Philips Hue has a plan for your light switches at CES 2021

A new battery-powered wall switch module installs behind your light switches to keep your lights reachable even when the switch is off.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology | Wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
2 min read

The classic light switch is the villain in the smart lighting story, because smart bulbs become unreachable if the switch that powers them gets turned off. Now, at CES 2021, Philips Hue's newest products includes one that promises to end the animosity between bulb and wall once and for all.


The Philips Hue Amarant promises to bathe an entire outdoor wall in color.


Expected to launch in Europe this spring, and in North America by this summer, that product is the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module, and it's designed to be installed in the wall behind your existing light switch. With a built-in battery that promises to last for five years, the module makes sure that your bulbs are still reachable even when the switch is turned off. Expect it to sell for $40, or $70 for a two-pack. (International prices aren't available, but $40 is about £30 or AU$50.)

Meanwhile, other new Hue products include a couple of new outdoor lights and an updated wireless dimmer accessory. The first new light is the Philips Hue Amarant, and it's designed to lie at the bottom of an exterior wall and wash the entirety of it in colorful light. That one should arrive in the US in March at an asking price of $170. The other new light, an updated version of the Philips Hue Appear up-and-down light, is planned for release in Europe alone at a price of 150 euros, which converts to about $180, £130 or AU$230.

As for the new version of the wireless dimmer switch, it's magnetically wall-mountable and designed to pair with whatever Hue lights you like. From there, you can dim them up and down or turn them on and off at the touch of a button, no app or voice command needed. New in this second-gen version are improved controls for triggering scenes and lighting conditions that match the specific time of day -- look for it to make its way from Europe to North America next month at a cost of $25.