Posts

Making ‘dumb’ Dishwashers and Washing Machines Smart: Alerts When the Dishes and Clothes Are Cleaned

Link: Connecting Amazon Dash Buttons to Home Assistant…

How to get dasher up and running and linked with home assistant

Wishing for Jarvis – Thoughts on Home Automation

Welcome to my blog. Though I’ve tried blogging multiple times previously, I recently starting dabbling in home automation and wanted a place to document my thoughts and adventures. Though it is likely that I will be the only one reading this, maybe you can find something useful here.

My current situation

I love technology and always have. I have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Frequently I purchase gadgets and tech toys (to my wife’s dismay) and also dream of having a connected house like Jarvis in the Marvel movies. A few years go I purchased an Amazon Echo and after the initial enjoyment wore off, I was disappointed at its apparent limitations. The Echo quickly became an expensive kitchen timer. Sure I could add thousands of various skills, but I never found the skills that transformed how I interacted with the Echo or my home.

As I learned more about home automation, I was dismayed to learn that there were several competing approaches including Z-wave, ZigBee, Wifi, Homekit. While there are many commercial hubs and control units, each limited you to their ecosystem.

Sometime later, I added an ecobee3 Smart Thermostat and it rekindled my interest in home automation. The smart thermostat saved us a ton on power usage. After adding and configuring room sensors, it kept our home much more comfortable. I connected the Ecobee to my Amazon Echo but rarely used it to configure the thermostat. It was easier to walk a few more steps and adjust the thermostat settings directly. But I realized that the best interface was no interface, that most of the time the Ecobee “just worked” once I described my goals. Read more

Home Automation using BLE Beacons and Happy Bubbles

 

How To: Bluetooth beacons + Home Assistant