Sir James Dyson Thinks This Common Feature Is Going to Disappear from Homes

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Hubert Fanthomme/Paris Match/Getty Images)

Sir James Dyson, the ingenious inventor who gave us both the indispensable Dyson vacuums (I have two!) and those intense Dyson hand dryers, is gracing us with some new wisdom. The forward-thinker spoke to Recode about his ideas on design, devices, and which uber-common home feature will soon be a thing of the past.

Speaking about the home of the future, Dyson waxed poetic when explaining how and why our houses are going to become much more than simple shelters. He posits that, with growing health research and the technology to implement it, our houses will become responsive to our specific and individual needs in innovative ways.

One of those ways? Light switches will go the way of the dinosaurs—in order to help us be more in tune with our circadian rhythms and live more convenient lives.

He says:

“Lights are going to get very interesting because of your circadian rhythm and that kind of thing. That whole thing is going to change. The idea that you come in and switch on the light is in the past. You don’t need that, so you can save the light switch.”

Frankly, I am here for this prediction. After all, how annoying is when you’re groping for a light switch in a dark room? More specifically though, Dyson is referring to “smart” lights, which are controllable based on your mood, location, (read: the ability to turn on the porch light when you’re not at home) and even the time of day. Some of this home lighting is voice controlled (a la Alexa), but others can be controlled from an app. It’s all sort of like the infamous “The Clapper” device from those ’90s infomercials, but without the annoying clapping.

(Image credit: Philips Hue)

Plus, as Dyson mentions, this lighting is going to be optimized in terms of both health and lifestyle. Philips Hue lights, for example, are wireless lights that can be attuned to your daily rhythms, be it waking you up by gradually flooding the room with light (a la the sun) or cutting down on blue light before bed. Soraa is another company that makes light bulbs that mimic natural light, which can be more beneficial for sleep and waking cycles.

I haven’t yet ventured into the world of smart homes (more power to those of you who have already jumped on the Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit bandwagon) but doing so is a really easy way to try automated light without having to totally scrap your light switches. If you’re interested, check out our post on setting up a smart home on a budget.

Read more from Recode: Afternoon tea with Sir James Dyson