login

Author Topic: Smart Home Stuff  (Read 261 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Variety of Cells

  • Climbed El Capitan
  • *******
  • Posts: 5362
  • Liked: 1085
Smart Home Stuff
« on: July 12, 2017, 05:47:01 AM »
I purchased some wifi light bulbs and a wifi outlet as a gift for my dad for his birthday. He said that he liked them, but he never actually used them. So I regifted them to myself when I visited home this weekend.

I must say that I'm enjoying them. Changed the ceiling fixture in my bedroom to TP-link smart LED bulbs, and the floor lamps in my living room on the WeMo outlet. Unfortunately they use different apps, but oh well. I like that I can dim my ceiling fixture now. Never could before because my landlord did all the wiring and I could never get a dimmer to work without tripping the main breaker for my apartment's sub panel. I can also turn the lights out after my wife comes in the bedroom looking for something and needs more than my desk lamp on, but consistently forgets to turn them off when she leaves. (I have to climb over my bed to get to my computer chair... I live in a tiny New York apartment).

I like the stuff so much that I ordered more bulbs for the kitchen and another outlet for my air conditioner. That way I can turn it off when I'm at work if I forget to in the morning. Or if it's super hot I can turn the AC on for my cat while I'm out of the apartment.

The only snag will be getting my wife on board with the system, considering her aversion to anything technical. Because if she turns the AC off by pressing the off button on the AC, then I lose control of it on my phone. She also hates learning new things, and will be frustrated by the fact that she can't just turn the AC off normally. Thankfully you can program the bulbs to turn on at a set level when they regain power. So if I turned the lights off from my phone she can just turn the light switch off then on again and they will work.

Ideally I'd get a couple cheap tablets and mount them to the wall above light switches. But that's probably too involved for something my wife will hate.

Anyone else mess around with home automation?


Online MartyS (Gromit)

  • Compsognathus
  • *****
  • Posts: 10229
  • Liked: 2143
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Smart Home Stuff
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 09:48:07 AM »
I installed a wifi thermostat in the spring and use it all the time from my PCs and phone.  I have to adjust the program for my house depending on how hot it is outside, if it's in the 70s I have to set it a little lower to keep the humidity down, when it's in the 90s I can raise it up several degrees because it keeps it nice and dry so closer to 80 inside feels OK. 

Thought about some of those wifi outlets, would be nice to turn a few things off downstairs when I'm upstairs, but it just seems way too lazy a thing to have...  Bad enough I will use the wi-fi thermostat from my PC upstairs instead of walking down to do it.

I am probably going to install a wifi wall switch for my outside lights, would be nice to turn them on remotely when I'm on my way home instead of having to leave them on the entire time I'm out.


Online Variety of Cells

  • Climbed El Capitan
  • *******
  • Posts: 5362
  • Liked: 1085
Re: Smart Home Stuff
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 10:40:18 AM »
Lazy?  Maybe. But I'm enjoying it.

I originally purchased the bulbs because my dad got an Amazon Alexa, and you can pair them to work together. But I personally can't see myself getting any robots I have to talk to. It's not precise, sometimes it doesn't understand you, and it takes longer than pressing a couple buttons on your phone.


Online MartyS (Gromit)

  • Compsognathus
  • *****
  • Posts: 10229
  • Liked: 2143
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Smart Home Stuff
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 07:55:20 PM »
I ended up getting the "dumb" versions of those remote outlets, one for the light at the bottom of the stairs that doesn't have a switch at the top, and one for the LED illumination I made for my big Saturn V model.  I had been leaving the Saturn V lighting on 24/7, with it plugged in behind some furniture.

Both LED lights add up to about 2 watts, so even leaving them on 24/7 only costs about $5 a year, so the switches will take 10 years to pay for themselves, but it's still nice to be able to turn them on and off from the top of the stairs.