First Device Working! Soon brought back down to earth by other half. How did you win yours over?

First Zigbee Device installed, a Smart Plug (Smartthings) and Alexa can now turn on/off the Kettle!

I made the case that upon rising in the morning, you can arrive in the kitchen to hot water. No waiting.

However, the other half wasn't impressed stating that you still need to fill up the kettle with water and remember to do so at night with the Kettle Switch "ON" and the plug setup appropriately.

So, this question isn't so much about the kettle and the smart plug, rather for those of us who may not have the same support for Home Automation (at least initially), and how did you get buy-in and win them over?

Clearly not a technical problem, but a very real threat to the very existence of automation in my home!

Cheers

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Porch lights are the easy one. Also motion sensors + lighting for basement or closets. Maybe a smart plug to power off Alexa!

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Observation! Acceptance cannot be forced. My ideas for great automations aren't necessarily great for others in the house. So, sit back and take notice of how others interact with the home, and that should give you a better idea of what simple things you can introduce.

BTW, as part of my goodnight routine, Alexa asks me if I've prepared the coffeemaker for the next day.

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My wife really likes the automatic "Washer is done" and "Dryer is done" push notifications and spoken (TTS) announcements. She also loves the automated lighting in almost every room of the house. We don't touch light switches any longer.

She also likes telling "Alexa, good morning" each day. That announces the weather forecast, turns on specific lights, and turns on the television.

We also have a "Alexa, good night" routine that locks all doors, turns off the TV and lights, and lights a path to our bedroom.

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When I started, my husband made a statement "I will NOT do a dance or scream at a speaker for something to happen." End of story. Done.
So ... I get it.
I was very careful not to spend too much money at one time and worked on automating things for convenience. Lights based on motion and time of day. Always keeping in mind the edict that hung above me. No dashboards, no voice controls. Effortless home automation. I spent a lot of time studying our habits and automating things based on use. Slowly he hopped on board (though he'd probably not admit it). We just recently automated a classic radio. He helped. As things got added and conveniences were noticed, he started to like and even show off the automations. Still .. two years in .. I keep my word of not having to push a button or ask that dot to do something for us.

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This 1000%!!! - the more you force it on someone the less likely they will accept it. It's a great opportunity to make sensible/realistic choices. I use my home WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) experience as a basis for my work with residential clients.

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Exactly the same as @ogiewon.
Pushover/TTS laundry alerts were the biggest thing, along with motion controlled lights.
We also have a ‘alexa goodnight’ routine which turns everything off and lights the way (at 20%) to the bedroom

Andy

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Automatic outside lighting was the start here - both on/off by dusk/dawn and full up when coming home at night.

I even managed to hook a friend's wife, who saw the automatic "welcome home" and told her husband to find out how I did that. :grinning:

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echoing what @ogiewon and @Cobra said, laundry notification are a big hit (my wife likes txt as well as speech notices)

Closet strip lights, on with contact sensors, are another big addition to the WAF here.

Garage door, outdoor lighting on motion, and "package delivery" (on contact open) notices, round out her "what i like list"

I think my wife is half bat, so we don't use motion lighting in most areas. I just her her clicking as she wonders around in the dark :rofl:

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Never tried to convince my wife. She is ambivalent.

She doesn't mind the automatic lighting, but would be just as happy turning it on with the wall switch and just leaving it on.

As long as it doesn't get in her way, she doesn't care. I think she sees it as all pretty pointless / waste of money, to be frank.

"You spent $50 on an automatic light switch to save $0.25 in electricity per month?". Lol

She can hear the washer/dryer completion chime fine in our house, so I didn't have a need to do anything there.

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Oh, one more thing my wife really likes is the notification/TTS when the mail is delivered each afternoon.

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Solve her annoyances first. If she doesn't have any then create some and then solve it.

Imagine if you could automate the lowering of the toilet seat!!!! You wouldn't need to ask permission of anything else after that.

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Need that in my house. 3 boys, 1 girl. We ganged up on her and said majority rules on that one. Lol so it's always up.

That said in the master bath I do TRY to put it down. Sometimes I even remember... But usually not.

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So far the only thing my wife absolutely loved was lights coming on in the dark guest room closet. I could have added a pull chain light and she would have been just as happy. Second would be the lighting I added to the interior of the bottom kitchen cabinets. Everything else, she would be happier with a normal light switch. I try to set things up around HER WANTS/NEEDS so she tolerates my HA addiction.

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Well, my wife knows that if she doesn't keep me busy with crap like this I'll do something even more expensive like buy another car or house. Lol

So that may be why she doesn't give me much grief on it.

And it's still cheaper than golfing.

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The best automations are the ones that aren't noticed until you are in a house without them.

In our master bedroom we have some sconces over the bed that cannot easily be reached from the bed - so I added some smart bulbs + smart buttons for the bedside tables and now individual/dual lighting control. working really well.

For a residential client of mine I am thinking about having their kids room smart light switches also control hall/bathroom lights via the switch's button controller functionality. edit: on the other hand may not be as clever an idea as I thought -might make for some awful late night drama.

Stuff like that..

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My wife really likes an older torchiere-style light in our main room for the evenings... but it had a finicky old turn switch. Put in a smart bulb (just a simple GE one) and hooked it up to Alexa. Now she can turn on/off the "torch" easily. Combined with controlling holiday lighting... those things appear to have mostly won her over and allows me to keep slowly adding additional things/features over time.

The kids were happy as soon as I gave them controllable color light bulbs, ceiling fans, and lights that could all be handled automatically or by their Google Minis (gift from my parents a couple years ago).

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Try to help her understand that it is a hobby for you, and it pleases you. Under the color of "hobby", people do strange things like painstakingly raise a dozen tomatoes in a garden for about the cost of a trip to Europe, or spend all summer making a quilt that is almost as good as the blankets at the dollar store.

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I guess in a way I was lucky. It started with X-10 (that's not the lucky part) to control multiple accent lights (round "can" lights pointing vertical, behind furniture or a plant etc) . Clearly crawling around twice a day and switching the line cord switchs was not desirable. From then on, it was easy. When I suggested these could also be automated by Alexa she was ambivalent.....until she started to use it and now she would definitely miss that option if it disappeared.

However none of our "normal" room lights are automated. For this we both agree.
The only other lights that have automation are the outside lights (garage, front entrance etc)

Thermostats are automated...its just easier than programming each thermostat.

Other automation is for monitoring for unwanted conditions:

  • Water sensors for leaks
  • Furnace (boiler) monitor for lockouts (occurs when the oil nozzle gets plugged)
    Both these send Twillo messages as well.

So as long as neither of us has to "fight" with the automation everyone is happy. By "fight" for instance, motion detection light in the master bedroom. One can easily see this would be a bad idea (at least some of the time :slight_smile: ).

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You totally got me on the tomato bit! Except my crop of 18 plants in bins controlled by a solenoid valve + smart plug are now working on their 3rd season. I spent less than $150 so maybe not really a European trip equivalent - also no maintenance other than fending off aphids. I would also argue that decent store bought tomatoes are hard to come by and with the bunch I end up with - "bespoke" sauce and paste have definitely added to the appeal - even rating highly with the extremely rare but coveted MILAF - Mother-In-Law Acceptance Factor.

:rofl:

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