Looking for ideas to achieve my home automation goals

So I have lots of posts already in the Getting started area describing my system already. But let's go over what I am actually trying to achieve, and what I have accomplished so far. I am looking for ideas on how to accomplish it.

A little back story / important information. I have some mobility issues due to degenerative disc disorder/ osteoarthritis of the lower lumbar. Most of the time a non issue, sometimes absolutely debilitating.

I am trying to achieve first and foremost self monitored home security. I am simply trying to keep the honest folks honest, and give me enough of an opportunity to defend myself and my family should someone opt for dishonest behavior.

Secondly, lighting should be controlled automatically dependent upon motion in some spaces, voice command in all spaces.

HVAC, and ceiling fan speeds are to be controlled dependent upon whole house, or specific room temperature and Relative Humidity readings.

Exterior lighting should come between dusk to dawn when either a given vocal command is issued, or a given set of presence sensors are present.

I have a variety of sensors, bulbs, switches etc... My setup is as follows.

Home network. 802.11AC router, gig service. No I am not going to get a faster router, nothing I own can utilize a faster router... I have a primary and a secondary router, the secondary configured as a wireless access point. All network gear protected via 1500va UPSes.

Honeywell WiFi Smart thermostat. I do not recall the specific model number. It's about 4 years old.

Mix of Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire Edition TV, and Fire Stick, all Alexa stuff for voice control, and Alexa Guard.

I have Wyze Cam 3s, as well as Ring Floodlight Cam, Ring Spotlight Cams, and a Ring Video Doorbell 2. The Ring devices at least video feed were usable in Smartthings, I don't see any video aggregation in HE. Oops...

Hubitat Elevation C7 hub. This is on a UPS with a branch switch.

The ability to use my old Iris stuff, along with the lack of reliance on cloud is what drew me to Hubitat in the first place, I am carrying over from Iris the following.

Iris V1 contact sensors on every access point to the house except front and back doors. Folks have asked so no, there are no other V1 items in my network.
Iris V2 contact sensors on front and back doors.
Iris V2 motion sensors in all areas except bathrooms, vanities, and laundry room.
Iris V3 motion sensors in vanities and laundry rooms.
Iris V2 keypads at major access points.
Iris V3 smart plug.
Utilitech 100db sirens.

After they shut Iris down, and HE wasn't ready to support everything I wanted at the time, I took an ill advised side trip to ADT Smartthings, and added the following that I was able to carry over to HE.

A large number of Sylvania LEDVANCE Zigbee bulbs. I am uncertain about these on HE as some folks say they cause problems with the Zigbee mesh, some say these are the ones that don't, or maybe I misunderstood...
Hampton Bay Zigbee ceiling fan / light controllers. Still working on getting them happy in HE.
Iteak Tradfri Wireless Control Outlet (US spec). A.K.A. Zigbee smart plugs. Not as nice as the Iris, but they work and are cheap.
Zooz Zen22 Zwave dimmers
Zooz Zen27 Zwave dimmers
NuTone NWS15Z Zwave 15 amp on / off switches.
GE / Jasco 3 speed ceiling fan controller for the living room ceiling fan.

I have motion light with mode apps confrigured where they need to be and they are working.

I have a Rule Machine app written that controls the living room fan speed dependent upon the temp in the living room as read by an Iris V2 motion sensor placed as close as I could get it to the seating area of the living room.

I am working on getting the Hampton Bay ceiling fan / light controllers happily configured in HE, there have been stability problems with my Zigbee that center around them. Again rumor mills says maybe the Sylvania bulbs, maybe not. May just be buggy Zigbee who knows? Anyway, once installed and configured, I am planning on setting up Rules Machine apps for each of these controllers to adjust fan speed by temp readings off of those V2 Iris motion sensors. Light control in the bedrooms has got to be by voice command, we can't have the motion sensors turning the lights on at 2:00 a.m. when someone rolls over in bed, or the dog, or cat walks into the bedroom.

