Anyone also familiar with the WAF?

I came past this post in 2021. So funny and recognisable :wink:

Pretty much everyone is because it’s a major concern. I prefer CAF (Cohabitants Acceptance Factor) since its more inclusive. Not all home automation developers have wives and the concern extends beyond just the spouse or significant other to include all users of the home which includes children, room mates, house guests, etc.



The WAF (commonly Wife Acceptance Factor) is a fundamental design parameter in home automation. It is a necessary goal of any married or co-habiting automator to achieve a high WAF in any control system. Please let me apologise in advance to any female automators, programmers and hobbyist tinkerers out there because I do understand this is a stereotype but then if you look at these forums, you can see why.

In simple terms, if it needs (ever) to be rebooted, programmed, coded or otherwise “tinkered with” to get it to work or to adjust its settings for day to day use then this lowers your WAF. It needs to just “work”… all the time. She doesn’t care if you’ve given it all sorts of extra functionality, she needs it to work.

Furthermore it needs to work like a household appliance. In other words, if a switch has an obvious function then it should perform that function, simply, when it is pressed. You can program all sorts of extra functionality - double clicks, long presses etc into that switch if you like, but if you have something that looks like a light switch on the wall then, when pressed, that switch absolutely must switch on the lights like light switches have done for a hundred years and like you would intuitively expect it to. It must not do something you would not expect it to like render your lights inoperable.

It works the other way around too. Whatever wonderful tricks your lighting or heating might be able to do with your fancy bit of code, you still need a switch on the wall that works like a switch should.

See also the similar GOF (Guest Operability Factor) - no guest is going to want to install the Philips Hue app just to turn on the lights in the guest room.

So, for example, my dining room lights are hue bulbs. Those bulbs need to be permanently live in order to work, which means you can’t use regular light switches or you, or your wife, or some guest will switch them off. No-one wants to have to choose which one is the “correct” light switch to use and besides the Hue switches are horrible. So I have very elegant momentary switches where the old light switches were and they are connected to a re-jigged two-way switching circuit. The switches operate a Fibaro z-wave double controller in the wall, which gives me all sorts of extra control possibilities. The Fibaro unit is not directly connected to the (always live) lights at all but just sends messages to OpenHAB where all the clever stuff happens. Apart from on/off, I have dimming and colour temperature functionality built in to the double and long press functions, which I never actually use because the lights come on at different colour temperatures automatically depending on the time of day / sunrise / sunset times because breakfast needs a whiter light, lunch less so and an evening meal needs a warmer light. All my wife needs to know is how to switch the lights on (press the switch) and off again (press it again) and how to select the “sewing scene” which gives her a 6,500K “daylight white” when she’s using the dining room table to design a quilt, which she’s delighted with. Switch 1 operates the overhead lights, switch 2 the table lamps - done. She does not need to know (and is absolutely not interested in) how anything else works.

Don’t forget “Happy Wife - Happy Life”

PS - she has made me write out a complete description and plans of all the rewiring in our 300 year old house so that, God forbid, if I get hit by a bus, she can get an electrician in for a day and put it all back to normal.

:flushed: blasphemy!