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The Home Automation Thread
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Old 15-05-2017, 21:21   #1
Hom3r
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The Home Automation Thread

As the title says, what with stuff like Amazon Echo that can connect kit to the home.

What do people suggest to get and what products to avoid.

I'm looking at first connecting some Philips Hue lights and go from there.

One day smart smoke alarms, CCTV etc.
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Old 15-05-2017, 23:13   #2
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I use Hue and the Harmony Hub. Though I mainly use the ipad for basic controls of the TV (Harmony) when the remote is out of reach. I can control the TV via voice but it's quicker to use a remote. And you can then use any phone to control anything that uses a remote. It doesn't get used that often though.

I was an early adopter for the Hue lights, luckily the prices have come down quite a lot now. Wait for a good offer with the hub and a couple of bulbs. There's now quite a range of bulbs and LED strips on offer. They can be expensive so make sure you know what you want and for what purpose. I use blooms mainly as accent lighting which I think they may have been discontinued which is a shame. (But I've ordered a few spare in case I can't find them in a year or 2).

As soon as you get a couple of bulbs, you will probably end up swapping every bulb over as it can be addictive. You can buy cheaper 3rd party bulbs that'll work with the Hue hub, just white dimmer'ables but at around 7-8 each they are ideal for rooms you don't go in much maybe.

I do prefer IOS platform to control them over Android. You can use a smartphone but everything is so much better with an iPad.

I also use an AV (RXV581) which now comes with a decent IOS App, so you can control all the sound settings and music from just about any source via iPad which really helps.

As for other things like wifi washing machines and kettles etc they are just a gimmick obviously.
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Old 15-05-2017, 23:48   #3
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I have one light, and a few sockets, using HIVE (It also controls my Heating).
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Old 16-05-2017, 09:00   #4
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

We've had pretty much our entire home kitted with Philips Hue for a while now, which is pretty nice - we've even set up some automation to dim lights after a certain time when we start a movie, and with room names and zones you can have quite a good level of control with Siri or Amazon Echo.

In addition, we use a Harmony remote which can be controlled with the Echo. "Turn on/off the AppleTV" is quite handy, especially the 'off' command as you're walking out of the room.

The only problem with Philips Hue as the smart lighting solution is that your light switches become annoyingly redundant, and guests to your home will often end up switching the light switch off. We've used some Tap switches and some dimmer switches from Hue, but until we replace the regular light switches with blanks they'll always end up getting turned off at some point.
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Old 16-05-2017, 20:09   #5
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I bought the GU10 starter kit (with 3 bulbs) and a additional GU10 bulb.

Setting up was fairly easy.

Connected to my Echo Dot as well.

Then I will buy 3 bulbs for 2 light fittings, need to think about if I connect them together or leave as two units. but I might by a seperate dimmer.
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Old 16-05-2017, 20:26   #6
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I use an app called iConnectHueHd (IOS) which allows me to get more use out of the dimmer switch. I can double press each button for a new command and also hold down a button for a command too. Eg the living room dimmer if I hold down the on button it will turn on the bedroom light and double pressing the off will turn off the bedroom light. Or you can set them as scenes etc.

My phone app will turn on my set lights when I come home if it is dark as soon as the phone connects to wifi. There's plenty of other things you can do as well.

Also I use winhue3 app on the PC for full control if I'm at the PC.
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Old 16-05-2017, 20:42   #7
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I use a samsung SmartThings hub with an Ambon echo and hue lights. I also have a couple of LIFX bulbs, really good but expensive.

The Samsung SmarThings handles all of the clever bits and home security. So I can say Alex nght mode on and all of the downstairs lights go off and the alarm is switched on.

It also turns an led strip on in the kitchen when I enter after sunset and the landing light as well if anyone goes upstairs after sunset.

After an harmony remote next

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Old 16-05-2017, 21:38   #8
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I've read you can you Alexa to change scenes, how do you set this up, I tried "Turn on Savannah Sunset in my room"

but she didn't like it
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Old 16-05-2017, 21:51   #9
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hom3r View Post
I've read you can you Alexa to change scenes, how do you set this up, I tried "Turn on Savannah Sunset in my room"

but she didn't like it
See here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Hue/dp/B01LYQA2RR
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Old 17-05-2017, 20:58   #10
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

Yeah I have to say "Turn on Savannah Sunset in THE my room"
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Old 18-05-2017, 20:26   #11
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

I just upgraded the 3 bulbs in the living room. (not currently connected to a Echo, but I might get one for downstairs.)

I couldn't get 3 single bulbs so I bought another starter back.

My hub wouldn't find them, but I entered the serial number and they connected perfectly.

Now to find the Disco function I've heard about.

I found a app Hue Disco, but not paying 3.
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Old 19-05-2017, 18:29   #12
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Re: The Home Automation Thread

Lastly for this bit, a second Echo Dot downstairs and it doesn't need to be told any commands as their linked.

Time for a break as 450 in a week has dented the wallet
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