Who else is doing home automation?

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corn18
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Who else is doing home automation?

Post by corn18 »

I picked up a Google Home display last week and have been going nuts since then.

1. Garage doors integrated. MyQ garage hub. Now I just have to say "Hey Google, close the garage doors" and it does it. Google can't open them yet for security reasons I guess.

2. Doorbell: Nest. "Hey Google, show me who's at the front door"

3. Door Locks: Nest. Front and back doors. "Hey Google, lock my doors" and it does it. Can't unlock them from Google yet for security reasons I guess.

4. Thermostat: Nest. "Hey Google, set the temperature to 68 degrees" and it does it.

5. TV: Chromecast+ You Tube TV. Just Dreamy. "Hey Google, turn on the TV and view ESPN" Not sure where my remote is anymore.

Next up is the security system and lights.

What makes me giggle is when I bed down for the night, I say "Hey Google, goodnight". She reads me the weather for tomorrow, sets my wakeup alarm, locks all the doors, closes all the garage doors and sets the TV @ 40% volume and to turn off @ 0200. Then she says goodnight. Once the security system is integrated, it will arm that as well. And once the lights are integrated, it will turn off all the lights.

This really serves absolutely no real purpose other than to make me feel like I am on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Sunk cost so far is probably $1200 with another $1,000 or so to go if I keep on the path.

So, the actionable part: What else can I automate? I am thinking the ceiling fans might be fun. I have a robot vacuum but it is not wifi capable. Just moved into a brand new house and unfortunately the appliances are manual control.
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pennylane
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by pennylane »

we automated starting about 2 years ago and love it. Get the automatic blind openers.. not sure what brand makes them off hand but they have them where you can set them part of your morning routine
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corn18
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by corn18 »

pennylane wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:17 pm we automated starting about 2 years ago and love it. Get the automatic blind openers.. not sure what brand makes them off hand but they have them where you can set them part of your morning routine
Automatic blind openers would be the cat's meow. We have a wall of windows in the den looking out on a nature preserve. How fun would that be? "Hey Google, show me the world!" and it opens all the blinds.
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GerryL
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by GerryL »

Before retiring (from job as corporate librarian), I was immersed in the Internet of Things world, including home automation. I saw how seriously the companies coming up with these solutions considered security in their products. (Hint: Security does not = $$$ for their bottom line and, in fact, may be seen as an unwelcome cost.)

The one key takeaway from all my reading: Anything that is on the internet is susceptible to hacking. Anything. Also, the databases that hold the info that is collected about your home can be hacked. As a result, I do not feel motivated to automate all the little tasks that are possible. Besides, I don't need any additional motivation to contribute to my couch potato propensities.
Mike Scott
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Mike Scott »

Not me; it's a pretty expensive giggle, it's one more thing to break and need fixed and the security concerns are very real.
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corn18
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by corn18 »

GerryL wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:45 pm Before retiring (from job as corporate librarian), I was immersed in the Internet of Things world, including home automation. I saw how seriously the companies coming up with these solutions considered security in their products. (Hint: Security does not = $$$ for their bottom line and, in fact, may be seen as an unwelcome cost.)

The one key takeaway from all my reading: Anything that is on the internet is susceptible to hacking. Anything. Also, the databases that hold the info that is collected about your home can be hacked. As a result, I do not feel motivated to automate all the little tasks that are possible. Besides, I don't need any additional motivation to contribute to my couch potato propensities.
I called a locksmith once when I locked myself out of my house. He came over and had the deadbolt and door knob unlocked in less than a minute. Might have been less than 30 seconds. Then he charged me $150, which I gladly paid. I was curious, so I bought a lock picking kit off the internet to see how hard it was. After a few hours, I could pick any lock, although it took me about 30 minutes. With practice, I'm sure I could have been faster.

I am very confident that it would take me years to learn how to hack a Nest lock.

