More on The Internet of Things
As some of you may know, here at JSON HQ we have installed Hue lights. You can read about that here. Recap: where I have replaced normal lights with Hue lights, I can control those lights from a smart phone, set up timers and alarms, and control lights remotely. On days when I’m working from home, I have the lights set to turn on in my workspace at a specific time and at a lower intensity and color range. They then slowly brighten. Through geofencing, I have set certain lights to turn on or off when I arrive home or leave home. For example, I don’t have to remember to turn off the lights in certain rooms. They automatically turn off when I leave the house — or more specifically, when I leave the range of the wireless network of our lights. Those same lights turn on when I return home.
There is now a new Hue gizmo that I find insanely useful. Here is a picture of one affixed to the wall by the entrance to the living room:
I love our Hue lights. I do. But from time to time, it’s annoying to use an app to turn lights off or on. The Tap Switch solves that issue. For those who aren’t viewing the image, the Tap Switch looks like a large white hockey puck. There are three small buttons on it and the entire surface surrounding those three buttons is, in fact, a fourth button.
You connect the tap switch to the Hue system and set up which lights are controlled by which buttons on the switch. Then you place the switch wherever it’s convenient. And that is the insanely awesome thing. Because, suppose the physical light switches in a room are not conveniently placed. Suppose there are times when you must cross a dark room to reach the switch that turns on the lights. Or, suppose that a room or series of rooms require that you walk around turning out lights– that is, flipping multiple light switches from the on position to the off position.
Here is a spiffy map showing a boneheaded layout of lights. Note how the very farthest room has a switch in that room, but no switch at the location where you enter the main room. There is sometimes a lot of walking across rooms in the dark, if you are in the far room with the light (C) on when someone has turned off lights A and B. In the bedroom, you must turn off light D before you get in bed. Or bring one’s smart phone or tablet to bed in order to turn off the lights while in bed.
A Tap Switch, placed at the entrance to this series of rooms, allows us to tap once to turn on (or turn off) lights A, B, and C. Another button on the switch is assigned to light D. In addition, placing another tap switch on the wall by the bed allows a sleepy person to tap once to turn off the lights.
In other words, and this I think cannot be stressed enough, if in your residence the light switches are not placed conveniently, a Tap Switch solves that problem without the need for an electrician. This is reconfigurable at any time, because you can both move the physical location of the Tap Switch or reassign the lights and actions assigned to the buttons.
Suppose you are not tall. Or you are in a wheelchair or otherwise physically limited such that it is hard to reach normal light switches. A Tap Switch can be placed in easier reach.
And that is awesome for everyone.