Why is it so hard to automate the bathroom?

I’m not in the place to design a new product so here you go Samsung employees with the phone numbers of Leviton and GE product development people.
There is a need for a new smart switch, one that comes in two configurations.

  1. Z wave smart switch on/off capable with a humidity sensor built in. (bathroom fans!!!)
    2 Z wave smart switch with not just movement but occupancy, and if it could be thrown in humidity
    if # 2 was available you could take a shower and it would still stay on, or use the facilities and still stay on
    or use both together and keep the lights AND fan on while in the shower.
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The device you suggest would definitely be interesting, it’s just that the radio inside a smart switch takes up a lot of room, making it challenging to add other sensors.

Meanwhile, most people do this just by adding a separate humidity sensor.

If you check the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, look down near the bottom of the page for Project Reports by Room and then check the list for bathroom projects there are a couple there that would have the same end result you’re looking for. (Take a look at “Bathroom Light Control” and “Smart Bathroom Fan,” for example.)


You could also do something similar with Webcore.

Admittedly it’s not as convenient as an all in one device, but it is an approach to consider for now. :sunglasses:

So my bathrooms have “at least” the following:

Smart Switches/Dimmers
Door Contact(s)
Motion Densor
Humidity Sensor

I use the Zooz Muti for Humidity Sensors. I tried to use them for motion but the older models were too slow for real time motion on events. However, although I have not tried the new ones yet, I hear that motion on events are more responsive in the newer models. If so, then these are ideal for bathrooms as they give temp, lux, humidity and motion.

Occupany is really simple using a webCoRE Variable.

If motion changes to active
Door is closed
Then set variable to occupancy=true

Of course this could be as complex as you like…if motion stays active for x then set variable…If motion is active and door is open, wait x minutes, set variable…and so on…

Here’s an example of an old CoRE Humidity Piston that has worked flawlessly since the beginning which controls the two fans in my Master Bedroom.

Here’s one to control the fan and light in the toilet room. It gives an example of a more advanced but IMHO, simple approach to Bathroom Automation.

Like most things in HA, multiple devices work together to accomplish a particular task. The more devices you have, the more complex your HA “can” be.

Good Luck!


How to control the bathroom temp?

IR heat panel, electric floor heating or warm water radiator with control valve?

I have

motion sensor switch for the light
contact sensor for my door (to avoid close light when the door is close)
humidity sensor, for the automatic fan
smart blub for light fixture

that’s about it!

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I have my motion sensor in a position which can also “see” into the shower. It’s at the top of the wall so it can see over the top of the curtain. Of course, if you have a shower door, you’re kinda screwed since PIR sensors usually can’t “see” through glass. I’m looking at the microwave motion sensors though. They might prove to be more accurate since they are only blocked by metal.

This what you need?

That’s a good switch, but it’s a stand-alone device, like the Lutron Maestro series. It doesn’t have a radio at all, so it doesn’t integrate with any home automation system.

The OP was looking for something similar that would also have a zwave radio and so could be integrated with SmartThings. Unfortunately, because of the size of the radios that allow the integration, so far I’m not aware of any standard DIY residential devices that would have both functionality. You can get a humidity switch without smartthings integration. Or you can get a switch with SmartThings integration, but no humidity sensor built in.

That’s why smartthings users will use a separate humidity sensor device to achieve the same end result. :sunglasses:

Totally get that. My approach for something so specific is just to get a stand alone device. Unless you are stringing together multiple fans, want some unique automation rules or to check on your phone that your fan went while in the shower why bother with separate devices and rules. For my utility closest I just have a stand alone switch that turns the light on. I dont need 3 devices to know when to turn a light on automatically. Just my POV.

I’d just say for me the point is automation. Not that I hook everything in ST.

Good point. We use the Lutron Maestro occupancy sensor lights (which don’t integrate with anything) In the laundry room in a couple of other places where we don’t need integration. And use the Mr. beams motion lights outdoors, again without integrating with anything else. Saves some money, works fine. So just depends on what you need for each use case. :sunglasses:

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Here is my bathroom automation…

while I appreciate all of the suggestions, they are still missing the point. While yes as of today the size of multiple sensors may be too large for a single gang switch tomorrow, or the day after it wont be. Last year you couldn’t fit a (whatever) into that yet today its at lowes or amazon. Bathrooms are trickier rooms of we want our areas to actually be smart. The humidity is there after you leave, for longer than you think, so the fan needs to run when needed, the presence of a body isnt always easy to account for, no one wants the lights to go out when you’re in the shower. Yes everything you or I want can be accomplished with 10 to the power of 3 different devices all doing their individual jobs. But that’s not easy for any of the following, an installer, a home owner, a user, hell its even complicated for a techie. That’s the point!