Or I could could just smash in your window.
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FireSekr
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by FireSekr »

Unless Google paid me quite significantly, there's no way I'd hand over so much personal information to them. I work in tech, I know a thing or two about machine learning and security, and there is no way in hell I'd have a Google Home or Amazon Echo in my home. They're basically recording everything that goes on in your house and can predict your actions and decisions more accurately than you probably can. And don't forget who is the consumer and the product. The consumer is other companies and the product is your data.

I'd be a little more comfortable with Apple's HomePod, but not enough to actually buy one. Apple's stance on privacy and security is more digestible to me than Amazon and Google.

But most of all, I live in a small enough place that I find it easier to flip a switch to turn on a light or just pull the blinds down than to go through the whole "hey google..." thing.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by unclescrooge »

Google home is awesome.

I unexpectedly got two for free when I upgraded my phone last Christmas.

We use it to sing kids songs, play games/trivia with the kids, check weather, set the temperature and set alarms for cooking.

Not something I would have bought, but the best $25 I never spent!
daheld
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by daheld »

I'll be automating exactly zero things in my house. It's expensive, none of the things home automation accomplishes are particular pain points for me, and the security concerns are VERY real and scary.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by iamlucky13 »

ssquared87 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:02 pm Unless Google paid me quite significantly, there's no way I'd hand over so much personal information to them. I work in tech, I know a thing or two about machine learning and security, and there is no way in hell I'd have a Google Home or Amazon Echo in my home.
Because the cost of the service and/or hardware is partially covered by the value they derive from monitoring and learning your habits, I look at it like this:

I'd pay extra for networked convenience devices for credible assurances of privacy except when monitoring is actually functionally necessary.
bryanm
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by bryanm »

For those concerned with security and wanting a non-cloud solution, Home Assistant is a great DIY alternative. (Warning: when I say DIY, I mean it. You need your own "server" (like a Pi) and to be comfortable with basic coding.)
wolf359
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by wolf359 »

My home automation is limited to an Echo in the living room. We've only automated 3 things:
1) the main living room lamp, so we can turn off it off from upstairs.
2) the Christmas tree, because it makes my kids giggle.
3) the Tivo, so we can pause the television without looking for the remote.

I'm good with stopping there.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by JoeRetire »

corn18 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:10 pmThis really serves absolutely no real purpose other than to make me feel like I am on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Sunk cost so far is probably $1200 with another $1,000 or so to go if I keep on the path.

So, the actionable part: What else can I automate? I am thinking the ceiling fans might be fun. I have a robot vacuum but it is not wifi capable. Just moved into a brand new house and unfortunately the appliances are manual control.
With a few WiFi-connected smart plugs you can turn anything on - like your robot vacuum.

Hey Google, start my coffee.
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HoosierJim
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by HoosierJim »

1. Garage door - was leaving door open sometimes - this reminds me if left open
2. Light switches in living room - finding switch behind a sofa a problem - a first world problem
3. Whole house fan - mechanical chain switched failed - replaced with smart switch.

Will decide next project based on this thread.
OnceARunner
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by OnceARunner »

ssquared87 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:02 pm Unless Google paid me quite significantly, there's no way I'd hand over so much personal information to them. I work in tech, I know a thing or two about machine learning and security, and there is no way in hell I'd have a Google Home or Amazon Echo in my home. They're basically recording everything that goes on in your house and can predict your actions and decisions more accurately than you probably can. And don't forget who is the consumer and the product. The consumer is other companies and the product is your data.

I'd be a little more comfortable with Apple's HomePod, but not enough to actually buy one. Apple's stance on privacy and security is more digestible to me than Amazon and Google.

But most of all, I live in a small enough place that I find it easier to flip a switch to turn on a light or just pull the blinds down than to go through the whole "hey google..." thing.
This is the main reason that I've stuck with Homekit enabled devices and an AppleTV as the hub. I trust their privacy standards more. However, I understand the most privacy would be to not have these devices at all. I like the middle ground I've found.

Anyways, I have most of our light bulbs automated, as well as a temperature and flood sensor in the laundry room. Garage door and back door are next on my list. It is super convenient to say "hey siri, good morning" and have the downstairs lights turn on, and the bedroom lights turn on to 25%. Also convenient to have all the lights turn off when the last person leaves the house, as well as certain ones turn on when the first person arrives home.

