Home » How to » Can you still use your existing light switches with Hue?

Can you still use your existing light switches with Hue?


A common question that pops up when it comes to the Philips Hue is can you use your main light switch, what happens when you do, and what can you do to over it.

How do you turn off a smart LED bulb?

To turn your lights on and off you can use your phone and the relevant app, if the bulbs work with Apple HomeKit or Alexa, then you can use voice commands to change there state.

The key not smart bulbs and the one thing they all have in common is that they all need constant power to them, so they must always be switched on at the mains be it at a plug socket or the main wall light switch.

Using Hue with your Existing Switches

In your home you will already have light switches that work the main light in the room turning it on and off, however when using Hue, the light switch becomes redundant and not needed, however it does need to be left turned on so power it always going to the Hue bulb.


Lights switches in the room should always be left on if you have a Hue bulb in there, you can then turn the bulb on and off using your phone, or Alexa for example.

If you were to turn the switch off, then the Hue bulb in that room will lose power and won’t respond to any actions to turn it on, turning the light switch back on will activate the bulb to its default state which is a bright warm white glow. This state is the default on state and will also occur if there is a power cut and when the power comes back on.


If your room has a dimmer switch then it is advised not to use this with the Hue bulbs, the dimmer will have to be left on max, however this can cause the bulbs to flicker, and humming noise and also reduce the lifespan of the bulbs. If you have a dimmer in your room then it is advised to replace this with a standard switch. You can then use a Hue Dimmer to work as a dimmer switch in that room if you wish.

Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch with Remote (Installation-Free Exclusive for Philips Hue Lights)

    Hue dimmer over Existing Switch

    With all Hue bulbs they must remain switched on at the mains all the time, this is fine if you know this, however if you have a guest round then they may reach for the light switch in the room to turn them on, so you want to cover this switch to prevent this happening.

    One solution is to place and install a Hue dimmer or Hue Tap next to the wall switch so that there is more chance of this being used and it also acts as a reminder too.

    Many people have posted up different methods of solutions they have come up with for this problem.

    If you want a simple way to prevent your switches being turned on and off by accident, then these Dual Option Wall Switch Guards are a great and cost effective solution.

    Founder & Editor

    Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY


    Join for Hue Inspiration, Latest News & Great Deals


    1. Erik

      Can I just remove the existing light switch and wire the wires inside together so the lights are always on – then put the Hue Dimmer switch over the opening?

    2. Joel

      It seems wasteful to leave the bulbs with extended standby power on for long periods when they’re not being used. It seems reasonable to shut switches off at night and then turn back on in the morning manually. The piece that wasn’t clear in this discussion is whether the settings are maintained. (i.e. yes the bulb goes to default warm white when manual switch it turned back on, but can that be fixed easily through the phone by selecting the desired setting?).

      Also, how to people deal with having guests over? How much of a process is it for guests’ phones to connect to hue bridge? I suppose you could do voice control to side step that particular problem.

      • Hue Home Lighting

        Within the app you can now change the last state, so if you do turn it off at the main switch, when turn back on your can set what is comes on as, the last state it was, bright white or a different color etc.

    3. Ryan

      Is it safe to have the main switch on at all times? Will there be long term damage to wires and or a rise in the electricity bill?

      • Hue Home Lighting

        No issues with regard to power and no different to leaving a TV in standby. Although the light maybe off, the bulbs use a tiny amount of power again like a TV in standby mode.

    4. Imran Ali

      I want to put the Phillips hue dimmer switch near my bedside.

      Can I flick the existing main switch ON and then hop into bed whilst and use the Phillip switch to change the mood of the light… and just before i go to sleep, can i use the phillips HUE dimmer to turn it off.. In the morning i’ll then turn OFF from the main existing switch to avoid standby.. and then repeat the following cycle the next night

      If i do this, would it cause problems with the Phillips dimmer connecting to the bulb everytime?


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *