When you have Philips Hue lights all across your house, physical light switches become less useful. If you want, you can hide them and use a Hue Dimmer Switch instead.
Hue lights are awesome, and while you can control them from your phone using the Hue app, Philips makes the Hue Dimmer Switch for people who want a physical control option. It even comes with a mounting plate so that you can stick it to the wall and make it look like a real light switch.
The only problem is that you still have the existing light switch to deal with, and since the switch needs to always be in the “On” state, there’s really no reason to have it easily accessible anymore. You don’t want to get rid of it altogether, because if you lose Wi-Fi, you might want a physical switch for turning off your lights. However, you can hide it so that you get a cleaner look and prevent people from accidentally switching it off.
Perhaps the cheapest and easiest method for hiding an existing light switch is to cover the switch itself with a light switch guard and be done with it. We’ve even already written a guide on how to do that.
You can buy switch guards for either regular toggle switches or the fancier “decorator” paddle switches. The guard hides the actual switch (while still making it accessible if you need it), but it doesn’t completely hide the entire light switch and the cover. And if you want to install the Hue Dimmer Switch on the wall, you have to install next to the existing light switch and just kind of let the two peacefully coexist.
The good news is that there are some better options, but they require a bit more work and money.
If most of your house uses decorator-style paddle switches, there’s a really neat method for hiding the switch by placing the Hue Dimmer Switch over it. This provides a cleaner, more natural look.
You’ll need a decorator-style switch guard, some strong thin rare earth magnets, and some super glue. Since the Hue Dimmer Switch has a small metal plate on the inside, it can stick to any magnet that’s strong enough—that’s how it sticks to its own mounting plate. You’re pretty much doing the same thing here, but substituting a switch guard for the mounting plate.
All you have to do is glue a magnet on the inside of the switch guard halfway between the top and bottom (you might have to double-up on magnets if one isn’t quite strong enough).
From there, install the switch guard over the existing switch and then just place the Hue Dimmer Switch on top of the switch guard—the magnets will grab onto the Dimmer Switch and it will look like it truly belongs there, rather than something that looks a bit out of place.
Yes, it makes the regular switch a little harder to get to if you need it, but you can still pull the dimmer switch away and access the regular switch pretty quickly.
If you’re really dedicated to finding a good solution for this, you can download 3D plans for a switch cover for your Hue Dimmer Switch or design your own if you have the creative chops for it.
This one, for instance, is really nothing more than a spacer that you can then install your Hue Dimmer Switch on top of, completely hiding the original light switch.
Of course, the hard part is getting the thing 3D printed if you don’t already have a 3D printer. Luckily, there are plenty of ways around that, as there are many services that can 3D-print things for you for a fee, whether it’s a pre-made plan or something you designed yourself.