Putting a finer point on my home automation

Posted on
Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:20 pm
Sharek326 offline
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Posts: 313
Joined: Jul 20, 2014
Location: Lansford, PA

Putting a finer point on my home automation

When I first started my house I had a very broad general idea of what I wanted and it was geared toward devices that made things easier and looked cool. Now I am revisiting my lights and wanted to get some feedback from a perspective of energy savings.

Typically I have lights in my Bathroom come on with motion start a 2 min times once motion isn't detected then off.

In my Movie room a few lamps come on when its dark off after 2 min no motion

Similar in the kitchen....counter lights come on after dark off after 2 min no motion.

You kinda get the idea. What I really would like is to hear how everyone else does it and what has your way provided noticeable savings......

Posted on
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:26 pm
kwijibo007 offline
Posts: 233
Joined: Sep 27, 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Putting a finer point on my home automation

I send a Pushover notification when my external lights have been on for more than 20 minutes. They’re big hallogin bulbs that cost a fortune to run.

Posted on
Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:51 am
jalves offline
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Joined: Jun 16, 2013

Re: Putting a finer point on my home automation

I like to add actions (turn off) that happen when I leave or am on vacation. Things like setting the thermostat higher (in FL) when away on vacation and turning off ceiling fans.

Also turning off (or slowing) ceiling fans in the bedrooms once everybody is up. Plan on also triggering fans based on motion and time of day.

BTW, I've got several lights that turn off after a period of no motion. I find that 2 minutes is too short for most of them though.

Running Indigo 7.1.1 on a 27" iMac (mid-2017), 8G memory, 1T Fusion Drive, OS X 10.13.6
Jeff

Posted on
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:56 am
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Putting a finer point on my home automation

First, bulb type is the biggest thing you can change to save energy since LEDs use so much less energy (they are, of course, more expensive so you have to factor that in). I don't have any auto-on logic based on motion, so I don't deal with auto-off in those scenario. One thing for lighting that works well is to put a door sensor on closet doors that automatically turn on/off lights in the closet when the door operates (and the same for the kitchen pantry). I like using Insteon switches and plunger door sensors since I can directly link them and they work even if the Indigo Server isn't running for some reason. We seem pathologically incapable of consistently turning off closet/pantry lights so this solves that problem.

The other big energy user is usually the HVAC system, so any attempts to make that smarter will usually help.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:24 am
johnpolasek offline
Posts: 820
Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Location: Aggieland, Texas

Re: Putting a finer point on my home automation

Laundry room and bathrooms are set up with self contained "as long as they see motion" switches that aren't even tied into Indigo, and they work out just fine... Since the light switch on the pantry is on the outside of the pantry, I did go with a motion sensor triggering an insteon switch... I was using an Insteon motion sensor, but got tired of trying to find a screwdriver to change out the battery every couple of months and have had an Aeotech 6 in 1 on the back wall for the past 6 moths with no problems at all (the server is pretty reliable). However, I do have one of the new and improved insteons on order to arrive Wednesday and we'll see how that one works.

Posted on
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:51 am
Sevilsivle offline
Posts: 86
Joined: Jan 11, 2013

Re: Putting a finer point on my home automation

The previous owner of our house had set up the hot water circulation pump on a timer to run continuously from 5 am to 10pm.
This resulted in a huge loss of energy, as the pipes acted as a defacto underfloor heating.
We now have the pump on a z-wave switch that runs for 5 minutes when activated. So 2 minutes before showering or washing up we switch on the pump. This is sufficient to then have hot water immediately. Probably not more than 3 or 4 times a day.

Tim

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