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Anyone doing much Home Automation?

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chris-red
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PostPosted: 12:55 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Anyone doing much Home Automation? Reply with quote

We got an Amazon Echo and a couple of dots last year, soon after I started looking into the various home automation options, we have a Tado Smart thermostat that integrates slightly with it but I wanted to do a load of the lights.

I grabbed a couple of TP-Link Kasa Bulbs and was very impressed I think they were about 13 each and work as expected. I also bought a TP link plug socket, which this year we used to turn off and on all the Christmas lights.

I wanted to fit some undercounter lights in the kitchen I wasn't going to make them 'smart' initially but I found these...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wireless-Control-Automation-Intelligent-support/dp/B0732T1KZ2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1514889858&sr=8-2&keywords=sonoff

I was looking at a light kit that cost 25. Instead for only a couple of quid more I made my own using LED strips the sonoff relay and a 12v Transformer, It works really well. Cool

I wired the other relay into my Porch spotlights as it can go up through a spotlight hole like the transformers. Again straight out the box it worked with Minimal effort. I now have it set to work on a timer. I doubt you could get a timer switch for 8 let alone a smart switch you can control with apps/voice etc.

Only issue with the sonoff stuff is if the internet is out your lights won't work* unless you push the button on the unit. As the unit is designed to be hidden this would obviously be a pain if you used it for your main lights. However on things like porch and kitchen counter lights I'm happy to take the risk.

The TP link bulbs will will come on if you turn the switch off and on which is a much better design IMO.

I have been considering trying to build alexa controller curtain rail but you can probably take these things too far. Laughing

What I really want is a wifi Lightswitch that can dim my LED GU10's unfortunately the one available all require a neutral wire.

Anyone else done anything interesting?


*Won't turn on, if they are already on they will stay on. You can turn them off with the normal switch which kills power to the unit. Once you flick the switch on however the 'default state' is off.
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Monkeypony
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PostPosted: 13:06 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also using various echo dots

I've got the Philips Hue smart lighting system throughout (including super pimp lighstrip lighting in my bed! Very Happy). Super easy to set up and they make most of the popular fitments, including GU10s .

I also have a full compliment of Sonos speakers throughout the house, that are also voice controlled by Alexa

Next step will be a Hive/Nest system.

On the whole, voice control is great. It's not 100% there yet, but it is certainly at a point where having it can actually make life easier, rather than just frustrating!
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chris-red
Have you considered a TDM?



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PostPosted: 13:22 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkeypony wrote:
I'm also using various echo dots

I've got the Philips Hue smart lighting system throughout (including super pimp lighstrip lighting in my bed! Very Happy). Super easy to set up and they make most of the popular fitments, including GU10s .

I also have a full compliment of Sonos speakers throughout the house, that are also voice controlled by Alexa

Next step will be a Hive/Nest system.

On the whole, voice control is great. It's not 100% there yet, but it is certainly at a point where having it can actually make life easier, rather than just frustrating!


I priced up Hue for my downstairs lighting. It was about 500 Laughing

A switch makes more sense than bulbs when you have loads of them! I personally preferred the TP bulbs because they are roughly the same price as hue and do not require the bridge.

I have some Yamaha Musiccast stuff, Still waiting for the Alexa Update that should have been out Q3 of 2017 according to them.

I find Alexa is 95% right, however my missus is worse at it, I'm not sure if it is the tone of her voice or if she is too quiet.

Definitely consider Tado along with Hive/Nest. I'm very impressed with ours.
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Well, you know what they say. If you want to save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs.
Skudd:- Perhaps she just thinks you are a window licker and is being nice just in case she becomes another Jill Dando.
WANTED:- Fujinon (Fuji) M42 (Screw on) lenses, let me know if you have anything.
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 13:22 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of Echo Dots and a Google Home.

Google is best for searching (as expected) and I prefer the Echos for everything else.

I have Hue bulbs, a couple of TP-Link sockets (one for a small heater and the other for my iron).

Alexa can also control my Logitech Harmony Elite remote control. I only use it to pause/resume currently.

I'd like to have voice controlled heating but my Salus thermostat isn't Echo compatible so I'll keep using the app on my phone for now.

I also want the Hue lightstrips for under my kitchen wall units but they're damned expensive for the length you get.

