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Hammacher Schlemmer Steps Up Home Automation

New York — Online and catalog retailer Hammacher Schlemmer is stepping up its home-automation presence with the launch of a $149 system that lets users control lights and appliances from a smartphone when they’re away from the house.

The Smartphone Light And Appliance Controller system consists of an Android and iPhone app, a plug-in dimmer for a lamp, a wall dimmer for a ceiling fixture, a plug-in on/off switch for a single appliance such as a TV, and a base station that connects to a broadband router and communicates with these devices through a home’s existing wireless network.

 The on/off switch supports appliances up to 1,500 watts. The ceiling-fixture dimmer replaces an existing light switch on the wall.

 The retailer’s other automation products consist of $79 remote-control deadbolt actuator, whose remote hangs on a keychain, and a $69 LED light bulb that’s controlled from an iPhone and iPad app via Bluetooth 4.0. The app lets users choose from 100 levels of brightness and connects to up to 10 smart light bulbs, each assigned a name or location for individual or group control.