Yesterday, I got the new Smarthome catalog in the mail. I’m in full-fledged home automation gadget lust! On top of that, I just discovered my home automation server, Indigo, has released the first public beta of version 6. In addition to a few UI enhancements and new INSTEON devices, the big new thing is Z-Wave support.
While I think it may be some time before I drink the Z-Wave Kook-aid, it’s nice to know I will have even more options on the types of devices I can include in my home automation network.
For now, I’m eager to get my hands on a few of these INSTEON LED Light Bulbs. Not only are they LED (win!) but they’ll let me free up some of the lamp modules to repurpose them on other dimmable lighting fixtures that don’t use standard Edison-style screw-in bulbs.
Next on my list is the wireless INSTEON thermostat. It’s a bit pricy for what I want to do and it’s got so-so reviews, but I may take if for a test drive. Living in an apartment means I can’t rewire the place — not to mention we have building-controlled heat and built-in room AC units — so it’s not like I can really use a full-fledged thermostat to control my home environmentals. That’s why this option is appealing. I’m envisioning it being used to control my humidifiers in the winter and AC units in the summer… oh, the fans too.
There are other options to bring temp and humidity information into Indigo, but honestly, I just don’t have the motivation to get my hands “that dirty”.
I remember your early home automation setups back in high school – you had this clicker with a ton of switches and your whole room was wired up. So cool. I can only imagine what you would do with an endless budget and the right gadgets and apps now. :)
I’m only really limited by the fact I can’t replace or rewire switches or receptacles… but I make due. Web access and iOS device control and all!