(Pocket-lint) - Philips Hue overlord Signify has announced the upcoming launch of a Wall Switch Mount, allowing users to turn any light switch into one that's truly smart, rather than the lightbulb.
The device solves one of the longest-serving problems within smart lighting: that is, if you install a smart bulb in a fitting controlled by a 'dumb' switch, turning off said switch effectively cuts the signal dead and the smart element is lost. Hue's latest gadget tackles this basic-but-crippling issue at the source, turning the receptacle into a wired-in smart switch that can still manage scenes and commands whether it's technically 'off' or 'on'.
The Wall Switch Mount won't turn your regular bulbs smart, unfortunately - and, therefore, acts slightly different to the workaround many people use with smart plugs to control dumb lighting - but it will work with Hue devices.
It'll also work for a long time, powered by a battery that lasts around five years, according to Signify. However, considering you'll have to get your screwdriver out and replace it manually after that time, the long-serving nature of the switch is pretty much a necessity.
The light-saving device will cost $39.95/£39.95 when it launches in Europe this spring, before releasing in the US over the summer. You can also double up and pick up a two-pack for a slightly reduced rate of $70/£70.
The company also found time to announce a couple more devices, though they are admittedly less groundbreaking.
There's now another outdoor lighting feature to consider from Hue, the Amarant ($169.99/£149.99), which is able to be installed on the side of a home, hedge, fence or pathway. It's essentially an oversized version of the Philips Hue Play Bar, measuring in at 31-inches and maxing out at 1,400 lumens. It's available to buy now in Europe, but those in the US will have to wait until March.
The Philips Hue Dimmer Switch has also been tweaked slightly. The device, which users are able to mount on the wall with an adhesive strip and also pull off the controller module for manual control, hasn't received any functional changes, but the shape has been refined somewhat. It's cheaper, too, at least in Europe, going from £24.99 to £19.99, where it will launch on January 26 before a February 23 launch across the pond.