All posts tagged: lighting

Testing the waters with openHAB

Nerd Alert. If you are not into technology, you will find this boring. You have been warned! The Z-wave switches are being installed today and SS has been working throughout the week trying to ensure that openHAB has been installed ready to be configured. SS has been testing the waters in writing the rules for openHAB and he has been successful so far in automating a lamp via a WEMO switch. I was thrilled! Let me describe his setup so far. Firstly, everything is not going as planned. SS planned to have openHAB hosted on our ASUSTOR NAS server and use the Aeotec Z-Stick USB as the controller. But on the limited version of the Linux OS on NAS, installing the driver is proving to be a problem. Poor SS. He is still waiting on ASUSTOR to respond to his query. So a temporary solution while SS figures this out, is to use Raspberry Pi instead of NAS. I am told the USB Z-Stick works like a charm on this. And that it was easy …

Getting our geek on!

Well, Well, Well – look what we have in the mail – the z-wave microswitches for our lighting automation project! Nerd Alert! Let me explain a little about what these things are for and what they do – in non geeky terms. Again on a side note, there are various types of ‘home controllers’. You can also get ones that are stand alone devices with its own processor that can connect to internet, install the necessary apps etc. But SS, opted to use USB controller because he wanted to see whether he could make more use of his linux based NAS device – which is currently our “media server” (There should be a post on this. SS does some cool things), and run the openHAB software (and there should be a post on this too. it will be particularly interesting to the tech-heads) , which typically requires Java, off it. He also just likes to do things out of the norm. Crazy dude. By the way, these devices are certainly not cheap. Here is where we purchased them …

A “starry” ceiling

Hey, it wasn’t easy. But its done! The old lights have been replaced with these gorgeous new downlights. Next step is to install the Z-Wave switches to get our geek on with lighting automation!! Btw, the electricians we used was City Light Electrical. They were introduced through referral and since they were starting a new company, we were also their first few clients and they made sure we got competitive quotes. And they were nice. We like good quotes and nice people 😉 — Featured On: The Daily Post: Ready, Set, Done

Some styles are “ageless”

We are getting our lights changed – starting with the exteriors then on to the interiors. For our exterior lighting, we are still sticking to the more classic lights to go with the feel of the house. Our house has a bit of character that I do not want to lose by just blindly trying to modernise everything – SS tends to do that a lot in trying to get the “latest of everything”. And I keep arguing that its not a piece of software or technology that you always need to be updated with. Some styles are “ageless” – like I felt with these exterior lights. I must say I get excited about the littlest thing!

Because its too hard to press that damn switch…

SS has been raving about replacing our existing switches with “Z-Wave microswitches” ever since we decided that the lighting in our home needs to change. These microswitches are basically smarter switches, in that it works on the Z-Wave wireless technology and in working together with a certain “Home Controller”, allows for lighting to be automated. It sounds too geeky but I am pretty much excited about this along with SS. Imagine being able to control your lights at home via mobile phone or tablet – from the office. Imagine, the lights automatically dimming down when you settle in to watch a movie! And if that imagination does not excite you then just believe me that it is just “too hard” to press that damn switch 😉 And automating the lighting is really just the start. This technology can “smarten” your locks, windows, doors, cameras, air conditioner and the list goes on. Some of the uses could be a life saver – how about receiving a text message alerting you that someone has broken into the house? Some uses are of great convenience – picture coming to an automatically …

Amazing light fixtures by John Pomp

It’s amazing what you find, when you go about looking. I am now looking to replace the old lights in our home. So as usual, I began my internet treasure hunt. And I came upon some photos by some fab decorators that had these very simple glass pendant lights, with a weird (but very fitting) mix of being both a bit rustic and classy at the same time. I fell instantly in love with these light fixtures. These lights are by John Pomp.

Sensing a lighting emergency

I love good lighting – whether natural lights or otherwise. While natural light gives a fresh welcoming feeling, I think good internal lights makes the home look warm and cozy. And you see, all the lights in our home needs to be replaced. They are pretty but look centuries old. So, I am sort of in a panic mode now. I know how important lighting is. And I have to replace all of them. I am not saying they are ugly. They are just not my style. So call in the ambulance! These are what we currently have. Not sure what I am going to do with them. Anyone interested to buy em?