My Home Automation Addiction


Also, I suggest you start your own thread under projects and that way people can give you advice and suggestions and we won’t be hijacking other threads. :wink:

(MacTechGenius) #168

With two locations outfitted with SmartThing’s, Nest, Rachio, Ring, Hue… I am averaging $450 per month on smart home purchases. This month so far…I bought two Nest Hello’s $450 and $750 in parts to control my gate with ST. And also my garage relay failed so had to replace that…$60.

Basically three main costs in a smart home:

  1. Buy tech
  2. Replace it with newer version
  3. Replace when fails


It’s funny how we tend to justify our purchases on smart devices to “save energy and costs”. Looking back over the past 3 years since I got into home automation, on average, my electrical usage has actually gone up by 25%. When it comes to cost, it’s even worse having spent thousands on all my new (yet fun) tech. However, there are things like purchasing 10 GE Link smart bulbs to find out later that they have a known firmware bug that won’t be fixed that causes them to constantly drop off the network. So I spend even more money replacing bulbs that are suppose to last 20 years with new ones. I bought Hue bulbs which seem to be the most reliable (but most expensive) and Sengled bulbs which are cheaper but even they have dropped off the network a couple of times already. All in all though, I’ve been enjoying my hobby automating my home despite some of the problems. That just comes with the territory of early adopters.

(Andrew) #170

This is random, but related, so here goes: Would any of you all who have been building out your smart homes be interested in talking more about it? (Yes, full disclosure, I’m a journalist: So that’s what I mean by talking – being interviewed.)

The whole idea of building a bigger and badder smarthome is pretty fascinating to me — probably more so now that I’ve been playing around with my Wemo smart switch for the past two weeks. There’s something so satisfying about turning on a light without having to flick the physical switch.

(Andrew) #171

Just wanted to say thanks to the folks who already reached out to me. If anyone else would like to chat, let me know. Happy to share my personal email. I’m really just interested in how much smarthome stuff people have. Kind of the whole tenor of this thread: you start small, but then find yourself adding more and more, whether we jokingly call that an addiction or not. And then what that looks like in the end.

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #173

I’m not typical. I have 185 devices connected, today. I can’t say what that number will be tomorrow.

(Andrew) #174

@JDRoberts: Thanks so much for that post. (See? Reporters are marginally competent. We rely on smart people like you.) I think I’m very much interested in speaking with the typical customer as well as folks like you, @bamarayne. I’m just so fascinated with what all those 185 (and counting) devices do. Although, I’m pretty sure I now want a Wemo switch in every room of my house.


At the risk of enabling the people who have been contributing to the discussion in this thread, the “impress your friends” quick browse list in the community – created wiki (in the project reports section near the end of the page) has a lot of very cool ideas:

(Andrew) #176

So, about these 185 connected devices and counting—is that something you’re up for chatting about, Jason? (Just ordered two more Wemo switches. n00b status still, but I am seeing The Light.)

(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #177

Yeah, I love talking about home automation

(Andrew) #178

Cool! Mind sending me a message?

(Joel W) #179

My biggest problem, is I think I have everything I need, then I obsess on what else I can do. Then once I have an idea, I am like a hungry scavenger, I can’t stop until it is done. Yesterday i purchased a Eufy Genie, for the garage. Just so i can open and close the garage doors when my arms are full. So I said OK that is great, but what about the interior door. So now I am looking for an industrial magnetic door latching system, that when I open I tell Alexa unlock the interior door the magnet will release and the door will open just a pinch by a spring so I can open it. I have used them in office buildings to unlock fire stairs in an emergency, and to lock doors in an lock down. Problem is the cost of these, with their power supply. Below is a picture of the Eufy with my other controls.


If you were just talking about an electronic door strike, quite a few community members have used those, they don’t have to be expensive.

If you want a door which will actually open, not just unlock, then there are systems made for people in wheelchairs which again are not that expensive, The trick is integrating them with smartthings, but that can also be done.

Look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, near the bottom of the page for the project reports section, and choose the “accessible” list for those discussion threads.

(Joel W) #181

No, not a door strike, these a huge electro magnets, with heavy metal plate that goes on the door exterior. When electric is applied they energize and hold a door that has no latch closed. There is a small spring between the door jamb and the door. when the power is removed the door springs open just an inch. but when power is reapplied it pulls the door shut. You can have a latch, so when power is off the door will stay closed, but a slight nudge will open it. That is my plan, to use the slight nudge. In different states they are used for different purposes, fire control, security etc. A shame on my last job before I retired I removed over 200, and they went in the trash. If I would have known I would have asked permission and filled out the paper work to take one.

Here is an example with out the opener and auto lock.

(Dan P Parker) #182

That cabling is FAR too neat and organized. A real techie nerd would have created a rat’s nest in which it is utterly impossible to tell which wires go to what.

(Joel W) #183

Dan, I take that as a complement. After doing this for 32 years, I had better be neat.


“Techie nerd” does not equal “engineer.” Or “electrician.” Just sayin’… :wink:

(MacTechGenius) #185

Can you share some pics of the project? Sounds interesting.

(Joel W) #186

As soon as I find a unit that will fit a non commercial door jamb. That is going to be the problem.

(Andrew) #187

Hey Jason! Just wanted to swing back here. Want to send me a message off-forum? I can explain a little more what I’m interested in.