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Ten innovative home automation concepts + Installation

This blog post by AICoreSpot will assist you in setting up some basic automations. A few of the automations can be put up with a simplistic Alexa Routine.  

Wake up shades 

To start with, an automation props up the shade to 15% open. This serves dual objectives: one to begin waking you up for the day and the other deals with when you pick your phone up. To do this initial portion, you could just establish an automation to execute everyday/weekday in the mornings. Lutron Serena shades gets our recommendation as you could go about automating it with an Alexa Routine if you wished for this. 

If you wish to go a little more sophisticated, you could leverage a Google calendar event to prop up those shades. A lot of people do that as it simpler to adjust with their schedules. In order to go about triggering an automation when your smartphone connects or disconnects from the charger, there are a few things you can do. If you’re utilizing an iPhone the iOS shortcuts application from Apple renders it really simple. If you’re utilizing Android there are some good choices there as well. This includes Tasker which you can leverage in your smart home setup leveraging the SharpTools plugin. 

With an iPhone, this is how to install the automation. Within the shortcuts application, scroll to “Automation” at the end, click on the + button on the top right, opt for “Create Personal Automation” move down and choose “Charger” at the bottom. Opt for “Is Disconnected” if you are triggering an automation right as you’re taking your phone off of its wireless charger.  

The My Shortcuts application refers to a Home Assistant as automation, but you could simply call a HomeKit automation instead. 

For Home Assistant all you have to do is trigger an event within the Shortcuts app. Then develop an automation within Home Assistant with that same event name for the trigger. 

As you don’t want the automation to be triggered each time your phone exits the charger, we have to set up a few stipulations. To start with, it has to be in the morning and the shades only have to be part opened. This happens only once in a day as once the automation executes, the shades open all the way. Then music begins to play, the volume goes up, and the ceiling fan switches itself on. 

Over creating several iOS shortcut automations for each phone charging situation, just make two. One for when your smartphone begins charging and one for when its done. Have them toggling a digital switch on or off within Home Assistant in order to stay on top of your phone charging. That will save you time in making reduced number of iOS shortcuts. 

To make a virtual switch or input Boolean within Home Assistant, traverse to “Configuration” -> “Helpers” -> “+ HELPER” and opt for “Toggle” 

The Home Assistant iOS application has this feature baked in when the smartphone is charging, but it is not as quick or dependable as leveraging the shortcuts application. 

Bathroom motion lights 

With regards to the bathroom’s motion sensor setup, leveraging some smart light switches and a motion sensor is ideal. 

You could leverage an Echo Flex with a motion sensor, but if you desire for extra sensor options for subsequent automations, Aeotec’s offering has light and humidity-level sensors bake in and can take power inputs. 

There are several automations and they are all very easy. One switches on the lights from motion to differing brightness levels dependent on the time of day outside. You could set up the lights to dim late at night for some ambient lighting, which is always good. 

If you are leveraging something like Alexa Routines you be required to create several routines for this to function. One for when it’s light out and one for when the sun sets. 

If you are leveraging something like webCoRE in SmartThings or Home Assistant you can include a stipulation in the action field of the automation. This will assist in retaining everything in a single automation so it has increased organization. 

Following this, if the motion sensor does not identify motion for two minutes it switches off the lighting, but only if the vent smart switch is switched off. Essentially if nobody is taking a shower. 

There is another automation to switch on the vents when the shower light switch is switched on. That way the vent doesn’t inadvertently get let off during showering. This literally switches on the shower light if the vent is switched on or turns on the vent if the shower light is switched on. As there are two triggers, it will leverage either one. 

Additionally, if the vent is left switched on for 2 hours, then it will switch off all of the lights as a failsafe. 

NFC tag playlist 

Everybody loves music in the shower. You could opt for a pretty simplistic setup with the NFC Tag. The NFC tag is interpreted by your smartphone leveraging the iOS shortcuts application and goes about triggering a Home Assistant automation. Much like the wake up routine we specified prior. The automation functions on Amazon Routine that merely shuffles up a playlist on Spotify. Leveraging Alexa Media Player within Home Assistant to go about triggering this Amazon Routine functions really well. 

Calendar Busy Light 

If you are leveraging something like Alexa Routines, you may wish to just leverage a button press. As the only method we know to get Google Calendar to function with smart homes is by leveraging Home Assistant.  

In order to go about connecting your Google Calendar to Home Assistant takes minimal steps, but after its set up it’s really simple after that.  

Within the Google Calendar yaml file, you are only required to add a few things. Whatever it’s going to be referred to as, and you can call it whatever you desire. Then what it will be looking for in the calendar event title. 

For instance, any calendar event with the phrase “meeting” will have this virtual device switch on in that time. 

An automation was developed with the “State” as the trigger and the entity is calendar.meeting. You could leverage any smart bulb, such as a Sengled RGB Bulb and set it up to turn red whenever you’re busy. Then you could create an additional automation to switch off the lights when the meeting event is finished. 

There’s a ton you can do with this calendar integration, and its totally worth the starting effort to install it. 