I want to have ventilator fans come on when a shower gets turned on and it starts getting steamy. In the guest bathroom I merely need to add another one of those NuTone switches and confiugre a rule using the RH reading from the Iris V3 motion sensor to trigger it, for the master bath, it was never built with a ventilator fan since it has a window and by code doesn't need it (my a** it doesn't need a vent fan!). We are remodelling that bath anyway, and adding a ventilator fan, another spot for the NuTone switch and another use for the V3 motion sensor.

Some additions I am wanting / considering but really don't have a clue how to implement.

#1. Under cabinet RGBW strip lighting under my kitchen cabinets. As well as surround / behind the trim on vanity mirrors, undershooting from some crown molding atop a 3/4 wall separating the kitchen from the great room / dining rooms. And as surround / backlighting for my TVs. I am reading the thread in the other sub forum and learning a lot, but I am still massively lost. Apparently RGBW LED strip lighting is a farily intensive subject, let along the smart controllers for them.
#2. The ability to automatically open / close room vents depenent upon presence, not necessarily motion or a device, but presence of a human body. So for example a childs room, should said child be out of the bedroom for school all day, we want the heating / cooling to be closed off given a particular temp range. Not too hot, not too cold blah blah blah...
#3. I want the ability to should someone get past the cameras and trigger the alarm, to from HSM / Nycleharpa be able to send a signal to turn on the lights, and activate the sirens on my Ring camera + light devices.
#4. In our remodelling we are adding an in ground sprinkler system. I want to further automate this beyond just the timer / water sensors I have been using with the hose / sprinkler rigs I have had for the last decades. Which brings me to...
#4a. This is a little childish I know, but aside from alarms, lights, and sirens, I also want a triggered alarm to activate the lawn sprinkler setup for say 60 seconds. A good soaking would make would be intruders certainly uncomfortable, and a lot more identifiable.
#5. Not yet built, but I want to move my home workshop out of my garage (my wife actually wants to park in there) and into a shed workshop. I am planning on a mini split AC. I am guessing I will need a second hub / mesh and will be adding more contact sensors, at least one siren, cameras, most likely Wyze Cam 3, these seem to work well. I want to automate things like turning the dust collector on / off, a Zooz Zen15 should work per Zooz. Automate LED shop light fixtures, Zen26 I think is the on / off switch from Zooz. Air compressor would be off of a NuTone 15 amp switch. I would include motion sensors in security on that as there are no pets that are supposed to be in there.

What other automations can I be setting up that will make life easier and potentionally more secure at home for the family?

People have different ideas of what controlling the HVAC entails. I have developed an HVAC and zoning App which may be what you are looking for.

That is a feature of my App, except that the App is targeting a central ventilation system, like an HRV/ERV. For an individual bathroom fan, my App would be overkill.

Ambitious.. I love it :smiley:

I have, I am certain I've said WAY too many times, multiple hubs already... I've always migrated there because some answers flow more easily from a parallel solution. I chose to split my home by Floor and have a Hub per. Rather recently, needing an excuse to buy a C-7 I decided that I needed a further split. I'm very slowly moving devices from the front half of "downstairs" to the C-7 and thinking of it as "Front Hub."

I think of my Home Automation as a System.. a home automation system, not a hub. I will add just about anything on that yields a result I like or desire. Pico remotes are one example.. I had an excellent experience with them on a Staples Connect system. (Staples and Wink were the two prominent Licensees of Lutron's Clear Connect. Now lost to history.) Hubitat, via Lutron's SmartBridge PRO restored not only the great experience but doubled it. I groused a lot about having to buy another box. I put it off and put it off... I could because that Staples Connect hub was able to provide it for "free". Ultimately I found a low cost Lutron SmartBridge Pro on Ebay and within 48 hours I had shut the Staples and never looked back. Since then I've had no serious qualms or delays in adding boxes to the total system.

Hubitat is a wonderful little hub that works as is for a very large percentage of purchasers. Just not me. I need more. Some people have 20 devices and are getting astounding results. I want that :smiley: So I added more Hubs until I too have a hub with 20 devices and are getting astounding results. Several of them.

