My Home Automation Addiction


(Duke) #32

I started this addiction with Verizon then switched to Nexia. I left Nexia as soon as it was announced that ST works with Echo.

I get that every time I say “Alexia turn on the TV”.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #33

I haven’t connected Alexa to my tv yet. Are you using the harmony hub? I have a harmony remote that I’ve had for a couple of years.


(Duke) #34

Yes, I am using the Harmony Home Hub. Echo talks to ST, and ST talks to the Harmony Hub.


(Realy Living Dream) #35

Okay ,when I mentioned joining HAA, I didn’t think my first assignment would be tallying up how much my newly diagnosed addiction has cost me.
The disease started off simple enough a couple years ago when a tenant returned over a month after moving out and returned 3-4 keys more to the building that he had made for all his friends. I was tired of spending $50-$100 on new locks every time a tenant moved in/out so I spent $300 on 2 of the Schlage programmable touchscreen locks so I could just give tenants a code and delete it when they moved out. I never considered going any further.
As I looked into what the locks could actually do I was intrigued by this whole Z-wave thing. I remembered the old X10 from back in the 90s .
Then a few months later, I was wandering around Home Depot one day and saw a display with my Schlage locks in it along with something called a Wink and a few other things. " Free with any purchase " got my attention. So I grabbed a Wink Hub, 2 Wink Spotters and a few TCP connected bulbs $200 ( since they said the worked with Wink, did NOT specify it was C2C and you needed a TCP hub too ) .
I cane home and proceeded to put in my new bulbs on the porch and in the hallway, motion detectors and hub. Only to find out the bulbs wouldn’t work without their own hub. So off to Amazon to order a TCP starter kit with the hub and some more bulbs. Another $200
It didn’t take long to realize that the Wink/TCP integration was not the most reliable setup ( I later learned nothing was reliable with Wink ). So off to Big Orange again to get some of the Wink/GE bulbs. $100
Then came the Honeywell Thermostats that " worked with Wink" , Okay there goes another $350 for 2 thermostats that could turn down the heat when we left the house and turn it back up when somebody left work so the house was warm when they got home.
I was " happy" . Unlock the door and the hall and porch lights came on, ( When the Wink Spotter worked) The porch lights got brighter as you approached and dimmed when nobody was around. No need to actually program the furnace for everybody’s different work schedules if nobody was home heat was off, if somebody was home heat was on. ( Again “when it worked” )
I finally got tired of automations only happening 30-50% of the time and quickly went from one of Wink’s early adopters that got the newest toys and firmware updates to somebody whose phone calls and emails went unanswered.
I was in the market for a new router since my WD900 wasn’t the most stable or reliable appliance and came across this new All-In-One HA router by an unknown company called Securifi . I was leery about putting money up for a product that technically didn’t exist. I bought one of their other routers $100 to see how it worked. I still did not back the Almond+ on Kickstarter, but did join their Beta team and get an advance A+ for $149 not the retail of $249. I had looked at ST, but thought $149 for a router and hub with touchscreen was better investment that $99 for just a hub and still needing to buy a new router.
Then over then next few months I added a few O/C sensors and PIRs, in wall switches $500.
Then came Echo, Voice control !!! Okay we need 2 of those ( luckily was have more than one Amazon account ) $200
Echo works with Wemo !! OK need to get a couple Wemo switches just to see how this works $100
Now it has been almost a year with Almond+ and way too long without a FW update to address the multitude of issues and no real advance to the very limited HA abilities.
I had looked at ST before, but after the 10-30 second if at all trigger response with Wink cloud control I had shied away and gone with A+ for local control. Then somebody posts in the A+ forum about this new ST V2 with local control and I was done. Over to ST and pre-ordered my V2, $99 figuring with 30 day guarantee I had nothing to lose if Securifi actually released to long promised firmware update.
I had tried a couple times to pair GE outdoor modules to A+ without success and wound up returning them. When I saw them on Fleabay for $22ea I figured I had nothing to lose trying them with ST since I was having issues with Z-wave reaching a couple of my in wall switches since ST hub is not in the same room with A+ router/hub $45
Impatient for the fleabay order to arrive I was once again wander big orange and saw Leviton switches marked down ( well those will help enhance mesh too ) so 2 more in wall switches and a lamp module $150
Wait a minute I can integrate my Echoes with ST hub and Harmony remote and have voice control over TV/entertainment center !!! New Harmony Home hub/remote/ keyboard , done $100
I can set up an actual alarm with a keypad with ST !! $25
I can use an actual remote for lights with ST !!! 2 minimotes , WTH add a whole home energy sensor and an appliance module ,lets see how much it is really costing me to do a load of laundry . $75

Not sure actually admitting all this is helping my condition though

God I’m glad the wife isn’t in this forum to actually see how much I’ve spent.


