As dusk falls, the lights in my flat start to come on, with those in the darkest rooms triggered first. When I walk into my bedroom, one of the lamps illuminates. At sunset, the garden light glows. If I get up during the night, my kitchen lights come on — but low, at 10 per cent of their full brightness, giving just enough light to save me from falling over the cat. They switch themselves off again once I have got back into bed.
My smart-home set-up is minimalist by some people’s standards: the central heating is not hooked up to it, nor is the burglar alarm, although I can turn on the kettle from the sofa. But even this arrangement collects plentiful data about me: the front and back door sensors record when I enter and leave the house, and the app tracks the energy use of every device to which it is connected — which is most, though not all, of my lights.
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