Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch, replacing the existing model and adding the feature to get the best light temperature for the time of day.
This feature sounds similar to the one first introduced with the Philips Hue Smart Button, which was released last year. We’re waiting for final confirmation on how the feature works on the new Dimmer Switch, but if it’s the same as on the Smart Button, the feature splits the day into five time periods, each with their own set colour temperature. Turn the light on in the morning, and you’ll get an energising light; at night, you get a warmer, more relaxing light.
It’s a neat idea, and tying colour temperature to certain times of day can help you concentrate and work better. However, having lights adjust automatically during the day makes more sense, which is how the Dyson Lightcycle Morph works. Interestingly, you can use Adaptive Lighting in Apple HomeKit with the Hue bulbs to achieve the same effect, with the lights adjusting temperature throughout the day to match the current levels of daylight.
Otherwise, the Hue Dimmer Switch works much like the old one, giving you power on and off, dimmer controls and the option to cycle through your favourite scenes. It’s this level of control that makes the existing Dimmer Switch my favourite Hue remote.
The new model, as the old one, has a removable remote that you can unclip from the surrounding mount. You can attach the mount to the wall (screws or sticky fixers) or use the magnetic attachment to connect it to a fridge. Philips has tweaked the design of the new dimmer, with slightly more curved edges before, but I would like to see a metal version of it, as the plastic version still looks a little cheap. You can buy the new switch for a reasonable £17.99 and it will be available from 26 January.
Philips Hue also announced two new outdoor lighting products. The Amarant (£129.99, pictured above) is an LED strip designed to light up a dull fence or wall, adding a bit of ambience to your garden. The Appear (£129.99) is an outdoor up/downlighter, designed for easy installation. I should point out that I have achieved a similar effect with existing outdoor up/downlighters, replacing the standard GU10 bulbs with Hue ones.
Both of the new lights will be available from 26 January as well, and I’ll bring you full reviews when samples are available.