Let There Be Light

Men love gadgets, and when you marry an engineer, you just might end up with really cool, high-tech gadgets.

I have no idea where the Mr finds these things, but he keeps the FedEx and UPS guys busy with his online shopping.

While I love opening packages–they’re almost like presents–I’ve given up on these. More often than not, once I open them, I have no idea what  they are.

A few weeks ago, the Mr ordered some switches…hmm, OK, they sound fun. I try to keep a positive outlook. These were light switches that you can control with your phone. Little did I know how handy these truly are.

Why would I need these you might ask. Am I lazy? Sometimes the answer would be yes, and while I’m not 100-percent convinced of their necessity, I do really like them.

The Mr heads off to work before dawn. We live in the boonies, and it’s pitch black when he leaves. So being a wise man, he turns on the porch light. If it’s light when I get up, I don’t notice the porch light and it gets left on all day becoming a source of tension. I like to conserve energy, I don’t want the light bulbs to burn out, I don’t own stock in the power company, but it’s really hard to tell if the lights are even on. Well, the Mr can now control our porch light with his phone. He can turn it off and on all by himself–no more tension.

By the same token, when I hear the driveway alarm, I can turn on the porch light to welcome visitors. Could I just run over and turn on the light switch? Yes, but this is a crazy house and it’s simply not that easy. You don’t need the porch light until it’s dark outside and then the entry goes from well lit and pretty:

To stinkin’ dark:

I’m sad to say I don’t have eagle eyes that can see in pitch balck and reading that fine print just isn’t going to happen. It used to take a lot of random poking for me to figure out which switch was the right one, since it’s not simply one light switch but one of a dozen. Another added bonus of these new switches is that they glow in the dark. Even I can find them manually now.

Along with the porch light, the Mr installed one in the kitchen and one in the dining room. My good guy likes to sit at the bar and chat with me after work while I’m putting together dinner. Sometimes I have gunk all over my hands, and as the day fades he’d like the light turned on. That seems like a simple task, but it’s an amazingly long path from the light switch to the bar. The light switch is just outside the pantry door.

After turning on the light, he would have to walk back through the kitchen–which I’m sorry to say can be a bit of a hostile environment when I’m pulling food out of the oven or stirring up dinner on the stove. I can be a bit territorial.

And then back around the corner to the bar stools.

The Bar

Having to walk too far to the light switch is definitely a very foolish problem. It reminded me and the Mr of a video we saw in church a few weeks ago about first world problems .

So could we live without our techi light switches? Yes. But they make our lives easier, alleviate a few problems, and sometimes it’s fun to live a little.

The Mr ordered a few to check them out and see whether we’d actually use them. After a few months, SmartLabs Inc. sent him a coupon, so he bought a few more. We’ve been hanging out in the center area of the great room lately, and easy light control would be a major bonus.

I guess Insteon is a bit like a high-tech version of the Clapper, and we’re hooked.

How has technology invaded your life? 

To learn more about the lights around here, check out Quaint Quirks. Or if you’re interested in phone operated lights, turn to Insteon.net


5 thoughts on “Let There Be Light

  1. OMG, I could see myself in all the scenes in the video, and have felt guilty about all of them. Thank your wonderful church for showing me how much I have to be thankful for. I will start by being thankful for your Mr. as he has helped his father and I out of so many computer problems. He is indeed a kind and gentle soul, who loves to put new and ingenious ‘gadgets’ to work. Hip, hip, hooray for Mr., and to the fantastic Mrs.

  2. I’m married to a techie, too. The dog can recognize the sound of the UPS truck before he ever drives onto our gravel road. What is it about light switches? I think ours have been changed 2-3 times since we moved in to this house. My tech guy has the exterior house lights programmed now, so no more leaving on the porch lights all day. I’m sure he can change it from his phone, I just have no idea how it all works. I only ask that it does, in fact, work. We’ve had some funny episodes of failed technology.

    • That’s funny. When I asked the Mr where he finds these things, he said the guys at work… He was disappointed that the kitchen lights hadn’t turned on automatically at 5 last night, but when sunset is at 4:40 that’s too late for me to be making dinner. He’s reprogrammed it for sunset. 🙂 If all else fails, I can push the button.

  3. Pingback: November Revisited « bigwhitehouseonthehill

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