I can also say "hey siri, watch basement TV", and it will turn off the two lights directly above the TV that previously caused a glare, while dimming the other lights in the basement to 50%. Also, as a fun little party trick, I can say "hey siri, Touchdown!" and the lights will flash my team colors.
Ed_Sandwich
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Ed_Sandwich »

Can't all of these automation things be done with just a phone and not a Google Home?
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Absolutely! »

We have a second home that we've added a bit of automation to.

Motion sensor cameras with cloud storage.
WiFi Thermostat.
Several outlets/lights that can be operated remotely or be turned on and off according to 'scenes'.
One of the more important things we did was set up a few moisture sensors in key locations that if triggered will alert us of the condition and automatically shut the water off at the main line coming into the house.

We use Z-wave for the all the automation devices.
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Tamarind
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Tamarind »

We do a few things, more for remote control by phone than voice control. Alas, the best smart fans (Haiku, imo) do not integrate with Google Assistant yet. I don't think security items (locks, cameras) are appropriate for connecting yet. The industry is much more focused on ease of use at the expense of security.

Given the things you are connecting, OP, make sure you have a firm security foundation:
*Make sure you have a newish wireless router with a long firmware support period ahead of it.
*Use an especially secure password for your wireless network - and by secure I mean really long. Do not give it out; use an encrypted guest network for visitors.
*Have strong, different passwords for all of the IoT accounts/services.
*Make sure all of your computing devices allowed on the network, including phones, have screen timeout and are password protected.
*Keep up to date on IoT security breaches that are reported.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by livesoft »

Did you get the option to change the baby's diaper? I think next month, the get-up-at-night-and-feed-the-baby will come out of beta.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by jebmke »

We have two devices (Roomba and ROKU) which I keep on a separate, isolated network.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by unclescrooge »

jebmke wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:39 pm We have two devices (Roomba and ROKU) which I keep on a separate, isolated network.
Just in case sometime hacks your TV network and cleans your house for you? :mrgreen:
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by jebmke »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:53 pm
jebmke wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:39 pm We have two devices (Roomba and ROKU) which I keep on a separate, isolated network.
Just in case sometime hacks your TV network and cleans your house for you? :mrgreen:
Indeed - perhaps they will do that in the night. As long as they don't send the ROKU around to attack me in the night. :P

The ROKU is essentially a micro computer (as best I can tell it is Linux based but I have no idea if it is secure or not). If someone got into it, they would have the ability to attempt to access the rest of my network. How the Roomba is operated is a mystery to me - I'd guess it is some kind of micro with a lightweight OS. At any rate - I don't want these devices on the same network as my computing equipment.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by The Wizard »

I'm pursuing this on a limited basis.

I bought a WiFi enabled robot vacuum just a while ago.
Previously had a first gen Roomba that wasn't super great.

I just bought a few WiFi controlled switches for lights, mainly. We'll see how I like them before long.
I see almost zero utility in trying to automate most "appliances".
Convince me otherwise if you wish...
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Ed_Sandwich
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Ed_Sandwich »

The Wizard wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:02 pm
I see almost zero utility in trying to automate most "appliances".
Convince me otherwise if you wish...
This is my issue as well. I have to put the coffee in the machine anyway, I can push the button to start it (or set the timer for tomorrow). I am usually in the room near the light if I want it to turn on. There's so little benefit for some of these things.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by auggiedoggies »

daheld wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:08 pm I'll be automating exactly zero things in my house. It's expensive, none of the things home automation accomplishes are particular pain points for me, and the security concerns are VERY real and scary.
Totally understand the first two points, but security concerns are very real and scary?
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by The Wizard »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:48 pm With a few WiFi-connected smart plugs you can turn anything on - like your robot vacuum.

Hey Google, start my coffee.
My robot vac stays docked when not in use; I'm not interested in powering down the dock to save a few milliwatts.
In any case, my robot starts by either scheduling (which I don't plan on using) or by smartphone starting, which I do use.
Plus I have two other levels in my house that I have to move it to manually.

