Earlier this summer, I called Philips Hue Tap. It's a wireless remote control with four buttons that can trigger Hue lights and scenes – and it uses some nifty technology to power no batteries are required. Why, I mean, did not Philips take the amazing approach to multiple devices?
Well, that's what I suppose, because that's exactly what Philips tells me to do.
In particular, Philips adds a fleet of light manufacturers to their "Friends of Hue" ̵
You can attach these four button switches to the wall with sticky tabs or you can only remove the old switches and screw the new ones into place – again, no wires needed. From there, synchronize the switch with Philips Hue Bridge and tell you what you want each button to do. They can trigger scenes for a light or set of lights, or they can control separate lights. They will also clear things up and down if you hold down a button, something Hue Tap can not do without the help of Hue Labs.
Another strong selling point: With its Zigbee signals routed through Phillips Hue Bridge, the new switches will work with Apple HomeKit. That means you can use them to trigger HomeKit scenes with a keystroke.
Smart bulbs and smart light switches do not play traditionally well, since dual dimmer mechanisms tend to collide and cause the bulbs to flicker and strobe. There will be no problem with these switches since they are not connected at all. And best of all, when you use the switch to turn off the light on the light, they remain powered. That means you can still turn them back through the app, or through voice commands with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.
We know much more about these switches later in the year when we have had the opportunity to test them in CNET Smart Home. But for now, I'm willing to call my shot and say that the joyful marriage between smart switches and smart bulb will be an important step forward for smart lighting. Continue with the coming months for more.
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