Bathroom Automation, What I Did!


(Todd Whitehead) #1

I wanted to share with everyone all of the automation and rules I recently added to my bathroom, thinking others might benefit from the ideas, especially #8

In my bathroom, I have a GE outdoor module hooked to a space heater, a Z-wave switch for the main lights, a Link bulb in the toilet room light fixture and a motion sensor above the main bathroom door.

I have these rules:

  1. If motion is detected and the main light is off, turn on the Link bulb at 1%. This way, at night, when we go in, it will dimly light the room without blinding us.
  2. If motion stops and the main light is off, wait five minutes and then turn off the link bulb.
  3. If the main lights go on, turn on the link bulb at 100%.
  4. If the main lights go off, turn off the link bulb.
  5. If the link bulb turns off, but the main lights are on, turn the link bulb on. I needed this to prevent the link bulb form turning off if it came on from motion, then I turned on the main light, and then the motion stopped, but the main light stayed on.
  6. If the motion detector reports a temp below 64, and the house is not in Away mode, turn on the heater. (there is a skylight in the bathroom and it gets cold in the winter.)
  7. If the motion detector reports a temp above 66, turn off the heater.
  8. This is my favorite rule: If the main lights turn off, and the garage door is open, turn the main lights on. This prevents us from going to sleep with the garage door open! (and prevents things like, close the door at 11:30 pm. (Sometimes, I WANT the door open at 11:30 pm.)) The last thing we do before going to bed is turn off the bathroom lights. So, we cannot go to bed with the door open ever again!


(Amauri Viguera) #2

The “left it open” or whatever other app will also notify you, sometimes incessantly, if you leave a door open for more than a defined number of minutes.

I use this for the garage doors since the wife has the bad habit of just hitting the close button and taking off, and I find out when I check the garage camera hours later.

I think nagging is the best way, because I don’t want to auto-close them in case that I do indeed want them open :slight_smile:

(Todd Whitehead) #4

Yeah. I got that, but sometimes I’ve put my phone on the charger before the nagging and don’t see the alerts.

(Kurt Sanders) #5

Nice…I like this type of home automation!

Are you on V1 or V2 hub? The reason why I ask, it seems like if (for some reason) the heater doesn’t get a response from the temperature sensor and it would already be on, it could get hot being on for hours…but then again perhaps the heater will auto-shutdown based on it’s own local fire prevention circuitry or a max temperature setting.


I think it’s great when automation works like that. I’m going to do something similar to your #8 rule. :slight_smile:

(Todd Whitehead) #7

Well, the rule says greater than 66 degrees. Every time it ticks up another degree, it has a chance to trigger the rule, which would shut it down. And yes, the heater has a thermostat that will turn it off if it exceeds the set temp.

(Kurt Sanders) #8

@Todd_Whitehead: I’m glad you have a backup plan for turning off the heater, since ST’s cloud platform issues have been frequent and greater than a few hours, making many of these critical devices unresponsive, or worse, detect motion when there isn’t any…

I might implement something like this when/if I can trust ST backend to fire off the rules with 99% confidence. For right now, ST is less than 85% on just locking my front door when the door contact sensor fires…

(Todd Whitehead) #9

Prior to this, I would leave the heater basically plugged in and on most of the time and set the thermostat on the heater to control on and off. I would try to remember to turn it off if I left the house, but sometimes forgot, or I would forget to turn it on when I came home.

So, this improves on that somewhat by reducing the chance it will come on when no one is home.


Nice idea #8. Which garage door opener are you using to work with Smartthings?

(Todd Whitehead) #11

Chamberlain/lift master, with the “good” myQ kit.


Thanks for your response. Is there such a thing as a bad kit? I ask because I think I may have one. Is there a discussion forum where I can find more info? Thanks

(Todd Whitehead) #13

There are two types of myQ integration.

One comes with a device you put in your garage that gets on wifi and sends open and close commands like the remote in you car and has a tilt sensor that you put on the door.

Mine replaces the wired keypad on the wall with one that talks wirelessly with a small box that is connected to Ethernet on my network.


This is the one I have; I find this quite unreliable. I haven’t had any false opens, but the reporting is wrong and also, the opening/closing doesn’t always work

(Todd Whitehead) #15

Yeah, that is the one that I am not a fan of.

I’m assuming you get issues with the Smartthings integration, but the myQ app reports correctly?

If that is the case, your problems are probably more related to how myQ integrates with ST and the fact that it is not fully supported. The unofficial smart app for myQ integration added support for a contact sensor or a tilt sensor to force a refresh of the status when the contact sensor or tilt sensor senses a change. That way, you are relying less on polling (which can be inefficient) and more on event driven updates.

This is the one I have:

It only works with non-ancient chamberlain or lift master (maybe craftsman) openers. Anecdotal reading of the boards seems to me (completely subjectively) that the one I have generally works better than the WiFi one.


(Bill) #16

How did you get the dimmer to only 1%?

I’d like to do this as well but 10% is the lowest it will let me select.


(Todd Whitehead) #17

I did it using the Smart Rules iOS app.


How did you do rule #5?


What brand and model of switch? I know Leviton and Cooper can dim down to 1%. But I thought the GE could only go to 10.

(Todd Whitehead) #20

I’m using rule machine now.