Do you live in a smart home?

FatMax

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 28, 2007
387
73
Norway
I work part time as a systems integrator and get to do a lot of fun stuff in regards to this subject. I always tell my clients that the only inhibitor when it comes to a smart home is your imagination.

In that regard, I´m looking for some input from fellow smart home owners out there. Not that my imagination isn´t working, but its always interesting to see other possibilities and solutions out there.

Is your setup automated in any way?

What do you consider the single best thing about your smart home?

What feature or product do you feel is missing in your setup?

Do you regret paying up for smart equipment?

Sincerely hope anyone would like to answer any one or all of these questions!
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,238
197
Mesa, AZ
The only "smart" product I have for my home right now is a Nest thermostat. I really like it though!

Ideally I would like to get smart locks for my doors, some smart light bulbs, remote connection for my sprinkler system, and remote connection for my garage door. At this point things just aren't affordable enough for me to justify swapping out these components that are working just fine in order to replace them with "smart" components.
 

FatMax

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 28, 2007
387
73
Norway
I can understand that. Luckily, prices are generally going downwards as we progress into better technology!

Never tried out the Nest, not available (or usable actually) where I´m from.
 

Klaatu63

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2010
131
73
New Jersey
Two homes with Nest thermostats, Version 1 and 2. They have worked perfectly for two years. No plans for a integrated system yet?
 

BradWould

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
272
252
Nova Scotia, Canada
Nest protect x 2
Ecobee 3 HomeKit Thermostat
Entire first floor equipped with Phillips hue light with the HomeKit hub.

I can't get enough of the stuff!! By far the ecobee3 is the best part of my setup. Controlling heating and cooling remotely is insanely useful. I also use ifttt to link the nest protects to my lights. Ex. If the smoke detectors go off, all of my lights turn on. I would love to try the new door locks but haven't got there yet. A couple cameras seems like a logical next step as well as HomeKit plugs for fans etc.

I'm quite invested in Apples ecosystem so a home central stand alone Siri gateway (obviously a ripoff of Amazon's Echo but I don't care) would be my biggest wish!
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,533
2,498
Sunny, Southern California
Currently setup with a Ecobee 3 with three remote sensors for my AC and the Lutron Caseta smart bridge with eight switches so far. I have setup the geo fencing for the lights along with putting them on timers and a schedule. Same for the Ecobee. For my home theater I have an iPad Mini with iRule on it which controls all the lights, thermostat, and all of my electronic equipment such as receiver, dvd/blu-ray, cable, apple tv, sonos system, and tv. I also have all the phones and ipads throughout the house setup with for all the devices minus the iRule. The iRule is specific to the iPad Mini. However in the future months, as time permits, I will be programming it to run on my phones also.

I am have two more light switches on order.

I wouldn't say the limiting factor is your imagination, for me it is money! While prices have come down and easy of installation is a lot easier, the price is still pretty big.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
6,467
35,084
Catskill Mountains
I used to have a precursor of a smart home when I was commuting between city and country and left the house thermostat set up around 52 degrees during the week in winter. Cut down part of a lilac tree so a neighbor could use a telescope to check a watch-light I put in a cellar window; it went on if the temperature in the cellar dropped below 42. Never got that call in the city but it was nice knowing I wasn't growing a block of ice the size of my house in the cellar after some particularly cold night. The neighbor called me one night when there was a power outage but it was 45 degrees outside that night so we agreed no big deal then, and the outage was over by 10am.

It made me think about a genny though. Still thinkin' on it so I've been lucky. When I get one it will be hooked to my mains from the propane and test itself weekly, kick in automatically. Just enough to run fridge, furnace blower motor, power for some lights in kitchen and library, outlets for my router and gear.

Now I'm up here all the time or most of the time so I'm back to having a dumb house which is ok, or even good considering how we lose power pretty often and i still don't have a genny. :D
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,634
10,762
When we did a whole house renovation in 2009, the idea of doing a total smart makeover did cross our minds but eventually we decided to take a very minimal approach. Our best investment was buying a large, high performance Generac generator that worked off of natural gas. It was incredibly expensive and provides immense whole house power. It came in useful several times since then when we had lengthy powercuts, especially in late 2011 when the power was out for a few days for some people in the city.
 
