Author Topic: Smart Homes discussion thread  (Read 4626 times)

Offline petetherock

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Smart Homes discussion thread
« on: November 22, 2018, 09:25 »
Dear bros
I hope experts here can chip in on this..
I know a few pros who have already started on this journey, and this field is evolving quite quickly.
Some basic things which are possible are turning on and off items remotely, including lights, aircons, curtains etc.
But doing so seamlessly with a high WAF and ease of use is now the goal.


I hope bros who have successfully integrated this into their homes can share? Thanks


- costs
- brands
- sources
- personal experiences


 :D
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Offline Saycheese78

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 10:01 »
Hi

Is those ai aircon control useful?

I am using those switch to turn on mood lighting at hifi from 8pm to 1am.

Offline KopiOkaya

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 10:33 »
I ever thought about integrating AI into my home environment (namely Google Home) but security and privacy have been my main concern, so I dropped the idea regardless how advanced or convenient it is. Just my take on this Smart Home thingy.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 15:03 by KopiOkaya »
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Offline cstanxpl

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 10:40 »
I'm currently using TP-Link smart plugs to on/off some of my appliances. Can even used as timer to automatically off my phone charger after a designated timing to prevent over charging of phone. Installed google home and Alexa as well. Useful when lazy to get up to turn off the fan (with wireless remote controller) etc hehe.

Waiting for TP-Link to bring in their smart wall switches for the home lights.

So far found the TP-Link Kasa apps not bad. Just need some extra features.
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Offline Heng

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2018, 11:07 »
I also interested to learn from gurus here.. is lighting a good place to get started? E.g. those from IKEA, Philips, Xiaomi, Lifx etc.. planning to set up some LED lightstrips behind my TV to try as a start.. keke

Offline sigurros

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2018, 13:21 »
Am using ambi climate for both rooms and they worked great.

Taking into considerations of the weather, it will adjust the temp accordingly.

Definitely woke up less to find the blanket into night.  ;D

Hopefully will be able to lower the ever rising electric bill.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 13:23 by sigurros »

Offline wizardofoz

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 23:19 »
Im using apple home kit with Philips Hue lights and Eve switches and motion detect.


I would say its 99% reliable for the lights and maybe 98% for the Eve switches (controlling some non hue lights and appliances like coffee machine)


sadly no AC in the homekit space that far...at least not for IR controlled systems...same for hifi/ht controls
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Offline econav

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2018, 23:44 »
To me , all this are not smart .... the most another form of remote and integrated control by using touch ,phone and pad's. No matter which control you go for, user experience and reliability come first and if you are not able to handle all the integration and manage yourself , you better not Go DIY.....
The real smart home is a central of thinking be is room temperature ,light , device power and its able to monitor the user behaviour and mood to function it intended purpose, we are still a bit away from that AI , but the Chinese are very much into it liao.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2018, 19:31 »
The state of the art smart home system is only as advanced as the user behind it.

Here’s why:

1) only the home owner knows what he needs for his sensors to sense and modules to react to the right stimulus. If you are not interested to troubleshoot code, are you willing to pay $$$to someone and down time with the inconviniences of someone to do debugging?

2) A smart home is only as smart as the architect and user of the system. If you don’t know what you want, how would the home be smart? The real smartness is in the person who did the code, not the hardware.

3) Today’s  smart home eco-system is good for those who are willing to DIY yourself. It’s not user friendly to the average joe. They are primitive in the implementation and poorly integrated.


I’ve had smarts in my home for 5yrs now. I would do it again for myself, but I will warn others this is not something that is easy to use. But if you have the grit for it, today's system can be very powerful for the Super-user. Lights, sliding doors, gates, aircon, curtain, HT, water, electricity control, voice control, guesture control. 

From the sensors, there are noise, seismic, water, light level, motion, temp, humidity, state of equipment. Etc.

But if you don’t know electrical wiring AND coding, forget about it. You will have more problems than you can articulate questions about them.

If you think they are as simple to use as windows7, the current state of the art is probably in the era of Linux. Powerful but for advanced users only. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 19:39 by Jag »
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Offline Jag

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2018, 19:46 »
That said, I continue to advocate Smart home as I truly believe it’s is the next wave of the IOT world. I honestly use it daily in my life. Temp control at night, auto blind controls every day depending on Lux levels, auto on and off  depending on presence, power consumption monitoring, door bell alerts, flooding or leakage alerts.

Voice control makes it all even better. Too much to write here, but I’d be happy to talk more.
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Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2018, 20:30 »
That said, I continue to advocate Smart home as I truly believe it’s is the next wave of the IOT world. I honestly use it daily in my life. Temp control at night, auto blind controls every day depending on Lux levels, auto on and off  depending on presence, power consumption monitoring, door bell alerts, flooding or leakage alerts.

