Brent Stewart

Live life on purpose

IoT is making home automation main stream

I have been into home automation for the past 20 years, but it has always been the realm of the tolerant, adventurous, and highly geeky.  I had taken a break from actively following the progress of the industry for the last few years, but I recently felt the home automation madness returning, so I pulled out my wallet and took the plunge once again.  What I have discovered surprised me, home automation is going main stream.  I found that most of the products I wanted to play with were available at my local Best Buy and that there was a very impressive selection of options.  The first thing that I wanted to try automating was the lighting in my house.  In the past I had looked at what I needed to make a reliable easy to use lighting control system, and it was going to be well outside of my budget to implement a Creston or Lutron system.  I was aware of  the Philips Hue system and thought that it might be a viable solution for what I was wanting, and sure enough it looked like an amazing solution to my simple needs.  I was looking for a lighting system that would not only let me automate turning on/off and dimming, but I loved the idea of being able to change the colors to fit my mood.  As I continued my research into the Hue system, I discovered LIFX, an alternative that seemed to render colors better, so that is the system the I have started with.  Each light  bulb is an IoT device that connects to the Internet and is controllable over Wi-Fi.  The bulbs are impressive and the flexibility they give me makes me a happy camper.  I have just setup my living room so far, but I already notice how they make my life just a little easier, I don’t have to go around to each lamp and turn it on or off and I can schedule them to turn off based on time or some activity.  It is a little thing, but its all the little things that make or break how a day goes.  Each time I see all my lights come on because it is starting to get dark outside and I don’t have to lift a finger to light the room, I smile and and think about how we live in an amazing age and get inspired to do even more.  It is easy to take things for granted and I am sure that the newness will wear off, but for now I am enjoying my first foray back into home automation.  I am sure there are many more “investments” to be made in this area so stay tuned.