I’m Beth, a wife and mom who is the resident IT manager in our NJ home. Most of my family would not know how to turn on the TV if I weren’t around.
I started getting more interested in HA over the years but never really looked into it seriously until the past several months after RF remotes, reliable as they had been to turn on lamps and such, started to not be enough for me. After poking around at different things, I finally settled on SmartThings as it seemed to satisfy my inner geek without being TOO overwhelming. I also liked the less proprietary, ad hoc approach to setting things up over time. I’m a big do-it-yourselfer and like to figure things out, so while I understand that ST might not be perfect, I’m more than willing to put up with some growing pains and hiccups in exchange for learning and adding things slowly and making them bend to my will.
In my family, I have to be aware not of the WAF, but the HAF (husband acceptance factor), as well as the KAF. So until I have things better figured out, I’ve been trying to limit their exposure to things that I think will actually be beneficial and not just because I want to see if I can do it. lol Probably the best things I’ve done so far is to replace our horrible basement lights. We have an unfinished basement with ghastly pull-chain bulbs, most of whose chains broke long ago, so we were reduced to twisting and untwisting bulbs all the time. Several Hue compatible bulbs and a Hue Tap later, and we now have basement lights that we can turn on almost like it’s at least the 1970s! The other was to put a few other things like the aquarium lights/fan and some outdoor lights on Z-wave switches so we can schedule and manage them easier. No one is complaining about these conveniences!
I’m now turning my attention to more things that will quietly please me until they are ready for primetime with my family. I’ve set up the lovely SmartTiles dashboard app on an old iPad, and I’m looking at ways to integrate various items and protocols and what can be done with them. I’ve used IFTTT for quite some time, have been using Roomie Remote for a while but have a long way to go with it, and recently got an Amazon Echo (with another one on the way). Since buying my ST hub a couple of months ago, I’ve acquired about 57 “things”, most of which are light bulbs or switches/plugs, and a handful of sensors. Would soon like to move to smart locks and wall switches, but all in good time. We also recently got a Ring doorbell and our first ever smart TV - no clue yet if or how those things might also work together, but maybe eventually. Oh, and we have some IP cameras too!
After reading these forums for a couple of months, I figured it was time to say hello since I think I’m getting to the point where I will soon have questions I can’t figure out alone. One “acceptance factor” thing that I don’t quite have figured out yet is presence sensors for the family. With two older teenagers and a husband, I think they were all confused and skeptical that I would want to “track them” somehow! lol So far any geofencing benefits escape them, so it will take some time for them to see I’m not trying to invade their privacy, would just like to know they’re home safely and maybe have some lights turn on for them at night.
My biggest thing to do now is to wrap my head around Hello Home Actions. I haven’t made use of that at all yet and I know I’m missing a lot. Will get it all figured out soon.
So anyway, that’s me - nice to meet you all.