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Thread: Smart Home Automation

  1. #1
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Smart Home Automation

    I want to gradually automate my home over the next year or two and am curious if anyone here has done so and what your experience has been. I just started learning how it all works so I'm pretty uneducated so I want to make sure I don't do anything that will make it harder in the future.

    I installed a Nest thermostat recently and have an ADT Pulse security system. I'm planning on adding a doorbell cam soon (I may be stuck with the Ring 2 as my current doorbell is perpendicular to the walkway and moving the wires will be more trouble than it's worth so I need a battery operated one).

    I plan to do smart lighting soon as well, but will also likely add an indoor and outdoor cam (Nest most likely), and who knows what else.

    What are everyone's thoughts on Z-wave vs Zigbee, getting a central hub for everything and which one to get, etc.... Basically, anyone's experience or expertise will be appreciated.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  3. #2
    A Pleasure to Burn Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I'll be curious to hear these answers as well, it's on my to do list.

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  4. #3
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    We had a small thread about this earlier.

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...mart-home-quot

    Doesn't seem like we are bleeding edge around here. I have wifi thermostat, and robo-vacuum, have thought about wifi sprinklers and a Ring Type Doorbell but haven't moved on them. Most of the time I think these things are solutions in search of a problem.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  5. #4
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    Most of the time I think these things are solutions in search of a problem.
    Perhaps, but I'm mostly looking for security, lighting, and thermostat. The Nest thermostat is awesome and will pay for itself. With the way we manage the temp in our house, it makes things SO much easier. And I also think there's some real practical convenience to having smart lighting (e.g. having the lights come on gradually in the morning when the alarm goes off. I've been looking at those wake up lamps for years now). It's a convenience thing for me.

    That and I've had an issue with a stalker the past 4 years, which is an incredibly scary thing to live with, especially with kids in the house. We just bought a house this summer and security is a priority for us.

    But that's all I ever plan to use to it for. I would like the ability to expand it in the future though if something else comes along that piques my interest.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  6. #5
    Member Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I'd love to have a cam on my driveway in the back, but when looking into it in the past I have come up against the following, either:

    - The camera isn't great outdoors in the elements
    - The camera requires ongoing monthly payments, and I don't value it that highly

    When I looked, if I found a camera that satisfied one it would fail on the other, so I let it drop.
    “When I use a word,” Trumpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Trumpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  7. #6
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I have the thermostat, security (AT&T) and sprinklers (B-hyve). My central control is the phone. The thermostat is an Emerson, which I bought on a recommendation by someone here at Redzone. It works fine and wasn't expensive.
    I spent too much on the security system and continue to do so. Didn't put in cameras because of the monthly charge (I hate that also, Redsfaithful). Don't recommend AT&T. Expensive and not feature-rich. Everything costs a lot extra.
    The sprinkler system were inexpensive ($100) and has paid for itself with my water bill going lower (skip watering when rain is sufficient).

    I'd love to tie everything in with a Google Home or Alexa and yes a camera on the front door porch to see who's there and make sure they're not stealing my packages. Maybe turn on/off the tv with voice commands (and get my shows with the Firestick/hulu or something).

    Would like to be more efficient with lights, but I'm not sure its worth the trouble/cost.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  8. #7
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    I have the thermostat, security (AT&T) and sprinklers (B-hyve). My central control is the phone. The thermostat is an Emerson, which I bought on a recommendation by someone here at Redzone. It works fine and wasn't expensive.
    I spent too much on the security system and continue to do so. Didn't put in cameras because of the monthly charge (I hate that also, Redsfaithful). Don't recommend AT&T. Expensive and not feature-rich. Everything costs a lot extra.
    The sprinkler system were inexpensive ($100) and has paid for itself with my water bill going lower (skip watering when rain is sufficient).

    I'd love to tie everything in with a Google Home or Alexa and yes a camera on the front door porch to see who's there and make sure they're not stealing my packages. Maybe turn on/off the tv with voice commands (and get my shows with the Firestick/hulu or something).

    Would like to be more efficient with lights, but I'm not sure its worth the trouble/cost.
    That thermostat recommendation was me. I want full credit!! They have a new one now that is (I think) functionally the same, but prettier.

    https://sensicomfort.com/shop/produc...uch-thermostat

    Tell me more about your sprinkler because that's something I've been considering.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  9. #8
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    I have the thermostat, security (AT&T) and sprinklers (B-hyve). My central control is the phone. The thermostat is an Emerson, which I bought on a recommendation by someone here at Redzone. It works fine and wasn't expensive.
    I spent too much on the security system and continue to do so. Didn't put in cameras because of the monthly charge (I hate that also, Redsfaithful). Don't recommend AT&T. Expensive and not feature-rich. Everything costs a lot extra.
    The sprinkler system were inexpensive ($100) and has paid for itself with my water bill going lower (skip watering when rain is sufficient).

