If you have ever used smart light bulbs like the ones made by Hue or Lifx, you’re probably familiar with what happens when someone turns off the light switch that those bulbs are connected to: the lights lose all of their smarts and connectivity.
Some solutions to this problem have been taping over the light switch so those unfamiliar with your home’s smart lighting setup don’t use it, or going into the switch itself and wiring it so it’s permanently “on.” Lutron’s new Aurora dimmer fixes this problem in a more convenient way: when you mount it on top of the wall switch, it lets you control your Hue lights without having to use a phone app or voice assistant. And anyone who uses the dimmer won’t turn off the light switch itself.
The $39.95 Aurora dimmer is Lutron’s first product to work with Hue lights. It connects wirelessly to a Hue system without any secondary hubs needed. Setup and management of the Aurora are handled through the Hue app on an iOS or Android device. The dimmer has a familiar, circular dial that can be used to adjust the lights anywhere from completely off to full brightness. Lutron says installing the dimmer on a standard toggle switch can take as little as two minutes.
The Aurora isn’t the first Friends of Hue product to tackle this problem: RunLessWire came out with a dimmer switch late last year that controls Hue lights in a very similar fashion. But that model requires removing the original light switch, connecting the wires in the wall together to complete the circuit, and then mounting the RunLessWire switch in place of the original switch. The Aurora’s design is far simpler and doesn’t even require turning off the power at the circuit breaker to install.
Lutron says the Aurora will be available for order from MeetHue.com starting today with shipping expected for June.
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