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When it comes to programming my lights and my window shades, time of day is a favorite parameter to use. In some cases I am really looking for a specific time, like when my blinds go up at a set time, but in other cases it’s a proxy for sunrise and sunset. While many home automation apps allow you to schedule things for sunrise and sunset there’s another option launching today that offers a light sensor for your smart home.
Light Sentry is launching a Kickstarter for a sensor that attaches to a pole outside the home and communicates with a connected hub, light switches and power outlets. Thus, you can install a Light Sentry outlet for where you plug in your Christmas lights, or put a Light Sentry switch for your porch light or wherever you think you want to control something with daylight as opposed to time.
The benefit here is that instead of going out to the cloud to get sunrise and sunset data, you can pull it from your local network. The downside is that it so far doesn’t tie into other connected home options on the market. The full kit containing a sensor, hub, and three switches or outlets will cost $390 at retail and is $295 on the Kickstarter. The product will be delivered November of this year.
I like the idea of bringing a daylight sensor into the home network, especially if you can mesh network it to the devices you want it to control so things will still work when the internet is out. My current experience is that I want my outdoor lights and holiday lights to go on at dark, but my blinds to close much earlier before the sun gets too low and heats up my house. Given this, I’m not the target market for the Light Sentry, but I can see others who don’t have a mess of connected gadgets giving it a look.