Philips Hue Dimmer Change (2021) overview: The aging Hue dimmer change gets a welcome revamp

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Equipped with a original button, a essential improved wall plate, and increased configurability, the original Hue Dimmer Change is finest in every formulation.




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First launched reduction in 2015, the significant-era Dimmer Change from Signify-owned Philips Hue became once beginning to no doubt feel decidedly dated, which makes the arrival of its deal improved successor more than successfully timed.

No longer handiest does the second-gen Dimmer Change ticket more up to the moment, it also provides a original Hue button and a time-basically basically based light scene mode, alongside with a greater wall plate that enables for both peel-and-stick apart from screw mounting. In the meantime, for sure one of many killer functions of the new Dimmer Change—the potential to configure it by strategy of HomeKit—hasn’t long gone any place. Additionally unchanged: the cheap $25 designate.

This overview is fragment of TechHive’s coverage of basically the most easy easy light switches and dimmers, the place you’ll obtain opinions of competing products, plus a buyer’s e book to the functions you might well set up in ideas when shopping for this invent of product.

Create and specs

Measuring 3.6 x 1.4 x 0.3 inches (HxWxD), the original Hue Dimmer Change is (when measured without its incorporated wall plate) roughly the same size as the new, but that’s the place the similarities stop. For starters, the corners of the change are more rounded than the older, boxier change, and quite than the sparkling—and to be perfectly frank, cheap-taking a ticket—pause of the new, the original version has a matte pause that’s (mockingly) essential more polished-taking a ticket.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The original Philips Hue Dimmer Change ditches the boxy function of its predecessor for a more rounded, matte ticket.

In one other alternate, the original Dimmer Change ditches the four-button function of its predecessor. Now, instead of “on,” “brighter,” “dimmer,” and “off” buttons, there’s an “on/off” button, a brightness up/down rocker, and a “Hue” button for switching lighting fixtures scenes. By combining the on/off buttons and together with the Hue button, the original Dimmer Change if truth be told offers you an additional button to play with. I’ll recount the functionality of the Hue button in a small bit.

Additionally modified is the Hue Dimmer Change’s wall plate. As with the change itself, the plate now has a matte ticket quite than the sparkling pause on the new—a welcome, greater-taking a ticket alternate. And whereas the new plate became once same outdated size (4.5 x 2.75 inches), the original plate is midsize (4.88 x 3.13 inches). It also comes in two snap-together pieces, with the rear portion boasting both a peel-and-stick adhesive backing apart from six holes for mounting screws.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The two-part wall plate for the second-gen Hue Dimmer Change is now midsize quite than same outdated, and the rear portion comes with mounting holes apart from a peel-and-stick adhesive backing.

As with the new, the original Dimmer Change magnetically snaps onto its wall plate, even supposing even that functionality has modified. Now, instead of being housed for the period of the wall plate, the magnets now sit down internal the change itself. Which formulation (same to the Hue Dapper Button) you presumably can snap the change onto something else steel, equivalent to a fridge door or a steel lamp pole.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The magnets for the original Hue Dimmer Change now sit down for the period of the change itself, meaning the change will follow a fridge or the leisure that’s steel.

The original Dimmer Change is powered by a CR2032 coin cell battery (as against the CR2045 cell battery for the older model), and Signify promises two years of battery existence on a single battery.

Installation and setup

As with its predecessor, the original Hue Dimmer Change might presumably perhaps well fair moreover be installed utilizing the wall plate’s peel-and-stick backing. I stopped up sticking my take a look at unit in genuine the same speak on my kitchen wall the place the new change became once. (Watch out weeding out the extinct wall plate, by the formulation; the adhesive on mine took a little bit of wall paint alongside with it.) And as I genuine mentioned, a original option is to screw quite than stick the plate to your wall.

Once that’s performed, you merely fan the flames of the Hue mobile app, tap Settings > Instruments > Add accessory, after which practice the instructions. For me, the app came across the Zigbee-enabled Hue Dimmer Change internal a pair of seconds, and a minute later it became once related to my Hue Bridge. Then you derive to gain which lights the change will administration; you presumably can spend a room, a zone (equivalent to upstairs or downstairs), or one or more particular person lights.

Speaking of bridges, the Hue Bridge is required to relate the Hue Dimmer Change. Whereas you might presumably perhaps well gain Hue lights on your speak that you’ve been controlling by strategy of Bluetooth quite than Zigbee, you’ll must pony up for the bridge to add the original change to your setup.

