Most people build home automation systems in an attempt to simplify their lives. When I first started building my system, I had no such illusions. Given the amount of time I’ve spent troubleshooting programs, installing switches, and crawling around in the attic with spools of wire, my system could hardly be considered labor saving.However, convenience isn’t the only reason to build a home automation system. Although computers are becoming increasingly powerful by the day, most of our interactions with computers still involve flat, one-dimensional data. Our computers can tell us the temperature in any place in the world, and they can even show 3D, zoomable, scalable images of that place, but in the end, information is the only thing that’s being exchanged. Our computers can present us with any kind of information imaginable, but in these interactions, nothing really happens.Home automation, however, is a totally different ballgame. By allowing a computer to control an actual physical space, we open a huge number of doors. Once a computer can make real changes to an environment, it’s not limited to just gathering and presenting data—it can act on the information that it has. Given the massive amounts of data that modern computers can access, the possibilities are endless.
And also, let’s be frank—turning on your lights by yelling at the ceiling is just a cool thing to be able to do.
I originally started looking into X10 home automation after seeing the site DriveMeInsane.com
, which allows its users to remotely control various lamps and other gizmos, watching the results of their button-mashing via webcam. It seemed like such a cool idea that I had to try it. That eventually evolved into the system I have now.
This site is intended to be both a source of informal HA how-to information and a way for me to showcase the stuff that I’ve put together. Parts of the site are written as overviews, some are intended to be informational, and some are comprised mostly of pictures and info about my system.
Although I’ve tried and successfully completed everything on this site, I can make no guarantee that any of it is safe, responsible, legal, or otherwise a good idea. Do not undertake any project on this site unless you fully understand and are willing to accept the risks.
This site is a free service, but the server space it takes up is not free. For that reason, the site is advertising supported. This means that you’ll see some unobtrusive ads while browsing through it. The site contains no popup ads, nor does it download anything other than cookies onto your computer.
Another thing that helps pay for this site is the use of Amazon.com affiliate links. This means that if you follow a link from this site to Amazon.com and buy a product, Amazon gives us a small percent of the sale. This will not affect your purchasing experience or product price in any way. However, if you are not comfortable with this, feel free to go to Amazon.com directly and search for the product itself, rather than clicking on an affiliate link.