What is the most you have done to automate something

I am curios as to what is the most work you have done to Automate something.

I will give you an example. The first light/switch I wanted to automate, that got me started on SmartThings was the light in the family room. It seemed simple, it was just a switched outlet going to a floor lamp. I open it up and realize I don’t have enough wires in the switch box to install the leviton switchs.

It is wired like this:

But this is what I needed

Given it was late January in Ohio, this switch was not going to get Automated for a while. This past weekend, I finally got the switch automated that started it all for me. I had to pull everything out of the one half of the garage, pull off (and break) the peg board on the wall, cut out a 4’X5’ section of drywall, replace both the switch and the plug, run new wire, patch the hole, buy and rehang the peg board and then put the garage all back together. It was an all day job, but it is done. Looking back it seems kind of silly I would go to so much effort to get one switch automated. Even more so when there were options that would work, but would not be as integrated in my opinion. Anyway it got me thinking, has anyone else do as much work to retrofit a switch as I did. I am guessing I am not alone in this.

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I feel like I’ve struggled quite a bit doing things on the software side scaled down to my skillset. (No web API’s and things like that.)

So arduino code, libraries, servos, learning to solder just for these projects, destroying things with soldering irons as a result, writing arduino code, repurposing code, learning groovy, outsmarting a $300 cat litterbox. It’s all relative and it’s all really unnecessary when put in perspective. :stuck_out_tongue:

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this is what it’s all about! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm, lots of things I’ve done would make Rube Goldberg proud…

I think the craziest (per my wife) was sending a request from a zigbee switch to my control4 system, to a ST endpoint, back down to the hub to turn on a cluster of GE Bulbs was the hardest thing to do to do the simplest of tasks. It worked, but ultimately, its a light bulb, why bother (per my wife)…

Actually, my coolest automation is my room on/off commands in my theater. It turns on the projector, when the projector lamp is warmed up and ready, it dims the lights as the screen lights up and plays an intro video. (not smartthings, but could be done now that I have UDP working). When done, room off turns off the projector, slowly ramps up the lights. If room is off and lights are on, it will turn off the lights in 5 minutes and also checks to see if the projector is still on and shuts that off, just in case to save the bulb life.

Also, since I can’t hear the doorbell in the theater, I flash the led lighting I have along the floor to indicate the doorbell.

The lighting around the steps also can change based on many different factors, type of movie playing, who set it last, etc.


No you’re not alone.

You don’t have to add the neutral if you put a switch module behind the receptacle.

Admittedly that may be tight, so you might have to replace the receptacle box with a deep “old work box” (for retrofit like yours). Leave that pegboard and vast wallboard alone. The wallswitch is repurposed to just signal the module.

@ero4444 thanks for confirming that. I don’t want to mess with that but I would like some switches to be automated… My gang boxes are just already so tight. I guess I could put a blanked out box next to the switches.

Also stinks that the switch has to stay in the on position. More confusing to guests I guess, unless that thing has a cool bypass feature.

Doesn’t need to I don’t think. It does some cool load sensing stuff. Basically if the light is off, the next flick of the switch will turn it on… So the switch might reverse itself every once in a while, but that’s a small sacrifice.

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The micro relay inside the switchbox is drawing its own power directly from the line. If wired correctly, the physical toggle switch is no longer directly controlling the load. So it’s the same as putting in a Z wave switch that has its own toggle. You can turn the switch off, it doesn’t turn the relay off.

What confuses people is that the physical toggle can look like it’s off but the light will be on.

For highest xAF with a SmartSwitch, it’s better to use a momentary tile. That way, any press changes the current state of the light. There’s no “off position” for the physical button.

But even with a traditional toggle, it’s not a big deal for most people. You get the same issue with some nonnetworked three way light, where either of two switches can be up or down the light could be on.

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Thanks @tslagle13 and @JDRoberts I’ve been considering using these. And now they’re gaining even more traction!

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To get my W to agree to installation of motion sensors, I had to agree to go see a Taylor Swift concert with her. I still feel dirty.


I’d rather sit in the dark!

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Or use a switch. Not worth it


never ever ever…


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on the OP: To me, once you get a critical mass of sensors & controllers, it is all about the logic. As I work out of my home and travel, I wrote a SmartApp for when I was home, on workdays, during working hours and controlled my office lights, electronics, thermostat and coffee maker.

@keithcroshaw I just installed my first Aeon Micro Smart gen2/G2 switch module in my ceiling fan, lots of space compared to a switchbox or receptacle. Most of my wallswitches don’t have neutral in the box. And at least for G2 I think you are correct that the wallswitch has to just stay on. This module LOCATED AT THE LOAD does not change state by having its power cycled/flipping wallswitch off and on. You would have to use the module"s input terminals to read a momentary or maintained switch.

Maybe there are other versions that will respond to power cycling, like the old X10 receptacles work with incandescents.