Your most creative use of HA Tech?

Damn that current deals thread!!

I have suddenly realized I have more “things” than I know what to do with or connect in my house. I am scratching at things like putting a smartthings outlet on my chest freezer because the GFI occasionally pops…but then it occurs to me that it won’t report off before it dies…so yes, I am really trying to find something unique to do.

I even have the bar beer light, popcorn maker and bar light strip on an Aeon smart strip (got when half price at Staples! work GREAT!) …so definitely reaching overkill.

Whats some crazy or fun/unique things you’ve done with your devices at home?

My most creative is really just practicality. I have some accent lights (Hue Bloom and Lightstrip) that turn green when I get a text and blue for a missed call.

I’ve seen some awesome ones posted on here though. My favorite that I do plan on replicating once I am out of the apartment life is @Mike_Maxwell’s backlit house number.


I posted this awhile back but the most creative thing that I did was automate my whole TV turn on sequence by voice using Amazon Echo, Harmony Home hub, Hue lights, and even a solenoid switch to physically power on my Mac Mini media center.

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Lots of good stuff in the Projects category. :sunglasses:

A few ideas here:

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I wrote a SmartApp to check my doors and windows when I got to bed.

I use Amazon Echo and say: “Alexa, turn on good night.”

This triggers the smartapp which when looks at all the doors and windows I’ve selected and checks if any have been left open. If any are I get a voice announcement (old tablet running as a dnla device, bluetoothed to Echo) of which windows or doors were left open. If none are, then it just says: “The house is ready for night.”

The app also turns on my kitchen and upstairs hallway light to provide light for me to head to bed.

Then the app turns off any selected switches/outlets after a 5 minute delay and optionally runs a routine after a delay.


I’ve got another one, though I’ve not posted the how too’s on it…
The dishwasher nanny…
No one, and I mean no one wants to load and unload the thing…
So then everyone starts raiding the clean stuff directly out of the dishwasher, then before you know it dirty dishes are going back in with the remainder of clean dishes…
No one knows the state of things, first world I know…

So I built a little control panel, with a red neon light and a push button switch on it.
I installed an aeon micro to control the light, and the push button as the switch for the aeon.
I then installed an ST contact sensor on top of the dish washer, I removed the batteries and powered it from the 3V supply on the aeon.
An external reed sensor was attached to the ST contact sensor, and the reed switch positioned to monitor the dish washer’s door.
I then wrote a smart app, that monitors the dish washer temps through the contact sensor, causing the indicator to slow blink when the temp goes over 105, this indicates running.
When the temp falls below 100 after going over 105, the indicator stops blinking and remains on.
Opening the dishwasher after this sequence completes, sets off a fast annoying blinking on the indicator for about 10 seconds, this is your reminder to unload the dang thing.
Once unloaded, you press the push button which turns off the indicator and resets the cycle sequence.

I have since bolted on an RM rule that triggers off the teenagers arrival between 3 and 5PM, such that if the indicator is on (meaning we have clean unloaded dishes) then we fire off a TTS to the Sami speakers in the kitchen, reminding her to unload the dishwasher…


When the hard wired smoke alarm goes off, all the lights in and outside the house turn on, the HVACV systems are switched off, water heater is switched off, gas fire place is switched off, doors are unlocked and the garage door opens.My wife and I also get notifications and phone calls via IFTTT.


I use a water sensor to send alerts to fill my salt water tank automatic top off tank.

I use another for my christmas tree to tell me when to water it.

When the wife is close to home the porch light turns purple, front door unlocks and the house announces “The Queen is arriving” Funny thing is the dog and cat learned what this means and only on this announcement will they go running to the door to wait for her.

Put an open close sensor on the mailbox and the house announces when the mail comes using a quote from Homer Simpson. The mail is here Ooooh

When my alarm is triggered the house loudly announces on all speakers “Intruder alert. Police have been called. All video surveillance is now active and recording. Smile.”

When the laundry is done the house announces it. I change the phrase randomly to drive the wife crazy. Now it says “Hey Hey Hey Lisa Like the wash is done ya know” The looks I get are priceless. :smiling_imp: LOL

In the AM when the wife gets up the first motion event in the kitchen triggers the days weather forecast announcement for her.

Yes we love that the house has a voice.


Our dog also reacts to lights coming on by running to the window to see who is arriving.


Is your app available to share? I’m always looking for ways to get my house to talk back to me. My wife says I listen to our house more than her :smile:

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Do you use rule machine for something like this?

I assume you are using Sonos speakers or the like? We have a Sonos in our bathroom; when I built the house I have in wall/ceiling speakers in different zones in the house…not aware of a way to interface to those…but that is a sweeeet idea…

How did you interface with the hardwired one…I imagine more than one of us is wondering…I bought zwave First Alert ones so i could interface with those…and my hardwired ones still report to ADT…

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I’m using Ubi’s in a couple of rooms and use a virtual switch when the alarm is triggered. They are plenty loud enough you can hear them clearly announce throughout the house.

Lanounce and do the same thing using bluetooth from a tablet.

I believe you can just take the audio out from the Sonos and plug it into the house amp also. Then rule machine or big talker could do the same things.

Check out the Sonos Connect: Amp

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Set up an ifttt for my wife.
"Alexa, trigger ‘find my phone’"
her phone gets a phone call. she loves that.

and when she goes running, she can use her phone to open the garage door when she gets back.

The power outlet on her makeup vanity is zwave switched so it is automatically shut off when she leaves so it can’t be accidentally left on for 48 hrs… :frowning:

And when she comes home after sunset, the lights are on for her.

Anything that makes my wife’s life super easy makes her happy, which works out well for me.


wrote a smart app that turns on roof coil for certain date range for certain temp range… set it and forget it…

Last year we forgot to turn on the roof heaters after a big snow and warm temps for a few days. only to be rewarded with a 2 foot thick ice damn leaking … I had to go out and chop it off, including the existing coils… worked great so far.

also turn off the space heater in the kitched when no motion for over 1/2 hour…


I tried it make it as customize-able as possible so you can tweak it to your needs as far as what to turn on or off and when and whether to run a routine or not.

Even the phrase spoken if everything is closed is able to be set when installing so you can use it for other things, like when you leave the house for example.

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Anyway to make this work for Sonos as the TTS?

EDIT: hmm my sonos speakers are not showing up when doing the setup.

Nope. Apparently sonos does not have the “capability.speechSynthesis”?

UPDATE: Change my sonos to a different sonos device type that support capability.speedsynthesis and now it’s working. One thing is Alexa does not recognize the button when I’m asking her to turn the button on. She discovered the button OK. I think it has to do with the “buttonName=” in the name.

You should be able to pick any TTS device when installing.