Author Topic: Automating Lights  (Read 715 times)

Offline cbsmith

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Automating Lights
« on: December 11, 2016, 08:18:59 pm »
I am new to home automation and am looking at getting a VeraPlus to start automating things in my home. Initially I would like to install two smart light switches to control my outside lights and a couple water sensors and possibly a water valve sutoff.

My question is around the light switches. Quite often we come home after dark and have forgotten to turn the outside lights on. I would like to be able to have them turn on if we arrive home and they are off.

Is it possible to set up the  VeraPlus so that it can detect when my wife or I arrive home and turn the lights on? We both have iPhones so some solution using them or presence sensors in the cars would be best. I don't want the lights to be on all the time we are home and will probably turn them off manually using the switch. Can it be configured to only turn on the lights when we arrive home and not keep them turned on the entire time we are home?

Thanks

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 07:35:11 am »
Yes, but...

There are several options available to use your arrival as triggers to turn the lights on. There is a geofencing feature in the Vera app and in a third party app. Some people use a script that detects when you iPhone connects to your home WiFi network. There are also setups that use Bluetooth detection. The problem with these options is that they are not perfectly reliable. To increase reliability, some people combine a couple of these methods.

Other option that could be use and are more reliable might include using a motion sensor, using the opening of the garage door as a trigger, manually turning the lights on from your phone...

What you want is very doable. But, don't expect perfection.

Offline cbsmith

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 08:57:42 am »
Thanks for the reply. From what I have been reading I have figured as much. I think I will order the stuff up and see how it goes!

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 08:54:19 pm »
For security purposes, I have exterior lights on 3 z-wave switches set to come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise.
Vera 3, UI7 1.7.919, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs door sensor, Insteon garage control, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual & Multi Switch, Weather, Sys. Mon.

Offline Priest

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 08:50:31 am »
There is a geofencing feature in the Vera app and in a third party app. Some people use a script that detects when you iPhone connects to your home WiFi network.

I'm just getting back into HA at the new house. I'm about to do some landscape lights down the edge of the driveway and was planning on switching them with Vera. I'd love to be pointed at threads for setting up both of these options.  I found Geo-fencing the other day and turned it on....I've yet to build a scene using it though. The phone connection thing would be extremely useful for the wife's phone. Her iPhone has WiFi on all the time and connects when she is still 50 yards from the driveway.

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 07:24:41 pm »
Personally, I use iPhone locator. You have better control on how much battery you use. It has dynamic polling so it pings the phone more often the closer you get.  I am not sure how geofencing works (on a detail level) but my fear is it is a battery hog. 

As far as using the Wi-Fi, there is a plug-in to watch IP's (ping sensor) that can watch for your wife's phone's IP address when it connects to Wi-Fi. When the ping is true (PLEG terminology), it can execute a scene.
Vera 3, UI7 1.7.919, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs door sensor, Insteon garage control, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual & Multi Switch, Weather, Sys. Mon.

Online kigmatzomat

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 12:42:13 am »
If you do the ping on wifi, be sure your wifi router is set to always assign your phones the same​ IP addresses. You don't want to add a new printer to the network and trigger the lighting.

Offline Priest

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 08:15:16 am »
Vera is providing DHCP on my network.  I'll have to see if she is capable of that setting. I'f not I may pull out an old Netvanta 1224R that I have and set it up to handle the IP scheme.

Offline ember1205

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Re: Automating Lights
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 10:05:20 am »
I have a Dakota IR sensor at the end of my driveway to detect motion. It's aimed in such a way that 'street traffic' doesn't set it off. When motion is detected, it sends an alert to the base until. I have a Window sensor that I've hardwired into the base unit and THAT is what's connected to my Vera (Z-Wave).

The base unit trips the circuit on the window sensor and I use that as a scene trigger for my Vera. I have some LUA code that works with the scene to determine if it's after sundown / before sunup (i.e. it's dark outside) and allow the front lights to be turned on if it's dark.

The front lights turning on is used as a trigger for another scene that starts a timer of a few minutes. At the end of the timer, it checks to see if the garage door was opened or not. And, if not, it turns the lights back off.

There's additional logic that I use to determine how the front lights were turned on in the first place (manually, by the sensor, by a scene, etc.) as this impacts whether and after how long to turn the lights back off.