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Need your gadgets and devices to do more for you? I have a new trick that helps me keep ahead of bad weather; my smart light bulbs in my living room turn bright blue when snow is in the forecast for the following day. So how can you get this kind of personalized heads up, and not need to constantly keep checking your weather app?
You’ll need two things: a Wi-Fi enabled smart bulb with colour-change abilities, such as Philips Hue or LIFX, and an app called IFTTT.
The acronym stands for “IF This Then That”. Simply put it translates to, “IF I do This (your choice of activity), Then That (your selected result) happens automatically. IFTTT (pronounced to rhyme with ‘gift’) is actually a website where you go, create a free user account, and start automating your life.
One of the ways you automate things is by using or making “recipes”, such as “if the temperature drops below zero, Then turn my Nest thermostat up 3 degrees,” “If there’s a flight deal (to a certain city), Then notify me on email,” and even, “If the pollen count is high, Then remind me to take allergy medicine,” and “If the current weather condition changes to rain, then change my Philips Hue light bulbs pastel blue.” The possibilities are literally endless, and while you can create your own custom recipes, you can browse and use the recipes others have made on the IFTTT website too. For a look at the full list of apps and services, or Channels that work with IFTTT, click here.
My IFTTT recipe: IF snow turn LIFX bulbs blue
I have some LIFX bulbs in a living room lamp, so I went to the IFTTT app and created a recipe that uses the local forecast in my area, to tell the bulbs to turn blue when snow is coming, and I also get an alert sent to my cell phone (click here to access my recipe). Now I get a super helpful 24 hour advance heads up about inclement weather. In the summer, I create a new recipe to warn me of rain. Another similar recipe on IFTTT will turn your LIFX bulb cyan and slowly blink them.
It’s worth getting to know IFTTT technology. It’s easy and fun to automate life’s tasks and get your devices working smarter.
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