Voice control makes it all even better. Too much to write here, but I’d be happy to talk more.
Hey bro,
Thanks for sharing this. I also hope that you will share more on your own journey.
As for the difficulty in doing this, I would say, that Smart Homes aren't ready for us yet then.
As an IT idiot, I want a Smart Solution that doesn't require a rocket scientist to program..

So if it's something too hard, then I will probably pass for now and wait until it's meant for the average consumer to adopt. The onus should not be on the owner to take up quantum physics, but rather, it should be made easy.
Like the days before Apple came out with the Mac, using a computer would cause brain seizures... but now, I can get my 80plus year old mum to use a Mac with ease. Now's that user experience and the goal for Smart Tech then..
Cheers
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Online netbaby

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 09:20 »
Totally agree!  ;D

Most of my time is debugging the system.

Talking to AI can be a pain too and I am only on lights and some IR devices.

The state of the art smart home system is only as advanced as the user behind it.

Here’s why:

1) only the home owner knows what he needs for his sensors to sense and modules to react to the right stimulus. If you are not interested to troubleshoot code, are you willing to pay $$$to someone and down time with the inconviniences of someone to do debugging?

2) A smart home is only as smart as the architect and user of the system. If you don’t know what you want, how would the home be smart? The real smartness is in the person who did the code, not the hardware.

3) Today’s  smart home eco-system is good for those who are willing to DIY yourself. It’s not user friendly to the average joe. They are primitive in the implementation and poorly integrated.


I’ve had smarts in my home for 5yrs now. I would do it again for myself, but I will warn others this is not something that is easy to use. But if you have the grit for it, today's system can be very powerful for the Super-user. Lights, sliding doors, gates, aircon, curtain, HT, water, electricity control, voice control, guesture control. 

From the sensors, there are noise, seismic, water, light level, motion, temp, humidity, state of equipment. Etc.

But if you don’t know electrical wiring AND coding, forget about it. You will have more problems than you can articulate questions about them.

If you think they are as simple to use as windows7, the current state of the art is probably in the era of Linux. Powerful but for advanced users only.

Offline simic

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 22:21 »
agree on the portion of being DIY and code savvy.

there is no single system that can do it all today.

my setup consists of

1. samsung smartthings - for sensors, wall switches, control sonos, routines and automations to stitch everything together
2. philips hue - for all lights related (hue or hue compatiable lights sourced from taobao)
3. logitech harmony - tv, av control
4. amazon echo - voice command

there is a lot of ongoing maintenance when the integration between 1-4 breaks, or sensor runs out of batteries, or devices drop off the zigbee mesh.

but the rewards bit is when your hands are full and u can voice command lights to turn on; one click on a button at the doorway and everything clicks off when u leave house; house turns on everything when u come home in the evening.

give it 5 years, it will become mainstream.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 22:23 by simic »

Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 22:43 »
agree on the portion of being DIY and code savvy.

there is no single system that can do it all today.

my setup consists of

1. samsung smartthings - for sensors, wall switches, control sonos, routines and automations to stitch everything together
2. philips hue - for all lights related (hue or hue compatiable lights sourced from taobao)
3. logitech harmony - tv, av control
4. amazon echo - voice command

there is a lot of ongoing maintenance when the integration between 1-4 breaks, or sensor runs out of batteries, or devices drop off the zigbee mesh.

but the rewards bit is when your hands are full and u can voice command lights to turn on; one click on a button at the doorway and everything clicks off when u leave house; house turns on everything when u come home in the evening.

give it 5 years, it will become mainstream.
That's all it does  ???
I might pass if I need a rocket science degree to work it out...
Switching lights off remotely might be nice..


I have a Yamaha LX 170 which can be programmed to turn on at night (different timings for different days) - and that works nicely for me. That my only 'smart' item right now I guess.
Well, apart from Alexa Echo, which I mainly use as a radio..
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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 11:59 »
That's all it does  ???
I might pass if I need a rocket science degree to work it out...
Switching lights off remotely might be nice..


I have a Yamaha LX 170 which can be programmed to turn on at night (different timings for different days) - and that works nicely for me. That my only 'smart' item right now I guess.
Well, apart from Alexa Echo, which I mainly use as a radio..

Alexa its useful for marking appointment on your calendar.
Telling you time when your hands are tie with RCA cables.
Set daily alarm, set reminders, set to do list.

You Can tell Alexa 'Look I am your father' too.  ;D

Online netbaby

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 12:05 »
I am using the following devices.

Philip Hue lights
Yeelights
ikea wireless lights
RM Pro plus/mini with switches
TP link smart plugs.

