Save my marriage. Does anyone have suggestions for someone whose wife is a lighting freak

My wife is very sensitive to lighting, how much, what color, what direction it’s coming from.

She was also quite suspicious, maybe rightly, so, of Alexa and Siri.

I am not sure if there’s been a recent podcast on Mac Power Users that discusses home automation, but what I’m looking for is a smart home that can be used by less technical users.

Ideally, I would like a lighting solution that I could tune with Siri and the Apple home products but that could also just be activated by a wall switch.

It seems like there are new products in the lighting space every day.

Many of the new bulbs have Bluetooth built-in, and say they don’t need a hub, but I imagine that if I got bulbs that were supported by home kit using my Apple TV as a hub, I might have more flexibility.

Before I got married, I put in 12 cans of recessed lighting in the living room, unfortunately, I put them all on one switch. These are no longer working for us.

I would like to close off some and then put bulbs that can be adjusted by my iPhone to set the color and the brightness and then once adjusted allow my wife to just use the switch on the wall.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start, is Matter something I need to make sure is included, has Apple Home Kit reached Party with the other Proprietary lighting hubs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You could save my marriage.


I use Nanoleaf bulbs with a HomePod mini. Works well if you use the Home app to control them, less so with Siri.

Each bulb is around $20. I suggest you purchase one for testing before you commit to them.

I use Meross smart bulbs and a few smart plugs for lamps with odd-size bulbs, along with the Home app. I’ve had no problem using Siri to activate Home Scenes.

I believe there are plenty of companies selling buttons you can stick on a wall and activate a Home Scene. I have not tried them.

All the limitations mentioned by SpivR apply; my setup is Wi-Fi dependent. However, it is relatively economical. I have heard great things about Lutron Caseta. I understand they are not cheap, but it sounds like your situation is dire and it might be worth whatever you need to spend.

Best of luck.

I believe Hue bulbs remember their brightness and color temperature even after they’ve been deprived of power, so he could set the desired color/temp using the Hue app then control on and off using Lutron Caseta switches.

Most smart bulbs will now do that. However, for non-technical users, the confusion of the wall power switch versus the smart bulb being out of sync is very annoying and destroy marriages (:wink: )

Many people have existing dumb dimmers in the wall. If you want to use smart bulbs you have to replace those dimmers with switches (dumb or smart).

Dimmer circuitry, which creates a modified AC power sine wave, is simply not compatible with smart bulbs which expect continuous AC power for their internal circuitry. (The power output from a dimmer, even when set nominally or locked to 100%, is frequently incompatible with any smart bulbs.)

That’s a downgrade and loss of capability that has usually been there and taken for granted.

(I’m not trying to be pedantic, but many people use the term “Lutron switch” to refer both to an actual electrical switch or an electrical dimmer, they are very different in operation and power/signal output.)

My only comment is that make sure that if you go the Alexa route for any reason be SURE you have all the relevant items on a UPS so that you don’t have ot re-program the entire system when there is a powerfailure, and personally, I’d stay away from all home automation. IMO it’s STILL not ready for prime time. This is after trying to get Alexa to properly handle raising and lowering the blinds in a house where for that size blind the only option is motorized and with 2 electrical engineers and 1 software engineer we gave up after several hours and just barely managed to get the physical remote device to work with it properly again. This is after a power failure in the house and having to replace the batteries on the shade.

No not our house.

My hardware hubby said and I quote “If I thought that home automation was going to work consistently and accurately I’d have installed it years ago. I keep checking and no, still not ready and reliable.”

I trust my in-house hardware guru. :grin:

Take a look at this product. If you don’t want dimming so just on and off, it allows you to use the existing switch to toggle the light (while saving your marriage), as well as HomeKit which means automating it.

I have had great success with the IKEA system. It has a good range of products, including individual bulbs, outlets, led rails, led panels, lamps and even Sonos + AirPlay compatible speakers. It also has easy-to-use physical switches and controls that you place on the wall for the set of devices you want it to control.

It has been rock solid for me, and the current generation is compatible with HomeKit as well.

I also have a different system requiring a professional electrician to mount, called Plejd (Swedish manufacturer) that is used to retrofit your legacy switches. This system uses a Bluetooth mesh for communication and also has a HomeKit compatible hub.

Both these systems allows for “traditional” (non-app) control of the light sources via physical switches AND you can build “Scenes” to pre-set the brightness (and I believe the tempratue) of the light.

+1 for Lutron and @SpivR’s comments.

I’ve had 6 Lutron switches (5 switches and a dimmer) for just over a year and I can’t report a single hiccup - ever. If you can adjust the temp/color at the bulb and use Lutron as your switch it would be pretty fool proof. Not cheap, but I trust them privacy-wise, and like I said - ROCK solid.

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