Let’s Make Life Easier

This always seems to be the war cry, whenever we bring new products to the market, or at least they will reduce resource consumption. Seems like a good deal, no?

Well to be quite frank, more often then not the idea is in evolution. Remember low gallon flush toilets? Yes, all you had to do was flush twice. Then there was the electronic ignition in lieu of pilot lights? They almost worked.

CFL light bulbs? They are now required by building code. I hate them. Yes, in very limited applications they’re fine, but for the most part they were insanely stupid. Sure, put them in a closet. By the time you’re done retrieving whatever you need, they finally flicker bright. Have one burn out? Technically you should call in the haz-mat crew to bag up the carcass and seal it up because of the mercury.

LED’s on the other hand really are wonderful. Quick, cool, dimmable, color correctable and long lasting, what lighting should be. Slight down side? Their cost is very high. In hard to reach locations they are perfect. The jury is still out on the real life span. One of my technical advisors suggested wiring the home with lo voltage current to supply the LED lights, seems reasonable to me.

One of my favorite topics always has been home automation, or as some of my worthy specialists have renamed it, home frustration. Early versions were far too cumbersome, giant remotes that went through batteries like water, inability to program the things, power failures causing you to start over from scratch…However some of the simple, and programmable thermostats, such as the Nest stat, really are useful.

Nowadays, the operation is much more user friendly, but the basic question remains, do you really need your security, lighting, heating system, landscape irrigation and camera monitors on your home controllable from your mobile phone or tablet when you are two feet from the switch? Again one feedbacks I have gotten on this question has been the idea of path lighting as you arrive home to a dark home, along with programmed occupancy lighting to deter possible criminal activity. Absolutely great ideas!

Personally, I’d prefer to actually do a walk around on my home. Really look at interfaces and surfaces, and check on how the home is feeling. Such interaction with the home really makes life easier, and it makes me feel like I’m part of my home’s automation.

Featured Image from NXP Blog: Home Automation

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