Our Favorite Smart Home Automations

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Hey there, home tech enthusiasts and curious minds alike! Are you ready to dive into a world where convenience meets cutting-edge technology right at your doorstep? In this post, we’re going to talk about our favorite smart home automations. From the things that we can’t live without to the little luxuries that make our lives easier. These smart home tricks are not just cool; they’re game-changers.

Before we get started:

Before we get started, let’s talk environment. Your smart home hub ( or lack of a hub ) and it’s capabilities will strongly impact what of these automations you can setup. We use Home Assistant here for our heavy lifting ( although we test devices with other hubs too). What smart home devices and sensors you have will also impact what you can do with them. For instance, if you don’t have a sensor to tell if a door is open, you won’t be able to trigger lights on it opening!

The Automation we Couldn’t Live Without

The number one automation that we couldn’t live without is our daily pill reminder. This automation sends us a notification via our smart phone if we forget to take our daily pills. While technically we can live without taking our pills, or the reminder to take them if we forget, this automation can truly be critical for folks who need their pills for more than just quality of life.

How we did it:

This automation was a bit more challenging to setup. We have a simple smart button sitting next to your pills. When we push the button, a value is set in Home Assistant. If this value hasn’t been set before 11 AM, we send out a notification. Then, every night the value is reset to it’s default.

Our Favorite Peace of Mind Automation

Have you ever driven off and left the garage door open? Or maybe you just thought you had left the garage door open, and had to circle back to check. We used to do this one all the time. Leaving the garage door open overnight or coming home to an open garage door – oops. So, we setup a quick reminder to close the garage door if it’s been open too long, as well as the ability to check on the garage door remotely.

How we did it:

To start, we used a door open / close sensor and put it on our garage door. These sensors can be used for more than just a swing in type door, but can also be used for a slide up type door. So we have one side of this sensor on the side of the garage door, and one next to where the garage door rests naturally when it’s closed. We have a pretty simple automation in Home Assistant that sends out a notification to our smart phones and announces through the house if the garage door has been left open for more than 10 minutes. With Home Assistant’s conversation tooling, we also have the ability to ask if the garage door is open, and get a response from anywhere. No more circling back home to check if the door is closed. 🙌

Our Favorite Safety Automation

This automation is great for anyone who has a swimming pool. Have you ever walked into your pool area at night with no lights on? It can be very hard to see, and very easy to trip over something you couldn’t see and fall in the pool. That’s why we love this automation – it turns on our pool light and our patio lights when the pool gate is opened between sunset and sunrise. This means that if we’re checking on the pump at night, or the pool person happens to come by when it’s dark, everyone is able to see what they are doing easily.

How we did it:

This one took a door open / close sensor as well as a smart light switch and an outdoor smart plug. To start, we hooked our pool light up to a smart light switch, allowing us to turn it on from everywhere, not just from the pump panel. This alone was a huge win, since our pump panel has a ton of rocks next to it. Not the most pleasant place to go walking in the dark. We also setup some of the LED Patio String lights to an outdoor smart plug. Next up was setting up the door open / close sensor on our pool gate. Finally, with all of these parts in place we just setup a simple automation: if the pool gate opened after sunset but before sunrise, turn on the pool and patio lights. Then turn off the pool lights 15 minutes after the gate closes. This allows us to keep the gate open to keep the lights on, and turns the lights off automatically if we forget.


What are smart home automations?

Smart home automations are like having a personal assistant for your house, making life easier and more efficient. Essentially, these are tasks your home can do on its own by using technology. You can program your lights to turn on at sunset or your thermostat to adjust based on the time of day. With smart home devices connected through the internet, you can control them using your smartphone, tablet, or voice commands. Not only do these automations add convenience, but they can also help save energy and keep your home safe by, for example, automatically locking doors at night.

How do smart home automations work?

Smart home automations work by connecting devices to a common network that can be controlled and coordinated through various means, such as voice, mobile devices, or even AI. Essentially, these smart devices are designed to communicate with each other, creating a seamless and interactive ecosystem within your home. For example, a smart thermostat can adjust the temperature based on your habits and preferences, while smart lights can turn on or off as you enter or leave a room. You can even set up routines or scenarios where multiple actions happen with a single command—like a “Good Night” routine that locks your doors, dims the lights, and lowers the thermostat. All of this is made possible through the internet, which allows these devices to receive commands and send notifications to your phone or smart speaker, keeping your home at the peak of comfort and convenience.

In Summary

And there you have it, folks—our top picks for smart home automations that are sure to make your life more convenient, secure, and just plain cool. Whether you’re all about that hands-free control with voice-activated systems, keen on saving energy with smart thermostats, or you love the peace of mind that comes with automated security cameras, there’s an automation out there for everyone. The beauty of these high-tech helpers is that they can be personalized to fit your unique lifestyle. So go ahead, embrace the smart home revolution and transform your home.

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