#36

Isn’t the first step is to admit you have an addiction? Then it’s good to tell your story. :smiley:


(Dawn Fairbro) #37

Hello my is Dawn and I too am a Home Automation addict. I started by believing that everything related to Home Automation was $199.00. First the SmartThings HA kit $199, Hue starter kit $199, Each Sonos 1 speaker $199, the Ring $199. Then a whole bunch of sensors, leak detectors, motion sensors and a plethora of light bulbs, etc… But those don’t count because they weren’t $199… Right? :neutral_face:
Then I got in a little deeper, a Schlege the door lock. That’s where I started getting into the justifying of my HA addiction. A HA Lock… oh that is for security reasons, and the Rain machine that was mostly paid for by the water company. Next a few light switches… oh they are for my birthday, a few more light switches… oh they are for my boyfriends birthday, the Phillips Hue go… oh that is for the cats birthday. The new ST Hub 2 …well I have to upgrade now that I have more stuff.
Well I have finally hit rock bottom. :flushed: Last weekend, off the big box store I went with my 20% off coupon and purchased cellular shades with Somfy.
As a professional HA addict, I can tell you (because I’ve heard it here before) light bulbs are the gateway tool to HA addiction.
As a side note, I gave my sister my old Hub… We’re going out looking for light bulbs this weekend :wink:


(Realy Living Dream) #38

So feeding my addiction, how accurate presence sensors are ? I want to put them on my dogs collars to automatically turn on the yard lights when they are outside and turn them off when the dogs come in the house :blush:


(Dawn Fairbro) #39

It is the one thing I have not had any luck with. First I can not keep a battery alive more than 6 weeks.


(Ernie) #40

Not that accurate. I don’t think you will be able to get the geo-fence around your house that small.


#41

@ErnieG is correct, the arrival sensors are intended to Mark arrival at your home network. You won’t be able to distinguish between in the yard and in the house. Besides, they’re not waterproof or durable enough for most dogs. I know they give the example in some of the marketing materials, and it may work for some individual households. But in general, no.

The other problem if you have multiple dogs is that anything you put on one dog’s collar may be chewed on by another dog. This is a real issue with a lot of dog trackers.

I would think a much better alternative would be to use a pressure Mat like a welcome mat right outside the door. Then stepping on the mat outside the door turns on the yard lights. You have to decide how you want to turn them off. You could have a second mat inside the house but then they might get turned off while someone was still outside. You might just have the mat outside the house turn them on for a set period of time. There are things you could play with. But something like that would probably be more practical.


(Realy Living Dream) #42

That was a semi-sarcastic request showing just how far we can carry our addictions. I want to automate my dog. I actually did look into it , but decided it just wasn’t feasible ( yet) .
Saying " Alexa turn on/off the back yard lights" or tapping the button next to the door as you let them in/out is just too much work.


(Ernie) #43

You know, you are not the first person to ask about this. I have read several posts on this topic. I always came to the same conclusion as you. If your not utilizing a doggie dog and are opening the door yourself, what would be the point of automating if your standing near a switch. But I guess that’s how HA addictions work. Once the easy stuff is done, what do you do next?


(Ernie) #44

But if you feel the need for something new, maybe you could get this camera.

After creating a device type to integrate with ST, it should solve your dog dilemma.


(Realy Living Dream) #45

Just what I need a picture notification telling me which dog is at the door waiting to come in :slight_smile:


(Binh Ton) #46

I don’t see people talking much about security. Once we add door locks, garage opener, window openers,… I feel like we just give up the security for convenience. With all of the hacking news lately, I don’t think any company, big or small, is totally secured. Before, thieves have to physically break the doors and windows to enter our house, now they can hack and disable all of the sensors and open doors to enter. I still hesitate to put in the door locks. However, my garage opener currently can be controlled by ST :slight_smile: . What do you think? Can we just blindly trust ST to secure our HA?


(Someday my dog will be automated) #47

Unless you live in the most computer-savvy city in the world, you should worry more about people breaking you door or window, instead of hacking to get into your house. To hack a company is not an easy task, which is usually not in the skills of the common burglar.

As far as smart locks are concerned, you should be worried more because of this:


#48

Great questions, much discussed in the forums.

Rather than hijack this thread, though, I would start with the security FAQ: (this is a clickable link) most of the people interested in discussing the topic are there:. :sunglasses:


#49

I certainly don’t think so, which is why my ST environment is completely separate from my wired alarm system. They are backups to each other, without either one using a sensor or device from another.

While I have “locks” in my ST world, they’re not real locks. I’ve repurposed an Ecolink sensor and a microswitch to let me know the state of the lock, but never control it.


(Binh Ton) #50

@JDRoberts, the link you sent is mainly for securing our home network. I was talking about ST network. Let say if hackers can hack ST network and steal all of the username/password for our accounts. They can sell that information for burglars to use. Burglars can install the new mobile app and use our username/password to control our houses. ST also has our house GPS coordinate. So burglar can know exactly which house to control.

By the way, I have another addiction to check this ST community. The users here are much more active than Vera.


#51

OK, try this topic. :sunglasses:

Yeah, all the addicts are enablers. LOL!