Welcome to Home Automation Week at Blogography!
Home automated "smart" light switches are not really called "light switches" as their functionality is so much more than that. Most people call them "light controllers."
And, like I said yesterday, they're big.
Which means if your electrical boxes can't handle the additional size, you've got to install deeper boxes... or find a way of extending the box from the wall. Since the first option is a massive undertaking, I went with option two.
Which was not the cake-walk I was expecting. I could find only one manufacturer for such a thing. One.
Arlington Industries, Inc. and their UL-listed BES Box Extenders...
The extenders themselves are textured so you can paint them to match your decor. And while some people may not like the way they stick out from the wall, I'm actually quite happy with them. For one thing, I think it will cut down on finger-oils and grime hitting the wall. For another, when you pair the extenders with a screwless switch plate, it ends up looking kinda cool.
And when it comes to controlling the controllers? Now that they've been installed?
As I mentioned yesterday, INSTEON has a hub that plugs into your electrical system and the internet. You can then use your iPhone to control all your INSTEON devices wherever you may be... so long as your phone has internet data access.
But INSTEON didn't stop there.
In an effort to tie into Apple's HomeKit, they've recently released a Hub PRO model that does just that. Being able to integrate all my INSTEON stuff with all my Apple stuff and have Siri voice control for the whole shebang is pretty awesome. In theory. In reality? Well...
The problem with the HomeKit-enabled INSTEON Hub Pro is that it doesn't support all the various INSTEON devices. Only some of them.
Door sensors? On/Off sensors? Water leak Sensors? Nope. Nope. Nope.
Which means that the HomeKit option is pretty much worthless to me, for the time being. Perhaps one day INSTEON and Apple will get their shit together so everything will work right, but that day is not today. So I just bought the "regular" hub and figure I'll upgrade sometime in the future. That will be nice because then my HomeKit Schalge door locks will fit right in with everything else. In the meanwhile though... not so much.
Kind of a buzzkill, right?
There's another option to bring your INSTEON controllers into the future that Star Trek promised us. And I'll talk about that tomorrow.