In January I wrote a post entitled Nite Ize Taglit Might Save Your Life. I explained that I was nearly hit by a car twice while walking Tesla in the early evening hours. I figured that I might live a bit longer if I lit myself up with blinky lights. At Bart’s recommendation, I bought the Taglits from Nite Ize and I’ve had several people actually stop their cars to tell me that they saw me because of them.
But Bart had an idea for yet another addition to my ensemble. He bought a pair of LED shoe clip lights for when he’s cycling at night. He was so pleased with their effectiveness that he bought me a pair and sent them across the pond. The design is quite simple. It’s a C-shaped band that clamps around the upper heel of your shoe, and it has a big button you push to turn on the LED. The LED itself goes all around the C so you’ve got a big area of your shoe lit up when they’re on.
Joe Dugandzic of smarterhomelife.com joins us again, this time in a crossover episode. We start by him asking me to describe my progression in Home Automation from my first smart lightbulb to the more advanced capabilities Steve and I enjoy today. But then we turn the table around and I ask Joe a series of questions submitted by NosillaCastaways.
As many times as I’ve talked to Joe about Home Automation, I continue to learn from him. There are at least two moments in this episode where I had an “aha” moment of learning.
If you’ve been paying any attention to my nonsense over the years, you already know that I exercise a lot. In the mornings I alternate between running along the beach and doing the elliptical at the gym every other day. In the afternoons, I take Tesla for a nice long walk, anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on how many more calories my Apple Watch tells me I need to burn. I’m usually doing around 18,000 steps a day with this routine.
I exercise this much to avoid heart disease (my dad had his first heart attack at age 43), but also so I can eat (and drink) more!
So what’s the problem to be solved, it all sounds great, other than I’ll probably need a knee replacement or two way ahead of most people? The problem is the time change. I’m lucky enough to live where we have a lot of daylight, but in the winter, if I go for my usual walk around 4-5pm, it will be at dusk.
In the last few weeks, I was almost hit by a car. Twice.
When the Hue Light system came out a few years ago, Steve really wanted to dip his toes into the home automation fun. We got the Hue Hub and plugged it into our router, and installed the three bulbs into a few lamps. It was pretty much a party trick, changing the colors from white to red to blue to mess with each other and guests in our home.
When the SyFy channel connected the TV show The Expanse to Hue, Steve was thrilled to have something for his Hue bulbs to do. It’s actually a pretty cool use. The lights change according to what’s going on during the show – dark and creepy in dark and creepy scenes, bright in brightly lit scenes. He loves it.
But like most people, we’re getting pretty worried about IoT security. Even though we had the Hue bridge and bulbs on our completely separate, dedicated router from our real computers, and even though we have NAT-PMP turned off, we still would rather be more secure. Continue reading “Not Sure HomeKit Makes Home Automation Easier”