I have to admit, after many years of suggesting a simple astronomical timer or photocell, when I designed and installed my own lighting I wanted absolute control. I thought I should be able to control the step lights separate from the uplights and then the pathlights on yet another switch. Spoiler alert, I have a timer!
There is so much technology available to us that we feel as though we should take advantage of it as best as possible. I was shopping for a new fridge and one of them had an LCD screen that told me when my eggs were bad. While looking at smokers for my deck, one of them offered WiFi temperature control that alerted my smartphone when the inside of the smoker was too hot or not hot enough. It makes me think back to those commercials where the woman wakes up in her bed and claps to turn her lights on… The Clapper! I remember thinking to myself that I had to have that.
Well, I never did get The Clapper. I continue to use my old-fashioned switch to turn on and off my bedroom lights.
Having absolute control over your fridge or the temperature in your smoker or your outdoor lighting is very tempting and certainly has its advantages. You can conserve energy by using the lighting only when you need it. You can turn them back on if you have guests that stay later than your invitation suggested. And, it can be fun to sit on your patio and play with a WiFi controlled switch to see how much better your yard looks with the lights on.
But after the novelty wears off, and you forget to turn the lights on before you go outside, having them automatic just gives us one less thing to think about when we relax and enjoy the beauty of our outdoor living space.
I’m sure one day I will break down and get that WiFi controlled smoker but until that time the temperature gauge will have to do.