10 More of Your Home Control Requests

Here are some more of your home automation requests as entered into the Electronic House/Control4 "What Do You Want to Control?" contest.


Each week we’re highlighting some of the entries in our “What Do You Want to Control?” contest, sponsored by Control4 and Electronic House. Registration is still open for entering into the sweepstakes.

Requests range from conveniently lighting your home to simply controlling every aspect of one’s life. No big chore. And while last week the wives were hoping Control4 could control their husbands, this week it seems the husbands are joking back a little. So here goes with a sampling:

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I desperately need Control4 to help me control … my screams of frustration when I can’t find the 23rd remote needed to control various aspects of my home theater. My use of expletives … as I review my electric bill realizing the air conditioning has been running too long and there is an arctic expedition team forming in my neighborhood. The growing mud pit in my back yard … as my irrigation system is running amok! My fears and tears … as I worry about the security of my wife (with baby on the way). I dream of the new Schlage Link system and integration with our home security system. Please bring order to the chaos! –Matthew, N.C.

My son has autism. He plays on his own, but we have to check in on him regularly. I’d like to be able to be able to do that better using cameras. I’d also like to have lights come on (dimly, in his room and ours) if he gets up in the night. Oh, and lights and televisions that are able to turn themselves off when the kids forget is any parent’s dream! –David, Fla.

While enjoying movies in my downstairs theater, I would like to be alerted with a flashing light if a car enters my driveway or if the doorbell is rung. With the sound turned up, I can never hear the doorbell. If a car pulls into the driveway, I would like to have the ability to switch views on my screen to see what is going on in my driveway with use of a camera. For the front door, I’d like to be able to see who is standing at the door on either the homes TV’s or video touchpanels linked to the security system to determine if it is safe to answer the door. –Darren, Iowa

I want the outside lights to automatically come on at dusk. I want the inside living room light to come on 15 minutes before I get home and turn off automatically 15 minutes after I leave in the morning. I want to be woken up M-F with soft music that gradually increases in volume. I want outside sensors that go off if someone approaches my house. –Patricia, Ill.

I live in a loft-style condo in Chicago. My home has 15-foot-tall ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows across the living and dining rooms. In the living and dining room, I’d like to control a plasma TV for daytime viewing, a projector and screen for evening viewing, blinds to limit daylight for viewing as well as temperature management, and a second smaller flat screen TV in the kitchen. In addition, I’d like to control lighting throughout the condo, with the ability to set scenes for dinner, entertaining, and watching movies. Finally, my wife and I are the proud owners of a dog named Samson. We’d love to be able to view him while we are at work. We dream of being able to interact with him in some way, perhaps via a webcam/speaker to issue him commands, and remotely dispense treats if he responds accordingly. –Ashish, Ill.

My life! I want to control my life. When I get out of bed and into the bathroom for my shower, I want to be able to turn on radio for local news at the top of the hour, then access my PC for MP3s. I want the coffee pot to turn on and the computer to boot. My life would be so much easier if I could combine my X-10/harmony controls into one unit in my A/V setup. My life would be so much easier if I could route my various video sources, sat dish/dvr, streaming Internet, DVD, to whatever TV I wanted, including adding A/V stations for my daughters in their bedrooms. My life would be so much easier if I could tie the extras into my control, the thermostat, add a security system. The hardest, but most important, I need the system to include a doorbell system, including a light for the media system. The existing wiring in the brick facade has failed — how can I tell if Publisher’s Clearing House is delivering my millions if the door bell does not work? –Robert, Ind.

My wife routinely leaves on every light in the house. I would love the ability to control and turn off every light from any room, or from anywhere in the world. I also wish there were an easy way to catalog all my movies and store them in one place. I’m tired of searching through hundreds of boxes to find the right one, only to discover the disc is missing and I have no clue where it’s gone. –Allan, Mo.

I have a magna-cum-laude wife who cannot turn on a stereo or start a DVD. We’ve waited 10 years to finish off our basement and after spending 30K for cabinets and countertops we may not have enough budget left for automation of any sort. I’d love to simplify the AV portion of our new basement home theater room so that my wife and teenage girls can operate the electronics and lighting in the new basement. –Steve, Ohio

My wife and I both work from home and this summer we built a small but awesome backyard office. While we love our new 100-foot commute, having a separate home office introduces some challenges Control4 can solve. Late night at the office? I’ll use my iPhone to set the “walking home” scene so we don’t stumble in the dark. The path lights then turn off automatically so we stay green. And oops, our little one is sick and my wife is in meetings — I’ll put the office in “away” mode to turn down the A.C. and forward our VoIP phones to my cell. While everyone is in bed, I’m in the office catching up on email. I’ll get a system message when our teenager gets home. Then when I’m ready to go to bed, I know everything is locked up tight because I set the “good night” scene. –Matt, Texas

Our 6-year-old daughter is in a wheel chair and I’d love to give her the ability to control the lights and the electronics in the house from the little touchscreen that she already uses to do some remote control (via IR / Bluetooth). It would be wonderful to also do the curtains in some rooms and maybe even things like heating and the fireplace as she gets older. –Peter, Tenn.


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