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Lars Richter
Lars Richter

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Do You Have Automation For Your Lighting?

I'm a proud owner of a small smart home system for about 9 months. And the first thing I did was to integrate smart light bulbs. Before that, we just had normal, non-dimmable lights almost everywhere. Today, most of our lamps can be easily controlled using a smartphone or one of our smart-speakers (Apple Homepod Mini).

But from the very first day when I got my smart home system, I knew, that the best lighting system is a system that you don't have to control manually. I think everything should "just work" without using a switch or even your smartphone.

Automate all the things/lights

As I said before, I'm still kind of new to the whole home automation topic, so there is plenty of room for improvement everywhere. And that's exactly why I want to hear from all of you if you have cool ideas for automating your lights.

But let's look at the current status of my automation.

The Living Room

In the living room, Homekit will simply turn on the lights as soon as the sun goes down. Simple, but awesome. You don't have to adjust in the winter or the summer. Even daylight saving time is no problem. Homekit will take care of it.

For now, I don't have a clever idea for switching the lights off, as soon as I go to bed. The current solution is a simple "Good Night" scene in Homekit. I control this by saying "Hi Siri, good night!" when I leave the living room. But that's not a real automation. It's still triggered manually.

And just to be sure, there is a "Forgot the Living Room Lights" automation that will switch off the lights at 2 AM.

The Hallway

We have a small hallway in the area where our bedrooms are. In there we have a small lamp, that will be switched on with full brightness when the sun sets, because we don't have a window in there.

When it's bedtime for the kids (around 8 PM) the brightness will be set to 1%. That way, the kids have still some light shining in their rooms and we can pass the hallway without switching on the bright light on the ceiling.

In the morning, when the sun goes up, the lamp is switched off automatically.

Utility Room

In our utility room, there is a cheap motion sensor that will switch the light on as soon as anybody enters the room.

When there is no motion detected for 60 seconds, the lights are switched off.

The Kid's Bedrooms

I put RGB smart bulbs in the lights on the nightstands of the kids. And next to their bed, they have a switch to turn on (of course dimmed to 5% brightness) and off the light.
The only automation in there is that the light will be switched off automatically after 60 minutes.

Anyone Home?

There is one last thing that I automated. When we set our smart home system "on vacation", I created a simple "presence simulation". So the lights will go on and off the similar times as they do when we are not at home. One difference to our normal automation is that I also switch the lights in the office and the (parents) bedroom on and off.

I hope maybe that will deter potential burglars.

Your turn!

Now it's your turn. I would love to hear about your automation. :-)

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