Monitor parents home

Looking at options for monitoring my Mom’s house. Goals…
-lights toggling in vacation mode
-turn some lights on when she arrives home in dark, light switch in car???
-motion detector (for when away, and she gets older would be reassuring to know she is moving around)
-possibly echo dots, don’t know if she would like talking to Alexa

She is not tech savvy. Don’t want to deal with light switches (older home) so thinking smart plugs and lamps

-ease of use, I spend way too much time tinkering/breaking/fixing all my stuff. Can’t have that with her place
-false alarms. I get a lot of them mostly due to dog, phone presence sensor fails, and unusual kid schedules (no smartphones for them yet)
-reading through the second home/hub/ location project topics most seem to be older. Sounds like best to create an account for her. Sharing from her to me just means I can switch to see her account/devices in my app? I would really like her devices integrated with mine, otherwise too cumbersome. I think I could bridge the two accounts with webCoRE though.

Anyone been through all this recently ? Tips?

Thanks in advance!

Just use Echo, the Hue bridge, and the new Lutron Aurora dimmer switch cover if you want a wall switch, or the Hue dimmer switch if you want a tabletop control.

No SmartThings.

It will be much more reliable, way simpler, and do everything you’ve listed. :sunglasses:

Get an Echo with a zigbee hub inside, either the Echo plus or the echo show 2nd generation, for future options.

Echo has Geopresence and its own vacation simulator now. And so does Hue.:sunglasses:

Yes, you’ll be using a different app for your mom’s house, but you aren’t likely to need to use it much (these are “set and forget” systems), and you won’t have to worry about things which worked fine Sunday suddenly not working on Monday because, unlike SmartThings, you can delay upgrades until a convenient time.

My brother and I got this setup for our grandparents home (Using the Hue dimmer switch and a couple of Hue motion sensors), and they love it. With literally no glitches for 15 months now. :sunglasses:

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What about checking for activity/motion? Everything related to hue seems like costs 2-3 times more too. I will think about that some more though, thank you.

That hue dimmer knob cover looks ingenious.

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You can open the Hue app and see when a motion sensor last had activity. If you want something fancier than that, then, yes, you would need to start looking at other platforms. But for a once a day activity check, it’s not that difficult.

For wellness checks, a lot of people don’t use motion sensors because of the number of false alerts. A Contact sensor on the refrigerator door, bathroom door, or a commonly used drawer may be more reliable.

As far as cost, sometimes you get what you pay for, and high reliability and ease-of-use sometimes do cost more. That’s a personal decision. But they don’t always cost more, the IKEA Tradfri devices also work with the hue bridge, and the IKEA devices are reliable and very inexpensive when bought directly from IKEA. :sunglasses: ( The product description may say you need their gateway, but you don’t; they can be connected to a hue bridge instead.)

And there’s not that much of a price difference these days. A hue white bulb cost $15, an IKEA Tradfri white bulb costs $10. Both are good. The hue motion sensor is $34. The tradfri motion sensor is $20. But the Hue has a lot more features, Including a light sensor, so I recommend that one. You could mix-and-match depending on the exact features that you need in each location.

If your mom happens to have an iPhone, you can also add HomeKit into the mix which gives you more options as well.

So just depends on what you need, but you can definitely have a set and forget system if you want. :sunglasses:

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I use smarthings and arlo cameras to monitor my elderly parents. I used my account to set up a different hub for their location so I can easily switch between locations. To keep the troubleshooting to a minimum for my parents house, I use the “new app” with stock device handlers, for the most part. Yes, contact sensor have less false activities so I use those for “proof of life” and motion sensors to turn on lights and such as they move through the house. I use arlo cameras to peak in on them. My dad loves his harmony remote and Alexa voice control for the TV, lights and adjusting the tstat.