Need help choosing a sensor for a pet feeding project

Typically my wife feeds our dog in the morning, and my son feeds him at night. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget who did what and I’ll get texts throughout the day saying “I think I forgot to feed the dog… can you do it when you get home?” etc.

Our dog food is stored in a plastic bin inside one of these shelf things from IKEA. (It’s not exactly that, but it’s the same idea.)

My idea was to eliminate the confusion around our dog feeding by adding either a motion sensor or a door sensor inside the ‘drawer’ part of the shelf, so SmartThings knows when someone has pulled the drawer out and, presumably, fed the dog.

I would also set up some kind of signal (like a color changing nightlight or something to that effect) above the dog food station that displays GREEN most of the time (dog has been fed), and RED if the sensor was not triggered by a certain time of day. That way, my wife would see the signal at a glance and know she still needs to feed the dog, or at night one of us will see the sensor and realize our son forgot to give the dog dinner, etc.

What would be the best type of sensor to check if a drawer has been opened? Motion sensor behind the drawer, or door sensor? Or something else entirely?

And further, what would make a good ‘signal’? Is there a particular (cheap) nightlight that would work, or something else? I like the way this HomeSeer thing looks but all the extra functionality (and expense) makes it overkill for what I need.

Thanks in advance!

That’s actually the example that is used in the “what is webcore” FAQ. :sunglasses:

@bamarayne has about a dozen kids and did exactly the same project. So he may have suggestions. :sunglasses::dog:


As far as the indicator light, most color changing bulbs are too bright for this purpose. I do like the homeseer nightlight device that you linked to. It’s big enough to get your attention When you walk into the room, but not so big that it makes everything else turn red. :rage:

I used to like the LEEO nightlight, but it looks like The company is switching to a different model which isn’t out yet.

LED Light strips can also be a good choice.


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