Who knows their home automation shit?

Crystal chandeliers, etc.

Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 pm

DI Burnside wrote:I totally understand in your case stuart, given that when moving around your house you are usually in no position to reach the light switches, nor have sufficient focus to even see them.


Laugh!

What I want ideally Dibs is the ability to stand anywhere in the house (especially by the front door though, as I go out) and turn all the lights in the house off with a voice command. Running around the house after my co-habitees turning lights off is very off-knobbing.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Aesgarth @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:00 pm

DI Burnside wrote:
Aesgarth wrote:
DI Burnside wrote:You could just get off your fat arses and use the switch on the wall.

Where are your light switches ? Mine are all beside the doors so even if it was that dark I couldn't see them the most dangerous thing I have to is reach out an arms and feel for them.
Usually right in front of me... I like the convenience.

Again please, in English.
If you use one of these:
http://www.argos.co.uk/product/9822894? ... DoQAvD_BwE
Or these
http://lightswitchtimer.co.uk/products/ ... ooQAvD_BwE
Gets right in the way of using lights in a normal fashion.

Handy, but as the most frequently guilty in my house are the kids I'd rather they learn to turn them off, this is achieved by them having to walk back and do it when reminded and is happening less often. If they were automated they'd learn not to bother.

The only use I can think of it to not get off one's fat arse to turn the lights off.

The whole Alexa thing is a bit of a novelty to me, but nothing so far has got me interested enough to buy one.

I've got an echo dot, an unwanted birthday present our next door neighbour received and gave us back in October. It's still in it's box. What can that be used for ?


Depends if you're comfortable talking to an electronic device or not... As an example though... I can say Alexa, goodnight and it will turn all my lights off and set the alarm (both house and clock). In practice I rarely do and my interaction with Alexa is mostly playing music or setting timers for when I'm cooking and also watching TV.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.cnet ... xa-skills/
Last edited by Aesgarth on Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by thekungfury @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:05 pm

You can make Alexa fart.

The new(ish) drop in feature is handy to get our daughter out of her room for dinner. The other day I was in the garden and called her Echo from my phone for her to throw something out of the window for me.

Otherwise we just use it for music.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:07 pm

DI Burnside wrote:I've got an echo dot, an unwanted birthday present our next door neighbour received and gave us back in October. It's still in it's box. What can that be used for ?


What we use ours for:

(a) controlling plugged in lamps and lights. Quite good at this.
(b) controlling Sonos. More specifically turning off the Sonos that some lazy shit has left playing in another room and which I can still hear.
(c) intercom. The girls' bedrooms are on the second floor, and come meal times we yell like fishwives/navvies up the stairs to get them to come down. They have echo dots in their rooms which we can hook into as intercoms from downstairs.
(d) intercommming with Mrs 66's brother or sister via their Echoes. Like making a phone call, but more gimmicky.
(e) (one child). GCSE German vocab.

Things it is shit at:
Controlling the TV via a Harmony Hub. "Alexa, tell Harmony to turn the TV off". Completely lost because Alexa can't hear you over the sound of the TV.

It's pretty close to a solution looking for a problem, but just about nice enough to have to be worth keeping. There are things I wish it was easier for it to do, such as control ceiling lights.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:07 pm

thekungfury wrote:The new(ish) drop in feature is handy to get our daughter out of her room for dinner.


Small world.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by DI Burnside @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Greg66 wrote:
DI Burnside wrote:I've got an echo dot, an unwanted birthday present our next door neighbour received and gave us back in October. It's still in it's box. What can that be used for ?


What we use ours for:

(a) controlling plugged in lamps and lights. Quite good at this.
(b) controlling Sonos. More specifically turning off the Sonos that some lazy shit has left playing in another room and which I can still hear.
(c) intercom. The girls' bedrooms are on the second floor, and come meal times we yell like fishwives/navvies up the stairs to get them to come down. They have echo dots in their rooms which we can hook into as intercoms from downstairs.
(d) intercommming with Mrs 66's brother or sister via their Echoes. Like making a phone call, but more gimmicky.
(e) (one child). GCSE German vocab.

Things it is shit at:
Controlling the TV via a Harmony Hub. "Alexa, tell Harmony to turn the TV off". Completely lost because Alexa can't hear you over the sound of the TV.

It's pretty close to a solution looking for a problem, but just about nice enough to have to be worth keeping. There are things I wish it was easier for it to do, such as control ceiling lights.


