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Using cloud cover for lighting?

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  • Using cloud cover for lighting?

    Anyone used the Rachio plug-in data for other events?

    I'm thinking about using the cloud cover variable for adjusting lighting or shades. As in, if it's daytime but overcast, adjust lighting differently than if it's sunny. The idea being outside ambient light would be less due to cloud cover.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    I guess it would depend on how accurate the information is from rachio. I have a personal weather station and read the data from that to close my garage doors if it gets windy or starts to rain.

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    • #3
      I do this based on a few local luminescence sensors.

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      • #4
        Which weather station or sensors are you finding useful? I'm not married to anyone one particular approach.

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        • #5
          I am using an Ambient WS-1001-WiFi. I use its luminance as it is very consistent. I think it is close to accurate at mid-day, but because the solar panel is parallel to the ground, the accuracy falls off in the mornings and evenings (verified by real light meter). I had to plug in a 120% (+20%) adjustment to make it accurate at mid-day.
          Randy Prade
          Aurora, CO
          Prades.net

          PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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          • #6
            I've been looking at the Ambient weather stuff, you're happy with it?

            I have a location that would probably be a good install for it. One that would have the same amount of daylight as I'd want to use for lighting and shade management.

            I'm not gung-ho about it being entirely 'accurate'. Just accurate enough to use as an additional adjustment value for other events.

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            • #7
              I’m very happy with it. As I stated above it is consistent. Consistency is far more valuable than accuracy. Because it is mounted on a mast above my roof, a sunny day is going to be the same every time. When it triggers low light due to overcast it always seems the same. Since our eyes have such a wide dynamic range saying it seems the same is very subjective, but our inside lights always come on at the point we need them on a heavily overcast day.

              The temperature wind and rainfall readings match the Air Force base just behind our house.
              Randy Prade
              Aurora, CO
              Prades.net

              PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

              Comment


              • #8
                What's a better point to start on the triggering? Time of day or the cloud cover percentage changing?

                I want to bracket a motion sensor being active based on it being day time and cloudy. I could start by after sunrise, before sunset and cloud cover, or the other way around.

                Which way is correct? Or 'least inefficient'?

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                • #9
                  We use an Easy Trigger schedule for motion controlled lighting. It is complimented by a low light virtual device. The device is set by Events involving a pair of timers and the luminance sensor on my weather station. I set a lower threshold where the low light device is turned on and an upper threshold where it is turned off. The timers used to assure luminance has been above or below the thresholds for at least 3 minutes, to stop it from changing state due to a short change. The spread between the two thresholds stops it from toggling back and forth too quickly.

                  Our motion events look for schedule and/or virtual device:

                  IF Motion
                  AND IF the time is in the indoor motion schedule

                  OR IF Motion
                  AND IF low light is on

                  We also use the virtual device to turn on supplemental lighting in certain areas when we are home.
                  Randy Prade
                  Aurora, CO
                  Prades.net

                  PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nice, but that's a bit more than I'm looking to implement just yet. I don't yet have an on-site luminance sensor. If/when I get to that point I'm going to look into more involved control over motion sensing.

                    What would cause an event to run twice if I manually trigger it? This one speaks twice if I tap the blue > arrow just once.

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	motion overcast.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	79.9 KB
ID:	1267151

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                    • #11
                      The item being checked is "Current Cloud Cover" and is currently set to 32, so it shouldn't really ever get to the control and speak stages anyway.

                      I just looked at the Device Status page and the value shown for "Current Cloud Cover" is a percentage.

                      So I changed the IF condition to use "(value %)" instead of "a customer value of" but that did not help. The speaker still speaks twice after one click.

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                      • #12
                        Oh, wait, does manually operating an event ignore ALL of the IF/AND IF conditions? I just noticed the tooltip text when I hovered over the blue > icon....

                        If so, how does one debug if the logic is effective?

                        And why would it have spoken twice?

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                        • #13
                          Manually running an Event from the Event Management page will ignore all triggers and conditions and simply run the actions. In your Event above the only condition is "daytime", which wouldn't need testing. If you want to test an Event's evaluation of conditions, simply make a quick manually triggered event calling the one you want to test with the option "Run only if other Event Conditions are TRUE" enabled. This will ignore the trigger, but will respect all conditions.

                          When events speak twice, it is usually because there are two speech proxies running. Is there a chance you have another plug-in with its own proxy running?
                          Randy Prade
                          Aurora, CO
                          Prades.net

                          PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wkearney99 View Post
                            What's a better point to start on the triggering? Time of day or the cloud cover percentage changing?

                            I want to bracket a motion sensor being active based on it being day time and cloudy. I could start by after sunrise, before sunset and cloud cover, or the other way around.

                            Which way is correct? Or 'least inefficient'?
                            Rereading your question, the trigger will always be motion. Therefore I am not sure what you mean by "a better point to start the triggering". A trigger will always be the primary thing that occurs to start the event. The condition would be the level of your luminance sensor. You only want the lights to come on when there is motion, but you want to limit it to when the luminance is below a certain level.

                            In your event I am not sure what the action is doing. What is the timeclock event?


                            Is this a switch with a built in motion sensor that you are disabling by this event. If so then the trigger would be as you have it - the luminance value.

                            If I understood the action, it would be easier to help with the event.
                            Randy Prade
                            Aurora, CO
                            Prades.net

                            PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, you were spot-on, I had the Media Controller plug-in active with the proxy enabled. I've disabled the plug-in, I'll check that later.

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