And I like coffee. But I have to load water and ground coffee into it first before it can start. And while coffee makers have had start timers for decades now, I'm retired now.
This means I might arise anytime between 6:00 and 8:30 am.
So I certainly don't use a timer for coffee anymore...
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by jebmke »

auggiedoggies wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:08 pm
daheld wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:08 pm I'll be automating exactly zero things in my house. It's expensive, none of the things home automation accomplishes are particular pain points for me, and the security concerns are VERY real and scary.
Totally understand the first two points, but security concerns are very real and scary?
Same here. I think some of the security concerns can be mitigated depending on the device. At this point, having no physical limitations, I don't see the value of having these in our home. We have a few lights on mechanical timers that do enough -- and a small electrical device that dispenses cat food at 4am to keep the cat alarm from going off too soon.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by daheld »

auggiedoggies wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:08 pm
daheld wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:08 pm I'll be automating exactly zero things in my house. It's expensive, none of the things home automation accomplishes are particular pain points for me, and the security concerns are VERY real and scary.
Totally understand the first two points, but security concerns are very real and scary?
https://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2018/sm ... ackers.php

Perhaps my wording was too strong. It's scary to me. I find the technology frivolous and the risks associated with it too much to justify considering their use. Every single smart home device that connects to wifi is hackable. Not only does that increase your risk of identity theft, it can pose a threat to physical safety.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by jebmke »

daheld wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:15 pm Every single smart home device that connects to wifi is hackable.
This why you want to isolate these devices from your computing environment (data). That doesn't address any safety issue but it helps protect the data. In addition, it is a good practice to keep personal data encrypted -- that is, you should always assume that someone can get into your system.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
renue74
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by renue74 »

We have a full time AirBnB property that is about 10 minutes from our primary home.

I installed CAT6 cable throughout, SamSung SmarThings hub, NEST Thermostat, Alexa (in kitchen), and 2 ReoLink POE wired cameras at each door entrance. Motion detectors in the hallway and kitchen.

It's a "selling" feature for our AirBnB guests....but most don't use it. They may listen to music on Alexa. The motion detectors will turn on kitchen lights between 6am and 9am.

But, I use it to monitor HVAC, turn on lights remotely for security, etc. when there are no guests in the home. I can make it look "lived in."

I'm sure the big data that home automation is throwing off will "help," Google and Amazon develop the next set of automation products....but in my case, I don't mind because it's not my primary home.

Other than the NEST thermostat, I don't see a true "help" on these products. It's nice because we were all promised this type of stuff when the Jetson cartoon was on....but I don't think they make life that much easier. (yet)
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Dottie57 »

Mike Scott wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:51 pm Not me; it's a pretty expensive giggle, it's one more thing to break and need fixed and the security concerns are very real.
+1
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JoeRetire
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by JoeRetire »

The Wizard wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:13 pm My robot vac stays docked when not in use; I'm not interested in powering down the dock to save a few milliwatts.
In any case, my robot starts by either scheduling (which I don't plan on using) or by smartphone starting, which I do use.
Plus I have two other levels in my house that I have to move it to manually.

And I like coffee. But I have to load water and ground coffee into it first before it can start. And while coffee makers have had start timers for decades now, I'm retired now.
This means I might arise anytime between 6:00 and 8:30 am.
So I certainly don't use a timer for coffee anymore...
I thought you were looking for ways to waste money on automation for your enjoyment.

Smart plugs let you get creative. But perhaps you really need robots. Loading water and ground coffee before you go to bed can indeed be tedious.
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TLB
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by TLB »

Looking into it for a new house I'm going to be building soon. I know Control 4 is used by a lot of big Builders. I have HVAC, sound system and security cameras on my home now and love it.
HMdocinPA
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by HMdocinPA »

I have Lutron Caseta dimmers and automatic blinds, Honeywell WiFi thermostats. Very happy with them, but that’s about as automated as I’m going right now. I have a roomba too, really like that little thing, and it’s WiFi connected as well.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by dknightd »

