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Author Topic: Backlit Controllers?  (Read 6632 times)

aslamma

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Backlit Controllers?
« on: November 24, 2009, 01:18:07 AM »

I am looking for a controller that will have some sort of back lighting or LED that I can see at night.  It will have to be a hand held unit or key chain type unit that I can stick onto the wall since I have a specific position I want it to be in.

Any ideas?  I have tried putting some glow in the dark tape onto a palm pad, but it is still not very bright.  Or perhaps there is a another idea that will have some very small amount of illumination that I could somehow attach to a controller?
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Mellowmark

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 05:06:05 AM »

Leviton makes a keypad controller that has LED lights on it. But it would need to be hooked to the power line it send PLC control signals.
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M M ElectricMan

aslamma

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 09:38:49 AM »

Yeah, I am familiar with that unit, but as you said it would not be able to suit my needs.
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HA Dave

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 10:22:07 AM »

I am looking for a controller that will have some sort of back lighting or LED that I can see at night. 

The (X10's) Icon Remote can control X10 devices (all codes, all numbers). Also.. the iphone and itouch have an app that is supposed to control X10 devices through the 2.4ghz broadband connection... it talks to your Home Automation computer via the wireless home network.

Or... you could use an X10 "eye" sensor to add [turn on] the needed light.... OR a LED battery powered sensor (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=99938) That could be mounted maybe in a way or location that would allow for a handmotion to turn it on lighting your PalmPad.

Or... you could use a BVC Voice Controlled setup (like my own) and merely turn on the desired lights/devices with a voice command.
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New ideas for marketing Smarthomes may alter the Home Automation world completely.... and forever.

aslamma

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 01:33:32 PM »

Hey Dave, been a while.

None of those approaches are really what I want though.  I want something very simple and compact.  Ideally, just a single on/off button that would allow me to turn all lights on an off from my bed.

I have tried BVC and that setup was too unreliable for me, overly complex, and ultimately I found that I do not care to speak out loud to do actions.  I really don't want a full size remote or anything like that hanging from the wall. 

The closest thing I have now is a keychain remote stuck to the wall.  It works pretty good, but can sometimes be hard to locate by feel since it has no illumination.

I guess I am thinking more like something with an indiglo or glow in the dark, or a light on it.

Also, I did try a motion sensor setup and could never get it to properly understand all scenarios.  Sometimes it worked fine, while under certain circumstances it was annoying.  Plus, when you add in the factor of another person in your bed, it gets really messed up. 

As far as the iphone goes, the controller needs to be hooked to the computer, which I really don't want to do.  I prefer it to be standalone.  Also, it is not very practical to unlock your iphone just to turn a light on or off.  I would much rather just hunt for the wall controller in the dark by feel than hunt for my iphone (and maybe drop it), then unlock it, launch the app...etc.  Totally defeats the purpose of automation.

It should be simple, simple, simple little button that can be easily pressed at night with low light. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 01:38:11 PM by aslamma »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 03:04:03 PM »

"It should be simple, simple, simple little button that can be easily pressed at night with low light."

That would be ideal, but X10 doesn't make it.  There's a bunch of X10 capable items X10 won't even try to make.  The closest thing would be the SS13 Stick-a-Switch, but they don't make a one button model and the SS13 isn't illuminated either. 


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aslamma

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 03:55:49 PM »

I have not had much luck with the stick-a-switch.  It seems too unreliable for my needs.  And yeah, even then, it is not backlit.

However, it need not be an X10 product to create the illumination.  Is there another method (such as the glow in the dark approach I tried), that could work?  Is there something out there that would allow you to illuminate a palmpad or other controller?  Perhaps the illumination itself could be motion activated?  Or perhaps the controller could be placed on top of an illuminated pad?
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Mellowmark

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 05:00:42 PM »

Maybe some glow in the dark paint on the remote.  I use some nice green glow paint on my salmon lures stuff can be seen good in the dark.   You can get some at gander mountain or bass pro or some place similar.
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M M ElectricMan

twood

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2009, 06:25:48 PM »

My new Liftmaster garage door remote controls have some sort of internal sensor that causes them to light internally when your hand approaches them.  It's a FANTASTIC feature.  I hope everyone else adopts it.  Perhaps you can hack one or use one to trigger a Universal Module to send X10 codes.
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HA Dave

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Re: Backlit Controllers?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 08:24:14 PM »

I have a wireless doorbell... one of the doorbell buttons has a tiny blue LED that glows only at night.

I have hacked my doorbell (or better said one of the chime units) to activate a camera  setup. I am not recommending hacking a chime... but a glowing hardwire doorbell button, an old (proper voltage) wall wart, and a PowerFlash Module.....
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New ideas for marketing Smarthomes may alter the Home Automation world completely.... and forever.
 

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