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Home Automation


maynragh
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I have three Amazon Echo's in my house, bought them when they were on special offer at £35.00. They are connected to my Nest Thermostat, but I never really use the Echo to control the heating. They are also connected to lights in three rooms and I do use this a lot. The wi-fi plugs the lights are connected to can also have times set  they come on and off, so I can have a light programmed to come on when I'm away.

I use one echo as a bedside alarm clock radio a lot. I can't see the time on a normal clock radio without my glasses, it's easy to ask the Echo what time it is. Also playing internet radio is good and you can set a sleep timer.

I would love to get some Echo controlled light switches, but UK switches wont work unless they are dimmer switches.

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39 minutes ago, Katman said:

I have three Amazon Echo's in my house, bought them when they were on special offer at £35.00. They are connected to my Nest Thermostat, but I never really use the Echo to control the heating. They are also connected to lights in three rooms and I do use this a lot. The wi-fi plugs the lights are connected to can also have times set  they come on and off, so I can have a light programmed to come on when I'm away.

I use one echo as a bedside alarm clock radio a lot. I can't see the time on a normal clock radio without my glasses, it's easy to ask the Echo what time it is. Also playing internet radio is good and you can set a sleep timer.

I would love to get some Echo controlled light switches, but UK switches wont work unless they are dimmer switches.

Phillips Hue lights have all the switching gubbins internal.  You switch them on at the wall, and leave them on. They come with a Hue bridge to act like a wireless base, and you connect that to your router. Alexa will talk to the Hue bridge and control all the Hue lights individually.  Easy to set up, you just have to name the lights so you can identify them to Alexa, group names are useful e.g.'living room' and she'll turn them all on, dim them.or set them to a pretty colour of your choosing.

Edited by guzzi
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Why would anyone actually want wifi controlled light switches? What's the big advantage - isn't it all just more electronic clutter which needs to be managed?

This is a bloke thing, right? Women just roll their eyes, yes?

Also - isn't Putin going to be turning your lights on and off when he gets bored, sooner or later - or using your fridge to mine bitcoin &  launch a DOS attack?

Edited by pongo
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Hue lights bring other things like the ability to have any colour you like on demand, and the ability to dim. That can be quite nice, and voice controlling them is a minor advantage.

They are also controlled by automation hubs like my Samsung. Switch off all the lights when I leave, switch on the ones I want when I arrive back at the front door.

But I do really agree, Pongo. Bit gimmicky and no big advantage. I just like this crap as a hobby, sad really.

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It's handier than you'd think. If you want a demonstration kit for not much money, there's a pack on amazon where you get the Philips Hue Bridge, 2 lights and an Amazon Dot for about £90 - one of your kids will set it up for you, but you'll be loving saying things like "Computer, lights" 

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4 hours ago, Tarne said:

one of your kids will set it up for you, but you'll be loving saying things like "Computer, lights" 

Yeah, beam me up Spocky!  Seriously though, I am confident that I could set the thing up for myself. That's not the issue. I code. I run a bunch of servers. 

No. It's not that the technology scares me. Rather that increased complexity is almost the opposite of good design. It's clutter.

Our houses don't need to be online. Less really is more. A great piece of furniture or a beautifully designed lighting classic is never going to be improved by being online. Or the fridge. Especially if it ever needs to be rebooted. All of that stuff has become the new version of go faster strips and fog lights on a car. Or an Amstrad stereo with too many dials and lights.

Not built to last or be passed on, it will all end up at the tip. But a light switch is a superbly minimalist solution. Also more or less a text book example of a polymorphic interface - it works the same every time. Like when you rent a car and nobody has to explain how to drive a particular brand. And it doesn't need re booting.

Edited by pongo
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"I used to run a bunch of servers in my day, I can remember when this was all C" *shakes stick* :D

I agree you don't need your fridge, microwave, cooker all set up but lights and music are very easy. Nothing like bringing a slut home and sticking on the mood lighting and music. The best bit is you can keep using a light switch if you wish too!

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Got a few bits hooked into https://home-assistant.io running on a server under the stairs. You can do showing off stuff like having the living room lights dim automatically when you start a film on Plex (or other media server of your preference). Not necessary really, but it does make people go "Ooh, look at you, fancy twat". Which is what life is all about right?

 

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5 minutes ago, HeliX said:

Got a few bits hooked into https://home-assistant.io running on a server under the stairs. You can do showing off stuff like having the living room lights dim automatically when you start a film on Plex (or other media server of your preference). Not necessary really, but it does make people go "Ooh, look at you, fancy twat". Which is what life is all about right?

 

good you posting again, you fancy twat.

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5 hours ago, pongo said:

Yeah, beam me up Spocky!  Seriously though, I am confident that I could set the thing up for myself. That's not the issue. I code. I run a bunch of servers. 

No. It's not that the technology scares me. Rather that increased complexity is almost the opposite of good design. It's clutter.

Our houses don't need to be online. Less really is more. A great piece of furniture or a beautifully designed lighting classic is never going to be improved by being online. Or the fridge. Especially if it ever needs to be rebooted. All of that stuff has become the new version of go faster strips and fog lights on a car. Or an Amstrad stereo with too many dials and lights.

Not built to last or be passed on, it will all end up at the tip. But a light switch is a superbly minimalist solution. Also more or less a text book example of a polymorphic interface - it works the same every time. Like when you rent a car and nobody has to explain how to drive a particular brand. And it doesn't need re booting.

I agree. I don't really need the lighting and socket controls, that's just boys toys. The heating stuff is a bit more of a potential design improvement for me though. My system is nothing fancy, just a big stove and a really big thermal store (will eventually be another heat source or two with an external stove / oven, possibly a biomass boiler and some home made solar panels), so a few automated controls would really improve it I think. There's no off the shelf control system for this kind of set up, it's usually all manual - fine for me, not so handy for the family. At the moment I'm manually turning off pumps when I go to bed and the fire has gone down, but every now and then I forget, which means that the pumps then keep pumping all night and the whole system is cold by the morning - the system is capable of storing enough heat for a morning shower cycle. If I use IFTTT I should be able to control the pumps based on the temps at the stove and the store. It would also significantly improve the efficiency of the store if I could close some valves when the pumps go off to stop heat rising back up as the stove goes cold, and send any left over heat round a sub slab I laid some pipe in or the underfloor. It would also be nice to be able to control underfloor heating pumps this way, both remotely and with IFTTT depending on the temps in the store - so as not to deplete the store to the point where there is no DHW. One key thing for me though is there always needs to be a manual override! 

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5 hours ago, Tarne said:

 

"I used to run a bunch of servers in my day, I can remember when this was all C" *shakes stick* :D

I agree you don't need your fridge, microwave, cooker all set up but lights and music are very easy. Nothing like bringing a slut home and sticking on the mood lighting and music. The best bit is you can keep using a light switch if you wish too!

Reading your romantic pastimes, I'd guess a light switch is the only switch you will get your fingers on.

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15 hours ago, HeliX said:

Got a few bits hooked into https://home-assistant.io running on a server under the stairs. You can do showing off stuff like having the living room lights dim automatically when you start a film on Plex (or other media server of your preference). Not necessary really, but it does make people go "Ooh, look at you, fancy twat". Which is what life is all about right?

 

Under the stairs? How terribly Onchan. Don't you have a cellar?

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