I've thought about it. My brother went all in. He is on well water, he knows how much water is in his tank. He can pretty much control everything in his house.
I might do outside lighting. Otherwise I'm OK just doing things the manual way. I'm on city water ;)
And the exercise is good for me. Might be a fun hobby one day . . .
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Slacker »

We currently have a wifi enabled Thermostat that also serves as a hub for zigbee. I like being able to change the thermostat remotely. I am glad it is not one of those Nest thermostats - whatever "logic" they use to adjust your thermostat is horrible and annoying if you don't have a robotic daily pattern that you follow...if you come and go as you please (work from home), they can be ridiculous in trying to adjust the temps when you don't want them to, just because one time I went to the movies at 2PM on a monday.

I plan to install a low cost zigbee wall outlet, but not to "turn on" anything (seems silly to me, as you have to have equipment with mechanical switches always in the on position - most modern devices with software switches won't "turn on" with a wifi outlet to turn power on and off). The purpose of the plug would be to monitor electricity usage and send me a text notification upon seeing a device turn off after the device had been running for at least 5 minutes or more (i.e. I now turn an old or basic washing machine into a device that can notify me when the clothes washing cycle is complete so I can put everything in the dryer, as I sometimes forget that I started the laundry when I get wrapped up other activities).

Also considering installing a security system on a closed internal network.

I may get a video doorbell device, not sure how I feel about the possibility of it being compromised such that a hacker could monitor my video feed and find out when I leave home.

There are also some front door floor mounted "wedge" systems that can be remotely controlled to prevent someone from easily kicking in your door or picking the lock to get in (most people just kick the door in, not pick the lock). Same issue with such a device and potential for hacking but IF and ONLY IF a person has a reason to believe that you may have some wireless connected security device of that nature.
Grover
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Grover »

I love home automation I have
1) Nest thermostat
2) Nest smoke/CO alarms
3)Nest Yale lock
4)Ryobi garage openers, can open/close remotely alert me when I leave door left open. And it is super quit.
5) ring security system and camera
6) Kuna front door light fixer with camera and 2 way intercom
7) Wemo outlet switches I can time Christmas tree and actually can tell you how much electricity you are using
8) deebot vacuum
9) Alexa

Next is to get a a smart mower
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ResearchMed
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by ResearchMed »

Dottie57 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:45 pm
Mike Scott wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:51 pm Not me; it's a pretty expensive giggle, it's one more thing to break and need fixed and the security concerns are very real.
+1
Not a chance.

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leeks
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by leeks »

We have no interest.
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Summit111
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Summit111 »

Over the past several years we have installed several home automation features to both our homes. We can monitor one house while we’re at the other. Have not had any issues whatsoever.

Amazon Echos
Wemo switches for interior and exterior lighting and several outlet controllers
WiFi Thermostats
WiFi connected alarm system
WiFi connected (Exterior) Video surveillance system
Ring doorbells
Sonos whole house sound system
Enhanced Wi-Fi system

We love the control and convenience
Last edited by Summit111 on Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by 2015 »

jebmke wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:26 pm
daheld wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:15 pm Every single smart home device that connects to wifi is hackable.
This why you want to isolate these devices from your computing environment (data). That doesn't address any safety issue but it helps protect the data. In addition, it is a good practice to keep personal data encrypted -- that is, you should always assume that someone can get into your system.
How do you isolate these devices from your computing environment?
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by bryanm »

2015 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:25 pm How do you isolate these devices from your computing environment?
Seperate VLANS. Requires some knowledge of networking to configure.
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Mingus »

Dottie57 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:45 pm
Mike Scott wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:51 pm Not me; it's a pretty expensive giggle, it's one more thing to break and need fixed and the security concerns are very real.
+1
+2
Mingus
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Mingus »

