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Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…

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Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« on: December 07, 2016, 02:05:46 pm »
Hi,

My 93 year old mom lives 300 miles away, is mostly blind and deaf and completely bed ridden but her minds still sharp but any tech I get for her needs to be as reliable as possible (her caretaker can’t help w/tech). Been testing Dot w/headphones to read audio books and answer questions and this will be a Godsend. The one thing I’d like to add right away is giving her the ability to turn off/on her lamp (and if it doesn’t impact reliability, dim and, if not too much more $$ colors would be awesome).

I’ve been pouring over the different options and brands…bulbs/plugs, w/wo hub requirement…the main thing is reliability…if it stops working for any reason it’s gone until I can get out there.

I could really use some guidance and/or suggestions.

Thanks for any help!

Rusty

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 03:07:38 pm »
The first thing you need to know is you do not need an Echo, Dot, or any other "high tech" gadget to turn on a light remotely.  I had an IR remote switch that turned an electric socket off and on (for a light).  That quit working, so I bought a set of remote switches for controlling Xmas tree lights inside/outside (3-pac with 3 remotes). I still use one to control a socket behind our couch.  A few years ago I stopped putting up Xmas lights outside, so I have two unused remotes now.

At this time of year, I am sure you can find them at Home Depot, Lowe's or anywhere Xmas products are sold!

Colored bulbs for Mom is not "awesome"; it's dumb.  Your mom, being mostly blind, needs good natural light!  I know; I am getting to be "mostly blind", too.

P:  move your 93 year old mom closer to you; she could use your help.

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 07:41:23 pm »
Sorry my "guidance and suggestions" were not what you wanted.  So, go shopping at Amazon online.  You are sharp, I am sure you can figure out what turns on a light via a Dot; see the reviews there for what you think is "the best,"'  I presume Mom's Dot will be connected to your Amazon account so she can access your media.

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 02:16:46 pm »
Sorry my "guidance and suggestions" were not what you wanted.  So, go shopping at Amazon online.  You are sharp, I am sure you can figure out what turns on a light via a Dot; see the reviews there for what you think is "the best,"'  I presume Mom's Dot will be connected to your Amazon account so she can access your media.

I do appreciate your responding. I'd been looking at Amazon and and other review sources for 2 weeks before seeking help at home depot, Best Buy and Fry's...then finally seeking help on a forum (and I fear I may have taken out a little of my at-my-wits-end frustration on you...forgive me). I was hoping to find someone who had actually tried some of these smart-bulbs/switches/plugs and get some first hand advice...guess not...actually I'm sure there are several other forums out there I should try.

We begged mom to come and live with us 10 years ago but now...well all our bedrooms are 'upstairs'....downstairs is pretty much a big open area with just a half bath...just won't work (a person must get outside...have more freedom then confinement to a bedroom).

Oh, we can add mom as a family member so she'll have access and still have the advantages of having her own account. I've got a nearby nursing home interested in this technology and am reporting my testing to them...I see something like this as opening a whole new world to some people. When people have nothing to do...dementia always follows and once it hits, there's seemingly no going back.

Cheers,
Rusty

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 08:26:59 pm »
Rusty, glad you responded,  I really was trying to help, maybe not in the way you expected, tho.  There are plenty of people  here who use Echo to turn lights off and on and I wonder why they haven't replied yet.  I have so far avoided the home automation features of the Echo; not a lot of interest from us to do so since we are both still able to turn on light switches!

If and when I automate the home I would likely get the Smartthings hub to not only turn on/off lights, etc.  It is highly versitile and compatible with other devices.  Belkin makes WEMO which has simpler and less expensive ways to turn lights off an on, so check it, too.  This info I picked up from the home automation folks here.

Good luck with your quest.

I know all about moms not wanting to move as my mom lived in FL most of her life and I live in WA!  Wish your mom the best!

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 02:08:20 pm »
Rusty,

Depending upon the extent to which you want to automate your mother's environment will answer the question I think you are asking.

A simple feature such as turning on the light switch(s) can be connected to the Dot via Wifi without requiring the need for a hub (such as Samsung SmartThings). Belkin makes the WeMo light switch (approx. $45) which connections directly to Wifi and is accessible through the Dot; uses any regular light bulb. I prefer this method versus changing the light bulbs directly because they are most cost efficient as well as more reliable. From what I have used of these switches, they are reliable. (Haven't had an issue since I began using them with patients a few months ago). A basic Belkin Switch can be used to turn on/off a plug-in appliance in the same fashion. Another alternative switch you can try is the TP-Link HS100 Smart Plug. I personally have not tried this switch but have read multiple positive reviews.

Hope that helps! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Or any feedback you have from what you are trying would be great also.

Good luck to you and your mother :)

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 08:48:26 pm »
I recently got a TP-Link, HS100 Smart Plug from the local Amazon store. (Yes, there are some Amazon stores around the country.)  The manager suggested the TP-Link over the Wemo, (which they also sell) because they get more complaints/returns of Wemos and hardly any for TP-Link; therefore, the Wemo is "better" and more trouble free.  Plus, the TP-Link cost less; $30.  Sold.

Easy to setup with the app for Smart Plug and easy to setup on Alexa.  No expensive hub to setup.  I like the Smart Plug a lot until I saw the newer model Smart Plug Mini, HS105 a few days later.  It is currently in short supply, but I found some and I like it better, because unlike the original plug, the Mini only covers up one wall socket rather than more than one like the regular Smart Plug does.  This model is $10 more, but worth it to me, so I bought two, and they are now set up in living room where there tends to be a shortage of open sockets available.  Both work equally well for turning lamps on and off.

Re: Lowest cost reliable way for bedridden mom to control a light…
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 01:55:41 pm »
i have had good results with the Lifx bulbs. They always work and Alexa can control them directly.