Your normal light switch will be able to turn your hue bulbs on and off, however you need a constant supply of power to be able to control your hue bulbs with your phone or voice assistant, therefor it is always recommended that you leave your light switch in the ON position for them to function as intended.
Your Light Switches With Philips Hue
For anyone who is looking into buying their first Philips Hue bulb an obvious question is can you use your normal light switches.
And the answer is yes and no. Your normal light switches will be able to turn your bulbs off, and they will be able to turn them on, but that's it.
However, your normal light switch will not be able to control the brightness, or change the colour.
Also, when you start using Hue bulbs, you will quickly learn that if your light switch is in the OFF position, you will not be able to control them with your phone or voice assistant, as the bulbs need a constant supply of power.
That's why the biggest pet hate of any hue owner is people turning the light switch off, as the light then cannot be controlled remotely.
So you will need to have your light switch in the ON position at all times if you want to keep the smart functionality and be able to control them with your phone or voice assistant.
Remember: Your light switch needs to be constantly in the ON position for your hue light to function.
Won't Keeping the switch ON use electricity?
While keeping the switch ON will mean electricity is being used, the amount that is used when the bulbs are not emitting any light is very minimal.
Think of it the same as when you turn your TV off into standby mode.
How Do I Turn Hue Bulbs Off?
As you've now learnt for your hue bulbs to work your light switch will need to stay in the ON position, so you may now be wondering how do you turn the lights off then which is a totally reasonable question.
To turn them off without cutting the power to them and disabling there capabilities, you simply can use the relevant app on your phone which will have an off button built into it.
Or you could use your voice assistant such as Alexa, which will have a voice command you've set up such as 'Alexa turn the bedroom light off'.
Can I Use My Dimmer Switch?
Your Hue bulbs are designed to work with your standard voltage. While they may work with your dimmer switch on MAX, you're likely going to damage the bulb and massively reduce the lifespan of them.
If you're using a dimmer switch I would advise getting in a professional to change it back to a normal switch if you decide to use Philip Hue Bulbs.
What About Smart Switches & Dimmers?
You have probably heard about smart switches and dimmers already.
For people who have not they're basically switches and dimmers that can be used to turn your smart lights on and off. With most having the ability to dim them also without cutting the power to the bulbs or compromising the lifespan.
Most of these are battery powered, therefor there is no need to worry about your electrics when installing them.
The way they work is you connect them with your hue bulbs and then they will be able to control your hue bulbs, however you will still need to keep your existing light switch in the ON postilion.
If your normal light switch is in the off position it will also disable the smart switch.
There are many smart switches and dimmers on the market to choose from, however if you're just starting out with Hue I would always recommend starting off with either the Philips Hue Smart Button or the Philips Hue Smart Wireless Dimmer Switch which have been made by Hue themselves.
It's best just to leave your normal light switch in the ON position when you're using smartlights. If you do want to use a lightswitch to control your smart bulbs then you're best off buying a smart switch, with the ones from Philips Hue themselves shared above.
If you do decide to use your normal lightswitch, which can only turn them on and off, remember that when the switch is in the off position you will have zero control over the lights, thus making the whole point of them redundant.