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Home Assistant: Setup Guide

So you’ve decided you want to get started in the world of home automation and are faced with the following choice…

Will the heart of your system be a powerful, plug-and-play controller that works out of the box such as the Fibaro Home Centre 2?

Or will it come to life with the people focused, open-source/highly-customisable home automation platform Home Assistant?

If you enjoy a hands on experience and desire ultimate control over your system, Home Assistant may be the platform you’re searching for. With a growing community, emphasis on privacy and an extensive array of plugins, you’ll be sure to find everything needed to suit your needs. Home Assistant really is a tinkerers dream.

Intrigued? Here’s a short word from it’s creator.

The purpose of this blog is to guide you through the process of setting up your own Home Assistant Hub, from acquiring the parts to landing on your Home Assistant Dashboard for the first time. I've kept each step as simple as possible and included reference images alongside other useful information.

Before proceeding, it's important to mention that even with extensive online resources and documentation, the Home Assistant route is still not a journey for the faint-hearted. While setting up Home Assistant is simple, a level of understanding about computers, networks and programming is needed in order to configure Home Assistant to meet your needs.

Prerequisites: Technical know-how and dedication to learning the Home Assistant platform are prerequisites to getting the most out of your Home Assistant, and needed to overcome any 'gotchas' that may arise.

If you feel you’re up for the challenge, awesome! Let’s get started.

Step 1: Gather the Parts

Begin by acquiring the parts listed below. If you don’t have them handy, you can get everything you need online. A quick shop around and you'll find the necessities for around $120.

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 B+.
  2. Micro SD card. Preferably a Class 10 card with more than 32GB of memory.
  3. SD card reader.
  4. An Ethernet cable (for a wired connection)
  5. A USB stick (for a Wi-Fi connection)
  6. A monitor & HDMI cable (not required but useful for debugging)
  7. A keyboard (also useful for debugging)

You’ll also need to download and install Etcher and download the Hass.io zip file for the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. Etcher is a tool used to ‘flash’ the SD card, while the Hass.io file contains HassOS, the most powerful Home Assistant Operating System used to turn your Pi into a Home Assistant Hub.

Etcher? Flashing an SD card?? Operating System (OS)? What’s all this mean? Basically, every computer has a brain, comprised of a chip and an OS. The OS determines how the computer will function, while the chip simply stores the OS. Change the OS and you change the function of the computer. We can use Etcher to do just that in a process called ‘flashing’, which wipes the chip clean and installs the desired OS.

Step 2: Flashing the SD card with the Home Assistant OS.

The Raspberry Pi is now ready to begin its transformation from a mini computer (running the Raspbian OS) to a fully-fledged Home Assistant Hub running the HassOS - the Home Assistant Operation System. All we need to do to help it along is ‘flash’ the HassOS image to our SD card (the Pi’s brain).

Caution: Be aware that the SD card will be completely wiped during this process.To prevent loss of data, be sure to copy any files you want to keep on to your computer before continuing or they will be lost forever.

  1. Insert the SD card in to the card reader and connect it to your computer.
  2. Backup your files!
  3. Open Etcher
  4. Select the hassos_rpi3 img file.
  5. Select the SD card.
  6. Hit Flash!
  7. Have a coffee
  8. Verify Etcher has successfully flashed the SD card.
  9. Proceed to Step 3.

1. Select Hassio Image & SD Card.

2. Hit Flash

3. Wait...

4. Completion -> Proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Configuring Home Assistant's Internet Connection

Home Assistant supports both wired and wireless connections to your home network. For improved stability and a simpler set-up, we recommend connecting your Pi to your home router via an Ethernet cable. However if you’d like to use Wi-Fi that’s OK too. You’ll just have to setup your Pi with the credentials needed to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

Depending on your preference, use either the Wired Setup Procedure or the Wi-Fi Setup Procedure to set-up the Wi-Fi credentials:

Wired Setup Procedure (recommended)
  1. Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to your Wi-Fi routers LAN port.
  2. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to your Raspberry Pi's Ethernet port.
  3. Proceed to Step 4.
Wi-Fi Setup Procedure

Caution: This step involves formatting your USB stick, which will erase everything stored on it. Be sure to back up any important files up or they will be lost forever.

