Friday, March 14, 2014

In the year 2000

In this world there are only two tragedies; one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. - Oscar Wilde

Every night MrsChaos and I climb into bed, watch a show on the TV, and then read a chapter out of parenting book we're going through. Then what? Then I have to climb out bed to turn off the TV, turn off the light, and turn on the fan. This is insanity. We live in a world where the sum of human knowledge is available to me from the phone sitting on my nightstand, you might wonder why the phone (capable of controlling the furnace) can't do this for me. I wondered this. I wondered this every night as I climbed out of bed to hit all these switches.

I have been eyeing devices capable of control these various things for a long time - but there expensive. The lights were giving me the most hassle. Belkin makes a WeMo light switch--which is promising, but the bedroom light needs a dimmer. Insteon has a dimmer, but everyone tells me that Insteon isn't quite there. Insteon sits right on the cusp of being a prosumer product version something that is too hard to setup yourself. Then there is Phillips Hue - super friendly and super expensive.

I lamented to my friends that I wanted to solve this problem. I thought the right solution for me was a Hue, but $260 seems to be a lot of money to pay to turn off my lights from bed. While I was gnashing my teeth over this cost to a friend he pointed out the truth of my problem to me: "You're not trying to solve the problem of turning your lights off from bed. A clapper would solve that problem. You are trying to solve the problem that you don't live in the future. IN SPACE! IN SPACE!" Fair enough.

Months went by and no one bought me the Hue system off my wish list. In February, I was having another stare down with my shopping cart full of Hue on when something happened. I found someone referencing another product: Technical Consumer Products WiFi Lightbulbs. (Note: it must really hurt their search results that their actual product name is TCP WiFi Lightbulbs. For these I could get bedroom done for $80!?! The limitation was the bulbs only have one color, but still dim just fine. DONE.

Now at the end of the night, I fire up my phone and launch TCP Lighting to turn the lights off, WeMo to turn on the wall plug that ground fan is one, and Samsung Smart View to turn off the TV. Then I go soundly to sleep remember that I am in the future. IN SPACE!