Until now, there has been one big enemy of smart lighting: The classic light switch. A problem we all know. Because if the power supply of the Philips Hue lamps is disconnected via the light switch, control via the Hue app is no longer possible, routines do not work and voice assistants also no longer have a chance.
Although there have been some solutions so far, such as the Friends of Hue switches or DIY modifications of the Philips Hue Smart Button, these methods were not the best choice for the majority of users. With the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module, a product is now coming onto the market with which the light switch problem can finally be a thing of the past. In this article I would like to answer the most important questions about the new Philips Hue Wall Switch Module.
How much does the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module cost?
The Philips Hue Wall Switch Module will initially be sold exclusively by Philips Hue in its own online shop when it launches in spring 2021; the market launch in North America is planned for the summer. A single module costs 39.99 euros, a double pack costs 69.99 euros. The latter is particularly interesting, as shipping costs of 6 euros are no longer charged in the Philips Hue online shop for purchases of 60 euros or more.
How is the module installed?
For the installation, basic knowledge in the field of electrics is necessary; in case of ambiguities, one should definitely ask an expert for help. First, the fuse for the respective room is switched off, then the light switch is removed. The two cables leading to the light switch are connected to the clamp included with the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module. The module itself is then connected to the light switch with two cables and can then be configured via the Hue app.
How big is the Philips Hue wall switch module?
According to the manufacturer, the in-wall module is 43.3 x 38 x 10.2 millimetres in size. For comparison: A functionally non-comparable Shelly is 39 x 36 x 17 millimetres, i.e. almost twice as thick.
Do I need a neutral wire?
The Philips Hue Wall Switch Module is powered by a coin cell battery that is expected to last at least five years. Therefore, the module does not need its own power supply and consequently also no neutral wire. This also made it possible to reduce the size of the module.
How many light switches can be connected to the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module?
The Philips Hue Wall Switch Module has two inputs. In practice, this means that either two single switches or one switch with a double rocker can be connected. Of course, you can also just connect the module to one light switch.
What happens when several light switches control one light source?
If several light switches in the room are connected to the same circuit and you want to continue using all light switches, you unfortunately need a Philips Hue Wall Switch Module for each light switch.
How does the configuration via the Hue app work?
The configuration in the Hue app is very simple. Three scenes can be assigned to the converted light switch – which light settings and which lamps you ultimately control with the switch is therefore up to you. The three scenes can be activated by switching the light switch on and off several times.
Does the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module also work with a push button?
The new in-wall module by Philips Hue does not only work with switches, but also with push buttons. This even has an advantage: You can not only call up three scenes, but also dim the light with the push button connected to the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module.
What is the maximum number of Philips Hue Wall Switch Modules that can be connected?
Philips Hue states that a maximum of twelve accessory components can be paired with the Hue Bridge. In reality, the number is somewhat higher, because the Hue Bridge offers space for 62 hardware sensors. A motion sensor occupies three hardware sensors for temperature, brightness and motion. A switch usually occupies one hardware sensor. In addition, there are software sensors and rules, although here the limits do not take effect so early, so that you can definitely use more than twelve accessory products. In addition, the in-wall module will have a simple mode in which only one scene can be called up. Without all three scenes, this saves two of the total of 200 rule slots.
Is time-based control possible with the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module?
At the start of the Wall Switch Module, no time-based control is possible directly in the Hue app, as we know it from the Philips Hue Smart Button, for example. However, it is quite conceivable that such a function will be added with an app update. It is even very likely that app developers such as iConnectHue or Hue Essentials will offer such a function sooner.
Does the module also work with HomeKit?
So far, all Philips Hue switches are compatible with HomeKit, although with less functions. According to Philips Hue, the new module is not “yet” compatible with HomeKit. However, this could well change in the future.
Can conventional lamps also be switched with the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module?
No, only lamps that are paired with the Philips Hue Bridge can be controlled with the in-wall module. You cannot make “dumb” lamps smart.