Parrot Digital Messaging Switch Plate

Parrot Digital Messaging Switch Plate

That cool switch plate offers some kind of unique functionality. You may record a message (up to 20 seconds) that will automatically play each time someone flips the switch. It can easily replace an existing switch plate. Just not sure how to 4 AAA batteries will fit the switch box. Also the Parrot Digital Messaging Switch Plate is cheap (just $9.99). So, you can simple try it to see how it fits your life.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the possibility to ship that messaging plate to Cyprus. So, I have no idea how it useful but personally I prefer notifications on my cell phone 🙂

Video demonstration wireless devices from CoCo

That presentation will be useful for all who’d like to understand what kind of wireless devices can be used in the home automation system and how. I like it but the CoCo devices, which use some proprietary protocol instead of some standard one, should be definitely replaced by something with support Z-Wave or ZigBee. Moreover, it’s supposed that CoCo devices will control via remote control and not via PC or controller (correct me if I wrong). I found the PC interface but it’s used to set timers and not for integration with home automation system. As a simple and basic solution without controller or PC with specific software CoCo might be good (depends of the price, of couse). But for something serious it’d be better to use devices which support some standard protocol such X10, Z-Wave, ZigBee etc and which can be easily integrated with opensource or commertial software.

[via AutomatedHome]

Smartbulbs from Sharp

Sharp LED bulb

Sharp is going to release its new series of LED bulbs in Japan next moth. It includes 7 different shades and and remote control. The 560-lumen bulb has a classic design and provides very natural white light with desire shade. It consumes very little energy, about 4.1 or 7.5 watts, and provides about 4 – 5 years of constant use. Finally it’s completely quiet and lights up immediately to maximum brightness.

The Sharp LED bulb is priced at $40 for the non-adjustable model and at $82 for the ones the color can be adjusted via remote control.

[via Unplggd]

Budget but very efficient lighting automation


That solution can be interesting for all who have garage, storage room or some other cases when lighting on/off should be automated but without some complicated stuff – Smarthome Screw-in Motion Sensing Light Adapter. It contains a 360° motion detector with five meters range. You can easily decrease the sensing view according to your requirements. Additionally the adapter is equiped with lighting sensor to avoid wasting energy with good illumination. Finally there is an adjustable timer for the light when the adapter is triggered. You can choose between 5 and 100 seconds.

The Smarthome Screw-in Motion Sensing Light Adapter is available on the Smarthome site just for $24.99.

Wireless Lighting Control with JetStream


Recently I found an interesting wireless lighting control system which doesn’t need a separated controller. Its name is JetStream. It uses reliable mesh network ZigBee to communicate between devices. Here is a few main features of the system:

  • Up to 100 scenes
  • Up to 50 timed events (requires RS-232 or Ethernet Bridge)
  • 512 dimming levels
    • Preset dimming levels for each load
    • Every load is capable of dimming
    • Soft On/Off: 0 – 800 seconds each control
  • Simple installation and configuration
  • Intuitive PC configuration software accessible (requires USB Bridge)
  • Configuration is stored in each device. A backup file is also created on the PC during configuration.

The system includes two 3-button dimmers, three 1-button dimmers, one car remote and has four pre-programmed scenes Welcome, All on, Goodnight and Entertain. All of that is $700. Additionally tabletop 8-button keypads, lamp modules, IR receivers and USB/RS232/Ethernet bridge can be added. Also the JetStream can be easily integrated with JetPak security and HVAC control system.

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