At last: Philips invents light switch!

A wireless dimmer, no less, for its fine range of Hue LED smart bulbs, meaning no more phone scrabbling to dim the lights when you're in the mood for love

What's the worst thing about smart bulbs?Having to get your phone or tablet out, then open the relevant app, to turn them on or off, or turn the brightness up and down. It casts a bit of a downer over yourfuture-facing connected home.

For years, customers have cried, "If only there were some sort of 'dimmer switch', perhaps attached to your wall, that could do the job with less hassle. But surely that is too great a dream?" Not any more, friend. Not any more.

From September 2015, the Philips Hue wireless dimming kit will let you wirelessly dim your bulbs, without having to touch your mobile device, or use a crapy old, non-smart dimmer switch.

Each kit contains a Philips Hue white light bulb and a portable, battery-operated dimmer switch - just screw in your bulb and press the dimmer switch to create "your own personal dimmable glow". Up to 10 Hue white lights can be controlled at the same time, and the dimmer is backwards compatible with existing Philips Hue-compatible products.

The battery means you don't need to wire anything in, but it can be installed in the space used by a standard wall switch. The business end of it can then be removed to work as a remote control, removing the need to stand up to change light levels AND the need to control via your phone or tablet.

Clearly aimed at non-techies, the wireless dimming kit solves a problem that LED bulbs apparently have with normal dimmer switches - that they can result in flickering and buzzing when adjusted.

“The Philips Hue wireless dimming kit is the lightbulb moment that will spark the natural progression into the modern, connected home,” Leonardo Avezzano, Hueproduct marketing director, boldly claims, in this press release. “Not only does the kit show how simple it is to have clever products in your home, but like all Philips Hue products it is entirely future-proof. With the kit, anyone is able to begin enjoying the simplicity of modern dimming.”

The Philips Hue wireless dimming kit will be available from September, priced £30.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."