Monday, November 10, 2008

Automated Home

I started working at Control4 in January. We make home automation products. One of the perks of the job is that I get free stuff to put in our home. I recently finished replacing all the light switches in our house with automated dimmers and also automated the TV, DVD player, satellite receiver, and even the garage door. I also got a thermostat, a touch-screen, several keypads, two speaker points, and several remotes (one for each of the kids).

Once something is automated you can control it from any of the remotes, from the touch screen, from one of the keypads or from some other event. It's hard to get your mind around exactly what the system can do unless you see it in action, but let me try to give you a few examples of things that you can do:
  • Kenna has a button on her wall that will automatically turn on her music and play her playlist that she has defined.
  • There is a button with a light on it on the wall in our bedroom. If the light is red it means the garage door is open. Push the button and it will close.
  • There is a button on the wall in the kitchen that will pause the currently playing TV show or DVD--great for when it's time to bless the food.
  • When Todd goes to sleep he programs a "wake-up" that will turn on his light and play music when it's time to get out of bed the next morning.
  • The outdoor lights automatically turn on at sunset and then turn off at 10:00 pm.
Here is what is on the wall in the TV room:
The right switch is for the light. The middle switch is for the ceiling fan. The six buttons on the left control the dining room light, control the kitchen light, control the basement light, turn on the TV to Dish satellite, control the three outdoor lights, and pause the TV/DVD.

It's all customizable to whatever arrangement you want. (It's actually less work to change what a button does than it is to change the label on the button.) Plus, you can access and control any of it over the internet or even from your iPhone. (Too bad we don't have one.) I, of course, think it's all totally cool. But the funny thing is how much Kenna loves it. She helped me install most of the dimmers and loves to change what the buttons in her room do.

If you come over to our house I apologize now for trying to give you an extended show-and-tell.

11 comments:

Sheri said...

You know Brent, I think Eric learned about this stuff at Boise State...he had a teacher that had everything at his automated and at one point Eric had talked about setting up our fish tank so that the fish were fed automatically. Just think, the next time we're in town you'll have another nerd to talk to about this stuff! (Just kidding...ok, maybe not!)

Lynette said...

ok...that is sweet!!! How much to have that installed in our house when we build here in a few months! Serious!!! That is way too cool!!!! And do you travel to Idaho to install....I cook a pretty mean dutch oven dinner!!!!

Debbie said...

Wow. That sounds awesome! Do you hire out - and commute to Texas? It sounds like it adds so much to your home.

Kristen Gregson said...

Don't show my kids. They may add that to their Christmas lists this year. As my Taiden would say, "SWEET!"

Rita said...

Isn't he the greatest nerd ever?! Thanks for making our house so spiffy, Sweetie. It really is fun but I fear that I am going to start to "need" this new system as I need my cell phone, mp3 player, seat warmers in the Sequoia etc. As long as it doesn't get to the level of my Diet Dr. Pepper dependence, I think we'll be okay.

The Bullknitter said...

W.O.W.

Danette said...

I'm coming over, for sure. And I expect to get the full How-To. Ryan will love it. Tech-saavies have to stick together, you know.

bdz132 said...

I get a "Friends and Family" discount on equipment, so if you are serious about putting some of this equipment in your house I can help you out. I estimate that it would have cost me about $2,500 to outfit my entire house under the discount. (But, I got the stuff for free!)

The Len Harris Family said...

Someday, when I've very wealthy, I'll fly you out here and you can install all that stuff in our house. Maybe for Len for Christmas. But don't buy any airline tickets just yet...

No, really, that stuff looks very cool and quite convenient, but I'm still trying to get Len to buy a cell phone.

Beverly said...

Cool. Awesome. Wonderful. I expect to see this stuff installed in both of our homes before we get home from Peru.

McFrosty said...

Awesome! I can't wait to see it.