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Thread: beginners project help

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default beginners project help

    Hello,
    I am trying to find a home automation solution that will enable me to the following to start with. I did consider a Raspberry pi with OpenHAB but think I would struggle with the coding. Is there a product and or interface that would easily let me do the following using my pi? Thanks for your help

    I want to place a motion detector outdoors on the rear of my property that turns on an interior light if an intruder approaches. i only want the light to stay on a set amount of time. I want some control of when it is active and not active, like only during the hours of darkness for example.

    p.s i learnt html years ago when the internet first came about and built a basic website so i will be able to learn basic commands just daunted by all this stuff id have to learn for openhab whilst im older and not as bright

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Have a look at Smartthings. (100 for the hub). This connects to various protocols including Z-Wave and Zigbe and can also interact with other popular home automation hero's such as Nest and Harmony. The Hub just plugs into our wifi router.

    Then buy a sensor that is compatible with the Smartthings hub. If it's outside it will need to be weather proof.

    The internal light can be either of 2 options. Option 1 (easy) a plug in device, which a lamp then plugs into. Option 2 (a little more messing around) is to put a small back box behind a normal light switch. You'll need to research this as it's not always straight forward as it depends on the wiring of your house.

    Next set up a 'rule' in the Smartthings app to switch on the internal light IF it's dark AND there's movement outside. The rules generally switch off the lights after a given period of time, which can be amended within the app.


    Frank

  3. #3
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    Brilliant, thanks for the info. I will order the smartthings hub look for an external motion detector and let you know how I get on. I think i will give the black box a go as i am pretty competent electrically and its a new build house so all the sockets/switches have loads of space behind, because of the plasterboard walls. thanks again.

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    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    If anyone finds a decent external battery powered motion detector (Z-wave or ZigBee HA) please let me know! They seem to be few and far between.

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    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    The back box option is the neatest. Have a look behind your light switches to see it you have a live and neutral wire. If you don't have both this will limit what you buy.

    I have used the Z-Wave Fibaro Double Switch 2. These work very well with Smartthings. I've had no false communication with them.


    Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    If anyone finds a decent external battery powered motion detector (Z-wave or ZigBee HA) please let me know! They seem to be few and far between.
    I did read a post somewhere else of someone using a non z-wave outdoor battery motion detector wired to a wireless z-wave transmitter. Probably doesn't look the best though. i waill let you know what i end up buying and how i get on with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by franktate View Post
    The back box option is the neatest. Have a look behind your light switches to see it you have a live and neutral wire. If you don't have both this will limit what you buy.

    I have used the Z-Wave Fibaro Double Switch 2. These work very well with Smartthings. I've had no false communication with them.


    Frank
    I could fit the black box in the ceiling i suppose if i don't have neutral in the switch. But would be a lot more work

  8. #8
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    I've used a few of these in my set up. Although I've not really set any triggers with them yet as I've yet to finish my external lighting.

    Z-Wave Everspring SP103 Motion Detector

    All the tests I carried out seemed to go OK. Good communication and always triggered during the tests.

    Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by franktate View Post
    I've used a few of these in my set up. Although I've not really set any triggers with them yet as I've yet to finish my external lighting.

    Z-Wave Everspring SP103 Motion Detector

    All the tests I carried out seemed to go OK. Good communication and always triggered during the tests.

    Frank
    Brill thanks. One of those should do the trick. i will let you know how i get on thanks

  10. #10
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    I had a similar thought recently. It's always useful to hear about positive experiences with specific products. That Z-Wave detector does seem a bit steep though. If I have some more spare time I might try and do something similar with an Arduino and Zigbee shield. It would probably end up costing more, but I'd learn a lot and could use the hardware to do more as time goes on.

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