None of which interest me tbh. The only one we might use is summoning the kids, but I use Facetime for that.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Aesgarth @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:08 pm

DI Burnside wrote:
Greg66 wrote:
DI Burnside wrote:I've got an echo dot, an unwanted birthday present our next door neighbour received and gave us back in October. It's still in it's box. What can that be used for ?


What we use ours for:

(a) controlling plugged in lamps and lights. Quite good at this.
(b) controlling Sonos. More specifically turning off the Sonos that some lazy shit has left playing in another room and which I can still hear.
(c) intercom. The girls' bedrooms are on the second floor, and come meal times we yell like fishwives/navvies up the stairs to get them to come down. They have echo dots in their rooms which we can hook into as intercoms from downstairs.
(d) intercommming with Mrs 66's brother or sister via their Echoes. Like making a phone call, but more gimmicky.
(e) (one child). GCSE German vocab.

Things it is shit at:
Controlling the TV via a Harmony Hub. "Alexa, tell Harmony to turn the TV off". Completely lost because Alexa can't hear you over the sound of the TV.

It's pretty close to a solution looking for a problem, but just about nice enough to have to be worth keeping. There are things I wish it was easier for it to do, such as control ceiling lights.


None of which interest me tbh. The only one we might use is summoning the kids, but I use Facetime for that.


In that case I suggest you either sell it (probably hardly worth it) or give it away the next time you need a present for someone but can't be arsed to buy one..
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Il Duce @ Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:50 pm

stuart wrote:
I quite fancy getting the motion detector things if they were a bit more incospicuous.

Then lights can just turn on and off as I walk around the house, e.g. en-suite. Walk in light turns on, walk out light turns off.

.


I had a long hallway in my flat and I had one of those sensors because I would have needed 4 or 5 light switches to cover the length of it. It worked quite well but was annoying when you got up for a piss in the night.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:37 am

An update.

1. This is not a cheap hobby.
2. I went for the Lightwave Link and the simplest Lightwave switch to try it all out. See if it actually works.
3. As a regular dimming switch, the switch works fine. A little difficult to fine tune the dimming (not as accurate as a rotary switch) but fine nonetheless.
4. the Link was placed next to the router at the bottom of the house. Switch right at the top. Sceptical that they would talk to each other, but they did.
5. After exploring a few annoying set up dead ends, it works! 66 minor decide that she wanted her room lights called "66 minor's disco". So now "Alexa, set 66 minor's disco to 40%" brings her ceiling lights to exactly 40%. And I can set timers to turn them on (she is *appalling* at getting out of bed) and off (which kind of deals with the whole idea of being able to stand by the front door and turn off all lights in the house on a voice command, but hey ho).

So, success. Then I priced up quickly how much it would cost to replace a few further select switches in the house. The ones that get used a lot. Well, £800 later I decided that perhaps this is a project that can be targeted over time...
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Zod @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:01 am

CJ+ wrote:
Greg66 wrote:We've got a ton - maybe 50 - halogen ceiling downlights in our house.


Who is your electricity provider please? I wish to buy shares in this undoubtedly enormously profitable business.

We must have about 80 of the bloody things. I thought the electricity bill was down to my computers. Now I'm going to make everyone turn out the lights!
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:41 am

Zod wrote:
CJ+ wrote:
Greg66 wrote:We've got a ton - maybe 50 - halogen ceiling downlights in our house.


Who is your electricity provider please? I wish to buy shares in this undoubtedly enormously profitable business.

We must have about 80 of the bloody things. I thought the electricity bill was down to my computers. Now I'm going to make everyone turn out the lights!


That's good going. I counted them properly and got to 61.

Then realised there are another 11 in the garden room.

Sigh.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Il Duce @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:24 pm

Greg66 wrote: garden room.


Is this what the rest of us call a shed?
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:28 pm

Il Duce wrote:
Greg66 wrote: garden room.


Is this what the rest of us call a shed?


With 11 halogen downlighters? I suppose one could call it the shed in a sort of self-effacing overly ironic sort of way.

It's a wood & bifold doors sort of thing.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Il Duce @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:34 pm

Greg66 wrote:
Il Duce wrote:
Greg66 wrote: garden room.


Is this what the rest of us call a shed?


With 11 halogen downlighters? I suppose one could call it the shed in a sort of self-effacing overly ironic sort of way.

It's a wood & bifold doors sort of thing.


A garage then.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:39 pm

Il Duce wrote:
Greg66 wrote:
Il Duce wrote:
Greg66 wrote: garden room.


Is this what the rest of us call a shed?