  1. Plug your USB in to the computer.
  2. Copy any important files stored on the USB stick to the desktop.
  3. Format the USB to FAT32 and give it the CONFIG.
  4. Create a folder named ‘network’ within CONFIG and open the folder.
  5. Right click and create a new Text Document named ‘my-network’.
  6. Open the ‘my-network’ text file.
  7. Copy and paste the Wireless WPA/PSK template code (also shown below) in to the ‘my-network’ document.
  8. [connection]
    id=hassos-network
    uuid=72111c67-4a5d-4d5c-925e-f8ee26efb3c3
    type=802-11-wireless
    
    [802-11-wireless]
    mode=infrastructure
    ssid=MY_SSID
    # Uncomment below if your SSID is not broadcasted
    #hidden=true
    
    [802-11-wireless-security]
    auth-alg=open
    key-mgmt=wpa-psk
    psk=MY_WLAN_SECRET_KEY
    
    [ipv4]
    method=auto
    
    [ipv6]
    addr-gen-mode=stable-privacy
    method=auto
    
    

  9. If you want your IP address to remain the same each boot (recommended), use UUID4 to generate a unique identifier.
  10. Change 72111c67-4a5d-4d5c-925e-f8ee26efb3c3 to the new UUID4 value.
  11. Change MY_SSID to your network name.
  12. Change MY_WLAN_SECRET_KEY to your network password.
  13. Save the ‘my-network’ document.
  14. Close the ‘my-network’ document.
  15. Enable file extensions by clicking the 'View' tab and selecting 'File Name Extensions'
  16. Delete the .txt extension from the my-network file.
  17. Eject the USB.
  18. Proceed to Step 4.

With the Ethernet cable connected or the text file configured with the Wi-Fi credentials, proceed to Step 4

Step 4: From Raspberry Pi to Home Assistant Hub

Armed with your SD card, now flashed with HassOS (and potentially a USB with your Wi-Fi credentials), your Raspberry Pi is ready to undergo its transformation into a Home Assistant Automation Hub.

Note: Once the HassOS is installed, your Raspberry Pi will be operating as a Home Automation Hub and not function like a traditional computer. This is an important distinction to make as traditional computers are connected to monitors, whereas Hubs are typically accessed through a compatible web-browser.

To begin the Pi’s transformation:

  1. Set up your Raspberry Pi on a desk.
  2. Insert your micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi's micro SD card reader. (refer Step 2)
  3. Ensure you have connected your Ethernet cable or inserted your USB drive into your Raspberry Pi (refer Step 3)
  4. Connect your Raspberry Pi to power.
  5. Wait 20 or so minutes for HassOS to download and install. Treat yourself to another coffee? :)
  6. Be sure to check you have a compatible web browser installed. If you don’t, we recommend Google Chrome.
  7. Open your web browser and enter http://hassio.local:8123 in to the address bar.
  8. If the link in 7. results in the following error message being displayed on screen, follow the below section to troubleshoot.

If http://hassio.local:8123/ fails to connect:

The most difficult problem I faced while setting up Home Assistant was failure to connect to the Hub by entering hassio.local:8123 in to my computer's web-browser. I tried on different computers running different browsers to no avail, before discovering a few potential causes for the issue. If you find yourself in this situation, try the following simple workarounds first to rule out the easiest potential causes first.

  1. Ensure you are using a compatible web browser
  2. Clear your browser cache.
  3. Try and connect to http://hassio.local:8123/ in incognito mode.

