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Easy Home Autmation - Use Your Universal TV Remote To Control Home Theater Lights
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Your friends are gathered in your home theater to watch the latest and hottest new movie. Your home theater has a couple of table lamps and a floor lamp, all switched on. You grab your universal TV remote, and ... walla! The room lights dim to the exact level of brightness for watching your HDTV in all its crisp blacks, whites and other colors.

You can use your HDTV universal remote control for not only your HDTV and other media devices -- but also to control your lamps.

Here's the HDTV universal remote setup

Your HDTV universal remote control sends infra-red (IR) signals that control your HDTV. You can program your remote to control most any TV or other media device using the right code. The manual for your remote usually contains a complete set of codes.

For this setup, you'll need to purchase the following affordable Insteon* plug-in devices:

  1. IRLinc -- an Insteon IRLinc receiver that can receive the IR signasl from your universal remote and convert then to Insteon signals
  2. LampLinc -- one or more Insteon plug-in dimmers (one for each plug-in lamp you want to control).

Place the IR sensor within line of sight of your favorite chair where you will be watching TV and using your remote. Connect the sensor to the plug-in IRLinc receiver module. Then plug the receiver into a nearby unswitched wall outlet.

Now plug an Insteon LampLinc dimmer module into a wall outlet near your lamp and plug the lamp into the dimmer.

Link the units together

Following the directions that came with your remote and the IRLinc Receiver, find a code compatible with both units and program both units accordingly. That sounds more difficult that it really is. Pick a mode on your universal remote that you are not otherwise using. Then set that mode to one of the NEC 3- or 4-digit codes. The IRLinc responds with green flash if the IR code is compatible.

Next you need to link together the IRLinc and the Lamplinc dimmer modules following instructions that came with the units. Select among 32 levels of lamp brightness the one you want for your home theater lighting "scene."

Now call up your favorite home theater lighting scene

When everyone is ready for the movie, click the mode button you selected for your lighting scene ... as the light are dimming, click the power switch on the universal remote and start the movie.


*Insteon is a type of easy home automation network used extensively by home do-it-yourselfers. It is modular, affordable, reliable and flexible. Once you set it up for your home theater you can easily expand it to include remote light control in other rooms and numerous other applications. You can even control your applications using your web-enabled smartphone.

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