The iPhone has been a game changer in just about every business out there, and now lighting control is no exception. Several years ago when I ran a home technology business, our lighting control packages could run several thousand dollars just in programming, never mind the actual lighting controls.
Today with an iPhone or Android, you can upgrade your house with complete lighting control for less than the cost of programming some of the big systems. Best of all you can do the programming yourself from your couch with your iPhone. Just sit back and make the magic happen.
My current home has the lowest cost lighting control I have ever installed, and so far it has proven just as reliable. Don’t bother with X-10, they are basically gone anyway, and this is far easier to program. About the only thing I can’t do with my current system is set triggers, and I can do that if I get a smart alarm system or leave a computer running to be the “brains” of the house.
There isn’t a need to pay ADT or any big alarm company $20, $30 or even $49 a month to have remote access to your home. This little system includes it for free. WiFi cameras are as little as $99 for indoor and $119 for outdoor.
I picked up a Lamp and Appliance Control Kit by Insteon at Costco since it was less expensive than going to SmartHome and I didn’t have to wait for shipping. This gave me control of my landscape lights, one appliance and three table lamps for $199. The house looks lived in and I used the appliance control to turn off my wife’s watch winder before I go to bed. Yes I bought her the cheap one and it is very loud.
At $49 per dimmer or switch, the Insteon system is also the lowest priced replacement switch I know of. My entire house is now done except for the closets and bathrooms. Those are on commercial grade motion sensors from Leviton. You only need to go to bed once and hit all off while your wife is in the closet to realize why those rooms don’t belong on the system.
So how easy is it really?
- Turn off the breaker for the lights where you are going to change the switch.
- Replace the switch.
- You flip the breaker back on.
- Download iPhone or Android Ap
- Click Add Device
- Following instructions on screen, push little button on bottom of switch
- Set Lights
- Create a “scene” like “night”
- Add devices to scene by checking on the list.
That’s it. Yes, that is really it. Save energy, never come home to a dark house, control your lights with your smart phone or tablet all that fast. My wife even programmed some lights just for fun. Affordable lighting control that makes sense is finally here.