Eric H. Johnson on 1 Aug 2016 12:17:13 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] FOSS Home Automation?


Coincidentally, I was looking at Kwikset Kevo locks
( this morning which are Nest

Nest is in turn owned by Google / Alphabet and open source compliant
according to the website:

It also ties into IoT. Just starting to look at it myself.


A while back we had a talk on MisterHouse, which I believe is still
X10-based.  Is that still the general recommendation for getting started
with home automation?  From what I've read X10 is showing its age and there
are a lot of newer alternatives.  The flip side of that is that there are a
LOT of alternatives and the vast majority seem to be proprietary.

Everybody seems to be trying to lock-in the market with Apple-store like
models (I'm sure some of these products can be bought in an Apple store).

What is the general advice for getting started with home automation TODAY.
Some guidelines for me:

1.  My immediate use case is being able to turn on/off my bedroom light from
bed.  Yes, I realize there are cheaper/easier ways to do it.  But, this is a
general direction I'm interested in expanding on, so it is a good place to
start.  So, make sure I can do this.

2.  I don't want to have to use a phone to do everything.  I want switches
on the wall.  Remotes/phones/etc are all desirable but must be OPTIONAL for
basic functionality.

3.  I want to be able to automate actions (as with Misterhouse), based on
time/events/etc.  Triggers might include sensor or remote inputs as well.

4.  Basic functionality like turning on/off lights has to work if my PCs are
all shut off.  I don't mind depending on some kind of appliance-like
controller, but software has to be purely optional.
Ditto for the cloud.  I don't mind the lights not changing automatically if
the network is down, but light switches have to work.

5.  If I sell the house, I want to either be able to trivially take it all
with me (ie nothing hard-wired), or leave it in place and the new owner
wouldn't know it was there (ie light switches still work in dumb mode
without automation).

6.  I'd like it to work on my ANDROID phone.  Nothing iOS-only.

7.  I'd strongly prefer FOSS.  It isn't an absolute requirement, but I don't
really see myself going the proprietary route.

8.  It needs to be broadly compatible.  I don't want a choice of 3 devices
total that it works with.  I don't want the hardware to be overpriced
either.  No requirement to use $75 light bulbs or whatever.

9.  Notwithstanding #8, the idea of color-spectrum adjusting lights does
appeal to me (f-lux/redshift for the home or whatever).  I don't mind paying
a bit more for some light bulbs with this capability, if they work with my
generally-FOSS solution otherwise, and I'm not obligated to use them for
every socket in the house.

Basically I want flexibility to use either cheap or fancy hardware as the
use case requires and not be locked into anything.

So, does this exist?  Or should I just stick with X10?

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