Misadventures Of Winter.

How I used SmartThings technology to defeat my wife’s heat blanket… 


If you are a Heatherland follower, then you already know Heather is a New England transplant. This means she has a certain charm and sophistication for the area, but it also means winter is a rough time of year for her. For example, most New Englanders would view a sunny forecast with a high of 20 degrees as a nice winter day.  But Heather, on the other hand, views this as quite grim and as a result she often takes drastic measures to keep warm.


The drastic measure in this case all started last year when we got our new NEST thermostat. She volunteered to set it up and did a fabulous job, but she then proceeded to lock me out of it! I am not kidding.  She controlled the NEST from her iPhone and straight up programmed the device to turn Heatherland into a tropical paradise.


To make matters worse, she then refused to share the username and password for a period of several months, which actually caused our energy bills to increase. This was all because she said it was “inhumane” to be forced to wear socks in her own home.


I ultimately regained control of the NEST, but then this past October (after some 65 degree nights) a shivering Heather set her sights on getting a heat blanket for our bed. This probably seems logical to a lot of you, but it’s causing me great concern. One thing you may not know about Heather is she is a “hot sleeper”. Her body temperature rises a lot while sleeping, so much that I actually once woke up from a nightmare where I was engulfed in flames and I couldn’t escape.

Anyway, for Christmas my mother was kind enough to gift us a heat blanket. Fortunately the blanket had two zones, which meant we could individually control our respective sides of the bed.  We’ve been using the heat blanket for a month now and its been essential on some of the colder nights. Unfortunately on the warmer winter nights this has been happening:

  • Heather complains about how cold the house is before bed, and cranks the dial of the heat blanket up.
  • She then talks about how much she loves the heat blanket before she falls asleep.
  • An hour or two pass and she gets really hot under the heat blanket, so she discards her side of the heat blanket on top of me.
  • Then I wake up from my recurring nightmare about fire, get out of bed and switch the heat blanket off.


This has officially become a problem, and since I’m a bit of a nerd I wanted to use technology to solve it.


Hello, SmartThings




To do this I used my fancy new SmartThings Hub and the corresponding SmartPower Outlet.


I simply added the new switch to our SmartThings network and set it up to turn off at midnight. This was super easy with SmartThings. The entire process only took a few minutes to get it programmed on my phone.





I tested the switch and could see that the blanket consumed 78watts, not much more than an original Heatherland light fixture.  So far everything is working perfectly and we are both sleeping soundly with the heat set at 65.

photo credit: warner brothers

photo credit: warner brothers


A rare win-win, SmartThings saved the day.