use computer to turn on lights?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cocopelli, May 2, 2004.

  1. cocopelli macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2002
    Spokane, Wa.
    Hi I was wondering if it was possible, either using apple script or some other program, to have my computer do things such as turn on lights and/or open itunes, etc.... My thoughts are, that if you had a microphone, you could write a script to do these things. Im not sure about the lights I was hoping mabey a blue tooth transmittor or somthing, but seriously how cool would it be to walk into your room and be like computer, lights on, give me some mood music and turn on the fire(video of fire comes up on screen :D ). the chics would be stoked hehehe. So, anyone have thoughts or know a way to make this work. lemme know what you all think
  2. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2002
    Check out products based on the X10 standard.
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I can hear it now, "Oh wow - your computer is sooooooo amazing! Wanna make out??" :D
  4. cocopelli thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2002
    Spokane, Wa.
    Hehehee thats exactly what I'm going for :D . hahaha that would be sick. so umm tell me what exactly is this X10 standard you speak of?
  5. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Umm I think most girls would find you a big dork for stuff like that, but thats just my two cents.

    Products like this already exsist (kind of). It's called the Clapper. CLAP ON! your lights come on. CLAP OFF! They turn off.

    CLAP ON CLAP OFF, well you know the rest.

    btw, I had a clapper hooked up to the christmas lights stung around the room. It was a huge success. ;)
  6. kevin49093 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2002
    I've got a friend who installs lighting programs in ultra rich houses here in Colorado. They are all touchpad/computer controlled on the house network.
    x10 is the type of switches and outlets that communicate with the main computer. It can get expensive, but pretty cool! (He just wired his bathroom lights to turn on at 10% power for 45 secs. whenever there is motion detected in his bedroom.)
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    I'll give you a real quick overview here, X-10 is a specialty of mine.

    -Software to control the items. Many softwares are Applescript-able, which can create things like you suggest, voice driven control...
    -A USB interface, plugs into your power line and into your Mac's USB port
    -An X-10 receiver, to plug the light into (these can be in the form of adaptors, wall outlets, wall switch replacements, etc)

    You need to assign numbers to the devices controlled, and then the Mac can control them. You can do really deep stuff, like controlling all the TVs and audio equipment through IR blasters, or having "scenes" (Move Time might dim all lights 80%, turn off the phones, lower a screen and turn on your home projector. Dinner time might turn off the TV and play a particular CD). It's as much or as little as you want, the most basic setup includes one X-10 transmitter and one X-10 receiver.... transmitters can be wall-mounted, computer based, sensor-based, remote control... receivers I listed above, wall outlets, adaptor boxes, load controls for ceiling fans, etc.
    has many products at decent prices. Don't be intimidated, it's surprisingly easy most of the time. And you can get a really kickass high-tech home for cheap, with no rewiring.

  8. siliconjones macrumors member


    Feb 19, 2004
    been there done that

    Macworld had an article about home automation a couple of years ago.

    Follow this link for Macworld article

    It has the oppurtunity to be pretty cool. You could even applescript it with Thinking Home if i'm not mistaken. I used it for a while but the novelty kind of wore off and it sat unused.

    The USB to serial adapter cost more than the smart home kit.

    To me it sounded really cool but in the end it really wasn't all that neat. My Mac kept losing the connection with the control unit and was a major pain. I turned on voice commands and spent most of my time repeating "Turn On The Lights". The lights would come on eventually but I could of turned them on and off about 60 times in the time it took. Once again IMHO, sounds cool but in theory but not very convenient.
  9. cocopelli thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2002
    Spokane, Wa.
    wow thanx everyone, you guys have all been very helpful. I'll keep you posted on how its going.

Share This Page