Coolest home automation use case

Hubitat Elevation makes it possible to elevate your environment in ways that not many smart home platforms can. Comment below what the coolest use case in your home automation set-up is.

For some interesting ideas, check out this category:

https://community.hubitat.com/c/basics/cool-things/56

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My wife is still super happy after I setup @ogiewon’s bed presence sensor:

Peace of mine everything is off, doors are locked, etc as we go to bed each night.

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My Zoom announcement system. When someone enters my meeting waiting room the name gets announced on my Symfonisk. (requires node-red)

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Sadly I have only boring automations but that's by design.. One can dream though.

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Not "boring", those are called foolproof convenience :grinning: And they are just as cool...

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Cool (but sad) is as an assistant for impaired persons (temporary or permanent) to reduce reliance on care-givers. I am 71 have no permanent disabilities, live alone, and currently have no impairments. I do this to allow for a future level of impairment where I can maintain independence.
BTW: Still waiting for that companion Hubitat Voice Control.

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The best ones I've heard about (more on the ST forum) are automations that allow people w/limited physical capabilities to live more independently than otherwise might be possible. That for me is the greatest thing that can be done w/this stuff. Most of the rest is fun and games for our convenience and entertainment.

In our home, the coolest automation as far as my wife is concerned is leak sensing and shutting off water to the house. That makes her very happy, as due to an odd coincidence, she was the only one home for each of the two water leak events we had in the last 30 years. Not sexy, but peace-of-mindy. :wink:

My best automation moment personally was when we had family over and my nephew (9 years old) was talking about a youtube video that he loved. I used a voice commands to start the TV, and go to YouTube and play the video. You'd have thought I was Zeus and had just thrown a thunderbolt down in front of him. :smiley:

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My most complex automation to date is my exterior lighting. I have nine down lights in the soffit along the front of the house.

At sunset three of the lights come on warm white at 50%. At midnight the go to 1% and at sunrise they turn off.

If any of the motion sensors around the front or side of the house are tripped then all nine lights come on bright white and 100%. I also have two contact sensors on gates tied to a virtual motion sensor. The lights stay on as long as any of the sensors are active. The contact switches also have a two minute cool down so that if somebody opens then closes the gate the lights don't immediately go out. The motion sensors default to four minutes.

If I single tap an Inovelli switch by the front door all of the lights will come on warm white at 100% and stay on regardless of the motion sensors. A double tap of the Inovelli will turn them all on in blues and greens at 40% and again overriding the motion sensors. A down press on the switch will return them to normal operation. This allows me to set scenes for guests or working outside where I might not keep the motion sensors tripped.

Finally, there is a global holiday variable. If it is set to a holiday name it will set the lights to a scene rather than the normal three lights. For Halloween the lights will be purple and orange; Christmas is red and green; first day of spring is pastel yellow and green; Forth of July is red, white and blue; etc. The motion lights will override the colors then return to the colors once motion has stopped.

This all grew out of a two week trip out of town where my internet connection went down for the second week. I was using Wink and Stringify to control the exterior motion lights. Because the net was down I had no motion controlled lighting that week. This is when I switched to Hubitat. :wink:

Another one that I didn't think I would get as much use out of as I do is my home audio setup. I have ceiling speakers in the living room, kitchen, and outside. Eventually it will expand to more areas. I've set up a few routines where I can say:

Alexa, switch to radio.
Alexa, switch to movie.
Alexa, mute.
Alexa, increase/decrease.

The first two switch receiver inputs and adjust the volume. They also turn on the receiver if it is off. Mute toggles the mute on and off. Increase/decrease changes the volume by 4.

I did it just for fun but end up using it quite a bit. Now that I'm working from home I'll get a Teams call from a coworker and I don't have to fumble for a remote. I just say "Alexa, mute" while I'm answering the call. It works out really nicely.

The others I didn't expect to use as much as I do. If I'm watching a movie and pause it to say go fix something in the kitchen I can just say "Alexa, switch to radio" while I'm doing other things. All the AV equipment is located in another room and the direct Onkyo integration works much better than using a Harmony Hub.

I originally did the audio rules just because I could. Now I'm using them every day.

There's more to come but those are the more interesting ones at the moment. Still have tons of motion sensors, lights and blinds that do their automatic bits based on mode. It is nice to have the house adjust to you and what you are doing.

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I have two dehumidifiers in the basement, each in a room we keep closed. The dehumidifier fans run all the time even if the humidity is below the threshold. (Yeah strange, I know.) I also have lights in those two rooms controlled by a motion sensor. I replaced the motion sensors with Aeotec multisensors. If the multi sensor detects that the humidity drops below a set point, I use a smart plug to turn off the dehumidifier, and likewise if it goes above the set point, I turn it on. If the humidity continues to rise and hits a ceiling, I send off a notification and have Alexa tell me the humidity is too high. The humidifiers also have pumps that come on and pump water from the collection bucket up and out a basement window. However, if the temperature falls below freezing for too long the water in the tubes will freeze. So I check the local forecast and if it's too cold my rule will not let the dehumidifier come on.

