Use your alarm for presence detection in your Home Automation setup

One of the great things about home automation is the possibility to activate scenes based on presence of people in the house. Having solid presence detection in your home is not easy to achieve. There are a lot of ways to do this, but most of them use ping your devices, using network connectivity, Bluetooth or GPS geo-fencing technology. These solutions might work for some use cases, but if your presence detection is based on devices will only work for known devices and people. Meaning you can never be 100% sure that no-one is home.

So do not, I repeat do not, trigger scenes that shut down all the lights if no-one is home based on phones. I’ve a great story about a baby sitter that called me very unhappy about all lights being turned off and also that every time she switched them on they went off again. This go back to one of the essential rules of home automation. Read the 7 tips for a successful home automation.

However, switching lights off when nobody is home or switching random lights on while you are on holiday are great benefits of home automation. This is something you want to achieve. A great way of doing this is by installing an alarm and read the status of the alarm, e.g. Fully Armed, partial armed or off.

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My home automation setup

Let’s start with the first post about home automation.  I’m pretty happy with my current home automation setup.  In this post I would like to share my current setup as on June 2019. This will be a endless work in progress posts, updated with links to more in depth articles.

Before we start with home automation I want to make you aware of following statement.

You will get no compliments or praises for your Home Automation, the best recognition you will get are the complaints when it is not working.

My home automation history

For the last eight years I’ve been busy improving with home automations, also called domotica. The time that I invest divers strongly per period, sometimes I don’t do anything for months, and then I find a new technology and I go all in with my spare time. In these years a lot of I’ve used a lot of different technologies, brands and platforms for my smart home.

I recently switched from Domoticz to OpenHab as my main home automation platform. Domoticz has always worked perfect for me, the reason for me to change was mainly to try something new. I really like working with OpenHab, but the learning curve is steep and it a more technical oriented solution. So if you don’t have a technical background or you’re new to home automation I would advise you to start with Domoticz or Homey (no personal experience with Homey).

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