The slippery slope of home automation didn’t really start with an Amazon Echo as I suggested in the title of my previous post. No, the problem began much earlier with a very (I thought) simple need: to dim and time lights at the same time. It’s easy to get a timer — whether plugin, or hard wired, to control lights. It’s easy to get a dimmer — they come in myriad styles. But if you want to put a lighting circuit on a timer, with the ability to dim, you’re going to find yourself moving to home automation pretty quickly. Which is how I came to buy into Lutron’s Caseta system. It quickly got more complicated from there.
This past holiday season (2017), Amazon lowered the prices on its various Echo devices, in some cases pretty considerably. At the same time, they opened kiosks in malls and other locations to sell them, along with other select Amazon-branded merchandise (as well as a small selection of goodies from other companies). If you’d have asked me on December 1, 2017, whether I’d entertain the idea of having an Echo, Google Home, or similar such things in my house, I’d have said, “Never. Not ever.” I guess price is king, and I’ve had to eat my words.