A bathroom has several things that go on
Humidity needs to be removed (vented) measured and automated
gasses need to be removed (vented) presence + time
presence needs to be known not just motion
and it gets weird because there are three plus ways a bathroom is wired with just a fan and a light god forbid multiple lights and fans
so think of it this way, my wife isnt tech, most people aren’t, they just want things to work and do what they do, so there is a gap here a place for GE or Leviton, or someone else to make a device to fit a specific task

a singe device, that could be installed in multiple configs, single switch light/fan/humidity presence monitor
multi switch light/presence-fan/humidity monitor ( multi would be at least 2 gang)

The argument of too big is only valid for the moment, everything electronic gets smaller that’s just what happens.

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Sorry JD, meant to be a response to Doug. My apologies.

i’m using the ecobee switch in one bathroom though its wifi but compatible with smartthings, has occupancy sensor, temperature sensor, smart on/off light but no humidity but does have alexa built in.
you can easily adjust the timeout and has a built in night light.

more that can do more are coming
may be only a matter of time

What you’re asking for isn’t really doable. If you have a PIR sensor built into a switchplate device, that will most likely not accomplish what your are trying to do. PIR sensors won’t be able to “look” through a shower curtain or shower door. So, what your are proposing is not feasible.

I think that is the beauty of HA and the flexibility of using the standard building blocks. You can make some pretty complicated automations with the basics. Just have to put them together and get good at creating rules.

IMHO, switches are not always in the ideal location to catch motion or just motion for that room. For example, in my laundry room, I have a basic dumb Lutron occupany sensor that turns on/off the light. I had to use tape to cover up 3/4 of the sensor because it would capture movement outside the room.

My shower humidity sensor is right above the shower. Within a couple minutes of the shower coming on, the humidity starts to rise and the sensor does a great job reporting.

As a bonus, since the humidity sensor also has a motion sensor in it, there is no worries about the light going off because again, placement is key.

Finally, I’m sure a device that is so specific would also come at a premium price and would not sell as good as standard devices. For example, GE has a switch/motion combo that is higher in price than buying 2 separate devices.

As stated previously, the Zooz Multi 4-in-1 are great for bathroom duties!

This will cover motion and humidity plus temp and lux if needed.

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How do you program the link between the humidity sensor and the fan? I have a smart fan relay set up and a smart switch. I want the fan to come on for 10 minutes when someone hits the switch and then go off, but stay on if the humidity is still high. I’m not sure how to proceed so any direction welcome. Thanks.

I use webCoRE.

If switch stays on for xx minutes
Humidity is below xx (58%?..)
Then with Switch
Turn off

If humidity rises above xx (62%?..)
Then with Switch
Turn on

If humidity drops below xx (55%?..)
Switch is on
Then with Switch
Turn off

If Switch stays on for xx minutes (30 minute max?..)
Then with Switch
Turn off

All of these are just “If” blocks in webCoRE that should be set to be asynchronous. This would allow each “If” block to run on its on without regard to the others.

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Thanks Ron Talley,
But I’m not about to write code. Just using an automation I can get the fan to go on at a certain humidity level. I’m sure I can get the wireless switch to turn the fan on and off too (not sure about timer). But what happens when the timer automation tells the fan to turn off and the humidity automation tells it to stay on?

WebCoRE writes the code for you. It’s a web graphical interface using sort of a If This Than That format. It’s really simple and you can even import “Pistons”(<—the word to describe a webCoRE rule) made by other users. I will write the rules as describe above and you call import it. Do yourself a HUGE favor and install webCoRE and spend an hour or so on the Wiki page getting familiar with it.

I wrote the below in about 5 minutes…

If you look at the above rules, none of the rules are in conflict. If the humidity is higher than 56% then the fan will stay on, if not then it will turn off after 10 minutes. If the humidity rises above 62% then the fan will come on. If the humidity drops below 55% then the fan will turn off. No matter what, if the fan runs for 30 minutes it will turn off.

Typical of all my rules, there is also an override to disable the Piston by using a Virtual Switch. I have a “Name of Room” Automation Switch for each room in my home such as Bathroom Automation, Day Room Automation, Den Automation, Kitchen Automation, etc. This way, I can simply turn off a particular room’s automation switch and then rules that have the override built into them will not function. Super useful IMHO.

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