Home Automation Setup at the Condo: Part 2

So we setup our lighting system with switches and motion sensors, what can we do to kick it up to the next level?

Logitech Harmony

Scott and I use Logitech Harmony remotes for our home entertainment system.  So it made sense to upgrade to a Logitech Harmony Elite, which, by the way, is way cheaper to purchase in the United States (US$299) after exchange versus Canada (CAD$499!).

With the Elite you can

  • obviously control all your entertainment devices
  • you can control all the lights in your home, if you wanted
  • you can tell the system to select a particular scene when you select an activity, such as automatically dim the lights when you select “Play Movie”
  • it can connect to your Nest Protect alarms and provide you with details as to the status of each of your smoke/CO2 detectors
  • you can also control smart plugs, and even control the thermostat if you wanted
  • you can use the included remote or use your mobile device – phone or tablet, as a remote

So quite a neat system for home automation

 

August SmartLock

I always said we would never do this, but we are considering getting an August Smartlock for the system.  Why?  Geofencing is cool.  When you arrive at home, the doors automatically unlock, when you leave they lock.  Hands free!

On top of that, if we forget to lock the door, we can do it remotely; AND we can do it from our couch!  Okay, that last bit may be laziness, but Scott and I both check and make sure the door is locked.

But wait, there’s more

  • Lock the door from the Harmony remote… Check
  • Turn on of lights when you unlock the door… Check
  • Turn off lights when you lock the door… Check
  • Unlock the doors automatically if there’s a fire or CO2 emergency… Not quite, through IFTTT, yet, but know it could be done, possibly with a Wink Hub 2 and a shortcut.

Ring Door Bell

We wouldn’t really need a doorbell, but hey, I admit, I don’t like answering the door if I’m not expecting someone, so why not add a doorbell with a video camera?

Not only does it track motion, it can also track when rings happen, log to a Google Spreadsheet, flash the lights (useful for those hearing impaired), among other things.

It can also do things like, mute the music if there’s a ring at the door.

Kind of cool, eh?

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