October 27, 2009
| by EH Staff
Gotta hand it to our tech-savvy readers, you’re coming up with very creative ways to answer our “What Do You Want to Control?” contest question.
The Electronic House and Control4 home automation contest is still ongoing — click here to enter — and remember it will require a little storytelling on your end. So what exactly do you want to control? Here are some more of your hopes and requests:
I would like to integrate a system that allows me to monitor two houses. We have a mountain home that had a heater pipe rupture in 2005 causing approximately $115,000 worth of damage. The ability to monitor this house might have prevented, or at least minimized, the damage. The ability to monitor and alter the settings for the water heater, thermostat, lights, shades and cameras would be nice. While dreaming, I would also like to be able to see who rings the doorbell at either house and be able to answer through a speaker system, perhaps via cell phone, as though I were present at said location, with the ability to grant remote access as an additional bonus. —David, Colo.
An automated mail box and newspaper box would be a “God-send.” Because of the location of the boxes, we cannot see when the carriers deliver the mail and paper. We make a number of needless trips to see if they have been delivered. —Mil, Tenn.
My mother is 79-years-old and is in need of help to manage her household. A lot of the things necessary for maintaining a home are getting increasingly difficult for her. Winning this home control system would be a God-send for her. —Thomas, Ga.
Our home control project mainly involves the HVAC system, although integrating lighting and our security system would be wonderful as well. Both our jobs’ start times vary so much that we really can’t take advantage of our programmable thermostat. It would be tremendous if we could heat up the house in the morning from the nightstand. Plus we forget to turn out lights and lock doors on occasion and someone always has to get out of bed. —Jack and Regina, Ohio
It’s 30 below zero at our mountain home and we want to arrive to a warm house. Let’s turn on the heat from my iPhone, a few lights and have the perfect mood music playing when we arrive. —Paul, N.J.
More than anything I would love to have greater and more effective control of my husband. He is a perfectionist who becomes utterly absorbed in this projects throughout the house. If I had control of the ceiling fans, and room by room thermostat control I could lure him to dinner, for example, by reducing his access to heat or air conditioning depending on the season. He would wander upstairs in search of heat and I could then pounce with a pot roast. —Roxanne, Mo.
If there is more than an ON and OFF button on all of the high tech items today, I am lost. Control? I am not sure what I would need. Perhaps the TV, DVD player, CD player, radio, PC, I would like to have control instead of asking anyone to help me. Of course, I will always need to know the ON and OFF buttons. —Margaret, Ill.
One month ago we bought a house that was built in 1965 that can use some upgrades. I have plans to update my “new-to-me” home to today’s era. My husband would love to control his own media room and all the toys that go with it. I like the idea but the cost is just too great for us to accomplish at this time. I would love to control the lighting in my home, it seems the houses built in that time period just had no lighting at all and I love a well-lit home. The windows are dated and painted shut. I don’t even know if it’s possible to control the opening of windows this way, however, it would be so cool if I could push a button and all the windows would open the same amount. —Debbie, Ga.
I would like to have outdoor lighting that illuminates our house appropriately to deter animals (and people) from approaching the house. We have an issue with neighborhood cats using our yard as a litter box. Also, a security camera system that shows the front, side, and backyard on my computer and/or television, so that I can watch my children during the day and predators or thieves at night. —Christopher, Ariz.
I would simply like to control every aspect of my living/theater room including the theater lighting whenever my DVD turns on. Oh and remote control of EVERYTHING! —Clark, Mich.