Trying to solve a problem, but information isn't consistent.

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by EdT, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. EdT macrumors 68000

    EdT

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #1
    Ultimately, all I want to do is be able to turn on a floodlight that is on an unattached garage. It is about 20 ft from my house. I don't really need it to be wifi, if I could find a radio frequency controlled, read 'old style garage opener control', that would suit my purpose.

    What I want it to do:
    Be able to turn it on and off from the house, and it stays that way until it is changed.

    What I don't need it to do:
    Allow me to turn it on using my phone or iPad from anywhere that is not my home. I would prefer no internet access at all.

    At first I thought SOMEONE would make a floodlight with a remote on/off. But if someone does, I can't find it. So back up 10 and punt: Looking at an outlet control and I'll just install a dumb floodlight.

    I trust Apple more than an Android or Alexa system. But not much more. I am assuming that a Google driven system is also Android.

    My problems with HomeKit: Bad reviews about 120 VAC outlets, stories of drop outs and unreliability, evidently little Lowes or Home Depot support as I visited both recently and no one knew anything specific and Lowes was pushing Iris, hard to find information about system components needed for what little I am trying to do. For example, some brands of home controls evidently require a bridge, and some don't.

    I live in a rural/neighborhood setting. This means there are lots of raccoons, possums, occasional deer or turkey that wander by, so a motion detect floodlight would be turning off and on all night. It also means I have a neighbors whose houses are only 50 feet away. I don't want my light bothering them late at night or early morning.

    If I felt that the product was more secure I wouldn't care if it was wifi controlled. I don't think that security is a high priority with component makers, and if Apple does insist on secure standards that may be why you don't see the number of component makers being HomeKit compatible.
     
  2. rhett7660 macrumors G5

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #2
    Hear me out, since you really didn't say why you didn't want the light connected to your iphone or ipad. I have four flood lights connected via Lutron Caseta system. I have them set on timers (sun set to turn on, sun rise turn off). The flood lights are motion controlled, so when they come on at SS or SR, they are on for a brief period of time, i.e. what they are set to at the light to remain on if there is motion. Once the timer runs out for that run of motion or on/off they turn to their waiting state.

    I do not use them with the homekit, I use the Lutron Caseta bridge as my hub. Installed the flood lights. Installed the controllers. Connected and setup via phone. Never have to deal with them unless I want to. I can turn them on manually if I need to by pressing a smart button that does the turn off'/turn on within a few seconds to activate the motion sensor for when you first turn on the light on my phone or manually pushing the button on the wall. If I don't want to do anything they come on and go off based on the settings of SS and SR.

    There is really nothing you can do about motion sensors unless you point the motion up a little from the ground. Depending on the model, it will pick up any and all movement. We have our set to 3 minutes on. Which is ample time for a person to move from one light source to another which would trigger more than one based on where I have my lights. We have our lights around the perimeter of the house next to any of our windows or doors.

    Most motion sensors allow you aim the lights where you want. Again, this various from model to model.

    Other flipping an old fashion switch off and on, your options for this will be limited. You mention power, well that will be something almost anybody has to contend with. I live in the city and we have power outages all the time. Long ones. But I have yet to have to re-setup my system.
     
  3. EdT thread starter macrumors 68000

    EdT

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #3
    Thanks. My paranoia about IOT is because my job is with industrial controls. Lots of stories about hacked and pre-loaded malware on webcams, remote lights and appliance controls being used in DDOS attacks in the literature I get. Most of the time the malware doesn’t directly impact the home and devices at the house, it’s used to attack companies. Most of the time. My other problem, with Apple specifically, is most local stores don’t have Home products, or if they do, their sales people don’t know it. What I was looking for, at the end, was just an outlet I could control. The garage isn’t heated, so even though it would be indoors that only means it isn’t getting wet but it is getting cold. Finding specs for temperature ranges has been spotty. There doesn’t seem to be a website that lists all the different brands of controls, what systems they work with, and if you need other components to make them work.

    I was a bit frustrated that day, I didn’t feel that I knew much but the people at the stores I stopped at knew even less, and much of what they told me was wrong.
     
  4. rhett7660, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

    rhett7660 macrumors G5

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #4
    You will find the lack of service on a lot of things. I think there is just too much out there and with the turn over rate some of the store have, they don't put a lot of effort in to training their personnel. Just a thought and observation I have. No proof etc. I have not gone the Homekit route yet. I have been very happy with just my Lutron and Ecobee setup. I even setup a secondary WiFI system with different credentials etc so that if by chance they do get into to them, it will be that much harder to get across to my other files. Doesn't mean they can't, I am just hoping it makes it that much harder. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of what you hear about is folks just plug it in and forget about it. The default passwords are still there and they have done nothing with the product to protect themselves. Again, just an observation and from what I have been reading. Especially in regards to the incident we had a few months back which took down the east coast.
     
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    Why reinvent the wheel? It sounds like you want to keep this simple. Just use a radio control socket like this...

    https://www.amazon.com/TOSSOW-Wirel...4-fkmr1&keywords=radio+control+outdoor+socket

    I would look for something that is specifically outdoor rated.

    You can also put a ceiling fan controller or something similar (radio controller plug spliced inline) inside, you can find them cheap at Home Depot or Lowes.

    If its not getting wet anything will work really. If there is the chance of direct water contact look for something with an outdoor rating.
     
  6. EdT thread starter macrumors 68000

    EdT

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #6

    Basically what I ended up doing. Found a GE Radio Controlled 120 outlet and it just plugs into the existing outlet. The garage is not heated but the socket is inside and dry. About $20.00.
     
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #7
    Perfect. I didn't think you'd have a plug. But yeah, thats the easiest thing.
     

Share This Page

6 October 1, 2017