If you are still facing any connection issues, it is likely that your router is not configured to support mDNS. The simplest workaround is to find the IP address of your Home Assistant Hub and directly connect to that IP address through your browser by searching your IP address in the format http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:8123. Our first step though is to find Hassio's IP address, which can be achieved in one of two ways:.

For Wi-Fi users: If you do not change the UUID and allow configure your IP address to remain automatic, (seen by the line [ipv4]method=auto) your Pi will be assigned a new IP address each time it reboots. The implication is that you will need to repeat this procedure to find the new IP address after each reboot. To prevent this inconvenience, ensure you configure the UUID as per Step 3.

Option 1: Find the IP using Fing (Easy).

The easiest way to find the IP address of a device connected to your Wi-Fi network is to use Fing. It's quick and easy to use, and only requires you to:

  1. Download the network tools app Fing on to your phone.
  2. Open Fing.
  3. Find the device called Hassio.
  4. Enter the IP address for Hassio in to your browser in the following format: http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:8123/. (e.g http://192.168.1.111:8123/)
  5. You should see Home Assistant Home Screen.
Option 2: Using Home Assistant's Command Line Interface (Advanced).

This option is more complicated and requires you connect a monitor and keyboard to the Raspberry Pi for local access. You can then input a set of commands directly into Home Assistant's command line interface to return the IP address. I recommend you only use this procedure if you cannot use Fing to find your IP address, but if you have no other choice, don’t let all the the code intimidate you. It’s a relatively simple procedure to get the Pi to return it’s IP address.

You’ll need the following things:

  1. A monitor.
  2. A HDMI cable.
  3. A keyboard.

And this procedure:

  1. Power on the Raspberry Pi (if it isn’t running already).
  2. Connect the Pi to a monitor.
  3. Connect the Pi to a keyboard.
  4. Wait for the Pi to boot up. You can confirm the boot procedure is complete by citing the line of code: 'starting eudev-3.2.7'
  5. You’ll see the line 'Welcome to HassOS' followed by the line 'hassio login:'
  6. Enter 'root' to login (no password needed).
  7. You’ll then be prompted by 'hassio >' where you can type 'login' and press enter to enter configuration mode.
  8. Confirm you’re in configuration mode by the prompt '#'
  9. Type nmcli and press enter.
  10. Cite the line inet4 which contains your Raspberry Pi’s IP address.
  11. Go to your computer and open your web browser.
  12. Enter your ip address in the format http://192.168.XXX.XXX:8123/ into your browser's address bar.
Step 5: Welcome to Home Assistant

Once your web browser has successfully connected to your Home Assistant Hub, you’ll land on the create account page. Simply enter your desired account details then hit the 'Create Account' button.

Keep those Credentials Safe! Be sure to keep a copy of your account somewhere safe as you'll need them to gain access to your Home Assistant Hub from now on.

With your account created, you’ll land on your Home Assistant Dashboard. This is where the real fun begins and where this post concludes. Congratulations on making it this far. Stay tuned for Part 2: Configuring Home Assistant.

Gotchas - Troubleshooting & Debugging

Gotchas are tricky little areas where the result you achieve is not as you expect. I stumbled across a few during my first experience setting up Home Assistant. I followed the official installation guide however I was left a little unsure as to whether my experience was normal. The following section presents an explanation to them.

Windows does not recognise an SD card once it is flashed by Etcher.

Windows only supports certain SD card formats, including Fat32, EXFAT and NTFS. After ‘flashing’ the Home Assistant OS on to the micro SD card, it becomes a format not recognised by Windows. If you insert the micro SD card into the computer as normal, it will not show up as expected.

DO NOT WORRY!

Insert the micro SD card into the Pi however and you’ll see the card is working correctly. It’s worth mentioning that Etcher will still see the micro SD card when it’s connected to the computer, and you can flash a different image file on to it.

If you’d like to return your SD card to standard format and cannot use a computer to do so, you can always try reformatting it using a digital camera. Here's the procedure:

Note: As with all formatting procedures, the SD card is completely wiped. This will remove the file ‘flashed’ on to the card previously..

