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What do you actually DO with home automation?

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    What do you actually DO with home automation?

    Now that I've got all my lights, etc., all connected up, what should I actually do with them?

    Motion sensors so the lights go on and off? (low WAF)
    Keychain remotes?

    What is there to actually automate?

    I find I have almost no appliances tied in. No real need to.

    We're home most of the day, so not much gets turned off.

    Itching for some more projects...

    my wifes favorite:

    the bathroom light coming on at 15% in the middle of the night when the motion detector picks up her motion in the hall.

    (the mandatory) lighted driveway and entry when she arrives home at night


    keyless (keypad) entry

    LED lighted stairway during power outages lighting the way downstairs to the power panel also will light during a fire (happily untested in a real fire)


      I have a few lights inside and out that come on before sunrise and then turn off, and again at sunset, and turn off later in the evening.

      I have a number of inside lights that will cut on if a motion sensor detects motion AND it's dark in the rooms. They then go off after a period of no motion.

      I have a small portable TV that clicks on automatically when I go into my bathroom, and then cuts off after no motion.

      I have three IP cameras that I can switch the power on and off. This could be for reset reasons, or for privacy.

      I have some wireless keypads that can be used to indicate who's home, and whether we are asleep or awake. This can kick off the shutdown or power on of lights independant of my set timers, and it can also invoke a night light behavior based on motion.

      I've got some voice announcements setup when exterior doors, and the garage door are opened or close. I have an announcement for motion in my garage, and motion at my mail box.

      I'm still working on tie ins to my security system, ceiling fans and HVAC.

      Hope that gives you some ideas. Some of the stuff I have seen others on this forum do are really impressive to me.



        some suggestions are at login guest and guest


          My basics are rainfall-based sprinkler decisions for the lawn, which uses the rain guage info form my weather station to determine whether we've had enough rain. HS controls my lawn sprinklers - has since I bought the house 5 years ago.

          Runs the outside lighting, particularly the front walkway and outside door lighting. It also monitors the states of the front door through the Caddx alarm system loop and detemined when to turn on the inside front hall lights if someone comes home. At present this is based on time of day, sunirse/sunset, timing of the walkway motion and the opening of the front door, but I also plan to add additional triggers for the keyless entry system I've installed.

          One-touch source and power selection for the entertainment systems around the house: I have an A/V receiver in the family room that has all kinds of sources hooked into it. I've set up an intelligetn control system that "knows" what's on and off, and when someone wants to watch the satellite, for example, they just push the touchscreen satellite button and HS (with the help of Ocelot and SECU-16 modules) fires off the right IR codes to turn various components on/off, set initial volume levels, and select the proper source. I also have the master bedroom TV/Sat rigged up this way.

          Macros: many of the scripts and events I have set up are to allow multiple actions and decisions to occur automatically, like turning on morning TV at a set time that automatically changes to our preferred news station, and then shuts off after the news is over.

          Group lighting: although I have yet to get into and special scene lighting, I do have certain groupings that turn on and off under one-button commands, such as the patio and pool lighting (5 separate lights).

          Planned: I'm finishing a bathroom remodel that will have a Switchlinc contoller to allow single-tap low lighting for nighttime use, and normal during the day. It'll use double-tap to go to full brightness at night. I'm sure this will be a winner with all occupants.

          Monitoring: I use HS-based scripting to monitor the weather station, collect temps via the TEMP05 unit (now TEMP08), chart graphs of the power line voltage and usage of the A/V gear, control a ninja pan/tilt base on a webcam, monitor motion throughout the house, etc.

          I've forgotten some of it - but have to run. Those are good examples that will keep you busy for a while. ;-) Email me if you want more details.
          | - Gordon

          "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show
 - -


            Here is a good thread with lots of ideas:



              My wife wanted the lights to go on inside the house (chimney and accent) at 20 minutes before sunset (which Homeseer thankfully has a setting for.

              I make announcements using the AT&T voices to remind us and the kids to do different things like feed the dogs etc. At sunset, my systecm checks the front door deadbolt and the garage door and announces if they are open or unlocked. I just bought three of the ELK amplifiers from Smarthome (10 watt) and I hooked them up to a speaker in the hallway. The other two are yet to be installed. I am expanding daily. Think about sending pages to your test pager when things happen and setting up web pages to control things from work. That should keep you busy for a while.
              A computer's attention span is as long
              as it's powercord.



                How are you powering your LEDS? And how are they mounted? 12V emergency lighting has been on my "ideas of possible interest" list for a while.
                My system is described in my profile.


                  Hum I started playing with homeseer about 3 years ago. Here is what is automated so far:

                  Lights, pretty much all the light switches are 2 way x10 . I have scenes set so at sundown homeseer sets the evening scene. I also have 8 scenes available from the touchpads around the house.

                  Music. Put in ceiling speakers in every room, speakers outside by the pool. Use a combination of audio devices. The best future is “background music” during the day if a particular speaker isnt in special use E.G playing music I specifically selected it plays background music taken from the cable system ( usually the seasonal channel) played at low volume. The speaker turns off in the tv room if we turn on the tv. More on the music. I have 4 zones of mp3 audio available, satellite music and then local radio. All the speakers run though an audio matrix which means each speaker can select any audio input separately from the others. ( motion detectors in the showers turn on music and give us morning updates when we first shower )

                  TV. All the tv’s in the house , the dvd system and all the cable boxes are controlled though homeseer using touchpads. I rach mounted the dvd carousels ( 2 so far) and all the cable boxes then ran them all though a video / audio matrix. This means I can watch any combination of things an any combination of tv’s. also means lights can dim, and using mainlobby I can see and choose all the dvds from the touchpads, even play a preview without ever touching a dvd.

                  HEAT/COOL 2 thermostats keep the house at the right temp and also watch to see if people turn them up and down too far ( why do people think a house will get cooler faster if they crank the ac down to 60 ???? if all they want is 75 ) the controls are also available on all the touchpads and on the web so I can adjust them from anywhere in the house without having to walk to the actual control unit.

                  MONITORING. System checks cnn, weather and my various networks and gateways and computers I run. If something happens the system alerts my via visual and audio announcements. Turns on certain lights when rain is apprching and warns of approaching rain

                  PHONE. Picks up incoming caller id and announces who the caller is even before the phone rings. Very useful to stop yourself getting up for a call that isnt yours. Also have voice commands on the phone for both internal and calling in to adjust things.

                  SHOPPING LIST. Add or remove items from the touchpads. Then if items are needed the list is sent as a text message to my cell phone 2 times a day at times when I am likely to be out near a store

                  ALARM. Gives greater control over the alarm system than just a regular alarm panel.

                  SENSORS. On doors and windows can alert me if a patio door is left open too long and can even turn off the ac to stop wasteful cooling loss.

                  IRRIGATION. System can adjust itself biased on recent rainfall to stop under or over watering

                  POOL. Electronic valves and sensors give touchpad control over the pool and hottob. Each morning at 5am the system manipulates the vables and pumps to empty the hottub water into the pool and draw fresh pool water back into the hottub. Stops the need for separate chlorine floaters in the hottub. Also I can set a temp on the hottub and the system announces when it has reached that temp

                  I think that’s all for now. 
                  detail of setup in profile. Link to videos of my projects there as well. Over 300 scripts running every min and counting