Aspects and functionality

The addition of the Hue button marks the finest alternate between the extinct Dimmer Change and the original one, and you presumably can space it to for sure one of two modes: “scene cycle” or “time-basically basically based” light.

As you possibly guessed, the scene-cycle mode cycles your lights by a series of lighting fixtures scenes as you press the Hue button. You might presumably perhaps well presumably spend up to 5 assorted scenes; so, for instance, urgent the Hue button once might presumably perhaps well activate a “Sharp” scene, a second press might presumably perhaps well trigger the “Pay consideration” scene, and so forth. The extinct Dimmer Change has the same scene-cycle functionality, moreover you cycle by scenes by urgent the potential button time and again quite than the Hue button (which the new Dimmer Change lacks, for sure).

Ben Patterson/IDG

With the original Hue Dimmer Change, you presumably can configure the Hue button to trigger assorted lighting fixtures scenes reckoning on the time of day.

The second mode for the Hue button is “time-basically basically based” light, which prompts assorted scenes upon urgent the Hue button reckoning on the time of day. You derive five three-hour time zones, beginning at 7: 00 in the morning. Reckoning on the formulation you configure the time-basically basically based mode, urgent the Hue button at morning time might presumably perhaps well trigger a warm light scene, whereas urgent it at nighttime might presumably perhaps well activate the evening light scene.

Moreover configuring the Hue button, you presumably might presumably perhaps well moreover gain what the potential button does. One option is for the potential button to turn on your assigned lights with the final-stale lighting fixtures scene, whereas the quite loads of option continuously triggers the same assigned light scene. You might presumably perhaps well presumably moreover place an scuttle to urgent and keeping the potential button, but there’s genuine one: turning off the whole lights on your apartment (the quite loads of “press and abet” different is merely to enact nothing).

Whereas you presumably can configure the change’s “energy on” functionality, you presumably can’t enact the same for “energy off.” In assorted words, if the lights that the Dimmer Change controls are on and you press the potential button, the lights will continuously turn off, and there’s no option for changing that habits. For most customers, that’s potentially now not a problem, but must you gain been hoping for whole administration of the potential button for more account for setups, that’s the deal.

In the smash, there’s the central dimmer rocker, and it does the genuine same element as the two dimmer buttons on the new Dimmer Change: It both brightens or dims your managed lights. As with the significant Dimmer Change, the dimmer controls on the original version can’t be configured at all—or a minimum of, now not with the Hue app.

HomeKit integration

Appropriate as with the significant Dimmer Change, the original version is configurable with HomeKit, and that functions all four buttons (HomeKit counts the central rocker as two buttons, hence a whole of 4). Which formulation that you can place any HomeKit scene or automation to any of the Dimmer Switches buttons, apart from manipulate any HomeKit-acceptable easy tool.

As an illustration, that you can space the Hue button to activate (dispute) your LG TV and space it to your Apple TV enter, or procedure the change’s energy button originate your HomeKit-enabled easy shades. You might presumably perhaps well presumably even place multiple scenes or automations to a button press, too.

In assorted words, that you can relate HomeKit to turn the Hue Dimmer Change into a administration panel on your HomeKit gadgets, and the limits of what that you can enact are sexy essential sure by your creativeness. Somewhat awesome.

Final analysis

I’ve prolonged felt that the plastic-y, cheap-taking a ticket Hue Dimmer Change from 2015 became once a stale hyperlink in in some other case impressive Hue lineup. However with this revamped version, Signify has rectified numerous the new’s shortcomings, with the smash consequence being more polished, up to the moment, and purposeful. On the same time, first-gen Dimmer Change functions that did work successfully—together with the easy set up and setup, plus the HomeKit compatibility—gain remain unchanged. For Philips Hue customers with a bridge, the original Dimmer Change is a uncomplicated advice.

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  • Philips Hue Dimmer Change (2021)

    Equipped with a original button, a essential improved wall plate, and increased configurability, the original Hue Dimmer Change is finest in every formulation.

    Consultants

    • Improved wall plate now has mounting holes
    • New Hue button provides increased functionality
    • Can trigger assorted light scenes reckoning on the time of day
    • Entirely configurable by HomeKit

    Cons

    • “Energy off” and dimmer buttons aren’t configurable by strategy of the Hue app

Ben has been writing about know-how and client electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, the place he covers easy dwelling and dwelling leisure products.

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