There are now many different products which you can install to allow you to control your home remotely. One product area is lighting. From a $40 colour changing lightbulb with remote from Woolworths, DIY WiFi options or an electrician installed programmable system for the whole home your imagination is the limit. Do it yourself options have been available for a few years and there are now more products to compete with the WeMo brand. The Philips Hue lights are DIY install and programmable through their smartphone App. Having recently purchased the Philips Hue Starter Kit for trial at the ILC we took it home to test the ease of set up for this product.
The starter kit comes with three colour changing bulbs and the Hue Bridge. This bridge is the necessary brains to link the smartphone App to your lights. It saves the programs or scenes you set to turn the lights on, their colour, which light bulb is to be illuminated and also when to turn them off. Although the starter kit comes with three light bulbs you can connect up to 50 lights to one bridge. Upon connecting the bridge to your home router, via LAN cable provided, it is a matter of installing the lightbulb, turning that lamp/light switch on and opening the App. The App will try to find the bridge, once connected to each other all the lights you have connected will appear for you to control.
Creating scenes for your lights can practical and fun. A scene for the bedroom lights which gradually start to turn on, getting brighter over time from 6am so that the room is bright for 6:30am can be a nice alternative to an alarm clock. For some mood lighting the lights could change through the colour spectrum or change to blue after 8pm for a calming nightlight. My personal favourite was the “All off” button, never get out of bed at night for the laundry light again.
Price of starter kit Approx $280 and available from Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Online. Other lights available include LED’s, light strips, downlights and lamps.