HMdocinPA wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:58 pm I have Lutron Caseta dimmers and automatic blinds, Honeywell WiFi thermostats. Very happy with them, but that’s about as automated as I’m going right now. I have a roomba too, really like that little thing, and it’s WiFi connected as well.
I have the lutron remote, which they don't make anymore. It cost 29 dollars and could remotely turn on the Cree Connected bulbs with simple programming. No hub. No wifi. No nothing.
TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by TravelGeek »

bryanm wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:13 pm For those concerned with security and wanting a non-cloud solution, Home Assistant is a great DIY alternative. (Warning: when I say DIY, I mean it. You need your own "server" (like a Pi) and to be comfortable with basic coding.)
That is the route I am going. Just started a few days ago with a Pi, a ZWave stick and a couple of ZWave switches. Not so much interested in turning my home into a Starship Enterprise as I am to automate some lights/TV simulators for when we are traveling and have some sensors catch water leaks and unexpected temp drops etc. Some of this is just replacing basic timers, but it’s also a bit of a fun project for me.
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RickBoglehead
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Location: In a house

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Wemo devices connect to a primary WiFi network only, they don't work on Guest networks. I returned all of mine when I discovered this. They also store your SSID and password on the device. Big security risk.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
a_movable_life
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:33 pm

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by a_movable_life »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:48 pm
corn18 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:10 pmFeel like I am on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek.

Hey Google, start my coffee.
Google, Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.
a_movable_life
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:33 pm

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by a_movable_life »

Grover wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:53 pm
Next is to get a a smart mower
This. I love this concept, but worry about someone stealing it.
Bacchus01
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by Bacchus01 »

There are big bucks being spent in this area and it’s moving fast.

We have a MyQ garage opener. My kids use the garage as an entry and can’t for the life of them figure out how to hit the button to close it. We’ve had the police stop more than once at 2AM to tell us our garage door was open. It’s now set to auto close at 10PM and again at 12:30AM.

We have an ecobee thermostat. It has paid for itself in reduced energy consumption in year one. Last year it noticed me that the temp in my house was dropping and the furnace wasn’t responding. My wife went home to find out the furnace had quit and it was 47 degrees in our house and dropping. Major problem averted. We also have it programmed to run the fan longer if humidity is high in the house and it helps a little to dry things out.

We’ve added a few light switches for our outside lights. I just bough the KM ones from amazon that are cheap and don’t use a hub of any kind. They are set to come on and turn off at a certain time and with a little more work I can get them to come on at exactly sunset.

Next I think is ceiling fans. I will program them to come on when there is a big temp difference between the first and second floor to move warm or cold air around. This reduces the furnace time and connects with the ecobee sensors so that I don’t have to have multiple zones on my hvac. We have just one zone for a 5400 sq ft house on three floors and as you can imagine, it’s not universal cooling and heating.

After that I really like the blinds idea, especially if I can tie them to heating and daytime/nighttime given we have our entire south wall of our house is windows.
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snackdog
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Re: Who else is doing home automation?

Post by snackdog »

Let's see, we have a new house and I've made a complicated mess of devices, some smart and some kinda dumb.

MyQ garage door opener which I can open with my phone after walking the dog. Also alerts me if the door is open for more than 10 minutes.

A few Lutron Caseta light switches for automation. Outdoor lights come on at 1% dim level at dusk, off at sunrise. Stair lights come on when garage entry door is opened after dark.

Motion detector Lutron Maestros in all the closets, stairs, garage. Maestro dimmers on key lights (living, kitchen, dining).

Wanted a humidity-sensing fan in the master bath but didn't fit existing opening. Instead went with a digital timer on the fan wall switch so it can automatically run 1,5,10,15 or 30 minutes at a touch.

Xfinity motion detector cameras which record when someone enters the driveway or rear of house. Was hoping to program these with IFTTT to also brighten outdoor lights at same time but Xfinity won't allow this (yet).

Put water leak detectors under water heater and laundry. These connect to Wifi and will alert my phone if water is detected. City offers free water leak detection also with a smart water meter which can message me if usage spikes beyond a threshold I set. We have this at a vacation house also. Water leak detection is critical in my view considering how often it happens and significant the consequences if undetected.

We are not doing any Alexa or other talking nonsense for now. I do need to sort out audio in living room and bedroom. I'm not clear how that can work via phone, wifi, wireless multiroom speakers, etc.
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