Home Automation

MQTT, Home Assistant, Hue emulation working together

A number of years ago I wrote a Hue Bridge Emulator that would let you emulate light bulbs in shell script in such a way that these devices could be controlled by Alexa (and so used in routines and the like). It worked well. But recently Amazon appear to be changing how hue bridges are detected. The big challenge appears to be it wants the server to listen on port 80.

Summary of my current Home Automation Setup

I was asked to describe the stuff I use for my not-so-smart home and how it fits together. This was originally an email, but I figure other people might find it interesting This is as complete as I can think! The goal, where possible, is to have everything under local control and not dependent on the cloud. Setup may require cloud… Lights Philips hue bulbs where possible (including the mirror light)

Making a doorbell semi-smart

If you’re anything like me then you sometimes miss the doorbell ringing. It may be because you’re engrossed in a movie and the doorbell sound doesn’t register. Or you might be (in these COVID times) in a make shift home-office with the door closed and an air-con blasting out. Or you may even be out of home. Can we add some home-automation smarts to a dumb doorbell? How does a doorbell work?

Adding some smarts to a dumb aircon

I have a Friedrich aircon. It’s of the old school. The only intelligent part of it is “eco” mode (turn off the fan when the temperature is cold enough) and a simple timer (“turn on in 9 hours time”). It’s this timer that annoys me; you have to set it every day. A number of days I would go to work, forgetting to set it, and come home to a house in the mid-90F.

Extending automation to the garage

My garage door is controlled my a Lynx 455 Plus garage opener This is a pretty traditional opener; a door-bell type button inside the garage to open/close the door and a remote control for wireless access. I wanted to see if I could make this smart-enabled. Now the control side is simple enough; just put a relay in parallel to the button. If the relay closes then the opener will think the button has been pressed.

Slowly making my home smart

This post isn’t in my normal theme. I’m gonna describe how I made my home smart. Well, semi-smart. Over the past couple of years I’ve slowly been making my house lights be smart. In many places I’ve used Hue White Bulbs. They’re frequently on sale and can be got for around $10/bulb, which isn’t bad. With the hub they can be controlled by Alexa, or locally by using the API exposed on the hub.