Lutron has announced a brand new product dubbed the ‘Aurora dimmer’, that is design to work with Philips Hue setups as part of Philips’ ‘Friends of Hue’ system. As Hue already make switches, you may wonder why this is any different, but there are two big differences to this switch over the traditional Hue dimmers we all know and love; First of all, this is a rotary dimmer switch, as opposed to a button you press and hold, but secondly, and more importantly, this is designed to fit over the top of traditional toggle light switches, os in effect it serves a double purpose – stop people from accidentally turning off your connected Hue bulbs from mains electricity, thereby disconnecting them from the Hue Bridge, and secondly it allows you to dim your lights from the same location as your existing light switch.
The rotary dimmer simply fits over the top of your existing light switches, holding the toggle switch on your light in the on position, with the rotary know fitting over the top, so the switch stays in place, and is effectively replaced by a dimmer. Once it’s all set up and paired, you can brighten and dim your lights in a totally natural way, by rotating the knob or turn your lights on or off with a simple click.
Considering this is designed to be part of the ‘Friend of Hue’ program, it should be exposed to HomeKit once it has been paired to the Hue Bridge, although strangely, there’s currently no mention of this on either Lutron’s press release or on the Hue website, where it can be pre-ordered for US$39.95.