Philips Dimmer Switch vs. Philips Hue Tap: Which should you buy?

There's not much of a difference between the Dimmer Switch and the Tap Switch. Both do essentially the same things while offering one or two small unique differences between them. Those tiny differences will determine which remote is right for you.

What's going on here?

There's truthfully not a whole lot going on with either the Dimmer Switch or the Tap Switch. Both are fairly straightforward and easy-to-use devices. Each device allows you to control your Hue lights and lets you switch between up to four preset scenes that you can create from within the Phillips Hue app.

Even though there is not a whole lot they can do, they're still extremely useful. The ability to control your smart lights from your smartphone is really cool and efficient, but sometimes the app can seem overwhelming or you just want to put the phone down. In those cases, a remote is all you really want and both of these guys provide you with just that — a simple and easy way to control your lights.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Philips Hue Dimmer SwitchPhilips Hue Tap Switch
PortableYesYes
Wall MountableYesYes
Dims lightsYesNo
Switch Preset ScenesYesYes
WirelessYes (batteries)Yes (no batteries)
Requires Hue BridgeYesYes
HomeKit CompatibleNoYes
Price~$25~$50

There are still some differences

While they do mostly the same things, there are some slight differences. As per the name, the Dimmer Switch allows you to dim your lights, whereas the Tap Switch does not. Both remotes are wireless but only the Dimmer Switch requires batteries. The Tap Switch uses kinetic energy to power itself so simply pressing the buttons provides energy power to operate it. Also, while both are perfectly compatible with the Hue app, only Tap Switch is independently compatible with HomeKit.

The last difference is the price. Neither one is overly expensive but the Dimmer Switch is literally half the cost of the Tap Switch so if you're looking for the cheaper option, that's the one for you.

Verdict

There's not really a clear winner here. If dimming your lights is a must (like for my wife), then the Dimmer Switch is your only option. If you really don't ever want to replace any batteries or you want compatibility with HomeKit, then the Tap Switch is more your speed. Remember, you will also need a Hue Bridge (opens in new tab) for them to work properly. However, if you're already pretty invested in the Hue ecosystem, both of these are a great option.

Jason Cockerham