Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home Automation

This topic doesn’t have anything directly to do with foster parenting, but it has helped me keep the house under control with munchkins running around. About ten years ago I started swapping standard light switches and AC receptacles with X10-controlled replacements. These new switches and sockets can be remotely controlled in various ways, such as through remote switches, timers, or by computer. I use this system to automatically turn certain house lights on at dusk and off at sunrise, so the kids don’t wake up in the dark. I also use it to control Halloween and Christmas decorations, and to automatically turn off lights in bathrooms and closets that the kids often forget and leave on. The bathroom and closet lights have motion sensors. If movement isn’t detected for a certain period of time, then the lights automatically turn off!

I choose to use the SmartHome PowerLinc Controller. It is a computer programmable device that sends (and receives) control signals from compatible switches, receptacles and other equipment. It comes with software that allows you to script fairly complex control programs. Click HERE to view this product on their web site.

Interested in more home automation ideas? Click HERE to see my second post on this subject!