I don’t need smart lights

I’ve just had a conversation with another ‘naysayer, wagging his finger saying ‘Smart lighting – Nah, this is all I need…’

And the funny thing was he was trying to sell me something. So he got my frank and honest opinion on 'His Finger'. That he assumed -

His finger is always present, 24x7., is never at work, shopping, outside, out of the room, on holiday, or simply away. BTW, I guess you live alone?

His finger is always able to stand and walk to the switch. As opposed to being wheelchaired, old, short, infirm, ill, slow, impaired, or plain simple drunk…

His finger has time to hit the switch, as you race in for a urgent pee, or to throw up, or to rinse an injury, or to start recording, or…

His finger is always dry, and available. Never wet hands, dirty hands, full hands, hands with tremors, weakness or issues of dexterity.

His finger is never too scared to move – no such thing as intruders, wild animals, or strange noises.

His finger isn’t afraid of the dark, versus small children who are, or family coming home late, or anyone after an episode of the Twilight Zone.

His finger always remembers to turn it off again, versus being more interested in going outside, back to the movie, down the the pub, or racing to go to work, or simply being forgetful, or too damned tired to do it, having already got into bed. BTW, you don’t have kids do you?

So, there are many reasons to consider Smart Lights, but if none of them apply, then I agree – you’re absolutely not the person Home Automation is designed for.

Now, tell me again how you live without a remote control for your TV, or aircon, and that you don’t have a smartphone, or a cordless phone and answering machine, microwave, or a pressure cooker, or an induction hob, and how about the timer on your furnace. Wait, what? you have central heating? You heat more than 1 room at a time? For convenience? You mean you don’t just have a coal fire in the main room? Next, you’ll tell me you don’t take weekly turns in a tin bath.

In summary - Every man’s home is their Castle. It’s just that some have more intelligence.

Wanted to share, felt feisty. May delete later. :slight_smile:


Too many... inappropriate comments.... :wink:

I think once you push past the obsurdity, the clear alternatives that we enjoy in automating our homes.... There is some genuine substance and legitimacy to the case he is making. For many people they want a home that can service both people who want "the lights to turn on/off when they need them to" verses those who want to use "their finger". Manual control verses complete automation is not an uncommon discussion point here, and I think this is where this ultimately lands, though slightly comically.

I'm sure there is a meme or movie reference that is applicable here....





Most of my visitors are impressed by the smart lighting. Some ask if it's OK that they turned a light off manually when they left the room, so I explain that our lighting can be operated manually with no detriment to the automation.

Very few say they don't need it, but some do say (unsolicited) that they don't want it in their home. I just smile, nod and say "cool". To each their own. I'm not selling smart, and don't need anyone to buy. The smart homes I've built have been for me and my family alone (mostly me :wink:).


This fits here.


The problem with this state though is that there are alot of things in life we take advantage of that we don't technically need. I think that is the hole point of:

We area clearly hearing one side of the exchange, as allot of these conversations depend on how both sides discuss it. Homes will continue to get smarter as they have for the last several decades long before what we think of as Home Automation started. It is a natural transition, and some folks will be dragged in kicking and screaming no matter how much they think they don't need or want it.

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Was he telling you that YOU didn't need smart lights, or that HE didn't need smart lights?

If he was telling you that YOU didn't need them, then he's an idiot as he doesn't know what you do or don't need.

If he is saying that HE didn't need them, well he is right. He knows what he needs more than you know what he needs.

My parents absolutely hate smart lights for instance. They want it to only come on when they flick the switch, and they don't want the light to be on one nanosecond longer than they don't want it to be (when they flip the switch off). And they have varying schedules and lifestyles, and don't want a system guessing when they want more light or not.


To some extent as well this is a great example of ignorance is bliss. I know a few folks that would say they don't need it, but at the same time think it is cool when they see some of the stuff my house does automagically. I also always find it funny with my wife that just doesn't think about it. If you talked with her when we got started, she would have said she didn't need or really want it and that she wanted a manual way to do everything. Now that things have been in place for a while she gets a little annoyed when we got places and she has to manually turn switches and such. She is also one of the best ways i find out if something is broken.

Thad said we still build everything to be manually controlled, if possible, so that it is still a option.


I agree on the manual control vs total automation, and I can see that some people will always default to the finger - but this instance was definitely about he was right, and I was wrong - a finger is all anyone ever needs, and he was blind to anyone with different needs.

We have a little card in our guest room with similar sentiment, (and pointing out how to open the curtains from the bed, dim the lights and so on...

I'd not even considered the hygiene issue. Love this...

He was definitely telling me that no one needs them.

I have parents like that too. Absolutely can't stand smart lights. Won't have them in the house. Enormous risks and flaws. Except for the (hubitat powered) security lights, for when they are travelling or on holiday - They can be trusted, just like the refrigerator, which can remain plugged in, but not the TV, which is just waiting to start a fire, or throw a drunken party with the VCR.


Completely agree - his angry view was definitely 'kicking and screaming' about my home, not his - we were talking about garden offices (that he sold) for my home.

The natural transition has some fundamental milestones, and that is where I see a lot of division occur.

You're right, and I think I'm going to try and transcribe my ranty words above into something less reactive, and more considered, as an aide memoir for next time I get the finger :slight_smile:

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Same here, and I've but that down to a difference in personality and interests - I'd be fascinated to do a survey of hubitat owners to see if we share common traits...

What was he trying to sell you?

A garden office (for those not in the UK, an upmarket, insulated shed with power and natural light that's craned/built into the garden, to swerve planning laws).

I am a "KISS" person. I have smart lighting for the closets so that the light comes on when the door is opened. I have one light that comes on before sunset so that I don't come home to a dark house. I have smart plugs for Christmas lights. I don't find the need for much else.

Mr Kanewolf - you, like everyone on this forum, have my respect and consideration - it's your house, your needs and your decisions on what works for you. I'd never dream of suggesting/telling/advising/arguing otherwise, unless you specifically asked for my opinion, And even then, that's all it would be - a polite opinion.

I too, KISS. My home is automated, I don't speak to Google, I don't push buttons on my phone, I don't have 17 apps, running 12 different ecosystems. Every switch/lamp/blind that I have automated can still be used without any automation, but I rarely have to, as I've built my family's preferences into my automation.

Like you - if I enter a room or closet, the light comes on. unless there's enough light already. And it goes off when I leave. Depending on the time of day, or night, (and the temperature, humidity, air quality, weather forecast and day of the week) the colour, temp and brightness is different.

Like you - When I come home, depending on the time of day, my home welcomes me, with lights already being on, the internal temperature pre-set, some music playing, and blinds closed - to save me from doing it myself, and to give a general sense of welcome.

Like you - I have smart switches for my Christmas lights, because I love the external ones being on as I arrive home, and also the ones on the indoor tree are just not very accessible. I also forget to turn the external ones off sometimes. Oh, and the neighbourhood likes my lights, so I enjoy knowing they're on during the festivities, even on evenings when I'm not home.

I also have other automations. I do not think that makes me, or you, any less of a normal, sensible, agreeable human being than the other. From your few words, I believe you feel the same way.

On this basis, I'd be happy to consider buying a garden office from you :slight_smile:

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