Smart lights power outage fix 

Making your smart lights switch off following the power going out and coming back on is dodgy. You cannot just merely create an automation that switches a light off if it switches on in the dead of the night. The reason is that when the power switches back on, the smart home hub is still doing its initiation sequence, but the smart light bulb is already switched on. Therefore, this is what you have to carry out. 

Make an automation that executes every few minutes. You could set it up to execute every five minutes leveraging the time pattern within Home Assistant. It only performs this at night-time, and if one of your LIFX lights are switched on then you could merely turn off all the smart light bulbs.  

This is not an ideal solution, but it’s a decent fix-me-up for lights that don’t possess power on state. 

If you are leveraging something like Alexa Routines and there is no option like this unluckily.  

Play music everywhere notification 

Notifications are a brilliant way to help you in your smart home. Leveraging Home Assistant you can include buttons to execute an automation directly from the notification which is very comfortable. 

If you wished to leverage an Alexa Routine, you could still make something beneficial. Make two routines. One of them should be on a schedule that delivers to your phone a notification. Setup the notification to tell you a voice command for the subsequent routine. Have the second routine as a voice command get triggered and play music everywhere. This way it’s simple to recall what to say. 

There’s one action with regards to the notification but you require the iOS or Android Home Assistant application setup on your smartphone for this to function. The message and title can be as you desire. After this, the data section is critical. The “action” will be anything unique you require to reference later on and the “title” is just what the button will be referred to. 

You can then make another automation that is setup to trigger when you touch the button from the notification. The trigger for the automation is an event with “ios.notification_action_fired” as the event variant. Then in the data you require the “actionName” with the one-of-a-kind name we authored in the prior automation. Ensure that they are identical. 

Following this, it merely plays a Spotify playlist everywhere for all the speakers. You could leverage the Alexa Media Player to call an Alexa Routine to play everywhere. The Content ID is the name of the Alexa Routine and you can view it in the Alexa Routine screen. 

Reminders to empty the vacuum 

You could also prop up a notification light to tell us to empty the robot vacuum’s bin. As there exists an automation we set up to begin the vacuum when nobody is present, we just switched on a light when the automation executes.  

If you are leveraging an Alexa routine, you can go about triggering a routine when you exit. For the actions you could begin the robot vacuum and switch on the light. You could also go about triggering the Alexa routine with a virtual switch leveraging SmartThings. That will enable you to begin the vacuum when several people are away. As an Alexa routine can only be triggered when one device exits.  

You could leverage the WiFi connected to the phones in your house as presence sensors. You could leverage a Unifi system which features good integration into Home Assistant to let you know when gadgets are connected to your WiFi. You could also leverage Ping if you cannot get your router connected with the Home Assistant.  

You could leverage an Amazon routine to start the vacuum. Then all you have to do is switch on the Homeseer light baked into the motion sensor. You can also alter the colours. 

Following this you can merely press the IKEA button to switch off the light. The button is connected via SmartThings and it functions well with Home Assistant. There are five data values you require and you obtain them by navigating to the developer tools, Events, and listen to “smartthings.button”. Press the IKEA button and you obtain all of those five data values. Leverage them as a trigger for your automation. 

Thermostat Visitor Mode 

To be aware if a guest is making a visit, you could just toggle a virtual switch input. You can do that with the application, or an IKEA button as we just prior demonstrated how to have installed, or leveraging a calendar event. If you wish to know how to set up the calendar, look at the Meeting Calendar Event Section.  

You could leverage Ecobee thermostats, and make another comfort setting for visitors. You could then create an automation that goes about getting triggered whenever that virtual input switch for visitors gets switched on. That automation alters the thermostat preset to the visitor comfort setting. 

Tablet Theatre Control 

For your tablet remote, you could create buttons which manage the differing lights in the room leveraging Amazon routines. If you want to get something connected, like your Amazon Fire Stick to Home Assistant, you are required to add only a few lines to the config file. You could then go about triggering an automation when you pause or play something on it, and you can switch the lights on or off.  

Trail of lights follows me 

For the final one we are leveraging a combination of phone, lights, and sensors. You can perform this in various differing ways. 

To start with, your phone switches on the lamp when it’s picked up off the wireless charger. You could leverage the iOS shortcuts to go about triggering that, which was specified in the first automation.  

You could have the next automation be triggered when the contact sensor on your bedroom door opens. You could configure your light just outside the door to switch on and your bed lamp to switch off. You could then just set it up in a way that the lights turn on down in the hall and the lights outside your door switch off. 

To figure out the delays in switching on and off the lights, you could just execute the automation and take a stroll down the hall to see if it was too quick or too slow. Then when the light switch is switched off in the night, another automation is triggered to leverage the same delay in switching the lights on and off going back to bed. 

When the bedroom door shuts, the light outside the bedroom door switches off from the contact sensor and the bed lamp switches itself on. Then you could have it configured in such a way that the lamp turns off when your phone goes back to the charger. 

You could leverage a virtual input switch to only execute this, but you technically don’t require that. You could also achieve this through Amazon routines. Just include a “wait” in between switching the lights on and off. The minimum time is restricted to five seconds so you will have to find a work around for that. 

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