What cool things are you automating? (UK)

I’ve owned SmartThings alongside numerous other home automation gadgets for a while and am always looking for more ways in which to be a geek and automate. Just wondering what others are up to and if they are any potential gems that I’ve missed?

So far I’ve got;
SmartThings starter kit with sensors, outlets to control my lights, fan, kettle etc.
Sonos x3
Hue bulbs throughout
Nest thermostat
Nest smoke alarms

Many people have asked this question and there are a number of threads in the forums on exactly this, including a couple from the UK. :sunglasses:

If you check the quick browse lists for “get started” and “Impress Your Friends” in the community – created wiki, you’ll find a lot of really interesting ideas.


My personal favorite is the secret room behind a bookcase. :sunglasses:

Also, here’s one of the get started threads which is limited specifically to UK devices:

So far I have
SmartSense Multi Sensor x3
Hue bulbs x 26
Hue Lightstrip Plus x2
Nest thermostat
Nest smoke alarm x2
Aeotec Micro Smart Switch x3
Custom Door Bell using a Fibaro Door/Window Sensor see http://www.smartukhome.co.uk/index.php/2016/02/17/z-wave-door-bell-uk-for-under-50-pounds/
Orvibo Contact Sensor x4
Logitech Harmony
Aeon Siren
Life360 for arrival as everything else is just terrible

Aeon Labs Multisensor 6 for every room
More contact sensors on windows
Water Sensors
Amazon Echo (Hopefully tomorrow)
Have backed for 3 knocki’s https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/knocki/knocki-make-any-surface-smart
Have backed for 3 dots https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1867163750/dot-the-physical-push-notification
Have backed Neeo Remote https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1227115988/neeo-the-thinking-remote

Nest Manager automates the Nest thermostat
Heres some of my CoRE automations
turns my telly on when I arrive and open the front door within 10mins of arriving
Pause kodi if doorbell is pressed
Turn on downstairs landing light on doorbell press if after sunset and at home
Notify if windows are left open after 11PM if telly is off
Change living room lights depending on kodi status
Outside lights on if back door open after sunset
Loads of other boring things


So far i dont have too many automations, but looking to build one or two around my motorised projector screen and my projector. I fitted a fibaro roller blind module to the screen so its controllable from smartthings

However the most useful automation so far are the lights in my hallway. The lights are triggered by motion in the hallway from an hour before sunset to an hour after sun rise, (I could also integrate a light sensor for those dark wintery days once i get one) There is also a door sensor on the front door which turns the lights on if the front door opens, this is great when you have hands full of shopping or dogs or whatever and you open the door, the lights just come on. Additionally if its after 1am and there is motion in the hallway, the lights come on very low, so as not to blind you on those half asleep trips downstairs for water etc.

I have Just bought a fibaro FGBS-001 Binary sensor. im going to play with the 12v output from my projector in order to trigger the screen up and down. however I eventually want to control the projector via its network interface and I actually want to use the binary sensor on my Smoke alarm system. The smoke alarms are the standard hardwired uk type of which there are three on the circuit. The 3 alarms or linked together by a circuit so when one goes of all three go off. I should be able to add the binary sensor to the 9v link circuit so that i can detect when the smoke alarms go off and use it to turn all of the lights on and alert my phone. In theory, with a 9v source say a battery, I may even be able to trigger the alarms from smart things, I could then use it as an alarm siren for the back doors or gate, but that would be a later project.


What brand of smoke alarms are they?

not sure of the exact brand, something like this. they are 240v, but the battery backups are 9v and apparently the wire that links them together is also 9v, which is within the range for the sensor to detect.

I’m not sure if the sensor can act as a relay or not yet, but if it can, in theory with some 9v permanent source say another 9v battery you could wire up the relay to sound the alarms

No link above. Let me know. I’m looking at something similar myself but I also can’t remember the make :slight_smile:

Just the starter kit, three extra contact sensors and a few additional presence sensors. I did buy some Arlo cameras but sent them back as the performance of them just weren’t sufficient for anything practical. if they cost £100 I may have kept them for the novelty factor, but at £250 for two, its was just too much to “waste”.
Ordered 2x Amazon Echos so really looking forward to adding voice control into the limited home automation that I have and I’m soon getting some inset skirting board lighting in our hallway which will be connected via the SmartThings power outlet so i can do stuff like turn them on in the evening when the door opens etc.

I’ve got a CCTV system here with a proprietary web UI (using IE only and ActiveX! YUCK!) which I’ve been meaning to try and get at so I can try and integrate that somehow (e.g. stop recording based on presence etc). and I’ve been really close to buying both a NEST thermostat and a Ring video doorbell on several occasions this week alone.

Quite infectious all this. :smiley:

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Are you using BlueIrirs?

No, this is a proprietary bit of (awful) software. There’s a mobile app called XMEye (which crashes constantly!) and then a webUI which only works in IE with an unsigned ActiveX control from some random Chinese company :anguished:

Does your DVR support RTSP streams?

You can get the Generic Camera SmartApp (search for it) which will allow you to view your camera streams in the SmartThings app (but not do anything with it)

BlueIris is one of the few ways to do other bits with cameras, I use it to change the stream to mjeg for SmartTiles


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Sounds like it.

Off-topic re: BlueIris

Not for everyone but BlueIris is quality (IMO). Eases the use of multiple makes and models and there’s some interesting work going on in the community around using alert to trigger ST. The phone app is pretty good as well. Only caveat is that is requires a PC running Windows to act as a server.

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How many cameras do you have I currently use ispy and with my two outdoor samsung cameras it kills my computer recording at 720P. I regret buying these cameras and should of gone with Unifi.

Just a update I ordered 3 MultiSensors the other day and ordered the Echo
Got one USB powered in the Kitchen the other two will be in the living room and dining room both battery

My SO is still turning on light switches will take a few weeks getting used too not having to press them

I’ve got 8 cameras through BlueIris but it’s a quad core with 32GB RAM so not sure how it’ll cope with less.

I also don’t stream at massive quality as my actual CCTV DVR does the recording, I just use it for notifications, SmartTiles and motion detection outside


Well I use it for recording as the samsung cameras are so unreliable at doing it. They other is SmartTiles not that I have used it since 5.8 came out waiting for 6

7 camera, all HD, all RTSP.

I have a PC with 8GB RAM and an Intel E5-1620 (4C). The machine records everything constantly (backs off to an iSCSI NAS volume). The machine runs constantly at 50% memory, 60-70 CPU utilisation.

Can’t fault BlueIris. I think there’a free 1 camera license if you want to have a look.

In regards to Blueiris, I wanted to run with as little power as possible and managed to get my blueiris setup with 12 HD cameras constantly recording to NAS on an little i3 intel NUC with just 8gb ram. This runs with a very low cpu footprint of only 20-30%, I managed to get such a low footprint by setting the “record directly to disk” option. This means that the server does not re-process any of the frames and saves the stream into the container you choose. Upsides is low cpu overhead and maximises original quality without second transcode of material. Downside is you cannot record any overlays from blueiris onto the recordings, eg. timestamps or motion highlighting boxes.

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This here is a quality post :slight_smile:

Changed and now reporting max utilisation of 16%. Result. I’ve looked at downscaling PC spec and/or adding more cameras previously and always thought both were going to be a challenge given the CPU usage. The CPU utilisation always had me concerned, how have I not seen this before?

Thanks for that! Chuffed. Overlays etc not an issue. I’ll turn them back on via the cameras if I feel the need.

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