Home Technology : Smart Home
Home Automation Makes Daylight Saving Time More Bearable
Feeling a little sluggish this week? Perhaps pouring an extra cup of coffee or two? Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, chances are good that Daylight Saving Time (sometimes erroneously referred to as Daylight Savings Time) is to blame.
But while you may be struggling to wake up every morning and adjust to a totally different distribution of daylight during the day, your home doesn’t have to. In fact, a smart home automation system could be just the ticket to add a bit of pep to your mornings until the sun catches up with your work schedule again.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is with Control4’s Wakeup Agent, a nifty little program built into every Control home controller. The easiest way to think of Wakeup Agent is as a super-intelligent, multi-function alarm clock whose wakeup time you can set each night when you crawl into bed. Instead of jarring out of dreamland with a buzzer, though, the Wakeup Agent interacts with your home automation system to wake you up gently.
You can, for example, replicate the effect of sunlight slowly creeping in your windows by having your Control4 system ramp up the bedroom lights slowly over the course of five, fifteen, twenty minutes—however long you like, really. Since your smart connected home probably also includes your entertainment system, Wakeup Agent can even cue up an MP3 clip of chirping birds (because, let’s face it, the real birds are smart enough to ignore DST) or even your favorite morning TV show, and starting at whisper-quiet volumes and progressively turning up the sound until you’re wide awake.
Since modern, connected home control systems also include an astronomical clock, your home will also know exactly when the sun peeps over the horizon even if you won’t have an intuitive grasp on its position for a few months yet. Of course, most people use automatic sunrise and sunset calculations more frequently during the non-DST, months to make sure the front porch light is on at Yabba Dabba Do time, when we’re all coming home in the dark. But that same functionality can also be employed to make sure your Wakeup Agent intelligently adapts to the time of the rising sun. Your system could be programmed to determine whether the sun is up at your selected wakeup time, and raise the shades instead of raising the lights if it is. That way, as sunrise comes earlier, or on those days you wake up later, your Control4 system could instead opt to let a little natural light in to stir you from your slumber.
Of course, none of that will make up for that hour of lost sleep, but you could always program an alert into your home automation system to pop up friendly reminders in the few days before DST kicks in, to remind you to go to bed an hour early.
Or you could just move to Hawaii.
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