If you want all the excitement and romance that comes with dimmable lights, you can install one yourself — though it requires a few tools and a warning about the dangers of electricity. Philips Hue wants to make things a bit simpler with its new $40 wireless dimming kit.
It comes with a battery-powered dimmer that you can stick to your wall next to your regular switches, and a single Philips Hue warm white bulb. There are four buttons: on, off, brighter, and dimmer. If you’d rather not stick it on the wall, it also functions as a remote control. The switch can change the brightness on up to 10 bulbs at once, though you’ll have to buy them all separately, at $20 a pop. The CR2450 battery should last for three years, while the Hue LED bulb is rated for 25,000 hours. The bulbs dim with “absolutely no flicker and perfect dimming until it is off,” according to Philips.
Unlike Philips’ more expensive kits, such as the $200 starter pack that comes with three color-changing bulbs, no bridge is included. That means it can’t connect to your Wi-Fi, so you can’t control it from your smartphone. However, if you already have the Hue bridge, the dimmer is compatible with it. That also means if you fall in love with LEDs and smarter lighting, you can upgrade later and not lose out on the $40 investment you already made. While there are definitely cheaper LEDs out there, pairing the bulb with the dimmer switch gives the $20 a bit more functionality.
It’s nice to see companies like Philips catering to the rental market, too (as this product does), … as well as to the people who are afraid of their fuse boxes. Trust us, we know a few.