With 11 halogen downlighters? I suppose one could call it the shed in a sort of self-effacing overly ironic sort of way.

It's a wood & bifold doors sort of thing.


A garage then.


Yes. Like in Ferris Bueller.

With an excess of underused exercise equipment in it.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:33 pm

Greg66 wrote: success


is such an elusive thing.

You would not fcuking believe the fcuking whining I have had to endure over the fact that these switches have a little glowing led on them that stays on when the switch is off. Ridiculous whining about not be able to sleep at night because of a light source the size of a fingernail off cut 10 feet away. Ingrates.

More problematic is that (a) these switches require 35 mm back boxes, which don't always so, so excavation is in my future; (b) I've managed to blow one already. Possibly it tripped and would have re set itself, but it has gone back for replacement. It has highlighted a different issue though which is that they are rated for 300w per gang, and we have two arrays which are bang on 300W and one which is 400W. So as a whole house solution these are not looking ideal any more.

Anyone want to buy some most excellent very dark at night wifi light switches? Pre-owned and pre-loved.

Currently looking at a different make which is good to 700W. Hey ho. No one said being an early adopting technophile was a cheap hobby.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Aesgarth @ Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:09 pm

Greg66 wrote:, and we have two arrays which are bang on 300W and one which is 400W. So as a whole house solution these are not looking ideal any more.


That's ridiculous. You need to switch to LED...
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Aesgarth @ Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:03 pm

Have you bought any LED bulbs yet?

Here's some screwfix ones for a quid:
https://www.screwfix.com/p/gu5-3-mr16-l ... GwodGf0LCg

Or far more expensive but might keep me in a job:
https://www.ledbulbcentre.co.uk/collect ... 1311124312

Will save you a shitload in electricity and will reduce the load on your switches.

And for a cheap smart switching solution that works with google, IFTTT and alexa I've been playing with these recently:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2017-So ... lsrc=aw.ds

they seem to work well and are bloody cheap.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:38 am

Aesgarth wrote:It's going to be fcuking expensive if


Yeah, well that was prescient.

It’s still a work in progress, and work work has meant that progress has been halted for the last few weeks.

But...

I’ve got a shit ton of the Lightwave switches installed. They dim halogens + transformers perfectly. But then I decided to try led MR16s, plumping for the £££ very very warm Philip master led Expertcolor bulbs, which replicate the colour temp of halogens to a tee and are identically sized to a regular MR16 bulb. They flicker slightly, and to varying amounts in different parts of the house. Then tried GU10s in any array that I didn’t realise used them and they work much better -stable and dim down to acceptably low levels.

So right now I have 40 or so GU10 light fittings plus the same number of those Philips bulbs in GU10 fitting (thankfully I was able to return the MR16 bulbs for a refund - phew!) which I am going to fit around the house over Easter.

The automation stuff, which was the original goal, is actually pretty f cool. I’ll do a proper write up once it’s all done.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Baby Huey @ Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:36 am

We have Hive with lighting control. I honestly wish we’d just fitted some dimmer switches and getting your phone out to adjust the lighting is more trouble than it is worth.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Greg66 @ Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:42 pm

So. It’s all done. At last.

Every switch in the house is a Lightwaverf smart switch. Much time spent taking out the old ceiling fitments, taking out the transformers, and directly wiring LED GU10 bulbs. Even more fun working out how the largely undocumented installation process of the LW switches, esp in two way switching mode is supposed to work.

But, at the end of it, like all the best jobs, everything visible is now exactly as it was before I started but everything behind the scenes is different and better. I have sets of lights that come on in various places round the house in the mornings just as I want them to. The kids’ lights all turn off during the day. The whole lot responds to voice commands. I can stand by the front door and tell Alexa to turn all the lights off and she will. I can walk towards the house and turn on half a dozen lights throughout the house from my phone.

It’s actually kind of cool.

But unless you like a labour of love, problem solving on a Sherlock Holmes level, and are on the cusp of being financially crippled by electricity bills, I’d probably think quite long and hard about doing it.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Käsemeister @ Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:06 am

Still need to get around to doing this.
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Re: Who knows their home automation shit?

Post by Dirk @ Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:27 am

Thinking of the discussion about what people called the kids prank of knocking on doors and running away. Will the next generation instead go up to door and call through letter box:
"Turn all lights off" (If people are in)
"Turn all lights on" (if people are out)
Or will they get more imaginative
"Turn fridge to -10C"
"Turn Freezer off"

etc, or will they just hack in from their bedrooms?
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