The instructions that should have came with my Phillips Hue dimmer switch.

Timothy Huertas
Dec 18, 2017 · 6 min read

TLDR; To replace your existing light switch with a Phillips Hue dimmer switch: remove the existing switch, use a wire nut to combine the two wires connected to that switch, shove the wires back in the conduit box and cover the hole with the plate that comes with the dimmer switch.

My story:

I dropped over $500 bucks to outfit my studio with Phillips Hue bulbs. The bulbs are awesome, but there’s one catch. The awesomeness only works if you leave the light switch that the bulb is connected to in the on position. No big deal; I’ll tell my wife and everyone who visits me not to touch the light switches and instruct them to use Alexa or my phone to turn the lights on and off. That solution worked for around 6 hours. That’s how long it took before I found myself passively aggressively reminding my wife to use her phone to control the lights. She’d accidentally used the switches a few times; a sin I found myself committing 30 minutes later. It turns out it’s hard to unlearn over 35 years of using light switches. Besides who wants to fuss with their phone or Alexa before dropping a morning deuce? Luckily Phillips Hue does sell a dimmer switch, but it’s meant to be placed beside your existing switch, not to replace it. The switch is not really at switch; rather it’s a wireless transmitter so you can not swap out your existing switch with it. Which is silly because if you install the Phillips dimmer switch then your old switch is effectively useless. I thought to myself, “I don’t want a useless switch on my wall. That’s super ghetto.” So I took to the internet to see how others had switched back to using switches. That’s when I found this “solution”.

Credit JD Roberts

No disrespect JD, but hell naw! The next solution I came across merits an “A” for effort. Someone 3D printed a cover and affixed it over their existing light switch. This was somewhat better, but the result looks more like a smoke detector than a light switch. I like my trailers double wide, not my light switches.

Credit cgcrute

The internet was not helping so I came up with my own solution, which in hindsight, seems so obvious(see the TLDR). You can do it; it’s easy and takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

Supplies needed:

  1. Phillips Hue dimmer switch — buy.
  2. Power tester — buy.
  3. Wire nuts — buy.
  4. Needle nose pliers — buy .
  5. Electrical tape (optional) — buy.
  6. Caulk and Gun (optional).
  7. Screw driver — buy

Instructions:

  1. Program your Phillips Hue dimmer switch.
  2. Use your breaker box to kill the power to your light switch. Confirm it’s off using a power testing tool. The one I used turns blue when there is no power.
If you need this Amazon sells it. See the links above.

3. Unscrew the screw (or screws) that hold your switch’s wall plate in place then remove it. You may need to use a screw driver to pry the plate off. Mine had paint keeping it in place. I forgot to take a pic of this step so below is one I jacked off the internet.

Credit Brian Hoopes

4. Remove the 2 screws that hold the light switch in place.

You can do it; put your back in to it.

5. Pull the switch out. Again this may take some prying.

Don’t forget to pull out.

6. There should be 2 wires connected to the light switch, each with a screw holding it in place. Remove the screws to free the wires. Again I forgot to take a picture of this step so I jacked one off the internet.

Credit DIY Network

7. Use needle nose pliers to straighten out the wires.

“Grab em by the short and curlies.” — Anonymous

8. The wires should look like this. Note the length of the exposed wire.

9. Screw a wire nut over the 2 wires to combine them. Make sure the wire nut is tight.

Get your nut on.

10. Use electrical tape to further secure the wires (optional).

11. Shove the wires back in the conduit box.

What a dirty little box.

12. Time to test things. Use your breaker box to restore power to the light. Make sure the light works using your dimmer switch. If it doesn’t work you’re fu*ked; call an electrician.

13. Peel the tape cover (not the whole adhesive strip) off the back of the wall plate that came with your dimmer switch. There should be two, one on the top and one on the bottom.

Damn! My fingers are hairy.

14. Position the wall plate over the hole and press it firmly to adhere it to your wall.

15. I thought I was done, but the gap between the wall and the wall plate (as seen above) taunted me. These next steps are optional, but will rid you of said gap.

Gaps are for teeth.

16. Get some silicon caulk and a caulking gun.

If you don’t know how to use your caulk or gun Google it.

17. Apply a thin bead of caulk to fill the gap.

18. Use a damp paper towel to remove any excess caulk.

Wipe your caulk off.

19. Profit!

So handsome.

Disclaimers:

  1. I’m not an electrician, but I did consult one and he signed off on my approach.
  2. If you’re straight edge and/or have a “type A” personality make sure this approach doesn’t violate your local housing code.
  3. These instructions are for a simple switch. If you have a more complex setup (dual switch, switch with socket, etc) and aren’t sure what you are doing call an electrician.

Credit to my wife Grace Durham for helping me and all my friends for proof reading this. If there are grammar errors it’s there fault.

Update: I reached out to Phillips Hue and they do not approve. Not sure why; the solution works.

It’s ok. I’ll advise them for you.