A bunch of crap duct-taped together

On the partially smart home, and other dependencies in my life

I have four unused Philips Hue bulbs and I don’t know what to do with them. I bought them for a previous apartment, in which I really wanted to play with Apple’s HomeKit protocol as a means to automatically dim the lights when it’s bed time.

I wanted to use them for the ceiling fan in our living room. However, the previous owners of the house put in a combination fan/light dimmer switch, and when the dimmer and smart bulbs interact with each other, the bulbs flicker annoyingly. I could replace that switch, but to do so the right way and keep smart bulbs in play, I’d need to convert the one combo switch into two separate switches (one for light, one for fan) because there is no HomeKit-compatible combo switch on the market (or any smart switches of this nature that I’ve been able to find).

There’s no sense using them in the basement. There are already lights down there, and I go down once a week to make sure there are no leaks or ghosts or anything, and then I come right back up.

It’s not worth trying to use them in the garage, where the ceiling nearly twenty feet high and I don’t own a ladder with which I can reach it.

I can’t use them in the office (or rather, the spare bedroom with a desk in it). I don’t have the desk space for a table lamp, and if I put them in the ceiling then they’ll be on the main light switch and I don’t want to deal with HomeKit errors when I accidentally shut the switch off. If I do use them in the ceiling fixture, then I’d need to either have them run on a motion sensor that detects when I’m in the room and train myself to stop using the switch, or replace the switch with a smart one which is more money blown on this stupid pointless really fun experiment.

Should I just buy some floor lamps as an excuse to use the bulbs? This option seems very dumb.

All of these options create more work and don’t solve any additional problems without said work. I could argue that this is a fun, mildly inexpensive hobby, but it’d be an incredibly first-world hobby. It would also be one my wife loathes because of how often I’m tinkering with it, and inadvertently breaking things like our security system or the bedside table lamps.

As mentioned in previous writings of mine, I’ve tried various means to get the things in my life working for me. Instead, they create more dependencies. The security system and garage doors are jerry-rigged into the Home app thanks to Homebridge(https://homebridge.io), which required me to first invest in and learn how to run a Raspberry Pi(https://www.raspberrypi.org) because I didn’t want to have a server running 24/7 on my Mac, and then


Of course I’m rambling about smart home dependencies on an actually important holiday like Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you read through this whole thing, do yourself a favor and do something nice in the name of universal civil rights, like a donation to the ACLU(https://action.aclu.org/give/now).

See you on another time!