Arduino is a perfect match for the world of home automation (for example superhouse.tv), however for some situations the need for simplicity overrules all other paramters. And there's nothing wrong with this - sometimes you simply want to turn the lights or fan on and off. This was the problem faced by Jonathan Knieper who solved it nearly with Arduino.
Jonathan uses an Arduino connected to a pair of mains-rated relays, each of which controls the power to a room light and fan control. And by adding an infra-red receiver to the Arduino and some quick code, the fan and light can be controlled with the TV remote control. This is demonstrated in the following video:
That's a great solution, however take care when working with mains-rated current. In some areas this work needs to be done by a licensed contractor. Nevertheless, for complete details check out the project page. And for more, we're on facebook, twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you're looking for a simple way to control many relays from your Arduino, without using up all your digital I/O pins - check out our Relay8: driver shield:
So what is the RELAY8:? It's a great Arduino shield that allows you to drive up to 8 relays from your Arduino using just 2 I/O pins with this shield. It communicates with your board using I2C, so you can even stack several shields together to drive 16, 24, or more outputs! Includes back-EMF protection and works with a wide range of relays. Perfect for home automation projects! For more information and to order, click here.