I am always trying to think of ways to make my smart home hobby more useful and less irritating to my long suffering wife. To that end I was hoping that folk might share their most successful smart home implementations that have boosted their system's "Wife(/Husband/Partner) Acceptance Factor". I would guess I'm not the only one who might benefit from this!
For me it was to make everything stable, reliable, and not constantly being tinkered with.
Easy answer for me...
“Please excuse me, but, the washing machine has finished it’s cycle”
“I thought you’d like to know: the tumble dryer has finished”
Means she doesn’t have to spend time waiting for the laundry to finish.. she can get on with other things.
And yes, I realise how sexist this is...
Automatic lighting for pantry and closets on opening doors.
Voice controlled pop down TV from ceiling (shown off to friends...)
Simple and reliable seems to be the most appreciated attributes.
Ah yes, a lofty goal indeed. I aspire to that
For me it's mostly about finding ways to create a safer feeling. Having the lights come on before sunset or using @Cobra Contact Check to announce if a door/window is open at night etc or being able to push a button and light up most of the house when a noise is heard (and having the level of brightness be reasonable to a sleepy eye). I found early on that the "Isn't that cool?" gave me an apathetic stare at best and a ..... well, you know.
Washer/dryer notifications and probably her favorite is automatic roller shades. Shades down when we are away or outside lux above a set number.
Alexa controlling lights as well.
WAF is the system just working. Wife rolls her eyes when she has to go hit the light switch. Lol!
Stability is key. When something doesn't work you really will hear about it.
Automation without her having to do anything has been a big hit. Things like:
- Automatically turning on and off lights when entering certain rooms.
- Automatic scene's in the morning/evening and night so nobody has to worry about turning things on/off.
- Automatic thermostat controls, home vs away and even disabling it when a door has been left open.
- We have a lot of skunks and raccoons passing through our backyard and we let our small dog out. I have a bunch of floodlights with motion sensors on them. If any one of them is tripped they all turn on and we know not to let the dog out alone. He got sprayed once a long time ago and this will stop it from happening again.
There is a lot more but I slowly introduced her to one thing at a time. I've done it in a way where it reacts automatically to us so we don't have to do things like arm/disarm the alarm. It knows when we are home/away and does it automatically. This way its not a burden.
I've had great success and even been given suggestions on things she wants to add such as light switches in the bedroom now.
Let's just say our marriage has improved tenfold since I switched from that other hub.
Consistency has been a big hit. Alexa is by far the most used and liked, even though it tends to frustrate on occasion when I can't seem to understand you or claims to not know about a light we've been controlling for two years from the Echo.
The new YRD256 door lock is a huge hit, The rest I honestly don't think she would notice its presence until it was absent. It's just become part of daily life. Fortunately that departure no longer happens thanks to Hubitat.
Smart lock combined with doorbell camera was the big thing at our house. Knowing who's at the door (and who in the house should go answer it! ) never fails to make everybody happy.
Not hearing me "Yell" at everyone else for leaving lights on around the house has been a HUUUUGE PLUS. I have motion sensors and zigbee bulbs in pantries, laundry room, hallways, bedrooms. The teenager's wake up alarm radio is connected to an Inovelli so he has no excuses for forgetting to set it now. Old school
radio tuned to rock cranked up to 100%. When the power to it flips on...HE WAKES UP! Hubitat handles that, as well as when his TV has power. School nights, TV is off at 10PM...and I can check the power meter to make sure he isn't screwing with it. Haaaaaaa! ANDD...I almost forgot...I just hooked the washer to a new Zooz Power Switch and that has been BIGTIME cool for the 'Laundry is Done' Pushover notification. Cool little rule "If power < 1.6 send me a pushover and stop this rule".
One of the first things I did a few years ago was automate our hot water circulation pump. My wife will never take a warmish yet alone cold shower ever and now she can ask Alexa to “turn in hot water” and the shower will be ready when she is.
One of best presents I bought for my wife was a heated mattress pad. It gets the bed warm so she can fall asleep quickly. I automated this too with a relay where she can turn this on from her phone prior to bed.
A bedside button that shuts down the house at night is huge too. Garage closes if open, locks lock if unlocked, and all lights turn off and our bedroom fan turns on. Then in morning button turns certain things back on.
And this! My family is awesome at turning on lights but terrible with off. No more nagging from me because of automation.
I too built out 2 of these switches with the ST_Anything on a couple of ESP-01 SOC's. Have been great!
I'll also say it's about getting things stable. Especially getting rid of false HSM alarms. She's very understanding (probably trained from all the ST outages we dealt with...), but I know there's no fun to be had when you come home from a long day and two sirens just keep going off. Things have been markedly better in that area lately, and adding an iris keypad helped a ton and made it seem more legitimate (even as buggy as the keypad can be).
I also think that finding ways to make automations seamless and as unnoticeable as possible can go quite far, and think it's important to avoid adding automations/rules just because you can. Stick to the areas where your automation can disappear into the background and work for you - that's the point
If I go by my own wife, then nothing you will do or implement to make life easier will get the WAF
I realised a long time ago that she doesn’t like it, but my god do I hear about it the moment that automations don’t work. Some you just can’t win. But yet she loves to tell others about it all lol.
Thia got me thinking about how the kids of tomorrow won't know how to turn off lights. The phrase "were you raised in a barn?!" will now be "were you raised in a smarthome?!"
A good dashboard, so she can see and control all the stuff she cares about (lights, thermostat, weather, cameras), from her personal Fire tablet, from bed, at midnight.
I have some Caseta wall switches which she says she's OK with ... but it seems clear that in her heart of hearts she just wants a normal wall switch. So I think greater happiness is achievable by going down the path of using Aeotec Nanos or similar ... but that'll have to wait for the next house as we're looking to move in the short or medium term.
Robot vaccuums that start when we leave home (the Neato's are still on ST though)
IDlock for the simplicity and feeling of security with auto lock after X minutes.
The rest: meh - she still keeps using wall switches no matter how much i tape them down