My CD player can skip track or stop playing just using command... provided that Alexa hear me....
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 12:09 by netbaby »

Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 12:42 »
Actually you don't need programming skills if you pay for the vendor to install for you right? If you look at the 'programming' involved, most scenes n events are configurable from app/browser. Simple drag n drop or drop down list. End of day, all based on simple idea of "if this, then that. Else .. "
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 12:44 by ralfale »

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 13:30 »
Just got one echo dot from amazon and google home mini from japan. Lets try which is better.
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Offline cstanxpl

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2018, 13:43 »
The google home mini from local is supposed to understand some local slang.

Tried something like kopitiam and it was able to tell me what it was...lol

Challenger member can get at discounted price.
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Offline simic

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2018, 21:16 »
That's all it does  ???
I might pass if I need a rocket science degree to work it out...
Switching lights off remotely might be nice..


I have a Yamaha LX 170 which can be programmed to turn on at night (different timings for different days) - and that works nicely for me. That my only 'smart' item right now I guess.
Well, apart from Alexa Echo, which I mainly use as a radio..

i have motion sensor scattered all over to turn on lights and ceiling fans on demand. hardly touch the physical switches anymore.

toilet lights to slowly dim up over 10min interval for weekday mornings, so that your eyeballs dont get stabbed.

alexa/ handheld remote to dim lights in mbr; missus can continue reading while i turn in for the night.

sonos to start playing (fade up) in the mornings and fade off when its time to leave house. when the music stops and certain lights turn off, its cue to the kids to hurry up, they are running late.

u can use alexa to turn on the tv and channel surf also. but the voice recognition degrades when there are loud sounds around.

its to your imagination and your own personal use cases.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 21:18 by simic »

Offline simic

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2018, 21:21 »
I am using the following devices.

Philip Hue lights
Yeelights
ikea wireless lights
RM Pro plus/mini with switches
TP link smart plugs.

My CD player can skip track or stop playing just using command... provided that Alexa hear me....

all connected via alexa? thats your unifying platform? automation by which platform?

Online netbaby

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2018, 08:41 »
all connected via alexa? thats your unifying platform? automation by which platform?

Hi simic,

I am playing around with both Alexa and Google Assistance.

Automation are done by "Routines" in Alexa or Google Assistance.

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2018, 08:56 »
Actually you don't need programming skills if you pay for the vendor to install for you right? If you look at the 'programming' involved, most scenes n events are configurable from app/browser. Simple drag n drop or drop down list. End of day, all based on simple idea of "if this, then that. Else .. "

If I am not wrong when Home automation are introduce the software isn't that mature to fully integrate and automate the devices. It take some effort of using programming to automate the system.

Now there's "Routines" available in them apps which you can set your command and action.

Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2018, 09:47 »
If I am not wrong when Home automation are introduce the software isn't that mature to fully integrate and automate the devices. It take some effort of using programming to automate the system.

Now there's "Routines" available in them apps which you can set your command and action.
One big issue is that you may get items from different vendors, so they may not integrate or talk so well to each other..
Hopefully the scene matures more... and gets more simplified.
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Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2018, 08:33 »
Anyone using yeelight instead of hue? Price looks much lower and doesn't need a proprietary hub. Connects using WiFi instead of zwave.

Offline simic

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2018, 12:25 »
Anyone using yeelight instead of hue? Price looks much lower and doesn't need a proprietary hub. Connects using WiFi instead of zwave.

its a good choice if you choose to remain within XM ecosystem.

Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2018, 12:28 »
If I want to integrate with echo + Fibaro?

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2018, 12:36 »
If I want to integrate with echo + Fibaro?

Sent from my S8 using Tapatalk


echo can... just install the alexa skills for yeelight

for fibaro, something like this?

https://forum.fibaro.com/files/file/110-yeelight-manager/

Sorry, i dont have fibaro ecosystem.

Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2018, 14:29 »
echo can... just install the alexa skills for yeelight

for fibaro, something like this?

https://forum.fibaro.com/files/file/110-yeelight-manager/

Sorry, i dont have fibaro ecosystem.

Thank you, sent to my fibaro agent to explore. If confirm can work, will get some during 12.12 sales from lazada.

Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2018, 07:53 »
Is anyone using a video system for their main gate? Something that can withstand rain? Thanks
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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2018, 09:39 »
I am using a KNX system (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/KNX_(standard)) which automates and integrates lights, blinds, curtains, aircons, water heater, security systems, door entry and av (but I have not implemented av automation and integration as yet). Full scheduling and mobile control. Have been using this platform for the last 13 years in 2 homes. Rock solid. Multiple vendors and all vendor products are interoperable and can mix and match as all must adhere to KNX standards and specs. Downsides are cannot diy (can but quite complex), must be implemented during renovation as cables need to be laid, and not cheap.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 14:18 by StephenBishop »

Offline petetherock

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Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2018, 23:51 »
Any rain sensor recommendations? My installer wants to charge me $600 for it which I rejected outright. Cannot stomach paying $600 for a sensor!

