Not using the panel for initiating any automation. Look at it more as an info hub.
@bill ...another use case: I primarily use my dashboards for checking the security / status of my home at a glance.
I could tell from across the room that if there's something orange on the dashboard then something was left open or unlocked. And the security camera feeds give me a quick idea of what's going on outside.
In the mornings, I'll frequently take a quick glance at the dashboard as I walk past to get an idea of the weather or time.
And sometimes it's nice to be able to quickly adjust something if the automations aren't quite right. For example, sometimes I'll make a quick tweak to the thermostat or change the mode which triggers a set of automations.
To your point, I have automations that take care of things where they can, but there are cases where being able to see things or quickly take actions on the dashboard is nice.
Wow, why the heck would my comment be flagged and removed?
I honestly think controlling a smart home with a phone or dashboard is a worse user experience than analog switches. It's nearly always faster to flip a wall switch than pull out a phone and browse to the correct screen then hit the right button. Dedicated dashboards have a lot of the same UI drawbacks.
To each his own I guess, but I think its a mistake to give new users the idea that an ozzy style dashboard is the way to go. I don't see why that's worthy of censorship.
I think the issue is that no one is forcing you or others to use dashboards that aren’t interested in doing so.
So why post (repeatedly) in a thread devoted to dashboard use about why dashboards are inferior and unworthy of being used?
Dashboard users will use dashboards in whatever way works for them (us). And everyone can live and let live.
Sure, I suppose.
I've been messing around with automation since... crestron gear was popular 20 years ago, literally the Ozzy days. One of the things that's never seemed to have happened in this space is the adoption of best practices. It's still quite experimental and everyone is doing their own thing their own way.
Ultimately I think that's an impediment to adoption. For your mom to adopt home automation there has to be a defined UI and interface that she can count on to be similar everywhere. The light switch is such an interface, the roll your own panel isn't.
In any event, whatever your position on it is, the way these sorts of best practices are hashed out is by being discussed and debated on forums like this one.
I agree with you it’s absolutely worth being discussed and debated. Want to start a new thread about the pros and cons of dashboard use? Respectfully, if you keep posting in the thread that’s entitled, “show off your dashboards!” it can appear to others that you’re just trolling for an argument rather than a discussion.
So I created a dashboard tile "link" to go to another dashboard. Now how do I rename this tile?
Well... I think I've said all I have to say about it.
I'm not 100% against dashboards. If I had a mud room I'd probably put one in there. As it stands, I may put one in my shop just to keep an eye on things, I just don't think its the best option for controlling the home, more of a fall back.
What kinds of hardware are most people running? How are you powering them?
I bought 3 of the 8" Kindle Fire HD for $50 each and while my initial plan was to mount them on the wall using a recessed power port, when they came out with the Show mode dock I just got 3 of those.
Turns out my wife and kids enjoy using the tablets as recipe displays and calculators when they arent showing house status. My only wish was that they clicked the fully app before putting it back on the docking station. My wife loves the one next to her bed becasue of the weather tiles and the arming of the alarm.
Before switching to Hubitat, I was using Home Remote with SmartThings.
I now have it integrated with Hubitat! That with Google Home support means SmartThings is unplugged!
This is my design, but the dashboard is completely configurable to look however you want. I'm thinking an LCARS design next! You can check out the site for what others have done: http://thehomeremote.com/
With all the software can do, it obviously takes some time to understand the program and get the dashboards the way you want. The developer has been working very hard (and succeeding) at making it more user friendly.
If you are wondering why this sounds like an advertisement - first the developer has been great helping me to get it working with Hubitat, so he deserves some press. But also, I'm hoping to gather some interest from the users here as my coding skills include copy & paste and Google. I have heavily modified the SmartThings interface app, and it is working pretty well. But likely someone who knows what they are doing could do better. Really what the program needs is an API to connect to, versus using the http interface the Hubitat app creates. I'm assuming that won't happen unless there is interest in the product.
I've created another thread on the topic and set up a github in case anyone wants to try it out or improve the code:
To be honest, no one (except me) in my house will even touch a dashboard. I have tablets in every room of the house running Hubitats built in dashboard using Fully. Basically if it can't be done using voice, my wife and daughter will just sit there and deal with it instead of using the touchscreen to 'fix it', lol.
