Unconventional uses of home automation

INSTEON light bulb

Recently I discovered an unusual application for X10/Insteon-enabled lights. It turns out they could help your little kids eat better and faster. Now, let me explain.

We have a two-year-old and I would think all parents know that feeding your kid at this age could be quite a challenging activity. So we have to invent ways to distract (or rather entertain) kids while they eat, be it books, toys or songs.

Here’s what happened a few days ago…

We were fooling around and I told my son to clap his hands to turn on the ceiling lamp in the dining room. He did and… magically, the lamp did turn on. He clapped again… and it turned off. I can’t express how much fun it was for him. He thought the lamp could hear him clapping.

I decided to use this to my advantage. Now, at the dinner, I tell him that the lamp will play with him only if he eats well. And when he refuses to eat the lamp doesn’t turn on, no matter how hard he claps his hands.

Want to know my dirty secret? No, the lamp has no artificial intelligence, but there is a little gadgetry involved. I’m using a little wireless X10 remote control (hidden in my pocket) to trigger the SwitchLinc switch on the wall that controls this ceiling lamp. Simple.

If you want to play a magician (or psychic), here’s what you’ll need:

  • Any lamp (or device) connected to an X10/Insteon lamp (or appliance) module.
  • A remote control that is compatible with the module you use.
  • An appropriate protocol bridge to translate wireless signal from the remote to X10/Insteon power-line command.

Do you have a story ? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

About Ruslan Ulanov 103 Articles
Ruslan Ulanov is a software engineer by day and Smart Home hacker by night. He got fascinated by potential of home automation over a decade ago, when it was available to select few. Over the years experimented with smart products using different technologies from X10 to Insteon to ZigBee. Actively supports new smart home developments on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

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