Home Assistant Z-Wave Tips and Trick

Home Assistant Z-Wave Tips and Tricks

Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol used primarily for Home Automation. It can be a bit harder to work with compared to some other protocols we see daily like WiFi and Bluetooth. Ever since I got my USB Z-Wave gateway and first dimmer switch, I’ve been interested in Z-Wave and see the benefits of a completely local mesh network for Home Automation communication. I’ve assembled a few tips and tricks that can help improve your Z-Wave experience using Home Assistant.

Some of these will work with other Home Automation platforms, but these are what I use for Home Assistant.

[Read more…]Home Assistant Z-Wave Tips and Tricks

Zooz ZSE29 Outdoor Motion Sensor

Zooz ZSE29 Z-Wave Outdoor Motion Sensor Review

I recently wanted to overhaul my outdoor lighting. I wanted for all my outdoor lighting to be dimmed around dusk, so that my house was accented but not be too bright. But if any motion happened around the house, I wanted all the lights to go full brightness for some added security. Last week I reviewed the ZEN22 dimmer switch that can control lighting. This week I’ve got the Zooz ZSE29 Z-Wave Outdoor Motion Sensor to sense when motion occurs around my property.

[Read more…]Zooz ZSE29 Z-Wave Outdoor Motion Sensor Review

Zooz ZEN22 Z-Wave Dimmer Switch

Zooz ZEN22 Z-Wave Dimmer Switch Review

If you’re just getting into smart home tech, lighting is a great place to get your feet wet. If you’re looking to start investing in Z-Wave for your lighting setup, the Zooz ZEN22 Z-Wave Dimmer Switch could be your answer. I replaced a switch in my garage to the ZEN22 to automate my outdoor lighting at night. In today’s review, I look at the features of the switch, installation process, and integration with Home Assistant. The ZEN22 switch is available at Amazon and The Smartest House.

[Read more…]Zooz ZEN22 Z-Wave Dimmer Switch Review

DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller Software

DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller using ESP8266 (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of my series on my DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller using ESP8266. Last week I wrote an article on the hardware involved in the project, definitely check it out if you haven’t already. It goes in depth to all the components used. Today’s article will be looking closer at the software of the system. Including the firmware running on the device and the Home Assistant integration.

[Read more…]DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller using ESP8266 (Part 2)

DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller

DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller using ESP8266 (Part 1)

Thinking about getting a smart sprinkler controller for your house? Want completely local control using no cloud services? Today’s article walks through the hardware I used to create my own DIY WiFi sprinkler controller using an ESP8266. I’ll be going over the software portion in part 2 of the series. The goals of the project are:

  • Control my sprinkler system in an automated fashion, but still turn on individual zones manually when needed
  • No reliance on the cloud, should work over local network
  • Be extendable to any number of zones relatively easy
  • Keep the controller simple, keep the scheduling logic on the home automation platform
  • Inexpensive to build, but must be reliable

[Read more…]DIY WiFi Sprinkler Controller using ESP8266 (Part 1)

Chair Presence Detection

Chair Presence Detection using Ultrasonic Distance Sensor

One of the first things I usually do in the morning is sit down at my desk in my office and work on this blog or catch up on the news. To add some automation to my setup I wanted to detect if I was at my desk so I could properly light the room. Using an Ultrasonic Distance Sensor with a NodeMCU, I used distance to determine if someone was sitting at the desk or not.

I’m just using this today to trigger lighting in the room. You could use this to start up your PC using Wake on LAN or anything else to automate your routine. Think of this setup as a basic form of room based presence detection. I am the main person who uses the office in my household and I’m always at my desk when I’m working. This idea could be extended to cover multiple desks within a room.

[Read more…]Chair Presence Detection using Ultrasonic Distance Sensor