Loving Home Automation

Many moons ago (2004) I purchased a voice activated remote control for my then boyfriend (now husband). It was pricy and don’t work very well.

It seems that now we have finally reached the time when we can now start to integrate these devices in our lives without getting too frustrated. I don’t really use voice activation on my phone so I guess my starting point was the Xbox one. Turning my whole to system on using just my voice has become common place now. I still get frustrated using voice activation to go through the menus but that’s fine. My 21 month old now says “Xbox” whenever he sees a tv screen. One day it will start recognising his voice… then I’ll be sorry.

We’ve had the Xbox for a couple of years and thenaround November last year we introduced Alexa into our house (the Amazon echo). I thought it would be a novelty that would just wear off but I’m actually quite liking it. I tell her to add items to my shopping list as I’m cooking and run out of ingredients and she does! (It’s the small things that make me happy). She tells me stories and jokes: I’ve not been brace enough to make a purchase using her yet though.

Within 2 months of having Alexa we started to look at more home automation technology. We now have Philips Hue bulbs in our living room, kitchen, hallway and bedroom. You need a Hue bridge for this as well but it’s easy to install.

Now I can control my lights by just asking Alexa. My son is amazed… he’s going to have some fun when he can speak properly. I’ve set up extra themes to suit what I want from my lighting. In the living room we have spotlights and lamps. We have dimmed red lighting for cinema theme, ambient yellows for chillout theme and then some practical themes such as “ironing” which lights the spotlights where I iron but leaves the rest of the lights dimmed for someone else to chill and watch TV at the same time. I also have my guitar a practice spotlight that serves the same purpose.

Along with the basic bulbs and bridge we have a motion sensor set up in our hallway. There is only one switch for the light and you need to walk to the other end of the hallway to turn it on. Now the light will turn on when it detects someone walking down which is great!

In the bedroom we have Hue lamps and a programmable switch. The settings give us reading lights, on, off and toilet lights. The toilet lights give us dimmed red lighting for going to he loo in the night. It means we can keep our night vision and not be woken up by bright lights. I’m also expecting my next baby in s couple of months so this setting is going to be great for those night feeds.

I always thought that his type of technology would never catch on but having experienced it I don’t think I’d like to go back. It’s not necessarily the voice activation that I like as much as how customisable he whole system is to making my home that bit more “mine”.

If you are thinking about home automation, the Philips Hue system has been great for us. Im thinking about doing some YouTube demos of how we have our lighting. Let me know if you’d be interested in this.

Mum just happy my home is becoming more homely for me and my family. I just need to plan an occasion to use my disco lights now.

Hank you for reading. Have a lovely day xx


My New Table Lamp

Up until now I have kept design items in my home quite minimal and basic. I like clean lines and blocks of colour. A part of me always wanted a little more opulence though.

I actually went out to buy a pendant lamp for my staircase. The staircase opens out into my living room and the fixture that was there was broken by a wardrobe delivery a while ago. I decided that I wanted something more than just a plan shade and came across the Bella range in Next Home.

I loved the mink coloured shade but the droplets of glass gave the shade the opulence I was looking for.

Whilst shopping we came across the table lamp. As it happens the lamp has two bulbs. The top bulb is a bayonet fitting and the bulb in the base has a screw fitting. We are in the process of buying automated bulbs so the bayonet is not an issue but we are still waiting on the adapter for the base.

The shade is nice and simple which I do like in a lamp. We were a little disappointed that there was a slight blemish on the shade at the front which cast a slight shadow but we have adjusted the shade so it doesn’t show at the front. I was thinking of returning the lamp but I was so excited to have it the adjustment allowed us to live with its tiny flaw.

In situe the lamp looks beautiful. I think the base looks similar to a jellyfish.

The photos show various different colour settings from our Hue bulbs.

I’m not sure if the cabinet that my lamp sits on it too high for the lamp as it is quite tall but I love the light and patterns that it casts.

Im looking forward to my pendant lamp shade arriving now.

Here is the link to the next home shop where you can click and collect or order straight to your home. I’d still recommend trying to get into a store to see the lamp for yourself as I don’t think any of the photos do it justice.¬†http://www.next.co.uk/g504132s3#999168