What Did / Do You Find Hard About Home Automation?

Pretty simple proposition.... But can result in a wide range of answers, I expect....

My summation would be that many of us come to HA with a useful professional background, such as IT, Electrical or manufacturing related professions (me included), looking to apply similar concepts our their home, so the sticking points can often be more technical in nature. Some people are coming to Hubitat very much as commercial users, with little IT experience, let alone knowledge of mesh networks or even IF-THEN-ELSE logic.

Perhaps I've gone some way to answering my own question, who knows....

Switching platforms because the platform I was using shut down (Lowe's Iris) and losing functionality I had previously (cameras).

Thanks to a lot of hard work by the Hubitat crew, most of my Iris V1 devices work. My Iris V2 devices work well. My Iris cameras (V1 or V2) do not work. I can't even link the motion sensor in them to at least use that function. I ended up setting up the Motion application on Linux to record to a hard drive. However, that does not give me the ability to view remotely. I can do that with the VPN I set up with my router, but it is far from intuitive.

I don't have the extensive background of some, but just using motion sensors and contact sensors to set up the HSM along with Iris smart fobs (or Iris V1 keyfobs) to arm and disarm via presence was not too difficult. Setting up rules, OTOH, was more of a learning experience for me.

For me it is understanding the logic. When I came to HE I noticed the logic used is just not the typical flow that my brain uses many times. Trying to figure out what things mean is still my biggest problem. I think it stems from exhaustion of trying new things, laziness, and lack of any sort of programming knowledge. Terms are thrown around all the time that mean absolutely nothing to me.


For me HA was in general an easy concept and one that I wanted. It wasn't until Hubitat that I realized how expansive it could be. I mean I didn't even know what I wanted until I saw it was available to me. That said, even with my background of being a network engineer for 35+ years running everything from token ring to 10base 2 to ethernet ip and so many os's from system 360 to dos to os/2 to unix to windows and linux.... I still have a hard time wrapping my head around RM even though it's simply if/then/else. This is my biggest obstacle.


That's certainly what I think of as the most common stumbling block.... Logic.... Although it is inherent in the way all of us function in many circumstances, is not a natural concept for many when consciously thinking about a problem or situation. While it may be natural for people to look at the weather and decide what to wear or whether to take an umbrella, to express that in a precise format that a rules engine can understand can seem unnatural.


For me the tech was easy, what wasn't easy initially was changing my thought process to begin thinking of how to automate things.
Being so used to a stupid home, it took some time to get past that and apply the tech to solving problems.
My first breakthrough in this regard was thinking in terms of what do I do all the time that I shouldn't have to...


That's certainly what my motivation is for creating topics like this. It's one thing to post about something cool I have setup, or a problem I may be having, but opening up conversation on a topic can sometimes prompt people to exchange ideas on how they have automated a part of their life that others have not thought about before.

1 Like

Same here. All my program languages are obsolete but I can still manage to cobble together a little code in js or even drivers but RM just throws me off. My network is pretty much built other than when @aaiyar pushes me down another rabbit hole (ecowitt here tomorrow), so I decided to stay with RM4.


Look forward to seeing you in the EcoWitt "rabbit hole"... :slight_smile:


The tech was easy. The hard thing for me to learn was to listen to what my wife wanted and not to try and over automate everything. I have some rooms where the lighting is controlled by motion sensors or door contacts, and they work fine, but I have some rooms where my wife wants to use the dumb switch on the wall. She is no dummy (after all she married me :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:) but like many things it was a compromise and I needed to learn to live with it.


Glad to see you have successfully setup your cameras @rlithgow1... Well "glad" might be a stretch.... :wink: Now Google will have that in my history.... (I am also lazy....)


That's where I was going with the RM thread I started up. I was hoping to stir some conversations about how to accomplish different things with RM and maybe expose some of the genius ideas that people have come up with.

On topic, my biggest/hardest part is being forward thinking. I started with just automating lighting in bathrooms, so I just bought motion sensors. That, before long, turned into wanting to automate the exhaust fans, so I ended up buying separate humidity sensors. Going back to the start, I should have just bought a 4-in-1 for each bathroom.

The other hard part is just being creative enough to figure out how to do something. Like right now, I'm trying to figure out how to tell HE that my wife and I are in bed. I've seen pressure sensors being used, but having something directly under the sheets in a non-started. I have three 50 lbs dogs, so I'd also need to figure out how to keep false-positives from occurring. I thought to use an Android app called Automate and have a flow in there to hit an endpoint in RM. But, the start of that flow would be to check for the phone being on a wireless charger. Problem there is that I have nothing but wireless chargers around the house. We also don't have a really consistent time that we hit the sack. So, even constraining the rule to a timeframe could have it getting triggered while staying up late playing video games.

1 Like

For that exact reason I use a Samsung / Aeotec button predominantly to switch modes


Is it sad that I don't even want to have to press a button? :smiley:

Only because it would be a simple option.... But don't let that stop you from looking for an alternative...

I'm trying to do something similar. Assuming you and your wife go to bed at the same time, a combination of

  1. No motion in living areas
  2. Recent motion in bedroom
  3. Phone on wireless charger

Could work?

On the original topic, my answer is simple....cost.

I have lots of ideas and lots of plans. I'm not sure if technically I'll be able to achieve what i want to do when i try it, but primarily, funding is the main stumbling block :joy:

1 Like

Trying to figure out the mystery that are the Z-Wave mesh routing rules and signal propagation... dark magic! :mage:

I.O.W. - How to build a large robust setup for your location and actually have all aspects working as expected.

You really have to do it a couple of times (trial and error!) before you get a good sense of what you need to do..

1 Like

Not to get off topic, but you can use these cameras with Blue Iris. In BI you can also set these cameras to trigger a virtual motion sensor in Hubitat via MakerAPI.