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I am looking for some sort of thing that I could plug a lamp into that would then plugin into the wall that would allow me to control it (ie turn it on and off) via a web interface, or via a web API (for use with other programs that I could write).

Does such a product exist?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could use power-line signaling such as X10. Warning: X10 is extremely spammy.

Or an RF-based system using Z-Wave products.

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Z-Wave looks promising. I'll take it! I may have to use some passthru via Z-Wave Commander, but that will be sufficient for my purposes (a lamp that is turned on by an alarm clock). –  Alec Gorge Feb 22 '11 at 0:52

I've been looking for the same thing. There are a few products out there. Wired switches are easier to find; wireless, self-contained systems are very much harder to find. Here is what I have found so far.

Wired ethernet:

  • iBoot: I have one and it really does work. I use it to reboot a home camera when it goes bonkers sometimes. The iBoot is self-contained and has a super-simple web interface for on/off/cycle. You give it an IP address and port on your network, and thereafter, you can access it from anywhere. (To get to it from outside your home network, set up port forwarding on your home router.) I bought a used one off eBay for 50% off the retail price and have had it running for a year now without problems.

Wifi, self-contained:

  • NetRC1: Looks like a real product, but they require you to buy a subscription to their web service for accessing your device. Not cool.

  • BERT 110: Not clear whether this is really available

Wifi, via central controller:

I have not tried any of the wireless solutions.

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NetRC1 is shutting down: "The NetRC1 web site and services will continue to operate as normal until 31st December, 2014. We will continue to maintain devices in the field until that date. After that time the NetRC1 units will no longer operate unless users wish to run their own proxy servers using the NetRC1 server code." (So, you were very right about needing their web services is not cool indeed, though apparently they're making some server software available now?) –  Arjan Apr 27 at 11:36

Consider also the Belkin Wemo. I have not used it but it is a Wi-Fi device. One plugs the Wemo into an outlet and then the appliance into the Wemo. From an iPad or iPhone, you can then control power to the device and also program the device (set a schedule). There may also be an interface from a Mac or PC but I can't confirm.

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Never heard of one with a direct Wifi interface, but there is this:

http://www.cpscom.com/gprod/cps.htm

It's controllable via the serial port. Connect the power strip to a computer that you can log into and you can control it. Alternatively you can get an interface for it that lets you dial directly into it and control it via touch tones.

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there is no computer near the lamp I intend to use it on, so sadly this won't work. –  Alec Gorge Feb 21 '11 at 22:05
    
You probably want Wifi to avoid running wires, so this might not be good, but the serial port on the power strips is an RJ11 style plug, so you can run a decent length of cable anywhere you need. –  ultrasawblade Feb 21 '11 at 22:12

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