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2018, 15:59 »
$600 for a rain sensor?!?! Z-wave sensors from Fibaro or similar cost only about $100.
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Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2018, 08:30 »
Yea, I've read up about Fibaro flood sensor as well. It uses its legs for detection purpose. From the looks of it, the potential roadblocks to using that accurately is mounting location (detection is more sensitive to outdoor placement on floor).

I found a nice write up on types of rain sensor. Anyone using optical sensor? Seems like the right technology for our typical SG homes.

http://www.pic-control.com/rain-sensor/

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2018, 09:37 »
Is anyone using motion sensor PIR lamps? Say for their lobby or porch?

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Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2019, 17:17 »
Is anyone using motion sensor PIR lamps? Say for their lobby or porch?



Maybe a cheaper method is to use those solar enabled outdoor lights. Always ON at night time. Isn't that more straight forward and lower costs?

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2019, 23:09 »
I just experienced a PIR floodlight in action - very impressive!
Drove past my friend's home, from 20m away his spotlight was activated.. gotta get that sensor...
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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2019, 17:42 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/azNK_Tgkb30&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/azNK_Tgkb30&fs=1</a>
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Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2019, 17:45 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/jyMC_HAIzpg&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/jyMC_HAIzpg&fs=1</a>
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Offline wizardofoz

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2019, 13:48 »
Anyone any updates? Im now using Sensibo to control my AC and find it pretty handy. @$140 per setup not that cheap and can only use Siri shortcuts at this time tho HomeKit is meant to be coming.
Nice thing is app sharing, plus web page access to graphs of temp/humidity over the last day or so plus the logs of commands they changed things.

Still not much for HT setups tho sadly. Unless you want to DIY with HomeBridge and RPi
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 17:21 by wizardofoz »
I have a pile of stuff that pushes out squiggly waveforms from smaller squiggly waveforms that sometimes come from 1's and 0's.
It's wonderful to behold as long as you don't let the magic smoke out.

Life is short! Enjoy the music while it plays, when it stops, there might be a chair for you...or  maybe not.

Offline ralfale

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2019, 16:14 »
I'm using broadlink rm pro2. For 40 bucks, able to on/off aircon, and adjust temperature. Comes with alexa integration. Pretty value for money.

Offline petetherock

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2019, 18:46 »
I bought a Alexa enabled wall plug, works nicely, and allows me to turn on the lights. Basic stuff, but neat.
I don't think I'll automate the entire home.
How much electricity does your automated home consume at standby mode?
Please post instead of sending a pm, so more can learn.

My gear:
http://peteswrite.blogspot.com/2019/04/my-setup-42019.html

Offline comfortablynumb

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2019, 19:09 »
My primary system is Smartthings with a Philips Hue Hub and a Bond hub to manage RF fans in the house
I m also using Sensibo n Tado to control all my ACs. Tado came out earlier but I found sensibo to b better

Am also using Logitech Harmony and zwave/zigbee smart plugs to control my AV devices

For PCs and kitchen devices that need to push a button to switch on/off, i use a SwitchBot hub to manage them
I use motion, door, window, smoke and water detection sensors in my home

All fully Integrated with ST, Alexa and Google Home

For curtains and blinds, I use Fibaro which again is integrated to ST, Alexa and GH

I am using Blink cameras for home CCTV as well as Ring Doorbell

I installed ActionTiles on my 10inch FireHD to act as a control pad on my coffee table

Maintenance wise lots of work in the beginning esp when creating device handlers for devices not directly supported by STj
Took me almost 3 years to complete 99% of My smart home project


« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 19:21 by comfortablynumb »
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Online wcseow

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2019, 23:07 »
I used RM Pros too, with Google Home. Bought a  number to control air con, fans and fan light, AVRs, TVs.

Initially everybody is calling Google,😁😁.
But now just used their mobile app, IHC.

Offline petetherock

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Please post instead of sending a pm, so more can learn.

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http://peteswrite.blogspot.com/2019/04/my-setup-42019.html

Offline wizardofoz

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2019, 19:51 »
The problem with turning on the AC from remote is did you leave the windows open! My Lounge balcony if often left open in the day as no rain can come in. I can normally do this for my study as seldom open the windows there even though no rain can get in there either.
I have a pile of stuff that pushes out squiggly waveforms from smaller squiggly waveforms that sometimes come from 1's and 0's.
It's wonderful to behold as long as you don't let the magic smoke out.

Life is short! Enjoy the music while it plays, when it stops, there might be a chair for you...or  maybe not.

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Smart Homes discussion thread
« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2019, 09:22 »
 ;D

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/nwPtcqcqz00&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/nwPtcqcqz00&fs=1</a>

You'll never get to heaven with a smile on your face from me.