flic help button

A flic, lightbulbs from LIFX and the If This Then That (IFTTT) web service create a call button

Problem

Calling for help without using your voice is difficult but sometimes necessary

Solution

With a flic button, LIFX lightbulbs and the IFTTT web service you can create a reliable method of calling for help

Recipe

  1. Gather your materials: one Flic button, LIFX lightbulbs, and an account with the web service IFTTT. NOTE: This is an aid to calling for help, but don’t depend on any ONE way to call for help: have redundancies. This setup has worked really well for me, but I still have other ways to get help.

  2. Go through the frighteningly easy setup process for your new flic button. I’ve set up five of these now without any problems whatsoever. Be sure to associate each click type with the IFTTT action during the button setup, so that click, double click and hold all contact the IFTTT web service. (You will see what I mean when you try this.)

  3. Plug in your LIFX lightbulbs. I have them all over the house because I was lucky enough to get mine CHC funded. If you can only afford one, put it in the most used room in the house (perhaps the kitchen). Once they are all plugged in, download the app to your mobile (iOS or Android). Then run through the setup process to connect your lightbulbs to your Wi-Fi network.

  4. Create an account at IFTTT and activate the flic channel and LIFX channel. There are many many other IFTTT channels.

  5. Recipe time! You need two recipes to cover two conditions. The first recipe is for general . The second is for emergency help. Luckily for you I’ve already created these recipes and have embedded them here for you to use! You can create them yourself and tailor them to your needs but these recipes should suit pretty much everyone; just use the drop-down menus to select your lights and buttons.

    The “could I have some assistance please, it’s not urgent” recipe:

    IFTTT Recipe: Flash all LIFX lightbulbs blue. connects flic to lifx

    The “My hair is on fire and I need emergency assistance right now!!1!” recipe:

    IFTTT Recipe: Flash all LIFX lightbulbs red. connects flic to lifx

    I tried using orange and red, but they were too similar to each other and people were getting confused and rushing in when they didn’t need to. Which, granted, has a certain comedy value, but you can’t afford to cry wolf with a condition like ADR.

More

Addendum: But wait! I hear you cry (maybe!) what about that third option of holding the flic button down for a few seconds and having it do something, you haven’t mentioned that?! Well you’re right, and that’s because it’s outside the scope of this article but because you’ve asked nicely I’ll tell you what I’ve done with it.

If I’m out on my own and I get into distress, for instance I start having massive spasms and I can no longer control my wheelchair I can press and hold the button which will send my current location via a Google map to a mobile phone of my choosing with a message that I’ve preselected. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Will do a make on this soon.