The State of Automation - Lighting

The State of Automation - Lighting

On one side of my family, I lag quite a bit in the automation stakes. My father-in-law leverages many of the consumer options such as Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, NetAtmo, etc. with a healthy dash of scripting and open source including OpenHAB. My sister-and-brother-in-law take a more DIY approach to the level of even etching their own PCBs.

So it seems I’m somewhere in the middle in approach, at least…

Light Bulbs

I had three goals with smart bulbs:

  1. Dimmable in the lounge for when watching television and the rare morsel of evening gaming
  2. A coloured light/nightlight for shits and giggles in the kids room
  3. Do away with the need for low-wattage desk/floor lamps for baby’s room

While not as exhaustive as overseas, there are a few options in the New Zealand market such as LIFX, TP-Link, iGlo and, of course, Hue.

After some looking around, I finally took a dive down the Philips Hue hole based on it not being Wi-Fi dependent and also boasting the widest integration support. My first mistake was reducing the 2x 3-bulb bayonet “chandelier” to a 2x 2-bulb edison frosted fixture. Moving from the 6x 10W+ CFLs to 4x 800lm impeded by the frosting is delivering a more noticeably lower light output than expected. Now the question is whether to reneg back to fixtures similar to the old ones - which is feasible due to the previous owners penchant for 3-bulb fixtures in every room barring the bathroom - but it will mean picking up some bayonet Hue bulbs and having 4 edison ones surplus to requirements. The decision also forks at whether to spend $20 more for the dual-temperature which I think would go some way to making the room brighter again.