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blaine07

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2014
2,208
1,925
Oklahoma
I have the Iris system Lowes sells as well as a assortment of Sylvania Lightify bulbs. Iris does security and home automation but mainly use it for automation. Have lightify bulbs in closet and door sensors to turn lights on/off as closet opens and closes, use Iris to remotely control/schedule thermostat and lights, have camera set to record on motion, have it set to alert me when fridge opens in middle of night and records(kids get munchies and we're getting into my ice cream), use Iris to remotely open/close garage door, other lights in house turn on/off with motion and are timed, come on when we get home at night, have another lamp that arbitrarily kicks on and off all night in case someone gets up, have a door sensor on mailbox outside to alert me when postman comes(& monitor actual outside temp), door sensor on a few pipes in water closet to make sure in winter nothing freezes. I have a lot of our home automated, in total 3 motion sensors, a camera, a dozen or so lightify bulbs, probably 20 door sensors, thermostat, 2 keyfob a, a smart button, 2 smart plugs to turn lamps on/off with... All serve some function. Next on my automation "must have" list is door locks and a door bell. Beauty of Iris is if I want to start a automation process all I have to do is fire up app and set whatever to happen whenever.

I also have TrackPin so mailman can open garage door and slide my nearly daily delivery of Amazon packages under garage door and close it using tracking number as code to prevent theft etc.

I think I have a problem.
 
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LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
6,467
35,084
Catskill Mountains
Long long story but they just about got fired in the whole V1 to V2 process...
Funny how some experience can turn your opinion of a place on a dime. One of my bros swore by Home Dep for a long time and was happy until one time they tried to deliver him a load of lumber that had sat in flood waters. Cue Lowes to the front please.

I thought of getting motion sensors out the back deck once after a neighbor reported someone had stolen a bunch of big flower pots with summer flowers in them. A weird theft anyway, I mean if going to steal something, why not the toolbox she had left on the back steps. Thought about it some more and figured someone forgot their mama's birthday so probably a one time thing.

Anyway I like the dark out back, the starlight, the fireflies. I guess if I hear bears are closer this year than last, I might get a motion sensor light arrangement and use it in the spring when bears are just waking up and groggily stupid enough to wander into a regular yard looking for food. I do not want to encounter a bear when I'm jsut stepping out to make sure I closed the car windows.
 
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haxrnick

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2011
531
1,984
Seattle
Hue covering the house, lightstrip plus on the cabinets, doing user research on a new smart thermostat in beta testing, ring doorbell, chamberlain garage door, amazon echo, schlage door lock, logitech home, motion sensors and door sensors on each. Have it all pretty much covered. Next step is getting a Rachio for a sprinkler system installed in the yard.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,861
1,909
Australia, Perth
I can understand that. Luckily, prices are generally going downwards as we progress into better technology!
True, but to 'fill-that-gap', that's why everyone can benefit using our smart phone, for us who can't afford these prices (with caveats when wi-fi goes out) or move into a smart house.

My dream and probably allot of users may well be just using out smart phone, Apple TV integrated hub ...etc down the line.. or external boxes..

In the future, as in many years/decades from now ? ya... sure everyone, I believe, would be in a smart home, and no need for this 'transition phase' prices would be low enough to afford... but till then...
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,634
10,762
Under cabinet lighting isn't a smart home feature. It's a smart design and use feature. We had that before our remodel. Motion sensing slow-lighting would be a smart feature. For those late nights when one decides to raid the fridge.
 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,576
2,994
Fury 161
Ha! Smarthome? For me, central air would be a luxury.

For all the charms of living in an old house, there are some huge, HUGE inconveniences that go along with it. Like having to spend over $10,000 to get central air, and having a basement that looks like a set for a snuff film.
But think of the money you'll save in set dressers when you want to shoot a snuff film!
 

FatMax

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 28, 2007
387
73
Norway
True, but to 'fill-that-gap', that's why everyone can benefit using our smart phone, for us who can't afford these prices (with caveats when wi-fi goes out) or move into a smart house.

My dream and probably allot of users may well be just using out smart phone, Apple TV integrated hub ...etc down the line.. or external boxes..

In the future, as in many years/decades from now ? ya... sure everyone, I believe, would be in a smart home, and no need for this 'transition phase' prices would be low enough to afford... but till then...
I agree that´s where it seems to be heading. It´s no small feat Apple (and probably Google eventually) has made with HomeKit. For "normal"* people to set up smart equipment in such an easy way is a huge step forward.

In my line of work I work with a standard called KNX, among others obviously. It´s fairly expensive, but then again not, considering a house all of a sudden has 50 light zones and 40 of those dimmable....

The reason I asked if anyone has any automation is because that´s where I believe convenience gets smart. When something gets triggered by something else automagically, for the users benefit or enjoyment. That´s a smart house.

(* - Please don´t misunderstand the use of normal in this case scenario)
 

Renzatic

Suspended
But think of the money you'll save in set dressers when you want to shoot a snuff film!
The greatest thing about snuff films is that they can be shot anywhere!
[doublepost=1472167126][/doublepost]
There is that hornets nest near his house. It can be used as a prop.
Not anymore. Those bees have long since flown the coop.

I'd have to settle on laying out watermelons to build up a yellowjacket swarm.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,634
10,762
My "natural" traps caught several yellow jackets last week. I'm quite chuffed about it.
 
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