Flutterby™! : I would feel way better about home

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I would feel way better about home

2013-09-17 04:26:08.337212+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

I would feel way better about home automation stuff if I could buy a basic timer that lasts more than two years.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-09-17 06:00:20.469361+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

It's getting to the point where a Raspberry Pi or Arduino may be cheaper than other options even for simple things like timers.

My zWave fader-switch cost $52 and it has a really bad user interface. Yes. I paid $52 for a freakin' light switch that isn't even a very good light switch.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-09-17 11:59:43.191536+00 by: Larry Burton

The fact that I was changing out light switches more often than I was changing the light bulb is the main reason I gave up on home automation a long time ago.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-09-17 17:04:15.047628+00 by: Dan Lyke

Digital timer
9 buttons + LCD: $20.
Switched socket
1 button, LED, network transceiver: $50.

And, of course, I'd have to get a controller unit that my Linux box could see, and I'm seeing an awful lot of "expect about two years", which is the same as the stupid timer.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-09-17 17:37:16.117268+00 by: ebradway

Larry: My $52 fader switch controls 9 11W LED fixtures. The fixtures/bulbs claim to have a 20 year warranty. I wouldn't be surprised if I have to replace the switch sooner. But the usability of the switch is so bad, that I suspect I'll change it long before it fails.

By usability, I mean the switch looks like a standard rocker-style light switch. However, it doesn't "rock", it's really two momentary switches operated by a single rocker. Each switch has two behaviors depending on the length of time the switch is depressed. A short depression turns on the lights to the last brightness (or turns off). A long depression adjusts the brightness (up or down depending on which switch).

The problem is that the lights fade to on rather than just instantly turning on. And the switch doesn't provide a tactile "switch" sensation. The result is that, unless I am careful (or someone not used to this switch), the brightness gets adjusted instead of the lights being turned on.

I know it's hard to believe that someone could make a light switch that's so broken...