Signify-owned Philips Hue has finally upgraded its aging dimmer switch, and it’s also unveiling a module that turns a dumb light switch into a smart one. A couple new outdoor decorative lights are on tap as well.
Set to arrive later this month for $25, the revamped Hue dimmer switch has gotten a much-needed makeover. Instead of four buttons, the switch now has two buttons plus a middle dimmer rocker, with the power relegated to the top button and a “Hue” button replacing the old “off” button.
As with the Hue Smart Button, the new dimmer switch can be programmed to behave differently depending on the time of day. You can also change lighting scenes by repeatedly tapping the Hue button, a change from the older model (which let you switch scenes by pressing the “on” button multiple times).
Similar to the previous version, the new Hue dimmer switch has a magnetic backing that lets you stick it to any metal surface, and it also comes with a peel-and-stick wall plate.
Next up comes the new Philips Hue wall switch module, which you can install behind an existing light switch.
Once installed, the switch module turns your old “dumb” light switch into a smart one, which you can control using the Hue app or voice commands. The battery-powered module should have a battery life of about five years, according to Signify.
The new Philips Hue wall switch module will cost $40 (or $70 as a two-pack) when it ships this summer.
Hue also has a couple of decorative outdoor lights on deck for 2021, starting with the Philips Hue Amarant, a long, thin lightbar designed to splash outdoor walls with color.
The Amarant can be either placed on the ground or installed upside-down on an overhang, and as with Hue’s other multicolor lights, it can shine in millions of colors. The Amarant is presumably weatherized, but Signify didn’t reveal an IP rating.
The Hue Amarant is set to go on sale on March 2 for $170.
Finally, Signify is giving the Philips Hue Appear outdoor wall light a stainless steel upgrade.
The new Hue Appear now has a brushed stainless steel finish, compared to the black finish on the previous model. As before, the multicolor Appear mounts to an outdoor wall with a pin connector, and it shines light in both upward and downward directions.
Look for the redesigned Hue Appear to arrive this month in Europe for €150. There’s no word on a U.S. release just yet.
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Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.