  1. Insert the SD card into a digital camera.
  2. Navigate to the 'format SD card' option.
  3. Format the SD card.
  4. Next time you connect it to a computer, it will appear as normal.
That's a Wrap

I hope this guide has helped you set-up your Home Assistant hub. In Part 2 you'll learn how to set-up your automation network and configure your first automation. In the mean time, have a look around and get to know Home Assistant. It's a cool platform to work with. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, drop a comment below :)

Best regards,

Luke

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Home Assistant: Z-Wave Guide (made easy)

Our first post, Home Assistant: Setup Guide introduced the loved-by-tinkerers automation platform, Home Assistant . It also ran through the procedure used to transform a standard Raspberry Pi 3 B+ into an automation hub running the Home Assistant OS, Hassio.

If you followed along to this point, you’ll have landed on your Home Assistant's Dashboard which consists of mostly empty space (and possibly a few devices). But that’s all about to change, as in this guide you'll learn how to configure Home Assistant to work with your chosen protocol, add devices and create your first automation.

After all, that’s why you’re here, right?

While I’m sure you’re excited and eager to get stuck into the nitty gritty, let’s first understand our position. We’re about to start delving into some potentially complicated stuff, and we’re new to the Home Assistant system. As with any new system, we must first gain an understanding of it’s fundamentals before we can master it. It’s at this point I recommend you take a brief step back and spend a little time familiarising yourself with Home Assistant.

I found this video by BruhAutomation (skip to 4:30-8:00 for relevant info) to be a great crash course on navigating Home Assistant's interface and understanding its key features. He explains the items in the menu bar to the left, their functions and when/how to use them. This knowledge is invaluable moving forward with Home Assistant.

With that out the way, let’s dive in!

A Z-Wave (or other protocol) Based Automation System

I’ll be basing my automation system (and this guide) on the Z-Wave protocol due to its performance and large number of compatible devices. You may intend to use another protocol such as ZigBee, which will work well too. And you can apply the same general processes equally successfully to whichever protocol you wish, only the nuances in each step will differ. That's what's great about Home Assistant!

Caution: At a minimum, automation systems based on protocols such as Z-Wave and ZigBee consist of a controller and smart device. The controller is directly connected to the Pi and wirelessly connected to the compatible smart devices. In essence, the controller will act as the bridge, connecting Home Assistant with your smart devices.

I’ll be using the below devices to set up my Z-Wave network and first automation. If you don’t have these devices, that’s alright. With Home Assistant's long list of compatible devices, it’s likely you’ll have a compatible device at hand. Just be sure to confirm a device's compatibility with Home Assistant before moving forward and ensure it works with your controller.

My compatible devices:

We can configure Home Assistant to work with Z-Wave in one of two ways. The first takes advantage of the recent advancements to Home Assistant's user-interface, while the second is the more primitive, code/text based approach.

We’ll be dealing with the former as it’s significantly more user-friendly, and the code-based approach has been covered extensively by other sources. Forewarning if you choose the code route : While it's more versatile as it gives you granular control, be ready to strap yourself in for some coffee-fuelled late nights until you learn the system.

Now… to Home Assistant!

Step 1: Integrating Z-Wave (or other technologies) the easy way

Recent advancements in Home Assistant's user-interface have streamlined the process of integrating compatible technologies, such as Z-Wave, Zigbee (and a long list of others). We can now simply navigate to the 'integrations' page, select the desired technology, fill out the required parameters and click submit. Home Assistant will take care of the rest.

Note: Each integration (and there’s a lot) has its own specific requirements. If you’re unsure as to what a parameter means, jump on Google and search for the specific integration. You will find extensive documentation outlining the configuration process.

