Friday, 19 September 2008

Turning my house off

After talking recently about the stand-by power savers I've been messing with at home I've made another small investment in the Home Easy range. We now have a switch I've located downstairs we can use to turn one or more sockets off in the house. It's a small step I know, but this simple device will effectively become the on/off switch for our house. Currently, we're only using it to control one socket to switch off all the electrical gadgets in the living room such as the TV, DVD hard disk recorder, Wii, etc.

I like the idea of being able to turn your whole house on/off. So this switch has the potential to be extended should I make further investment into Home Easy kit. We could eventually have computer controlled devices all around the house to activate lighting or any electrical device. With one press of this button the whole lot would turn off in order to make power savings as we leave the house or overnight though. As well as saving some cash it gives you a great green feeling of energy saving too, safe in the knowledge that only the essentials are left on at home. For us right now, the essentials are the home server, network router, our fridge-freezer and currently a second freezer to store our surplus vegetables from the allotment. These typically use 130 watts as an average total which goes down from something like 170 watts I think when we turn off the stand-by switch.

I was hoping for a certain amount of traction and community to build up around the Home Easy range, being the first reasonably complete and affordable range of radio controlled devices in the UK. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. I have loads of little questions I would love to ask Home Easy, mostly about future products and their intentions. So far, it's been difficult to communicate with them or other users of the products. For example, their web site has a forum link with a few registered users on the forums, including some staff from Home Easy. In order to get access though, you have to e-mail one particular guy and wait for him to approve your access which isn't ideal. I e-mailed several months ago and I'm still awaiting my ID. Conclusion, the forum isn't very active and the community I was hoping for doesn't exist, yet.


Kevin X Brown said...

Very exciting, You're inspiring me to do something useful with my new MPC and some old X10 equipment I've got somewhere...

Graham White said...

I've never used X10 but only heard people who've tried it complain about it. The Home Easy stuff is pretty cheap (the introductory pack of 3 sockets + remote control is £20) so it might be worth ditching the X10 stuff depending on how much X10 kit you have of course. If you need help or advice, you know where I am!