Internet Of Things / IoT / Connected Home / Smart Houses

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  • The Lenovo 'Smart 8' is far superior to the Google home Hub I must admit. Googles reduced it's one to £100 but I got the Lenovo for £90 last xmas.

  • in what sense?

  • Is that from Spotify? I have mine but not sure what to do with it as we have a couple of Alexa dots running the lighting/heating/answering questions from children.
    Could put it in the garage for hands-free audio I guess...

  • More toying with home assistant. Zigbee2mqtt with the zigbee sniffer has been a revelation! It means I can now have a single hub that can be used to control any zigbee device! I have it working flawlessly with hue bulbs, and with the flashed rf bridge I have been able to buy cheap rf buttons to switch them on and off (or any other automation/script you want for that matter), thus satisfying the WAF!

    The free google home mini from spotify has enabled google tts notifications from home assistant too which is a bit of a novelty. It currently welcomes my missus home by name, when her phone latches onto the wifi, which freaks the shit out of her!

    Addition of the cloud was nice, makes it very easy to control the hue bulbs (and any other linked devices) with google assistant. Front end access is nice too, but I don't really use the front end for anything more than checking that devices are working. I found that the pihole add-on was blocking this on occasion, so I have gone back to a second pi running only pihole and openVPN.

  • What I like about the google home more than alexa is that you can use it to control a chromecast audio, and set up a very cheap multiroom setup. You can chose to send music from spotify to an individual chromecast, or set them all up in a "home" group, including you home mini, and have them all play the same music.

    And of course google tts from home assistant for lols.

  • @Colm89

    Is this a decent price?
    https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/smart-tech­/smart-tech/smart-home/smart-monitoring/­samsung-smartthings-starter-kit-10135868­-pdt.html

    I want to be able to control my OSRAM "zigbee" outdoor lamp and also my Hive.
    Maybe more in the future.

    I have checked reviews and they are really shit so that's not convincing...

  • As a quick and easy way to control it, it's prob fine, but the issue with these is that they use a web based cloud for remote access, so if their cloud is down, or if your internet is down, it won't work.

    If you're willing to figure things out and enjoy a bit of diy, setting home assistant up on a raspberry pi with a zigbee stick is much better as it operates on your local network and doesn't rely on actual Internet access.

    I'm happy to help out in getting you set up, and there is a wealth of info online.

    The issue with this is that a software update can mess up your configuration.

  • Great value. We are really enjoying SmartThings

    Am picking up Aurora AOne smart dimmer controllers today so all our downlighters will be controllable.

  • Yeah the caveat to my comment is that I've never used smartthings.

  • If my internet was down then no remote access would work. However the controller would still work in the house if my internet is down or if theirs stops working. I have rural/agricultural levels of internet here (4G) which craps out continually but SmartThings still works inside the house. What didn’t work was using lifx with SmartThings as that means SmartThings has to communicate with the lifx server which was not always a goer.

    I can’t code and don’t have time/inclination or brains to learn. The ifttt in SmartThings seems to give me the controls I want. Mainly it’s having a button to turn out all the lights my partner leaves on.

  • Can I not just do that without the home mini?

  • Probably, if you have sonos or other multiroom speakers

  • With just the chromecast audios I mean.

  • Not sure, check if there is an alexa skill for it.

  • Looks like there's a new feature with Google Home and Hue where you can dim/wake the lights to your alarms, not bad

  • Anyone after a Tado extension kit?

  • Done a bit more tinkering with hassio. Biggest is that I've picked up a very cheap used small form factor desktop pc and moved hassio to that as a vm in proxmox.

    I also expanded the zigbee2mqtt network and switched from using cheap rf switches to cheap xiaomi zigbee switches. They look and feel much nicer, but also enable programming of single, double, triple, quadruple and long press for different things. Great example of this is bedside lamps. 1 press toggles the respective side lamp, double press toggles opposite side lamp, long press toggles both at the same time.

    Another cool thing I've managed to set up is plant monitors using those cheapo miflora sensors. Once they were integrated via an esp32 board and esphome I could set up automatons to have my google home mini tell me when they need water, but only when the conditions I've set are met (me or other half home, and between 8am and 10pm). I also have it set to text my phone when it goes below 15% moisture.


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  • Anyone got den switches?

  • We had been having a few problems with aurora inline dimmer switches being controlled by SmartThings

    Turned out the problem is the aurora switches needed the latest firmware but that only installs if you are using the Aurora hub. They sent us one to use so we could update the controllers and now it all works.

    It’s great being able to time and remote control outside lights. Also my other half leaves lights on and likes mood lighting. Now I can turn off all the lights using either app on phone or one smart switch. It makes going to bed so much easier!

  • That's not an uncommon issue. Although there's various inter compatibility, particularly with the zigbee ones, a lot need their own hub to push out firmware updates.

  • A +1 for the Nest Protect fire alarm.

    I set off smoke bombs to rid ourselves of a moth problem, and we had 3 normal fire alarms (1 we brought with us to the new home, 2 which were here already - all with fresh batteries) and than a Nest Protect which I'd got for free from the Google Store as a result of a promo.

    Lighting the smoke bombs... we left the house. By the time we got outside the front door the Nest Protect was audible from outside, my phone was ringing with the alert and it was announcing smoke detected.

    I went back in, silenced it... and then noticed that none of the others had triggered. I tested them all, they were active and working... but none picked up the fact that I'd lit fuses and set off smoke bombs!

    Unsilenced the Nest... it triggered immediately.

    We're now going to dispose of the standard fire alarms and buy more Nest Protects to distribute around the house.

  • Whilst I'm here though... anyone have a recommendation for a smart lock that can remotely unlock a front door?

    We have a shared hallway, and interior secure front doors, but the shared front door to the property could do with a smart lock so that packages can be let in in our absence.

  • Cheapest is about £90 each yeah? Been procrastinating on pulling the trigger on 3 of these. Your review might have convinced me.

  • I think sandard consumer smoke alarms are designed so they don't go off with all smoke types. This is to prevent them being super annoying and people removing the batteries too often.

    They're configured to trigger only when smoke with particle sizes of a certain sizee are detected (wood, textile,oil, etc) and not cigarettes for example.

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Internet Of Things / IoT / Connected Home / Smart Houses

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