The general procedure to integrate a technology with Home Assistant is as follows:

  1. Connect to Home Assistant using your web-browser (either through http://hassio.local:8123 or the IP address in the format http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:8123).
  2. Locate the desired integration.
  3. Select ‘Configure’.
  4. Fill out the parameters.
  5. Click ‘Submit’.

As our goal is to set-up a Z-Wave network, we’ll follow the above process (with some specific additions shown below) to integrate Z-Wave. If at any time you find yourself unsure of something, refer to Home Assistant's official Z-Wave documentation.

  1. Ensure your Z-Wave stick (controller) is compatible.
  2. Plug your compatible Z-Wave stick into your Raspberry Pi’s USB port.
  3. Connect to Home Assistant using your web-browser.
  4. Select ‘Configuration’ on the left hand taskbar.
  5. Navigate to ‘integrations’, locate the Z-Wave integration and select 'Configure'.
  6. Modify the USB path to the reflect the location of the Z-Wave stick. This is typically: /dev/ttyACM0
  7. Click ‘Submit’.
  8. Confirm the integration is successful by citing Z-Wave on your Dashboard.
Step 2: Pairing/Including Z-Wave Devices

With our Home Assistant now Z-Wave enabled and our controller path configured, we can begin adding Z-Wave devices to our network. This is done from the Z-Wave option (see below) found under the Configuration section of the Home Assistant Dashboard.

Note: All including/excluding is now done from Home Assistant Z-Wave integration. Do not use the Z-Wave button on your Z-Stick.

The general procedure for adding Z-Wave devices to the network is:

  1. Select the ‘Configuration’ tab on the menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Z-Wave’, which takes you to the Z-Wave Network Management Screen.
  3. Click the START NETWORK button to initialise the Z-Wave network..
  4. Click the ADD NODE button to enable devices to be added to the network.
  5. Grab your device.
  6. Follow your device's ‘inclusion’ procedure. Refer to the instruction manual if needed.
  7. Click the HEAL NETWORK button.
  8. Navigate to the Home Assistant Dashboard and verify your devices have been added under Z-Wave.

I’ve gone ahead and added my MultiSensor 6 and Smart Switch 6 to the network, and to confirm correct operation, toggled my Smart Switch 6 ON/OFF using the blue button.

Note: Unfortunately, Home Assistant does not provide any indication as to whether a device has been successfully added to the network. We can however check by returning to our Dashboard, where we’ll see our newly added device or by viewing the log.

Step 3: Automating

With the devices successfully added to the network, we can now set up our first automation. But first, what is an automation? And what is required to make it work?

Every automation consists of a trigger, a condition (optional) and an action. Generally speaking, the trigger sets in motion predetermined actions that occur automatically upon its activation. While this may be suitable in some applications, in others it’s beneficial to have greater control. We can gain this control by adding a condition. Then, the action will only be executed once the trigger and condition are met.

General Process for Configuring an Automation:

Configuring automations in Home Assistant isn't too difficult, but it does require we successfully navigate Home Assistant's interface, understand the configuration process and know where to locate the required information to be input as parameters. So before moving on to our real-world example, let's make sure we have this information.

If you didn’t already check out BruhAutomation’s video , I recommend you watch from 4:30 to 8:00 to familiarise yourself with the interface before proceeding.

Tip:When building a new automation, it’s good practice to begin with the simplest component and get that component working independently. From there, we can continue to add layers of complexity, checking that each layer works with the previous before proceeding.

The general procedure I’ll be using breaks down the automation setup procedure in to 3 main steps relating to the action, trigger, and complete automation respectively. They are as follows:

Step 1: Identify and Verify the Action:

  1. Navigate to the Services page using the SERVICES tool (left most developer tool)
  2. Select the Service you wish to be the 'action' of your Automation.
  3. Ensure the 'action' is working correctly by using Home Assistant's CALL SERVICE feature.
  4. Copy the Service Data for later. We'll paste it into a field in while configuring our automation

Step 2: Identify and Verify the Trigger:

  1. Navigate to the States page using the STATES tool (next to Services developer tool)
  2. Scroll down the list until you find the device/parameter you wish to act as the trigger for your automation.

