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In this issue:
Old Age Automation - X10 project ideas for the elderly
What do you think? - Let us know how we're doing
Big savings - UK Automation discount coupons!
Old Age Automation - X10 project ideas for the elderly
When we think of home automation, we often think about the cool and exciting things we can do, such as computer controlled lighting. One area that we often overlook is how these automated technologies can be used to enhance the lives of people who may find things a little harder, such as the elderly or disabled.
Below are some project ideas that are simple to implement and may be appropriate for elderly relatives that you know.
Automated 'door announcer'
One of the times that elderly people are most vulnerable is when they are answering their front doors. By having an alert to warn them that someone is approaching their door, they can be prepared to meet the visitor and are less likely to be surprised or panicked.
By placing an EagleEye motion detector in the doorway of the house and a TM13 transceiver module near the door with a lamp wired to it, the homeowner can be alerted to the arrival of a visitor by the switching on of the lamp. This also ensures that there is a light on when they open the door to their visitor and that their interior light will illuminate when they return to their house from a trip out, reducing the risk of trips or falls.
To make the door announcer more prominent, a universal module can be added in the sitting room or bedroom, which will sound a loud beep noise when someone approaches.
Project cost: around ï¿½45 delivered (around ï¿½80 with universal module)
Barking Dog Alarm
Pet ownership is expensive and although pets provide good company, many elderly people cannot manage the demands of owning a pet that deters burglars, such as a dog.
The X10 barking dog alarm is an ideal burglar deterrent, and it doesn't require pet food! It is a speaker box that wires into the mains, and a wireless battery powered motion sensor. When the alarm is armed and motion is detected, the speaker unit plays the recorded barks of a rather vicious sounding dog.
The alarm also sends an X10 signal 10 seconds after being activated, which can be used to switch on a lamp - simulating the owner responding to the dog's barking.
Another plus is that the barking dog unit acts as an X10 transceiver, meaning you can use it to pick up signals from the keychain remotes, wireless wall switches, etc. and use it as the starting point for a larger home automation project.
Our 'Barking Dog Bundle' comes with the barking dog unit, plus a keychain remote. The remote enables you to stop the dog barking or make it bark at will.
Project cost: around ï¿½75 delivered
Remote controlled lighting
Being able to switch on the hallway lights before you leave the sitting room is more than just a gimmick. For elderly people, being able to control the house lights with a remote control means they can light the route to where they wish to go, which minimises the risk of a nasty fall in the dark.
Changing the lights in the house to be remote controlled is a fairly simple task with X10 modules. Firstly, you will require an X10 transceiver module. This picks up the signal from the remote control and sends it to the switches. Secondly, you will require the remote control itself. Our X10 handheld remote control is ideal, as it has a good wireless range and is fairly compact and lightweight. Lastly, you will need to alter the lights themselves. You can either replace the wall switches with X10 wall switches, or you can place an X10 bayonet lamp module between the lightbulb and the socket in each room. The X10 wall switch is the best solution as it will always function, whereas the bayonet lamp module will not work if the original wall switch has been turned off by accident.
Once the components are in place, the lights can be switched on and off by pressing the relevant buttons on the remote control. As a bonus, the lighting can also be dimmed/brightened with the same remote control. Rooms with multiple lights can be set on the same X10 code so that they all switch with one button press.
Project cost: around ï¿½75 for the first room, and ï¿½25 per extra room
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Big Savings - Discount codes for the shop
Every 2 weeks we send out special discount codes in the newsletter as a thank you to our customers and readers. The offers are time limited, and expire in 2 weeks time (25th October).
This week, specials on Clipsal ULTI wireless switches and Merlin Garage Door Openers.
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The UK Automation Team