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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Brightening Up My Lazy World

One of the things I don't like about the new house is the lighting in the family room. In my former house, there were recessed lights on a dimmer switch that were controlled by a remote and I freaking loved it! I had the recessed lights in my Minnesota home's great room, too, but those weren't on a dimmer. Here, all I have is the glaring light from the ceiling fan. Blech.

I did add two lamps to try to get more illumination into the space, and while it does help, it's not as good as the dimmer switch lighting.

There was one other problem, too. Turning the lamps on and off got to be a pain. One required weaving my way between two ottomans, two chairs, and over a rug that won't lie flat. That's another story for maybe another day. The other light was accessible, but it was on the other side of the room. Inevitably, I'd be sitting down before I realized I needed the light. In my old house, I'd pick up the remote and turn the lights on or off without moving. I missed that.

It was to the point where I wasn't turning on the lamps because it felt like too much work. I know. Lazy.

There was a solution, though--technology. I bought two smart plugs.

They were about $16 each, which wasn't too badly priced considering what I saw on other smart plug products. These were supposed to be small enough to share the socket and that's sort of true. It will share the socket with a normal plug. It will not, however, share the socket with the plug for a surge protector and both lamps were sharing with a power strip.

It took some shifting, but I made it work. Then I had to pair the devices to an app on my phone. The directions weren't clear to me and it took the troubleshooting section to figure out what I really was supposed to have done. Once I did that, they linked up easily.

This is so cool! I can turn the lights on and off from anywhere with Wi-Fi, even if I'm out of town! I could have used this when my dad and I were traveling back and forth to Minnesota to get his house ready to sell. It also has a timer function. Right now I'm going to try having the lamps come on about the time I get up and turn off when I need to get in the shower for work. Also super cool. It has a countdown function, too, which I assume means if I want them to turn off in an hour, I set that and it will countdown until shut off.

I know these smart things right now are easily hackable, but I figured that two lights weren't a big deal. But despite this, these things are so cool, I'm thinking what else could I use this with? I have a floor lamp in my bedroom and a couple of bedside lamps, but beyond that? I have no idea where or how I'd use additional plugs.

Anyway, I'm totally loving these things although I have only had them a couple of hours at this point. Two enthusiastic thumbs up with the caveat that I'm still in the honeymoon period.