Me, I love dashboards! So much information can be had using them. I would really like to play around with this. Especially since it's in full COLOR. Something that is really lacking in HE.
(BTW, might want to break this out to it's own thread. Probably going to be a lot of questions about this!)
Thanks for the interest! It is an amazing product. I created a new thread. My original post has been edited to include it.
@bill I believe you are correct but many of us, including me, haven't made the jump from how we think about HA. Could you describe some reason or recommend any videos or articles that might produce that ah-ha moment.
I suppose the ah-hah moment for me was a couple of years ago when amazon had the echo dot on sale for $29 and I realized I could have one in every room in lieu of a panel. I also have a 100 year old house, so the panel thing doesn't really fit in well.
What I'm trying to do at my house is that every room has 2 main scenes, an empty scene and an occupied scene. The empty scene might have all lights off, or it could have 1 or more lights on at 15% or so for mood, depending on the room. The occupied scene turns everything on to about 60%.
Any setting that's outside of these ranges "locks" the room at the setting. So if I tell alexa to set the living room at 25%, my automations will stop until I restart them (or actually for 90m, whichever comes first). The idea here is automatic operation, but still with the ability to call out a custom setting via alexa.
I guess I feel like, if I have the ability to program the room what do I need a panel for?
In order of preference I think everything should just work automagically. When you walk in the room, lights! When you leave no lights! Voice control is next easiest. After that, I'll take an old fashioned switch, then a dedicated panel, and finally bringing up the rear are phone apps, which is by far the hardest and most annoying way to turn the damn lights on ever invented. You're literally better off with a bare bulb and a string.
Ah, here's an ah-ha video for you!
That is an interesting way of handling the situation. I'm going to consider if that would work with my implementation. Right now I have a virtual switch for each room that disables the automatic on/off by motion. So if I ask google home to "keep the kitchen lights on", first it turns on the kitchen lights and then it turns on that virtual switch disabling the automation that would turn them back off. But it's not like anyone would know that is the command to use if I didn't tell them. Your method seems much more elegant.
As far as dashboards, I obviously like them as I've posted mine above. But to agree with your point of them being low on the list of preferred control methods - I did have one (old phones on the wall to test them out) in each room - it was overkill and they didn't get used. I found I used the one at the exterior door to check house status before leaving and the one in the master bedroom to check status before going to bed. Also, those are the two places I would pull up the house cameras. I'm not much into talking in the morning (especially not to google) so it is nice to have a button by the door to shut everything down / lock up when I leave. My other dashboard use which google doesn't handle well is to quickly check things like batteries of all the devices or temperatures in each room - but I'm not so lazy that I can't walk to a single house dashboard at the front door to get that information. So I agree that dashboards are a poor method for doing the normal everyday items like lights, and having one in each room is overkill and they likely won't get used. But there are some things it is nice to have a dashboard for - though you probably only need one in the house or possibly one per floor.
This strategy is generally working, but I have a couple of zigbee bulbs that make it difficult. You're depending on the level of at least one device in the room to infer the state of the whole room, and some of these older zigbee bulbs are a bit imprecise. So you tell them to set to 15% and they end up at 13% or 18% which screws up my whole method. In those cases I've had to resort to range comparisons, or use a different device.
Not trying to argue but you are using Alexa as your dashboard and we are using the dashboard as Alexa. Actually I have both and still find both very useful.
Also the whole reason for me to move to HE from ST was that its local based, which ment my entire house wont have a meltdown if i lose internet connectivity.... you see where im going with this? Voice control can, can be amazing, but its simply not reliable. 7" Dashboards on the wall that double up as interactive picture frames (pics of family etc) i find super useful. I have them mounted above my light switches, so not to make it a nuisance of itself.
But the best thing by far is that my lighting, smokes, thermostat, door contacts and locks all continue on and are controlable even when the internet is playing funny buggers.
With the latest update, I cant find the link to create new dashboards anymore, or show the cloud and local links. Anyone know where this has gone? If I click on the Dashboards item, I just see my one existing Dashboard. Cant find anywhere to create a new one, or get the links.