There's an Alexa skill for the Synology Audio Station so you can play music from your NAS via Alexa. I've not managed to get this working yet though. Might be easier to setup once DSM 6.2 is out of beta.
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Last edited by panrider_uk on 13:52 - 02 Jan 2018; edited 1 time in total
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supZ
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PostPosted: 13:44 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

got a dot for xmas and already ordered another for upstairs.

got a couple hive bulbs free in some offer so i've set those up but it's limited use for me as all my rooms have multi lighting so the bulbs are of little to no use in those rooms. Have set them up for the landing and porch light though.

Bought a couple active plugs so I can plus a couple of things in to those.

Just kinda seeing what I can do at the moment without going mad.

Is definitely handy although I am gutted the most customisation I can do regarding responses and/or voice is just changing it so it activates by saying 'computer' instead of alexa.

What I wouldn't give for the voice to actually be the star trek computer or a red dwarf holly pack or better still HAL9000 pack (would be perfect for me as my name is Dave, heh).

Amazon could make a tonne if they started supplying voice packs like that at reasonable prices.
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 13:51 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are constantly updating the Echos so I'd not be surprised if that happened in the future.

They recently added a feature so that you can now make Echo to Echo (and Alexa app) phone calls - including video if you have an Echo Show.
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Im-a-Ridah
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PostPosted: 14:12 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I'd call this stuff "automation", it's more like Siri/Alexa/Google with a light switch and a thermostat.
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chris-red
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PostPosted: 14:12 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im-a-Ridah wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call this stuff "automation", it's more like Siri/Alexa/Google with a light switch and a thermostat.


You might not but everyone else does. Laughing
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Well, you know what they say. If you want to save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs.
Skudd:- Perhaps she just thinks you are a window licker and is being nice just in case she becomes another Jill Dando.
WANTED:- Fujinon (Fuji) M42 (Screw on) lenses, let me know if you have anything.
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 14:17 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The term "smart home" is used more these days
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Lord Percy
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PostPosted: 14:59 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im-a-Ridah wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call this stuff "automation", it's more like Siri/Alexa/Google with a light switch and a thermostat.


"Alexa, set an alarm for 8am please."

http://78.media.tumblr.com/39a40c724404aebde61091fb5b1681c7/tumblr_mltyo1rACc1ql2603o2_400.gif
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Suntan Sid
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PostPosted: 15:31 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

chris-red wrote:
Im-a-Ridah wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call this stuff "automation", it's more like Siri/Alexa/Google with a light switch and a thermostat.


You might not but everyone else does. Laughing


I imagine most people would class it as "shit you don't need"!
Great advertising though which has achieved its aim of extracting money from punters.
Chances are you've spent more time posting about it than you'll ever save in a lifetime!
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Monkeypony
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PostPosted: 15:55 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
Chances are you've spent more time posting about it than you'll ever save in a lifetime!


It's not so much about saving time, just a touch of extra convenience.

I COULD put up with listening to a tune I don't fancy when I'm up to my arms in grease and spanners, or I could just ask Alexa to skip it for me, not great shakes either way, just a little nicety.

The same goes for most other areas of smart home stuff. Whether the convenience is worth the outlay really depends on the size of your home, the size of your wallet and how often you actually use the things your're planning to control.
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 15:59 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
chris-red wrote:


You might not but everyone else does. Laughing


I imagine most people would class it as "shit you don't need"!
Great advertising though which has achieved its aim of extracting money from punters.
Chances are you've spent more time posting about it than you'll ever save in a lifetime!


As can be said about any luxury item.
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linuxyeti
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PostPosted: 16:00 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:

I imagine most people would class it as "shit you don't need"!
Great advertising though which has achieved its aim of extracting money from punters.
Chances are you've spent more time posting about it than you'll ever save in a lifetime!


Yep, not only that, but, in the brave new IoT, then, you need to make sure you setup your network security as best you can.. Oh, and if you think Alexa, Siri, Google, even Sonos now, are for your own good, they're not, they harvest as much information as possible about you, and send it back to the mother ship !!

Don't forget, unless you unplug it, Alexa is always on, and always listening
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 16:03 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

linuxyeti wrote:


Yep, not only that, but, in the brave new IoT, then, you need to make sure you setup your network security as best you can.. Oh, and if you think Alexa, Siri, Google, even Sonos now, are for your own good, they're not, they harvest as much information as possible about you, and send it back to the mother ship !!

Don't forget, unless you unplug it, Alexa is always on, and always listening


Or press the microphone off button.

Also your phone is always listening too so...
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Monkeypony
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PostPosted: 16:05 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

linuxyeti wrote:
they harvest as much information as possible about you, and send it back to the mother ship !!