Step 3: Configuring the Automation:

  1. Navigate to ‘Configuration’.
  2. Navigate to ‘Automation'.
  3. Click the Add New Automation button (Orange button in bottom right corner)
  4. Assign the automation an appropriate name.
  5. Configure the trigger (found in Step 2).
  6. Configure the action (found in Step 1).
  7. Verify the automation works.
  8. If you'd like to further contain the automation, configure any additional conditions. (optional)
An example automation:

Let’s say we want to turn on our bedroom lamp (which we have connected to the Smart Switch 6 ) upon a low level of light being detected by our MultiSensor 6 (it’s dark outside).

We can use our MultiSensor 6 to detect the amount of ambient light, the value of which is stored in the luminance (lux) parameter. The working range of the luminance parameter is between 0 (dark) to 30000 (full sun).

We know (from observing the luminance values) that we normally turn our bedroom light on when luminance is below 1000. We can then have the Smart Switch 6 turn ON the lamp (action) when a luminance value of below 1000 is detected (trigger). Awesome.

As the weeks pass and the dark winter months arrive, we more frequently notice the bedroom light is ON during the day. However, we only wish it to be turned ON in the evenings. To do this, we can simply add the condition that prevents the automation from triggering before 6pm each day.

Now, our bedroom light will only turn ON when a value of less than 1000 luminance is detected and it’s after 6pm. Perfect. Now, let’s make it happen using Home Assistant.

Configuring Home Assistant to Execute the Example.

With our devices connected to Home Assistant and our plan in mind, we can begin configuring our first automation.

Identify and Verify the Action

Home Assistant lists the available services and applicable devices under the services page, which can be selected by clicking on the left most icon under developer tools. Then use this procedure to obtain your service data:

  1. Scroll down the Service List to find the desired service.
  2. As the automation requires we turn ON a switch, the service 'switch.turn_on' should be selected.
  3. Select the entity (desired device) the service will be applied to. For this example, it's the Smart Switch 6.
  4. This will automatically populate the Service Data with the entity name, which we'll copy in preparation for the Configuring the Automation step
  5. Hit the CALL SERVICE button to verify the service is working properly.
  6. Tip: Ensure the switch is turned OFF before calling the switch.turn_on service.

Configuring the Automation

To configure the automation, first navigate to the automation editor page and click the Add new automation in the bottom right corner.

Give your automation a name and select the trigger type. There are a variety of possible trigger types each with their own specific use. If you’re unsure which trigger to use, be sure to visit the documentation.

For this example, the applicable trigger type of the Multi Sensor 6’s luminance parameter is Numeric_State. This trigger type allows us to set a lower or upper limit to the luminance parameter (recall the range is 0-30000) that will trigger the automation.

To configure this, select the appropriate entity (sensor.aeon_labs_zw100_multisensor_6_luminance_2) and set the trigger limit. My preference is to have the automation trigger when luminance is below 1000, so I enter 1000 in to the below limit.

Next, we’ll configure the action. Thanks to the Services developer tool, we know exactly what this should look like. Simply select ‘Call Service’ as the action type and select the desired service. Then paste in the service data, copied from the Identify and Verify Action step.

Note: At this point, you may be tempted to add a condition. Before you do, it’s good practice to test the automation is functioning correctly.

We can verify this automation works by navigating to the Home Assistant Dashboard. Ensure the automation is enabled and the Smart Switch 6 is turned OFF. Next, place the Multi Sensor 6 in full sun and press the wake-up button. You should see the luminance at a value is around 30000. All that’s left is to place our hand over the Multi Sensor 6’s sensor and press the wake-up button. Luminance will now be below 1000 and the automation will trigger, turning ON the Smart Switch 6.

With the automation confirmed to be working correctly, we can now add an additional condition. That is, the automation will not trigger unless luminance is below 1000 and it’s after 6pm.

