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My Awful Basement Lights

My partner and I bought our house in 2019 and it very quickly became obvious that the basement lights were awful. There are six lights, two per switch with one switch at the top of the stairs, one near the ceiling behind a bar, and one on the opposite side of the room. It was annoying trying to turn all the lights on or off without tripping over anything, so we quickly bought some Hue bulbs to be able to use voice commands with Google Home to control the lights.

In 2020, we put a bunch of Lutron smart switches in the house after we remodeled our kitchen. In my opinion, smart switches are way better than smart bulbs, mostly because I don’t need to yell at a smart speaker to get something to work. I run Home Assistant for automations and it’s great. Even with smart switches in other parts of the house, the basement lights remained the same. In the two years that followed, they were a consistent source of frustration, having to either correct the Google Home that misheard me or pull out my phone to turn the lights on.

It did not occur to me at all until the last week that I could just add another smart switch and set up an automation to tie all six bulbs to it. I already had the smart bulbs and Home Assistant. Within a few days I had ordered another switch, installed it, and added an automation to trigger the whole basement from it. Everything works great, I don’t need to yell at my smart speaker anymore, and I’m just shaking my head wondering why this took me so long.