hard to tell sometimes. To fix an unresponsive dimmer, you will have to do the hard reset. All that is needed is to press all 4 buttons at the same time for a few seconds until you see the green light. Let go and the LED light should flash green orange a few times and you are done.
Waite a few minutes for you hub to recognise the dimmer and you are good to go.
Hue Dimmer Soft Reset
If the above procedure doesn’t work you can try a soft reset. You can reset your Dimmer by pushing the ”setup” button on the back of the Dimmer using the point of a pen or a paperclip.
You can now begin pairing or un-pairing the Dimmer. Here’s how:
- To Unpair while close to a light, press and hold the ”off” button until the little led on the Dimmer turns green.
- Then to pair it up again, press and hold the on button until the LED indicator turns green.
If you have a mix of Hue compatible Taps and Dimmer switches in your home, you will have the best of both worlds. They are very user-friendly and working straight out of the box. Anyone can add these accessories to their Hue Network with ease and continue to have a fantastic lighting experience. I love my Hue Dimmers and you will too. Welcome to the future.