Lutron and Philips Hue come to solve the biggest headache of intelligent lighting



Snap Lutron's smart dimmer switch over the switch to lock it, preventing anyone from turning it off and turning off your smart lights.


Upgrade your bulbs into smart bulbs and you can automate, control them from your phone or turn them on and off and attenuate them from top to bottom using voice commands. It's awesome! The problem? Literally, none of this will work if the light switch is offand learning to leave the switch in the running position is absolutely not intuitive, especially for children and home customers.

It's one of the most enduring pain points of the smart home – but now, maestros light switches at Lutron offers an elegant and affordable solution that looks like a serious and early competitor of the smart home gadget of the year.

Read more: The complete guide of Philips Hue

Read also: The best cheap smart light bulbs

Now available for pre-order and ready to ship in June, the solution I'm talking about is called Lutron Aurora. It's a smart $ 40 dimmer dial that pairs with Philips Hue smart light bulbs. What's particularly smart is that you do not wire it into your wall, where the switch was, you simply fix it instead. on the switch itself, which locks it in the running position.

From there, just tap on to turn on or off the light bulbs, or turn to dim down. Lutron claims that you can install it in two minutes. This claim could actually be somewhat conservative – Lutron did a very secret demonstration of the product at CES in January, and during this demonstration, the implementation of the device in place took about 30 seconds.

"Lutron is excited to join Philips Hue's" Hue Friends "program and offer this unique, wall-smart lighting control that enriches the Hue experience," said Matt Swatsky, vice president of business. mid-market residential properties at Lutron. "The Aurora dimmer simplifies the use of Philips Hue's smart bulbs and appliances for everyone at home."

Go ahead and press this switch, junior. The automations and voice commands of your Hue light bulb will still work very well.


Translation: Even your children and in-laws will know how to use this thing.

I love almost everything about Lutron's approach here. For starters, the Aurora doubles one of the main attractions of intelligent lighting – smooth, flicker-free dimming – by giving you a physical checkpoint on the Philips Hue variation curve. In addition, the Aurora uses Zigbee to send its signals. This means that you will need the Hue bridge connected to your router for it to work – but it also means that the Aurora will always work if your Wi-Fi connection goes out.

As for batteries, the Aurora has only one button cell that, according to Lutron, will last at least three years before it needs to be replaced.

The Aurora is not the first Friends of Hue accessory that simplifies the intelligent controls of the bulbs at the switch level. At the end of last year, I tested the Smart Click Switch from RunLessWire, previously known as Illumra. This switch uses EnOcean energy recovery technology to self-power each time a button is pressed. You do not have to connect it, although you have to remove the old switch first.

This makes the Aurora the simplest of the two, because you will not have to close the breaker to install it, although the four buttons of the Click can be used to trigger specific hue scenes, just like the Philips Hue Tap, another Hue remote control with energy recovery that requires no battery. At present, the Aurora can not trigger any scene.

I'd also like it better than Aurora if it costs a bit cheaper ($ 30 seems to me to be the magic number), but $ 40 still seems like a good request for those who want to get rid of it. 39, a common blocking point of intelligent lighting. We will know more once we have tested ourselves (stay tuned), but for the moment, it seems that Lutron has managed to win here.

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