    I'd love to tie everything in with a Google Home or Alexa and yes a camera on the front door porch to see who's there and make sure they're not stealing my packages. Maybe turn on/off the tv with voice commands (and get my shows with the Firestick/hulu or something).

    Would like to be more efficient with lights, but I'm not sure its worth the trouble/cost.
    We had an AT&T security system equipment in the house when we got here, but after having someone come to the house and do a consultation and reading reviews, we decided AT&T was not the answer. I had another consult from a local company and was surprised there was no real benefit going with them over ADT. I had buyer's remorse the day after ADT was installed, but not enough to go through the hassle of having them come out and uninstall everything. I really knew nothing about the systems and got really confused in their process. By the time I realized everything that was going on the system was pretty much installed and I it was my 3rd attempt so I just let it go. In hindsight, I would have just done Frontpoint or Simplisafe and done it myself.

    I'm curious on the sprinkler system, too. We have one now on timers, but I never change it, so I'm sure I'm wasting water.

    We have a pool in the back, so a camera back there is something we'd like to add at some point. That's down the road so I'll have to do some research on the reliability and cost then.

    As for lighting being worth it, I doubt we'll do more than the living room and master bedroom, and maybe the front porch light. We do a lot of traveling and it will be nice to be able to control the lights from our phone rather than leave one on the entire time. We also won't have to leave one on all day in the winter because we don't get home until after it's dark and we don't want the dog to be in the dark.

    But I also like the idea of having the front porch light turn on automatically when someone comes to the door after it's dark.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  10. #9
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I've long wanted to automate my home with things that are controllable via smartphone. I love the idea, especially, of being able to control things like lights remotely when you are away from home (to keep it from looking like the house is unoccupied) and to have smart routines set. Also would love to consolidate a lot of "things" (ceiling fan remotes, garage door openers, etc.) onto one device that I carry with me wherever I go.

    For me, the problem is simply cost. I have less than zero understanding of home electric stuff and am not even remotely "handy" when it comes to doing things around the home. I'm intimidated as hell by any home project that involves wiring things -- probably due to knowing friends who have tried to DIY stuff and ended up screwing things up badly. I've priced out getting an electrician to come install things and it's absolute insanity how much the cost is -- I was quoted a price north of $400, plus the cost of the Nest itself, by two electricians.

    For me, all this stuff is less "solution searching for a problem" and more "if I were building a home from scratch I'd absolutely do it, but going aftermarket seems like a money pit."
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  11. #10
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    CE, trust me, you could easily install the Nest by yourself. It’s incredibly simple.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  12. #11
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    Inspired by this thread, I did some investigating and will order an Echo Dot. Only $29 right now on Amazon.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  13. #12
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    Sprinkler thingy:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Orbit-B-...7946/206638404

    My neighbor installed this himself. I had a handyman do it for $100. Basically it takes the place of the timer. If you don't have separate tubes for each watering zone (I don't), you can set it up to water two, three or four times the same day (with intervals, so it 'switches' zones) and it will do the zones in sequence. You control it with a app from the phone.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

  14. #13
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    When my sprinkler repair guy was here he said the automated ones are like pizza. Even the bad ones are good. Call me shallow, but I wanted a prettier unit. I bought the Netro

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    And 1 Amazon Echo dot.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

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    oneupper (12-30-2017)

  16. #14
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I'm sitting here looking at the box for sprinkler control. Haven't opened it yet. Have played with the Amazon Echo thing a touch. Just a touch. Have asked it a few questions. First time I told it "Thank You" I expected to hear "Your Welcome". Instead I got "My pleasure".

    Told my wife, she tried it and she got "you bet!"

    So they have a bit of whimsy about them.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  17. #15
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Smart Home Automation

    I was able to connect my Alexa device to my Sensi Thermostat ao we can control the temp by voice. Setup was easy, basically has a wizard to lead you thru it. Once it was set up it didn't work until I restarted my phone. (a lot of things are set up on your phone)
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

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    Joseph (01-15-2018)


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