Frequently Asked Questions


Tell me More About "Scenes".
Let's run through a Friday in a very "smart" home with wirefree automation:
At sunrise, outdoor lighting might turn off, and we might set an environment for that early exercise program.
A little before you would typically get going in the morning, you could have the thermostat set for wake-up comfort. As you walk from your bedroom to the bathroom, the hall light comes on at a comfortable dimmed level, and as you are finishing your shower, the lights in the kitchen and family rooms turn on to light your anticipated arrival. Maybe the coffeepot switches on, or the television turns on to The Weather Channel.
With a press on a keychain remote as you leave the house, the door locks electrically and any lights you left on inside are turned off. Perhaps an alarm system is armed. So as not to leave you fumbling for your car keys, the lights in the garage stay on for a couple of extra minutes.
You call the house later that morning, and let it know you won't be back until late. The house keeps the thermostat set back to its energy-saving level a few hours longer, and switches on a couple of lights near dusk to make fool prowlers. About an hour before you get home, it warms the house.
As you drive into the driveway, the motion sensor picks up the activity and turns on the outside lights. Another press on your keychain remote, and the door unlocks, the alarm is disarmed, and lights inside come on, so you don't have to put down that bag of groceries. Your stereo turns on, and the answering machine plays back it's messages.
As you drop into your easy chair after dinner, a single button pressed on your universal remote control turns on the television, the DVD player and starts a movie, while all 3 lights in the room dim to preset levels for your "home theater" experience. The phone rings, and the caller ID information pops up on the television. You pause the DVD, and the light next to you brightens so you can answer the phone and take any message.
As you climb into bed, you wonder if you left the garage door up. No matter, you press a button on the bedside control and, if it was up, the house closes the door, then locks all doors, and shuts off lights throughout the home. All except the porch, kitchen and your son's bedroom, since he's still out. When he finally gets home (would you like a wake-up beep to tell you he's back?), the house switches off the kitchen and porch lights and arms the alarm system. Oh, yes, we all know teenagers, so it checks the hall light to see if he left it on, and turns that off too.
On Saturday, you have a completely different program. Let's call it "sleep in". We'll skip the early morning stuff, but when the house sees you moving in the hall it does still get the coffee going. The thermostat stays set to an at-home comfort level all day. Maybe instead of The Weather Channel, the television tunes in to a talk show.
As you leave on a short vacation the following week, you tell the house you will be away. It turns on a few lights occasionally, and if it senses any motion it phones your pager. You check your home's web site and monitor the inside and outside security cameras, to see it's just the boy you have feeding the dog or someone who definitely should NOT be there. While you are online to the house, you let it know you'll be back a day early, and you print a message telling the dog-sitter not to bother to feed the dog that morning.