My goal was to increase our energy efficiency and save money but we accomplished way more than that.
With the hue lighting, the boys are able to customize the light in their room. As it turns out, lighting was of particular concern to Emmett. The longest run of Emmett falling asleep in his own bed was when we moved the light from my nightstand into his room.
What we found was Emmett needed to have a certain amount of light in the room in order to fall asleep. We’ve tried all kinds of lights in the past but nothing worked until my nightstand light.
The problem with some of the lights was that they were too bright for Elliott. In other words, fixing one problem created another problem.
With the hue lighting system, we were able to dim the lights enough to meet Elliott’s needs and yet bright enough for Emmett to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep.
We set their bedroom ceiling light to about twenty percent and Emmett seems to be responding well.
The reason we opted for the hue lighting as apposed to just adding a dimmer switch is because the wiring in our house makes it difficult to just replace the switches or outlets.
With the hue system, all we do is replace the bulb, sync it with the hub and integrate it with the Amazon Echo. This gives the boys an easy way to adjust their lights, using only their voice or their tablets.
I’m not suggesting this will work for everyone or that it will even work for us in the future, but it is working now. All I’m doing is sharing what’s worked for us.
Truthfully, I think part of this success has to do with Emmert gaining some control over the lights in his room. I don’t know anything for sure but he’s sleeping better and it really does seem to be related to the change in lighting.
There are so many ways that home automation can make a difference in the lives of special needs families and by sharing my personal experience, I’m hoping to help inspire others to explore this amazing technology.
As for the cost involved with implementing the hue lighting in the boys bedroom, I picked up a starter kit at Best Buy for about $60. It came with the hub and two bulbs. That’s really all we needed to create the environment that has been helping Emmett sleep better.
In regards to the Vivint system at the core of our home automation tech, we received that through the Vivint Gives Back Project. This is a program dedicated to providing home automation equipment to special needs families at no cost, with monthly service based on income. We qualified for $15/month.
Have you found ways to use technology to help manage the day to day challenges facing your special needs family?