Philips Hue LED lighting gets a new dimmer control

Device can be mounted on the wall or detached and used as a handheld remote.

Philips Hue dimmer

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Philips has some great lighting products in its Hue line of LED smart bulbs and lamps, but they’ve long depended on a smartphone or tablet for control (or more recently, voice control via Amazon’s Echo ). The new Philips Hue wireless dimming kit adds on-the-wall control. But don’t get too excited until you hear about its limitations.

hue wdk remote control Philips

The controller can be detached from its wall mount and used as a handheld remote.

The $40 kit includes a battery-operated dimmer switch that can be mounted to the wall or removed from the wall and used as a handheld remote, plus one Philips Hue soft-white LED bulb with a color temperature of 2700K (additional white bulbs cost $20 each). The dimmer can control up to 10 Philips Hue bulbs, white or multi-colored, but it can’t control the bulbs individually. When you dim the lights, you’ll dim every bulb that you’ve connected to that dimmer. Presumably you can get around that limitation by using multiple dimmers with one or a few bulbs connected to each one.

Why this matters: Most conventional in-wall dimmers don’t work well with LEDs bulbs—the bulbs buzz and stutter as they dim. That shouldn't be a problem with this Philips model, which has four buttons in all: On, Off, Dim, and Brighten. The best part is that you won’t need an electrician to install it.

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