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  1. When I go to sleep and Arm-Night my system, it kills the power to my VOIP. No more spam calls waking me up. :slight_smile:

  2. Party trick: "Movie Mode"--sets all the lights in the house, especially near the TV, for watching movies.

  3. Wakeup routine - very slowly brightens the room when it's time to get up. Super helpful this time of year!

  4. Using the LED strips on several dimmers for status (Armed Away=Flashing Red, Armed-Stay=Solid Red, Tornado/T-Storm Warning=bouncing Orange, Tornado/T-Storm Watch=Solid Orange, Outside Door/Garage Door Open=Pulsing Yellow, All outside doors shut but not locked=Blue, All outside doors shut & locked=Green).

  5. If I get up in the middle of the night and open the bedroom door, if all the lights are currently off it turns a couple lights to a very dim level. But, if the lights are already on, it turns them on all the way (so I don't get blinded at night).

  6. I have a loft that gets toasty. Once an hour, it checks the temp difference between the main level and the loft--if it's really warm, it runs the ceiling fans on a fairly high speed to move more air, if it's just a bit warm, the run slower--after the temps get within a few degrees (or after 20 min), the fans stop.

  7. I use the double (and, in some cases: 3-, 4-, and 5-) tap events to do things like "turn all the lights in the room off" or "turn them all on to my desired value".

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Not sure how "cool" this is, given it is work related... I have a Samsung Button sitting on my desk at home, when pressed I adjust the lights to a brighter Daytime scene, turn on the TV I have mounted as a monitor, raise the roller blind on the window and wake up my work laptop. Could probably expand on this with voice activation and maybe some other adjustments, but still very happy with how it turned out.

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that sounds class! pics and info, please! =p

When I open the door from my hallway into my garage, there are 4 steps to get down to the garage floor. Unfortunately, you can't reach the lightswitch from the top landing. You have to take a step or two down before manually turning on the lights. I actually know that the previous owner of the house tripped and broke his foot because of this.

I created an automation that turns the garage lights on as soon as I unlock that door, and turns them off if I lock the door. So now I always enter a lit garage.

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Our front porch and carport outside lights are tied to our app presences, so that when we come home after dark, both sets of lights go full for 5 minutes, before reverting to the usual nighttime 25% (on at sunset, off at sunrise, of course).

When we come home during the day, the lights go full for 5 seconds, then turn back off, just to welcome us home. :grinning:

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mostly convenience
ie garage lights on when doors open kitchen, garage doors and side doors at night.
lights on when dog gate closes at night.
outdoor deck and backyard led floods on when deck or slider oepns at night. etc. front door and hall lights on when front door opens.. all turn off after a set time..

auto lock all doors and arm house when both cars leave. or turn to night mode after midnight when no motion for 20 minutes.. disarm in moring when motion start happening or if any door is unlocked via code. or garage door opens

turn off coffee maker and kitchen space heater when no motion for a certain time.

front yard garden spot light show at night with random colors with the app i wrote (garden hue) and can limit colors to subsets off all colors during holidays.

and as others lights on dim at night when walking around and purple in bathrooms with motion at night on low..

dryer and washer done with announcments via aeon home energy on their circuits.

finally temp monitoring for all wine coolors (mutli zone) and frreezers with announcements and text if out of whack..

In fact just today one of the multi zone heat zones in our currently empty house in mi notified me it was too cold (we leave it on 55) and it was 49.5. Added a code to the lock and called the repair people to go fix it.. Same happended last year.. its in floor heat and that zone acts up occasionally.

also to readjust the monitoring of whole house electric usage when the tesla got hooked up in garage as you can imagine.

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Our favorite is our bathroom shower.

When you say "Alexa, start the shower" the bathroom lights turn on and the shower turns on. It will also turn on the fan and heated mirrors (heated mirrors are super cheap and totally worth it!). The fan will stay on until the shower shuts off. Once the shower shuts off the fan keeps running until the humidity of the bathroom gets within 5% of the humidity of the rest of the house. The heated mirrors turn off when the fan shuts off. Also, as soon as you get out of the shower the heat lamp turns on to keep you warm. The lights shut off once motion stops.

Phase 2 is I'm working on making it so Alexa detects if it's me saying it or my wife and sets the water temp to our individual preferences.

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Well, that's pretty good. More details / pics please?

That sounds super interesting, I know Amazon says they can already do this but I have had hit and miss luck with it, but do they expose this to their API or are you using Node-RED to get this function?

I'll take some pics later, but the equipment involved is:

  1. Ecobee Switch+ (Alexa + trigger for motion lighting)
  2. Aeotec multi-sensors (more motion detection + humidity detection)
  3. Ecobee thermostat - I compare the bathroom humidity to this to detect the difference between the bathroom and the rest of the house
  4. Zooz switch for the fan control and heat lamp control
  5. Enerwave relay to turn on the heated mirrors (mirrors have these stuck to the back, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002C27NB8/ref=dp_prsubs_1)
  6. Kohler DTV+ is the brains that controls the shower

Edit: I forgot, when the shower starts it also turns our Rheem Econet Water Heater to high demand mode so there is enough hot water. It lowers it back to the eco setting when done.

I don't use Node Red so I don't know if that can help. I'm building a custom Alexa skill for this and if the user setup an Alexa profile the data is passed to the skill via a person object. (here's a sample alexa-cookbook/feature-demos/skill-demo-personalization at master · alexa/alexa-cookbook · GitHub)

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When someone enters my meeting waiting room the name gets announced on my Symfonisk.

Mind sending a link to how you are doing this? That is awesome.