An upcoming Philips Hue physical wall switch module will solve one of the biggest problems experienced by smart home fans who share a home with less techy people: If someone uses the physical wall switch to turn off a light, it can no longer be app- or Siri-controlled.

The smarts for controlling Hue bulbs are in the bulb itself – and they require mains power to receive and respond to app or Siri commands. That means if someone physically switches off the light, it’s no longer reachable until you physically switch it back on …

The company says that a solution is on the way in the form of a new Philips Hue wall switch module.

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.

Additionally, in the Hue app you can simply select light scenes and customize how the switch functions to personalize the ambiance even more.

The Philips Hue wall switch module is battery powered and has a minimum battery life of at least five years.

The new module will go on sale in Europe in the spring, and in the US and Canada in the summer.

It won’t, however, be a cheap solution if you have a lot of Hue lighting. US pricing will be $39.95 each, or $69.95 for a twin-pack.

The magnetically-mounted dimmer switches many of us place next to physical switches have also received an unspecified upgrade which appears to be a slight design refresh.

Finally, there are two new Hue outdoor lights – one completely new, the other a new finish.

The new Philips Hue Amarant linear spotlight enables users to wash outdoor walls with light for the right ambiance in their garden no matter what season. The wall washing effect with vibrant light in millions of colours is intensified by the metal shield and spices up the look and feel of a blank wall in gardens or on balconies. The Amarant can be mounted on the floor or upside down on an overhanging roof to take outdoor light decoration to the next level. As part of the LowVolt luminaire collection, it’s easy to install and extend with more fixtures to fully personalize the ambiance of your outdoor space.

The Philips Hue Appear, a popular outdoor wall light, now features a brushed stainless steel finish and easy installation. The inox wall light, which delivers a powerful up and down floating light effect in white and millions of colors, lends a luxurious feeling to the outdoor space. No need to struggle with wires when attaching the Appear, but easily mount the light to the wall using the pin-connector, sit back and relax.

Both will go on sale in Europe on January 26. The stainless steel Appear, uh, appears to be Europe only, while the Amarant will be sold in the US and Canada from March 2, priced at $169.99. They add to the growing range of Hue products.

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