Read the comments in that article, I am impressed that many get it that if you are automating your home why do you need voice, dashboards, or buttons? The dashboards in my home are for convenience and status, buttons form simple things like being a remote light switch. I don't use voice but I do use voice alerts and a alarm device if something catastrophic happens.
I just voice but just for a few things...
When going to bed at night "Alexa, Going to Bed" turns on and off specific lights as I head that way.
When I get into bed "Alexa, good night." Sets night mode and turns off all lights.
In the morning "Alexa, Good Morning" will set my early morning mode and turn on a couple lights. Later when ready to finally hit the shower etc. "Alexa, I'm up." sets my Day mode.
I found that doing modes purely by time just wasn't working for our house and doing the mode via Alexa was easier than needing a button since I can do the command from anywhere in the house.
But it's great to have options!
But I really enjoy yelling at her
It's like therapy.
The only voice-control we really need is for three Third Reality switches in the kitchen which has an open floor plan and high foot traffic that is going to other parts of the house. A motion sensor would go crazy.
I segment HA systems into 3 major streams:
The #1 requested convenience is "voice control". It doesn't matter if it's alexa, google home, or siri, or anything else. "Voice Control" is always requested by clients.
I think its great to have setup for that reason, its convenient when you need it. But ideally you don't need it. I am to the point where I have a couple of buttons that do things and most of the rest just happens. Room without automation people use the wall switches because its faster and more reliable than voice commands. But for example if you are sitting on the couch and want to adjust the lights the voice control comes in handy. Its nice to have a balanced combination of automation, physical switches/buttons, voice control, and dashboard control.
I used to have a Nexia NX1000 15 button remote. My wife and I rarely used it. Google and Echo are used to perform functions not set up in the rules.
For example, I usually take a cat nap after lunch. Google doesn’t recognize my IKEA blinds, so Echo steps up. All I say is “Alexa nap time” and all 4 shades close and all the lights turn off. I have a Sonoff button that raises the blinds to 55% (I have OCDP and this positions the bottom of the blind even with the middle of the window) and also turns off the lights. A double tap closes them.
I like having voice control. We don't rely on it very often, but occasionally it's nice. My evening lighting scene works great 99% of the time, but on a day when you have a headache, I like being able to mumble at my voice assistant to turn off or dim the lights. Same thing with cooking. I don't normally need the range light on, but once in a while when you are elbows deep in Christmas baking it's nice to be able to yell at an assistant to change the lighting.
I use voice (Alexa) many times everyday. Good Morning, Good Night, Movie Time, Nap Time, Warm up my shop, open or close specific or all window shades, are a few that are difficult to automate by time or location. Heat up or heat down if I'm too cold or to warm. Also just nice to be able to turn on or off random lights as needed without getting up or fumbling with my phone.
Options are good in a smart home. I have smart automations for most things including modes. My good morning is triggered when I open my socks drawer or go into my closet or voice. My goodnight routine is time and motion sequences in the bedroom or voice. My evening routine is time or sunset. My away routine is presence or voice. Most lights are Motion but my office is Motion and computer activity, and kitchen sink light is a pressure pad. Everything is voice and everything is on three dashboard panels. No one way works all the time so yelling at Alexa or tapping my watch via HomeBridge or automations or panel are all available. I agree also with the therapy comment!
My wife gets headaches quite often, more so when the sun is shining and the temp is cold. I found this and it does help a lot. Keep it in the fridge inside a ziploc bag or it will absorb odors from the food.
TheraICE Form Fitting Head Gel Ice Cap, Cold Therapy Ice Head Wrap Ice Pack Mask, Cold Cap
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