In this second part to my unboxing and setup of the Philips Hue lighting kit we acquired, I want to cover off how things have gone so far setting up the lights in our living room. I also want to show you the Philips Hue Tap Wireless light switch. That will include an overview of setting it up.
In my post Philips Hue Unboxing & Setup Part 1, I explored the Philips Hue Bridge, and bulbs I'd ordered for our living room. I've gone through the process of installing that, and everything seems to be working well. One bulb (the E27) is in a floor standing lamp in the corner of the room. The E14 candle bulb is installed into a table lamp, and the Bayonet cap B22 bulb is installed into the ceiling light fitting.
With everything setup and installed, I can now use the Philips Hue app to control the lights. I can turn them on and off, set brightness, control colour and colour temperature. I can also activate scenes, and create my own. All this 'control' can be exercised over all the lights in the room, or at an individual level with ease.
However, whilst the app may be simple, a real light switch is simpler. With an app, you still need to find and unlock your smartphone, find the app, get to the right place in the app, and then use it to turn the lights on. A light switch is still simpler, especially for activating lighting scenes you use most frequently. That's where the Philips Hue Tap switch comes in.
This puck-shaped device sticks on the wall using command-strips (which means it would also be very easy to remove should you need to). The entire front face of the device is a button in it's own right. Inset into the face are three smaller buttons.
The switch is wireless, and even more cleverly, requires no batteries or hardwire power. It uses the kinetic energy generated from a push of the button to transmit the signal to the Bridge! That's pretty smart, and means it's a zero-maintenance solution, with no additional running costs.
Setting it up is pretty easy, just remove the backing paper on the command strips and affix it to the wall. I did this just inside the door to my living room. It's actually pretty handy for us, since the 'real' light switch is on the wrong side of the door in our living room! Once affixed, the Tap switch can actually be twisted off its backing plate, allowing you to take it with you into a room, using it as a remote control.
Setup was straightforward. Inside the settings screen of the Hue app, you can tap the 'accessories' section, and then add a new accessory. You simply choose that you are adding a Tap switch, and the discovery process begins. This involves pressing and holding the main button on the Tap switch for 10 seconds. After that, it's recognised. You can then rename the switch to something more descriptive, and assign it to up to three rooms.
The switch buttons have some scenes allocated by default. The main button 1 is 'Off', 2 is Bright, 3 is dimmed, and 4 is nightlight. Changing the scenes is easy. You are shown a pictorial representation of the Tap switch in the app, and can simply tap on a button, and then select a new scene, including custom scenes you may have configured.
The switch works quite nicely, giving a satisfying 'click' when pushed. By default, if you want an easy way to turn lights off, you'll need to have a button assigned for that. However, I note that there is a way to enable a 'toggle' function. I'll be exploring that in more detail later.
For now, that's my complete setup done. You can see this in more detail in the video . I plan to do a 'first impressions post, perhaps with accompanying video soon. I'll use this to share my initial thoughts on how it's all working, and outline in a bit more detail how setup went (but to be honest, it was pretty easy, full marks here).