- Installed quickly
- Also for double rockers and dimmers
- Lamps can also be switched in scenes
- Relatively high price
- For Hue lights only
- Hue bridge required
Practice test: install and wire the moduleInstallation was easy in the test. To do this, the module is built into the wall behind the light switch. With its dimensions (4.3×3.8 centimeters) it is quite compact – smaller than a slim matchbox. On top of that, it is only 1 centimeter thick, so it is usually flat enough to fit in the can behind the light switch. There is a small battery in the module. Thanks to the button cell, the wall module does not have to be connected to the electricity; it is only wired to the light switch. The existing current is bridged using the supplied terminal and routed past the switch. This ensures that the ceiling lamp, including the Hue lamp screwed into it, is permanently supplied with power. The module itself docks to the light switch using two cables. Finally, the other end of the cable goes into the small socket at the bottom of the module. Important: Even if connecting the module is quite easy to do, it is essential to remove the fuse before working on the 230-volt power supply and, if in doubt, to hire an electrician. Anyone can change the battery at the appropriate time – and according to Philips Hue, it is due after five years at the earliest.
Philips Hue app: this is how the light switch becomes smartIf the module is wired to the light switch, it makes contact with the Philips Hue bridge via Zigbee radio. It is absolutely necessary because it forwards the control commands from the Philips Hue app on the mobile phone to the module and lamp. Which ones these are and which lamps should react can be set in the app. The “simple mode” allows the light to be switched on and off easily. If you want more, choose the “scene cycle”. Here, the souped-up light switch can be assigned three light scenes. In the kitchen, a simple press could switch on a bright light for cooking, press the switch three times (on-off-on) to activate a cozy light for dinner and press it five times (on-off-on-off-on) the subtle lighting for the nightly course get to the fridge. The switch does not have to be flicked several times in a hurry – the testers were happy to take two seconds for each press. And: The whole thing is not limited to the ceiling lamp that is under constant current. Rather, any other Hue lamps in the room or in the Hue system can also be switched.
FAQ: Important questions about the module clarifiedSince the module is an entirely new product from Philips Hue, it raises many questions. COMPUTER BILD gives the answers:
- What is the difference to other smart light switches? The Philips Hue wall switch module is not the first attempt to make classic light switches smart. The difference to solutions previously available on the market: Other smart flush-mounted switches such as Shelly or the Eve Light Switch connect to the circuit of the “stupid” ceiling lighting and serve as a simple on and off switch. When wiring you often need a neutral conductor – this third cable is not always present in the socket of the light switch. Other battery powered solutions like the Philips Hue dimmer switch or as “Friends of Hue” certified products do not pimp the classic light switch, but replace it completely.
- Which light switches does the Hue module fit? It has two inputs and two connection cables are included. Either two individual light switches, a switch with a double rocker or two light switches directly next to each other and built into the double frame can be connected. Both can be configured separately in the app. If you only want to make one light switch smart, only use the first input, which is marked with “1” on the module. Buttons also work. As before, the light sources can be dimmed with a long press, i.e. their brightness can be changed. If several light switches are connected to the same circuit in a room and should all still be able to be used, each of them needs a separate Hue module.
- Can I make all light switches in the house smart using the Hue module? Generally, yes. But that goes into the money. Another catch: According to Philips Hue, only a maximum of twelve accessory components can officially be coupled with a Hue bridge, including smart buttons, motion detectors, etc.
- Is time-based control possible with the Philips Hue wall switch module? Unlike other Hue products, the wall switch module does not (yet) have time-based control: Activate a different scene at night than during the day by pressing a button? Nothing! However, it is conceivable that Philips Hue itself or third-party apps could retrofit this function.
- Does the module also work with Thread, Bluetooth or HomeKit? The Hue module does not support the modern smart home standard thread. Thread is a future-proof mesh network that wants to connect numerous devices to one another in a stable manner and switch them reliably. Also Bluetooth is not on board. This is why the Hue bridge is essential, which mediates between the module, app and light source. After all, the module appears in Apple’s home control system. The HomeKit support is carelessly implemented: Here the switch only reacts to a single press. Switch a scene? Go. You disable again? It does not work. Not to be used like that.
- Can “stupid” lamps or smart lamps from other manufacturers also be switched? The Hue module does not make classic lamps smart. Only lamps that work with the Philips Hue Bridge can be controlled. In addition to Hue products, these include other Zigbee lamps, for example from Ikea Trådfri, provided they are linked to the Hue system.