Don't forget, unless you unplug it, Alexa is always on, and always listening


Unless you're building a bomb, or part of the tinfoil hat brigade, why would anyone care?
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Tracey Suntan-King
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PostPosted: 16:05 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only experience of this to date is with an Alexa belonging to my sister who bought it to a family gathering*. Drink was taken and music was being played through it, however any time someone didn't like a song they told Alexa to stop and play a tune of their choosing.

What resulted was a headache-inducing, music rollercoaster with no single track ever played without interruption. It was only a matter of time before the fight broke out.

Can you programme Alexa to respond to just one voice so it can't be hijacked?

When Sid & I are away, we plug in electric socket timers to switch lights on and off. Simple😎

*She didn't have a +1. My sis has few friends, her besties are Alexa and Roomba, her remote vacuum cleaner.
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Im-a-Ridah
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PostPosted: 16:09 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

chris-red wrote:

You might not but everyone else does. Laughing


Which doesn't make it any more correct. Washing machines and dishwashers are automation. This is really just voice control. The cool stuff, like a robot you can ask to get you a sandwich, is just too expensive for most people's purposes.

You can get an iCub for 250k...

http://www.endtoendhrsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/icub-robot.jpg
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rpsmith79
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PostPosted: 16:09 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://i.imgur.com/ZtacKhz.jpg
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 16:21 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im-a-Ridah wrote:

Which doesn't make it any more correct. Washing machines and dishwashers are automation. This is really just voice control. The cool stuff, like a robot you can ask to get you a sandwich, is just too expensive for most people's purposes.

You can get an iCub for 250k...


The Echo/Google/Siri part is voice control, the Hue, TP-Link, Logitech, Sonos etc etc part is automation.
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The Shaggy D.A.
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PostPosted: 17:03 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've got an Echo and an Echo Dot, connected to WeMo switches and bulbs, and Hive. A handful of the Wemo lights are dimmable, but I tend to just leave them set at the same intensity.

The sound quality is quite good, can't remember the last time I turned the hifi on.
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 17:09 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dot has bluetooth (don't think the full sized original one does?).

This gives very good sound through my surround system.
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Im-a-Ridah
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PostPosted: 19:16 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

panrider_uk wrote:

The Echo/Google/Siri part is voice control, the Hue, TP-Link, Logitech, Sonos etc etc part is automation.


Yeah I know I got a load for my brother a year ago Laughing

Still not automation though. It's just the actuation component of the voice control.

1. Voice (interface)
2. Control (actuation)
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Stalk
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PostPosted: 22:36 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

My home is fully automated........ I got married. With kids.
I'm the one that switches all the lights off
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bladerunner
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PostPosted: 23:55 - 02 Jan 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

yup i got an echo and a hue starter kit for christmas ( 2 white bulbs and hub) now have 4 bulbs and motion sensor ( ideal for the landings as it lights up when you step thru the front door or out of any of the upstairs rooms. only come on when its dark enough and after bed time they only come on as a night light to save burning your eyeballs out like the std bulbs did. I also had one of the eary early sonoff switches that I lost the wifi account details for 3 years ago and had it running a dehumidifier via the 433mhz radio tab. I was rather impressed that it hooked straight upto the echo and hey presto works via alexa and the app again!

I've ordered 3 more power plugs as 20 for 3 of them and a 5m RGB+W led strip to go under the kitchen counters with the home magic pro app so again voice control or phone or motion sensor or IR lol 19 for the 5050 size including the power supply and hey new toy

IFTTT quick play now things get fun! if I ring my "Ring" doorbell it will flash the hue lights to say someone at the door OR if its at night it will put the front door light on for a minute meaning whoever is outside isnt in the dark and I'm able to see them better than just the IR lights on the bell

Also impressed that anymote app controls my old 720p samsung tv and LG TV with volume/mute/sleep/on/off etc via alexa so well to.

As for sonoff switches needing the internet your right, HOWEVER you can flash the memory easily and they work with the HUE hub if you have on meaning local network control and no having to use silly skills.

Another thing for anyone looking to do this at home is maybe look at wifi dimmer switches as they are a lot cheaper than the lights and you have them powered up all the time and keep std bulbs.... handy if you have old type light fittings which take 3 or 5 bulbs each like I do!

all just a bit of fun but its a lot more fun than fitting new drain pipes or whatever usual run of the mill DIY stuff Laughing
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