Radio Controlled Lighting Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Radio Controlled Lighting Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

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Sarah Rae Smith
Feb 16, 2010

When we moved into our current loft we were super excited. Our last place had been a brick and mortar mess that was crumbling in massive amounts any time the wind blew. The new place is like a concrete cave of cool temperatures but it has one serious draw back — most of the lighting is radio controlled.

At first we thought it was neat to be able to take the remote control for the light fixture off the wall and with us to bed or the couch. There's nothing better than not having to get out of bed to turn the light off (yes we're that lazy) or the livingroom light when the movie calls for it. It was a simple pleasure that we were willing to embrace with open arms. That is until we realized.... the neighbors all have the same fixtures we do.

Now, we rent a recently renovated loft and as much as we'd like to say our building is full of unique snowflakes... it just isn't. They all shop at the same big box hardware stores and radio controlled lighting is a far easier solution than running pipe to hide interior wires and while there's nothing wrong with that in theory — waking up to your overhead light turned on at 3am, is super awesome (or watching T.V. in bed to have it turned off in the last 5 minutes of the program you're watching).

Although our floors are fairly soundproof, we can sit in the middle of our floorplan and watch the path of our upstairs neighbors as they walk through their place upon returning home. They enter and turn on the hallway light, make their way to the bedroom and then back out to the kitchen for a drink (we assume). With each room they enter, they turn on and then (sometimes but not always) off each light.

Since we aren't willing to invest in more hard wiring for our place (we'd like to find new quarters at the end of this lease), we've resorted to inexpensive pendants and shades that can be turned on and off at the cord. Although overhead lighting is rather harsh and all of our supplemental lighting has a nice romantic glow, it doesn't help the place feel any less cave-like. The wires are all visible and our space doesn't appear nearly as high-tech as it could, but you can only handle living in the Twilight Zone for so long before you take action.

Even if you don't have the same situation we do, there is also a large wave of sour comments left by reviewers on major online retailers in regards to remote controlled ceiling fans. Many experience the same thing we do, though it appears to be more a glitch in wiring as opposed to neighbors with the same style as you.

Have you ever lived in a place like this? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

(Image: Home Depot)

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