Fred Boniface

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Automation

About my Setup

Home automation is a hobby of mine which started when I found the LightwaveRF range of products, a low cost and simple way for me to discover the power of home automation.

 

I started with a simple setup which included just one LightwaveRF Dimmer and a wireless switch, this allowed me control of my bedroom light from the bed without the expense of wiring a new lightswitch - an impossibility being in a rented flat.

 

I quickly decided to buy the WiFi-Link which then allowed me control from my phone via the free app.  I felt that this left a lot to be desired - admittedly it probably didn't help that I only had one device.  I spent some time researching computer software that would allow me to connect different technologies to my system, something that I could keep growing and didn't keep me locked in to one manufacturers ecosystem.  I found many options such as HomeSeer and Indigo, all of which had a very high price tag which I couldn't justify.  I then turned to open source software and came across Domoticz.

 

I installed Domoticz on an old computer that didn't have much in the way of power but was more than enough to run Ubuntu 14.04 and Domoticz.  Initially I had no way of connecting my LightwaveRF devices to the system I had - I did however at this point find out I could connect my Harmony Hub remote control system to the software which caused me much excitement anticipating what I could do in the future.  I sold my WiFi-Link on eBay and with the funds I purchased an RFXtrx433E - this is the hardware Domoticz needed to connect to my LightwaveRF switch.  Another thing I discovered at this point is that I could receive temperature and humidity from some Oregon Scientific sensors that I had from a weather station clock, further exciting me about what was to come.

 

Since I first installed Domoticz I have played with many of the features, created scenes, events and even a floor plan which shows all of my devices.  I have added six LightwaveRF Sockets which I use to control a range of permanent and temporary devices.  For example I use one plugged in to warm bottles of milk for my daughter, the extensive features of Domoticz means that I have set the bedroom lights to flash when it is finished.  I also have one plugged in to a dehumidifier which, when combined with data from one of the humidity sensors, comes on at 60%RH (reletive humidity) and turns off at 52&RH.

 

 

Whats next?

I have been looking at other products such as z-wave switches which do offer a lot, but, I have decided that the next addition to my system will be Philips Hue Bulbs - having read a lot of reviews about them I have decided that I would like to give them a go.  Rather than having a light flash on and off when the bottle warmer is done I could create a scene which slowly dims from blue to orange as the bottle heats and then switches back to white when it's done.  I also hope to have all of these functions controlled from LightwaveRF Mood Switches (aka Master Wall Switches), I like their sleek style and simple design - also after reading a post at 'Fabulous Home Automation', I am looking to put printed labels on the mood switches to highlight what each button does. (I have now done this with a mood switch and you can read about it here).

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© Fred Boniface 2015-2016

Home Automation

Home automation is a hobby of mine which started when I found the LightwaveRF range of products, a low cost and simple way for me to discover the power of home automation.