I really like having the Philips Hue light bulbs in the house. It’s cool to have the lights set so that when I wake up in the morning they are on already for me to have my breakfast and get ready for work. It’s also cool that they will switch off automatically when I’m finished and tell me when it’s time to leave the house and get in the car. It’s lovely when I’m sitting on the sofa and I want to switch off the lights in the office, I just tell Alexa to do that for me. I have the motion detector to go with the kitchen lights. When I walk into the kitchen the lights will turn on for me. I haven’t set so that if there is no more movement they will switch off after three minutes. I need some Flic Switches.
Getting Notified by Lighting
I use the lights as notifier. When I arrive back home in the car and I’m waiting for the gate to open I can’t always tell if the garage door is opening. So I set up the garage door with an Elgato eve switch which is used to automatically switch on the light at the front door. Naturally, I also use automation to turn that turn the light off when the garage door has closed. I can see from where I’m sitting in the car that they garage door has open. I cannot I get notifications on my phone every time the garage door opens and closes but I don’t really need that to happen when I’m away from home. It is good as a security feature when I’m away on holiday though! If any of the doors or windows open and I get a notification I can then use the cameras over the Internet to see if there are people in the house who shouldn’t be there.
I could do more automation
I’d like to do more automations with the lights. I would like to have it so that all the lights turn off when I leave the house. There is the possibility of setting controls based on location and it does work. I’ve tested it. At the moment I can’t use that because if there is someone still in the house then they would be left sitting in the dark. The automation controls need to have a little bit more intelligence built into them so I can set the automatic controls with more precision. Not a good idea to annoy the wife this way. Happy wife , happy life!
Alexa or Siri
Most times I use Alexa to control of the lights. This is because she is always listening and I only have to say her name and then the command. With Siri I need to press a home button to have Siri listen to me. That is unless I have a device plugged in with the lightning cable so she might hear and then do my bidding. My preference at night time and is to say “Good night” to Siri and know that all of the hue lights in the house will be turned off.
It’s not a perfect in this automatic household
Like I mentioned, there is still room for the controls to get more intelligent. The other problem in the house is the semi automatic humans. My wife has this thing where she likes to have the lights turned off and over many years has developed the habit of switching the lights off as she leaves the room. Trouble is, when the lights are turned off at the switch it’s not then possible to control them using the automation. So I’ve been looking at switches to add to my Hue lighting system. Phillips to make switches which will work with your Hue lighting, but so far I haven’t bought any because I don’t like the price.
Bluetooth Flic Switches
Yesterday I decided to place an order for some Flic switches these look like they could do the job. I ordered a set of 44 $99. I will stick these onto the switch or near to the switch on the wall. I will then add a small piece of tape to stop the switch from being used. Please switches work over Bluetooth. The battery lasts up to 18 months. It’s not just for controlling lights, they can also be used using IFTTT. There’s a whole range of items to use with including speakers, automated locks and cameras. It’s even possible to set it so that more than one action takes place at the same time.
Easy to order and soon to arrive
The day after I placed the order I got a message to say they had been sent out. Following day I will have the new switches in my house. I expect a delivery from UPS this afternoon. I’m really looking forward to having a play with these new devices. Look out for a new blog post or an addition to this post to see how I get on with them. I will keep it simple to begin with. I’ll use the single click on the Flic to switch the light on or off. I may use the click and hold to turn off all the lights in the house. I will still have double-click I can use for something else. Also be testing these Flic switches to see how they work inside my car. They also show it as possible to use the switch clipped to your clothing and used to control your mobile device.