People with outlying buildings certainly should consider another hub. There's virtually no downside and little risk as long as the additional $$ is acceptable. That was an easy choice for me because I have so much invested in the switches, dimmers and sensors. Another hub is a trifle. :slight_smile: approximately :slight_smile:

Despite NOT answering even one of your questions, my intent is to ask you to think of your Home Automation System as more than a hub. It certainly is all of the Z-Devices too. They make as much of a contribution as the hub. I'd also suggest you think about adding a Processing Device. Rule Machine and all of its variants (Simple, Motion, Basic, etc.) are amazing, but the sharp edge of having a great Home Automation system is relying on sub-second responsiveness. :smiley: You get used to that and its loss is traumatic. :slight_smile: Offloading some of the automation to another component, a processing unit, will one day (not today, not even soon, but eventually) make not just your experience with the System better, but everyone in the house's experience.

My Sprinker system, my HVAC, my Pool and my Security are all independent. Yes, I'm willing for them to be "Sensors" and provide data to Hubitat and display on a Dashboard. Although anything to do with a Dashboard makes me feel like I've failed somehow. But let me be quick to add that that feeling is on an arc... a brand new device, especially a device I've never seen before, goes into the system and added to a Dashboard and then over time, as I understand how it's going to merge in best, it's requirement to be on a Dashboard diminishes to near zero. Laziness dictates I never actively remove it, but there's no more care and feeding. :smiley: Again, it's the Total Home Automation System I constantly picture and there's no need at all to have everything under one 'roof' even if it is possible.

The house is smallish. 4 bedrooms, depending on the tax district record, either 1975 or 2025sq ft. No clue why it varies by 50sq/ft but it does. If my math is correct. 1975 is correct. Single story, ranch style home, single HVAC zone, for now.

The concept of wanting smart vents is to break the house up into zones and adjust. THe big problem is the living room / main hallway is where the thermostat is. My AC guy says no problem running a secondary to the master suite but, my thought process is thus...

Master suite and kids rooms are occupied, temp goes over X temp, fans kick on, Y temp fans kick on higher, Z temp AC kicks on and smart vents direct cooled air to occupied living space with priority, while keeping the rest of the house, humidity controlled.

Due to the size of the house, I seriously doubt I would benefit from the cost, complexity, and added maintenance of a multi zone system.

Since HVAC is defined as H. eating, V. entilation, A. ir C. onditioning, I see controlling HVAC as controlling the devices that heat, cool, and move the air inside my living space, and by extension extract excess humidity as that is a function of AC.

This would ential the thermostat that controls the central heat and AC system, controls for ductwork, and controls for fans including built into the house ceiling fans, box fans, desk fans etc...

I live in coastal Texas, and the houses here are not designed for, or situated to take advantage of natural ventilation. So box fans in bedroom windows is really not a good option for comfort control except for maybe 3 weeks out of the year, and the security risks that poses are not worth it. This isn't 1970, and even 1970 wasn't all that safety wise... Crazies abound, at least the sound of breaking glass gives me a chance to respond..

@csteele you bring up a valid point. I have the dual router config, plus some other access points not mentioned above (Ring Chime Pro) to segment my WiFi, and Wired ethernet networks. I have subnets that can be gotten to via VPN and NAT, and unroutable subnets that are not accessible from the outside world. Why should Zigbee / Zwave be any, or at least all that different.

I am looking at adding 3 more Zwave dimmers, 4 more Zwave power only switches, and removing 16 or so Zigbee smart bulbs. That will leave me with about 42 Zigbee devices, and 20 Zwave devices before extending the function beyond where I am now, just replacing bulbs with switches. A secondary hub configured into the mesh is probably a solid idea. I know with the outbuilding it will be a must do. Distances and materials will cause Zigbee / Zwave interference to get to the hub or a repeater. Probably need another wireless AC router / access point in there as well to cover the cameras...

I do consider it a system, which is also why I am a bit anxious about missing features to the system such as the lack of IP cam support in HE. Or did I miss something? I'd really like to get it squared up where I have one interface to deal with the whole shebang.

For under cabinet lighting, I used Inovelli's Zwave lightstrips. Worked great and was a very simple project. They are discounted right now due to being discontinued, but they are still a great product and will be supported for some time: Red Series Smart LED Strip | Z-Wave | Inovelli

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