What’s the best automation you find the most useful

I also have this same thermostat announcement enabled (for coincidentally 5 mins as well). I also have a rule set up that turns off my Ecobee thermostats when a door or window is left open but also automatically resumes the Auto mode when the door or window is closed. In tracking therms from the comparable periods in the previous year, this seems to have saved about 20% on energy use. Unfortunately, the decrease in energy usage does not necessarily translate to decrease in energy costs here in the Peoples Republic of California, lol. Same with water usage. . .it was explained that since we were saving water and using less, the utility had to charge us more to make up the difference to maintain the infrastructure :man_facepalming: :man_facepalming:

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Mine calls everyone rat bastards...Then gets passive agressive

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Sharing a proud high WAF automation we did this week.

Context: I have very young kids, and they have started to silently exit their room after we put them down. We caught our son sitting silently on the stairwell watching the TV we were watching which isn't age appropriote. We lucked out that for those 5 min nothing truly horrible happened beyond bad language.

Solution:
I installed a contact sensor on their door. I now have a RM rule that when their door opens when we are in "Kids sleep mode" which is 7:30-10:30pm, the downstairs light will slightly turn on then dim back off (like a soft-flash), and if the TV is playing, pauses the show we are watching thanks to the awesome Roku integration.

Last night it worked perfectly, caught both our kids at different times tiptoeing out of their rooms to spy on mom and dad, warned us via our phones and the light (I saw my phone, the wife saw the lights first), and our show paused automatically.

The WAF was stellar when she saw the auto-pause. Love it.

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That is a very cool automation, thanks for sharing. Doesn't work so well with teenagers. I do have a motion sensor on our stairs that sends me email alerts after 11:30 so I can follow up on whatever adventures / fridge raid occurred in the morning.

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Agreed., With teenagers I'm also less worried about the content of the shows we watch. But for my super young kids, I don't need them to see some of the stuff we watch.

Maybe more future-proofing-for-teen-raidings, I have new contact sensors on my bar where we have our various bottles on display, so I also get alerted if they are opened.

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That too is a good idea.. I'm still in the "my kid would never do anything like that" stage of denial.

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Yeah I have a 4 year old shitling like that. I put a contact on his door and use push over with a specific sound for the [M] tag. So when it's between 8:30 and sunrise, it will say, "child's name escaping! Release the hounds!" The sound triggers my german shepherd and he chases the kid down and pins him. This has the benefit of getting my other dog excited and chasing him down too...So I've managed to incorporate my dogs into our home automation.

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social service will probably be giving you a call adfter that post lol.

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Not sure if it's illegal for your pooches to lick your kid to death LOL

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Love the list. Do you like the Flume? I am considering it.

Absolutely love it! Would buy it again in a heartbeat. Especially for when we're away from the house, it's a great way to catch a problem early. And even when we're home, it helped us discover a slow leak that we would likely never have found.

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I love all of these automation tips. BUT, I work random, rotating, day-night shifts every month. So, most "routine" automations do not work for me. My schedule nearly doubles the RM, webcore programming that I have to do to automatically adjust for such a variable schedule. It is a struggle to keep the WAF high.

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Flume is great, but I was lucky to get mine at a good time... It was right before they started charging for some additional metrics, so I was grandfathered into that program for free. Then they started using a proprietary battery back that isn't friendly to DIY, so that is an additional occasional expense.

I haven't checked details in a while, but I believe the addtional metrics are a one-time payment kinda thing (which I'd much prefer over an ongoing subscription), so I at least give them credit for that.

I'm sure there are workarounds to the battery pack thing -- either hacking theirs or finding a more friendly equivalent on Amazon or Alibaba rtc -- I've just never looked in to it. With the older style battery pack, I was able to use a battery conversion kit so that mine's always on mains power.

The unit itself works very well -- I use to check if we have any water usage while away -- there shouldn't ever be any, so if it happened, it'd be a leak. I know it works because we left our rarely-used fridge ice-maker on once, and Flume caught that quick refill - just 0.02 gallons.

@tomw has a great community integration for Flume - works a treat!

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Yeah, that would be a problem...my wife has very low tolerance for any automations that don't work just as she wants them to, every time, no matter what.

In our case, we've fallen back to Lutron Pico remotes for a lot of things, which allow her more control over what happens when. We have them literally in every room of the house, and in some cases multiple Picos (she has three at her desk in the office to control lighting, the ceiling fan, and the blinds!) That would drive me mad, but she loves it.

So maybe see if she would be happier w/some "manual automations" where a button on a Pico or other button device can make the magic happen in a way that is under her control and not happening out of sync w/work schedules.

You may be already doing this, but you could also use hub variables related to presence, and/or virtual and real switches/buttons to adjust your automations to match up w/your changing schedule. Risk of that of course is you forget to hit the "I'm at work" button, or your presence automations don't work consistently.

Oh! Forgot - there is a community GCal integration that you could leverage to automatically adjust your automations, if you have your work schedule in Google Calendar...that could be a useful rabbit hole for you to go down.

I feel your WAF pain... :wink:

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Oh how true!

I haven't really considered the Pico option. But certainly would be worth a try. I tried the presence pathway....I only use Android. She ONLY uses iPhone. Presence was so inconsistent that it made things worse.

Already doing quite a bit of this. I do use the Google Calendar app for many things. Great addition to my situation. Debugging all of this is often the nightmare. Especially with a wife who considers all of this HE stuff a waste of time and money.

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We have all been there... {group hug}

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I see a support group meeting happening soon... :wink:

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I have a ton of useful ones. One of my current favorites isn't a hubitat automation. Instead, it is built around ESP32 based presence detection. Basically, with a combination of my phone, a bunch of ESP32's spread around my house, Home-Assistant, and Node-Red I can solve the following problem.

I work from home. I start my day roughly around 7AM. I don't punch a timeclock so if it is 6:50 or 7:15 it doesn't really matter. Most days I wake up around 6:30 without an alarm clock. Every so often I'll sleep later. I don't know in advance when I'll sleep later, so a standard M-F alarm clock doesn't work for me. Well, it would work, but on the days I got up early, the alarm would go off in the bedroom until my wife got up from her office and turned it off. (I work in the basement and would never hear it).

So - I wanted an alarm clock that could do the following:

  • Wake me up at 7am only I sleep late
  • Never go off if I get up on my own.
  • Allows me to account for holidays/vacations/sick days - I wouldn't want it going off at 7am if it was a work holiday.

So since I know at all times where my phone is (thanks to the bluetooth ESP32 presence detection) I can set up the following logic in Node-Red:

Run at 6:59AM every M-F ---> if phone's location = master bedroom, set an alexa alarm for 7:00am. at 8am, turn the alarm's status to disabled to prevent it from automatically triggering the next day.

In addition I have a home-assistant pop up that triggers when I plug my phone in at night (and I'm in the master bedroom) that allows me to trigger a one-day pause on that automation. So if there is a Monday holiday, I can hit the pop up to disable it so we don't get woken up at 7am.

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I've done something similar, but using Tasker (Android specific). When I wake up and manually set the mode to "Day" (using a Samsung / Aeotec button), HE sends a command to my phone to cancel my work alarm, that is, an alarm on my phone with a label "work". The command is sent as an HTTP Get from an RM rule, picked up by the AutoRemote Tasker plugin, triggering a Tasker profile to dismiss the alarm.

That's a nice solution to the problem!

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Download the Hubitat app