A plastic budgie sits in the midground wearing a tiny beanie

Automating my home

First Published: Sun Nov 26 2023
Last Updated: Sun Nov 26 2023

Okay this is going to be a short one and basically stream of brain to keyboard.

For a long time I've been wanting to see HOW I can use the Internet of Things to make life a bit easier around the house for myself. Since I got sick some things have become more complicated and difficult and I'm looking at automating or simplifying how I do things.

To that aim, I've ended up with an ad-hoc collection to IoT devices. There's a couple of google home devices and three Genio lights. Pretty basic.

I've created a list of tasks that I want to automate. I've also added an extra requirement. I want to be able to build a home automation setup that relies as little as possible on external systems. When Optus fell over in a screaming heap people with disabilities who were using IoT devices were left stranded (another post on that is coming). I don't want to be in that position.

Oh and there is one limitation. I rent. I can't stick anything on a wall (not even one of those easy to remove hook things).

So here is my list of tasks:

  • Voice controlled lighting: Already have this via the Google Home and Genio Light in a couple of rooms
  • Remote control power points: When we go to bed at night we switch off the power to our entertainment unit. It's a bit difficult to get into the switch, so I would rather either voice or remote control the switch. Oh and there's a couple of fans I'd like to remote control as well
  • Local door camera: This is a long shot I think. I want to setup a camera at the front door but ONLY store the video locally. No Ring or cloud storage.
  • Automate garage door: This is definitely a long shot. I need to find out what make and brand the garage door opener is and then work out what sort of signal is required and how to reproduce it.

I've downloaded a docker container of Home Assistant and am having a play around. It's detected my Google and Apple devices but it appears a bit of pokery needs to be done for the Genio lights.

I'll post an update in the near future.