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.
Using Hue with existing light switches
Hue smart lights are great, and there are now a number of ways to not only control your lights, but also using your current light switches within your home.
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.
Hue Wall Switch Module
You can now turn your traditional wall switch into a smart switch for your Hue home lighting. This small device it connected to the back of your wall switch, it still allows your main wall switch to be used to turn your light on and off, while also still being able to control it via your app or voice assistant.
“The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is always reachable. Whether it is via the app or via voice control: no more getting up from the couch to turn on the switches that a family member or house guest might have turned off.”
Read more about the Hue wall switch module and how to set it up here.
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.
Hue dimmer over Existing Switch
With all Hue bulbs they must remain switched on at the mains all the time unless using the wall switch module, 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.
- Philips Hue Switch UK light switch cover
- Hue Dimmer Mounted Over Electrical Box
- Stealth Hue dimmer switch cover (Reddit)
- 3D printed Dimmer Cover
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.
Friends of Hue Switches
There are switches that are designed to work with Hue and Hue lights, this means you can change your wall switch to one of these smart switches and they will work as a wall switch and control your hue lights too. Some of these switches are mains powered and replace your current wall switch, while others are battery powered and can be wall mounted looking just like a normal wall switch.
Switches that work with Hue
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
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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?
Does Hue Save Energy when dimmed? If dimmed 50% brightness
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.
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.
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?
Hue Home Lighting
No that is fine and you can do this. Just got to make sure the main switch is on to use the dimmer.
can you remove the existing light switches completely leaving a clean wall and constant power to the lights? would you need a master switch?
Can you use 2 globes in same room which has 2 seperate light fittings that are operateded by one switch I tried but if I turn it off one light fitting stayed on
It’s great that Hue introduced that you can set the default state.
However, there is a weird feature/bug in Hue that if the lights have been on (with a normal light switch) for less than 15 seconds, the light setting resets regardless to super bright white.
Do you know a way to fix this?
Is there a way to use the hue (old style) bulb with the on/off light switch without connecting them to the wifi? Most of the time when we are I home I wan to manually control the lights.