Whole House Energy Control – Even Smarter!

I may be an old guy (hit 61 this year... <i>I think</i>), but I 
absolutely adore tech. I fired up my first computer in the 80s and love 
all things internet, Wi-Fi, and home-technology related.<br><br>Just 
last year, I was in the supermarket buying bagels and cream cheese and 
wandered upon a display hawking those Google Home Minis. Cream cheese 
could wait...<br> Leviton Manufacturing

Steve Maurer, IME

I may be an old guy (hit 61 this year... I think), but I absolutely adore tech. I fired up my first computer in the 80s and love all things internet, Wi-Fi, and home-technology related.

Just last year, I was in the supermarket buying bagels and cream cheese and wandered upon a display hawking those Google Home Minis. Cream cheese could wait...

I had to have me some tech!

Little did I know how important that purchase would be today. Recent innovations in smart-home technology have made those amazing devices very important tools! (Even though the wife still calls them my "toys".)

Here's what I mean.

Whole-house energy control has blasted into the 21st century... and beyond! In a previous article, we talked about smarter switches for lighting control in the home.

This goes way beyond that.

Imagine, if you will, waking up in the middle of the night craving, say, bagels and cream cheese. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't navigate well in the dark. And, I've got the cracked toe bones to prove it.

But, what if you could just say, "Hey Google, turn on the hall lights!" Or, "Alexa, light up the snack run for me!"

You can... and so much more.

Using smart home tech available today, you can use your smartphone or tablet to "name" your lights and other devices and create lighting scenarios to your heart's content. And Wi-Fi enabled plugins pop into your existing wall outlets to control lamps and small appliances... all waiting for your command!
Some of these devices are robust enough to control small fans and motors. Want to turn on the water fountain in the flower garden or turn on the floor fan to get a little breeze going?

No problem! Just say the word and it is done.

Perhaps you're going on vacation, maybe for a few weeks or even just a few days. Using an app for energy control, you can create a scenario that includes more than just turning lights on and off.

You can set random light levels to give your home more of that "somebody's at home" look. Turning fans, fountains, and other small appliances on adds even more authenticity to the appearance of occupancy.

Should you decide to change it, you can do that from anywhere you are, at any time you please. Yep... there's an app for remote energy control.

One of the best things is that you don't have to add any additional wiring to make your whole-house energy control automated.

While most of these tech tools work with any lamp technology, if you use them for low-wattage LED loads (like my wife's outdoor Christmas display), you'll want to make sure the device is designed for it. Otherwise the LEDs might have a slight glow when turned off.

I just love my automation tools. They save energy, ensure home security, and make my dramatic lighting schemes the talk of the town.

Now, if I could just get them to take out the trash on Tuesdays...


Photo courtesy of Leviton Manufacturing