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DocLightning
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I'm Automating My Home

Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:49 pm

So we were over at some friends' last night and he showed me how his lights are now all automated and he can turn lights on and off from his phone. His front door lock is also "smart" and can be unlocked remotely, programmed to unlock at a given time, programmed to unlock when he is within 100 feet of the house, etc.

And so now I'm on the wagon. Ordered my Samsung Smart Things base station and a bunch of GE wireless light switches and a new smart deadbolt for the front door.

The problem is the deadbolt on the front gate. Both the back and front of that door are outside and exposed to the elements and I can't seem to find a smart lock that has a weatherproof back side.

Does anyone here have any suggestions?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
compliancecheck
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:04 am

Do you have a link to the light timers? Do they work for your exterior lights? I'd like to automate my exterior lights so they don't have to be left on all day from the time we leave until we return, because we know it will be dark when we get home.
 
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golfradio
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:38 am

Quoting compliancecheck (Reply 1):

This is what I bought for controlling the outdoor lights. It took a couple hours for me to install it.

vizia-universal-digital-24-hour-programmable-timer

I have had it for over a year now and works flawlessly. You set your la/long and it'll calculate sunrise and sunset times. You can program it for sun up/down events or set specific times. Best part is that it also has manual switch so you can turn it on/off outside of the programmed times.
CSeries forever. Bring back the old site.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:55 am

Quoting compliancecheck (Reply 1):
Do you have a link to the light timers? Do they work for your exterior lights? I'd like to automate my exterior lights so they don't have to be left on all day from the time we leave until we return, because we know it will be dark when we get home.

Well, it's called the Samsung Smart Things home system. It's compatible with a number of different products including any number of "smart" light switches.

https://www.smartthings.com/

Then the switches are: http://www.amazon.com/GE12722-Z-Wave...ess-Lighting-Control/dp/B0035YRCR2

But there are many brands. As long as they are compatible with Smart Things, you can use them. However, the switches will not be automatable or remotely controllable without having the Smart Things hub.

Quoting golfradio (Reply 2):

I have had it for over a year now and works flawlessly. You set your la/long and it'll calculate sunrise and sunset times. You can program it for sun up/down events or set specific times. Best part is that it also has manual switch so you can turn it on/off outside of the programmed times.

Yes, but with this, for example, you can set the porch light to turn on when you walk up to your house because your phone geofences your location.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
mham001
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:05 pm

Quoting golfradio (Reply 2):

This is what I bought for controlling the outdoor lights. It took a couple hours for me to install it.

Why not just a simple photocell that screws into the bulb fixture? Takes about 30 seconds to install.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Yes, but with this, for example, you can set the porch light to turn on when you walk up to your house because your phone geofences your location.

That doesn't do much for visitors though, does it?

I consider much of this stuff as answers to questions nobody asked. Basic timers/motion and light sensors have been around forever. I do very much like the idea of losing keys though. I think I prefer a fingerprint system though, I do not want my entire life revolving around my cell phone.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:16 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 4):
Why not just a simple photocell that screws into the bulb fixture? Takes about 30 seconds to install.

Tried that. The light turned on and then the photocell went "Woot! Daytime!" Turned off the light. "Oooh! Night time!" Turned the light back on. And off. And on. And off. And on. About 5 times per second.   

Quoting mham001 (Reply 4):


I consider much of this stuff as answers to questions nobody asked.

You kidding? I hate fumbling with keys. The idea that my door will unlock when I approach the house is a minor dream come true.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
compliancecheck
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:44 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
You kidding? I hate fumbling with keys. The idea that my door will unlock when I approach the house is a minor dream come true.

I also hate fumbling with my keys. When I get home from work/a trip I am usually carrying three or four bags with me. Add in temperatures around zero and blowing snow...the last thing I want to be doing is fishing around my doorstep for the keys I just dropped because my fingers are so cold!
 
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golfradio
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:04 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Yes, but with this, for example, you can set the porch light to turn on when you walk up to your house because your phone geofences your location.

One of my requirements was also turning on/off the outdoor lights when I am on vacation. This timer allows me to maintain the schedule even when no one's home for an extended period. Also the schedule has a randomizer that randomly changes the schedule within a few minutes of say sunset/sunrise. I know it's not going to deter a pro burglar but at least it gives an impression of an occupied house.



Quoting mham001 (Reply 4):
Why not just a simple photocell that screws into the bulb fixture? Takes about 30 seconds to install.

I too tried them. They are pieces of junk.
CSeries forever. Bring back the old site.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:22 am

All very interesting. Nice toys, I suppose, but being a troglodyte, I will still turn on a light by hand when I enter a room, turn it off when I leave said room, and use my garage remote to get into the house. I suppose since I can leave my doors unlocked when I leave for work in the morning and not worry is good, hell, I left the back door open when I took a four day trip once. I realize it when I was about four hours out, didn't go back, didn't worry.

No, I do not mean Luddite.

But, you have to consider also that I bought my first color television in 2005. I am not representative of the technical world.

  
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Acheron
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:25 am

Take into consideration having to secure all those things...

While the tech is awesome, it so awfully unsafe and prone to backdoors and vulnerabilities it is not even funny

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/0...le-the-internet-of-things-is/#gref
 
wingman
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:47 am

Despite my advancing years I have yet to tire from handling a door lock or light switch. Part of me cringes just thinking what my old man would say demonstrating such a system, something along the likes of "thank Christ we got to the moon and built the interstate system before your generation took over."

Gotta go with Acheron on this one, putting the safety of my loved ones in the hands of the people that brought me my S4? I'll take Schlage for $100.
 
Ken777
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:52 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 4):
Why not just a simple photocell that screws into the bulb fixture? Takes about 30 seconds to install.

I used them for a while and they worked fine. If you get a bad one simply take it back to the store and get another one.

I eventually gave it away when I started putting more power efficient florescent lights in - I just left the on the front porch and above the garage doors on 24 hours a day. LCDs are now in these lights and they are going 24 hours a day.

I'm thinking about some upgrades - like the garage door opener that links to an iPhone. I also like the doorbell/TV that lets you see who is at the front door no matter where you are - and have a conversation with them. And I've bought my first security camera that will call me when there is someone detected.

The front door isn't used much as we go in and out through the garage. A smart thermostat isn't that much use as one of us is generally in the house most of the day.
 
tommy1808
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:57 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

And so now I'm on the wagon.

While you are at it, have a look at Phillips Hue lights. They are amazing. Not just can you automize a lot, you can also create szenarios.... Airline mood lighting for your home.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
nws2002
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:34 pm

I have an Amazon Echo and use the Phillips Hue lights with it. It is a fun toy, and it is kinda cool to tell Alexa to turn on the living room lights to movie setup and have them be a dimmed bluish-orange glow.

I also have a wifi Honeywell thermostat. Great for when I travel because I can set it to hold at an energy saving temperature while I'm gone. Then when I arrive at my home airport I can open the app, adjust the temperature into a comfortable range, and my house is cooled or heated by the time I arrive.

Also have a keypad deadbolt on the front door. Not the most high-tech solution, but I like it for my morning run so I don't have to take keys with me. I looked at a bluetooth model that used your cell phone and an app, but I thought the code would be nicer. Also easy to give the code to visiting family or friends.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: I'm Automating My Home

Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 12):

While you are at it, have a look at Phillips Hue lights. They are amazing.

And only at 40w equivalence and $50 each. No, thanks. Also, tricolor LEDs can make any color they like, but the CRI is terrible because their spectrum basically has three narrow peaks.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan

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