Home Automation For Your HTPC
I have tinkered with home automation in the past. I didn't get much past a few lamp controllers in my initial setup but I started to see the value of a whole house setup. The Digital Lifestyle has a nice write up on using Z-Wave devices with 7MC.
You can turn devices on and off, dim lights and lamps if they are connected to dimmer modules, you can create Zones like Living Room, Master Bedroom and then group the devices in to the correct rooms. You can create scenes for example All Lights On / Off or dim lights for a Movie scene. Set scheduled events.