Unconventional uses of home automation

Posted in DIY Projects,Home Automation by Ruslan Ulanov on the March 26th, 2009

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.

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  • Great post and Well researched, well written and a very enjoyable read and I Just wanna say thanks you for the information you have shared.