[Article] How to Make Your Smarthome Easier to Use


#1

Thought this article was interesting, I'm doing many of these already but it's a good place to start if you're getting started.

I still have things to learn from it, but many of us will differ as we air on the side of not having to interact with our homes at all. Voice assistants are used in my house only when I don't have enough money to add sensors somewhere or mental capacity to figure out how to automate things.


#2

I've slowly been doing this very thing. Currently, my home is almost completely automated. You can walk into any room and lights come on to what my wife and I like as "appropriate" levels. But, what if a friend comes over and wants to do something at the dining room table and the lights are too dim for them? Sure, we have Alexa in every room and I painstakingly make sure that devices are sync'd up and groups are up to date where that guest could just tell Alexa to make the dining room lights brighter. Most of our friends that understand how to voice control things get used to things pretty quickly here.

But, what about friends of ours that are what I affectionately refer to as "automation troglodytes"? To that end, I've been working on making all my switches smarter and putting various remotes around along with being able to use Alexa blueprints to explain how the house works: "Alexa, how do I turn on the TV?" gets a response of "To turn on the TV, just say Alexa turn on the TV and I'll know what room you are in and I'll turn on the TV for you".

To be honest, it's a lot of work automating your home and making it easy for guests that don't know how home automation works.


#3

Yeah I think the most cryptic thing in my house is my kids' rooms. There's, "hey that light shouldn't be on right now," systems in place.
Youngest has a relay that replaced his switch and a ST button outside of his room.
Older daughter has a switch but it fights her off at bedtime.

My wife gets it but not necessarily my mother-in-law.


#4

I have motion sensors for that very reason. My kid was the WORST about going into his room, turning on the lights and then forgetting to turn them off. So, I set his motion sensor to a time out of 15 minutes. Since then, I've never had to remind him about his lights. I also have scenes for various modes that sets the lighting. So, if it's Home - Overnight, the lights won't come on with movement in certain areas. Placement of the motion sensors is key though. So, in my bedroom, I have the sensor placed so that it only gets tripped when coming in or out of the room and not movement in the middle of the night.

Honestly, I think motion sensing is the easiest way to get non-tech users used to an automated home. Well, that and extensive use of duct tape over light switches :wink: (I kid, I swapped out all my switches years ago lol).


#5

There are times where activity is far too erratic to automate, I find this especially true in bedrooms. You never know when someone will hit the hay. I tend to stop automating at night, and use voice routines.


#6

Yeah currently we use voice Assistant for the final goodnight command.


#7

Same. I have a Goodnight routine in Alexa that flips a virtual switch in HE that in turn sets the house up for overnight mode.


#8

Exactly what I do :slight_smile: