The lamp – turn off, roller shutter – close halfway. How to teach a smart home all the tricks

Ok, we have already built our smart home. We have all sensors, transmitters and receivers installed. It’s time for them to start exchanging information with each other and doing exactly what we want them to do.

As a reminder, here are the two previous stages of building a smart home:

  • How long does it take to create a smart home? Let’s build it step by step – here we installed those sensors that didn’t really require any installation
  • [SECOND TEXT, LINK AFTER PUBLICATION] – here you had to pick up a screwdriver (and turn off the plugs during assembly)
  • This time, leave the screwdriver in the toolbox. We take the phone in our hands, sit comfortably on the couch and run the Exta Life application (available for Android and iOS).

    Time to make some scenes.

    That is, in the case of the Exta Life system, define a set of activities that are to be performed within one group / action. In order not to theorize for too long, let’s create an example scene. It will be one of my favorite (and at the same time simple) smart home scenes, i.e. the Good Night scene, where we close all blinds and turn off all the lights in the house with one click in the application or with one touch of a button.

    To do this, go to the Scenes tab in the Exta Life application. So far our list is empty, so we click the plus icon and enter the name of our scene.

    Empty scene created. We can see immediately how we will activate it from the application level – just click on the Play icon to run all actions defined within it. At the same time, we don’t have any added actions yet, so we click on the three dots, choose Edit Scene and we get to a new screen:

    We now click the plus again and simply select the fixtures we want to handle in this scene. To further expand this example, in addition to lighting, I will also add heating in the bedroom and a treadmill in the dressing room – just if I forgot to turn off the electricity. We confirm and all devices are on the appropriate list:

    If we want, we can easily change the order of the equipment on the list, which – as it turns out in a moment – is of great importance. Why? I’m already translating.

    The first step is the blind in the bedroom – it closes first, which is set with one click. The next step is to turn off the lamp in the living room and the LED lighting by the TV, and disconnect the power supply to the treadmill.

    Heating is next. You can use the schedule, but you can also use this additional form of remote service. So when I go to bed and trigger the scene, the bedroom radiator and the floor heating in the living room will maintain a maximum temperature of 18 degrees. What more. Alternatively, you can set them to switch to automatic mode with the activation of the scene – if, for example, for a longer period of watching TV, we turned up the temperature manually.

    When these elements are properly positioned, the light in the bedroom will also be turned off and … one more element will remain – the LED lighting of the corridor. But in his case, we will make a small change.

    While all the other equipment changed their state almost immediately, this LED strip may be useful if, for example, I forgot to take something from the next room and got up for a moment from bed, not wanting to turn on the light at the same time.

    And since it happens regularly, I select the Add delay option and enter the maximum period of this delay, which is 99 seconds. So for almost 2 minutes after activating the scene, I will still have the corridor lighting active, after which it will also go out automatically.

    Such a delay can also be set for each stage and for each device (which can be a maximum of 25 in one scene).

    As a summary – one click is now able to turn off the lights, close the blinds, change the temperature in two rooms, turn off the power in another room, and then illuminate the emergency road for over a minute .

    What else can be done within such scenes? Pretty much anything we can think of. For example, my Evening TV scene includes:

    • turning on the LED backlight under the TV cabinet at 20 percent.
    • closing the blind on the TV side to 100%
    • turning off the lamp in the living room
    • raising the temperature in the living room to 22.5 degrees
    • switching off the lighting in the corridor

    In addition, I also have, among others scenes for leaving the house, returning home, in case the kitchen is flooded (more on that in a moment), as well as a series of simple scenes such as turning on all the lights in the house, turning them off, raising the blinds or lowering them. I’ll also explain why it’s worth having such seemingly banal scenes in your arsenal.

    How to handle it? The first method – a pilot

    It sounds a little smart at home, since you have to press some buttons, but believe me – you will be happy to use this form of control. First of all, because it is many times faster than picking up the phone, unlocking it, finding the application icon and searching for the appropriate item on the list. Here it is enough to pick up the remote control and press the button with the appropriate number – that’s it. And no one prevents us from placing a few pilots hidden all over the house – I do that myself.

    How to assign a remote control to a scene? To do this, we find our selected scene in the application, select Physical buttons from the drop-down menu, click the plus and add a remote, and then decide which button should activate a given function.

    In this way, after a few clicks, I have already assigned the Evening TV scene to the small remote control and button number 1.

    If anyone asked, the smaller pilot looks like this:

    We also assign the remaining scenes to the rest of the buttons, but – if we have more than one remote control – nothing prevents us from having the same scenes on several remote controls, so that it would be easier to remember everything.

    Second method – with the button

    The configuration method is the same as in the case of the remote control – the only difference is that you choose a physical button from the list instead of the remote. For example, I assigned myself the Good Night scene to a physical button stuck to the side of the nightstand.

    The third method – on logic

    Or rather , using Logic , i.e. the mechanism of the Exta Life system . In the simplest terms, it is an automation that works on the principle if X is Y.

    How exactly does it work? Again, let’s use an example and use the previously mentioned scene in case the kitchen is flooded.

    From the main menu of the application, select the Logic tab and add a new one called "Kitchen flooding".

    We enter the edition and see two tabs – condition and result. The condition in this case will be data from the flood sensor, which we choose from the list and add to our puzzle:

    In the condition field, we choose Flood, because we want to detect flooding of the sensor, while in the Logical Operator field we choose End, because our conditional block ends here – it’s a simple function, there is no reason to combine it (we’ll do it in a moment).

    In the Result tab, we can add scenes and, of course, we add the Kitchen flooding scene, which will disconnect all endangered electrical equipment in this room.

    Effect? If the condition is met, i.e. flooding is detected, I will not have to worry that everything in the kitchen is a lethal threat to humans or animals – all electricity in this room will be turned off early enough.

    Of course, this logic can be extended accordingly on the reaction side. For example, adding to the result not only turning off the power in the kitchen, but also e.g. highlighting selected LEDs in the house in red. Although the alarm siren of the flood sensor cannot be missed when you are at home – I have already checked it.

    Of course, the logic can also be extended on the activating factor side by adding more sensors and establishing relationships between them. For example, we can determine that if the temperature measured on two sensors drops to a certain temperature and the entrance door or windows are open, it means that the apartment is aired and the heating should be turned off in such a system, so as not to waste energy.

    Individual conditions can be combined in a block (up to 4 elements) and conditionally connected with the next. In this way, for example, the following condition can be obtained:

    • if the front door or the living room window or the kitchen window or the bathroom window are open
    • and the temperature in the kitchen or living room or bedroom or wardrobe or office will drop below XX degrees
    • then turn off the heating

    In such an arrangement, it is enough for one of the factors from the first sub-point to be met for it to be verified whether one of the four factors from the second sub-point is met. At the same time, there is nothing to prevent these or and mix freely – so that they correspond to what we want to automate.

    Important information: as a logic trigger, we can of course use a physical button – on the remote control or a wall button. We can use it as an activator or … as confirmation of the willingness to activate the automation at the moment (the button is then one of the logic elements). Alternatively, you can do it the other way around – e.g. holding down the button activates the selected scene, but only when other set parameters or individual blocks of parameters are met.

    Method four – time

    Importantly, the time condition can be applied both to the scenes themselves and to entire logics. How does it work in practice?

    Let’s take the scene of closing the blinds on the workshop. Go to the Time tab on the main screen, create Roller blinds and select Edit event.

    Here we can define, among others:

    • how often the event is to be repeated (once, on certain days of the week, monthly, astronomical clock),
    • on what days, dates and time ranges it is to be performed,
    • what scenes are to be activated

    In our example, at the beginning, we choose the weekly system and mark all days of the week and 9:00 p.m., because at this time I like closing the blinds. We also assign the scene Close the blinds and it’s ready. You can save and create a reverse opening scene for e.g. 6 am.

    A more interesting solution in this case, however, is the configuration according to the astronomical clock . The system independently calculates the sunrise and sunset times to which we can assign specific actions or their sets.

    In this way, I conveniently added the scene for opening the blinds to sunrise, and closing the scene to sunset. You can also add, for example, a delay in triggering an action, if you do not need to have open / closed blinds immediately.

    Importantly, the system itself will change the hours of action along with the change of sunrise and sunset times. So you do not have to worry that you will suddenly be cut off from the sun in the middle of the day, because the closing time of the blinds is set to a fixed setting.

    The time condition can also be added to the logics, although we do it from the logic configuration menu. So we can define that a given automation will run only in a given hourly interval (if, of course, its basic requirements are met). Or on certain days of the week. Or on certain days of the month – as it suits us.

    After all, it does not make sense that some automations would run, for example, when we are not at home. Or on the contrary – when we are in this house.

    And finally – to keep order

    After creating all the necessary scenes, it remains to … clean up. So do two things – assign scenes to individual users and rooms.

    The former is important because, for example, we do not necessarily want all household members to be able to, for a joke, turn off all lighting in the house or the power of our company computer at any time. In turn, assigning scenes to rooms will make it easier to find the right items – it is easier to find a scene assigned to a room than scrolling through a long list of all scenes.

    That’s… pretty much everything. Now we can just watch our smart home work and – as I know life – figure out what else can be automated.

    And most importantly – we don’t have to be at home to control it. As long as our controller is connected to the home WiFi network, we can send him commands from the application from anywhere in the world.

    The text was created in cooperation with the Zamel company

    The lamp – turn off, roller shutter – close halfway. How to teach a smart home all the tricks