To do this, return to your newly created automation and add a time condition, and voila. The automation will work as intended.

From here, you can go on and create a whole list of automations based on your needs. Just remember to approach this process methodically and bit-by-bit to avoid confusion. Find the appropriate triggers, actions and conditions for your devices and refer to the documentation (located to the left of the respective boxes) to learn how to configure them correctly and you’ll be well on your way to mastering Home Assistant.

That's a Wrap

I hope this guide helped ease the process of configuring your first automation with Home Assistant. If you have found a nicer solution, run in to any issues or have some handy tips, drop a comment below. We always look forward to your input :)

Best regards,

Luke

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Receive a notification when the washing has finished.

One of the many advantages of Z-Wave is the ability to monitor the energy consumption of appliances and devices connected to Z-Wave power modules - besides monitoring energy consumption (which is handy in itself), we can also trigger other Z-Wave devices or notifications based on energy usage changes. In this blog I will show you how to receive a smartphone notification when your washing machine has finished its cycle.

Now you may well be thinking... "Why would I need a notification on my phone when the washing is finished?". A great question, to which the answer is rather simple (and a little sad)... if you are anything like me, there is a good chance that the wet washing may sit in the washing machine for a few days, only making itself known by emitting a rather putrid and mouldy smell!

So essentially I am using technology to make up for my absent-mindedness (that's my favourite kind of technology - the kind that saves me from myself!) - you may find other useful ways to adapt this blog to your particular needs or inadequacies ;)

Overview.

We are going to use the Aeotec Smart Switch 6 as our energy monitoring Z-Wave device. Your washing machine will be plugged into this Z-Wave module and the energy consumption data will be fed into the Fibaro Home Center.

We will then create a Variable (more on this below) and two simple Scenes that will allow you to receive a notification to your smartphone(s) when the washing is done.

This won't take long at all...

Creating the notification.

First, we want to create a Notification within Home Center - this will be the Push Notification message that will be sent to our smartphone(s).

Within the Fibaro Home Center web interface...

1. Click on “Panels” in the top menu.

2. Select “Notification Panel” from the list on the left.

3. Name your Notification: Washing Machine (or whatever you like). &nbsp  4. Enter the same notification text for each of the text fields. &nbsp  5. Click Save.

Great. Now we have a Push Notification that we will trigger later in one of our Scenes below when your wash cycle is finished.

Now on to...

Creating a Variable.

Next, we want to create a Predefined Variable - This Variable will keep track of the current state of your washing machine... Off or Running.

Within the Fibaro Home Center web interface...

1. Click on “Panels” in the top menu.

2. Select “Variables Panel” from the list on the left.

3. Click the “Add” button under “Predefined variables”.

4. Name your Variable: Washing (or whatever you like). &nbsp  5. Enter 2 Values: Off & Running. &nbsp  6. Click Save.

Hint: After creating and saving our Variable above, be sure it is set to "Off" before moving on to the next step.

Perfect. Now we have a way of letting Home Center know the current state of your washing machine... Off or Running – now we move on to creating scenes that will change the washing machine variable above and send a notification when the washing cycle is finished.

We are almost done...

Creating the Scenes.

Our last step is to create two Scenes in Home Center. These Scenes will adjust the Washing Variable we created above and send a notification when the washing cycle is complete.

Scene 1 - Washing Running.

Our first Scene will detect when your washing machine has started its cycle - this is done by monitoring the energy usage through the Smart Switch 6 (to which your washing machine is plugged into).

Let's go through the Scene logic step-by-step...

Our "Triggers"...

  • When "Washing Machine" (Smart Switch 6 module) W> (Watts - Greater Than) 10
  • And "Washing" (our Variable) is "Off"

Our "Actions" (Then)...

  • Set our "Washing" Variable to "Running"

That's it for our first Scene. We are simply changing our "Washing" Variable from "Off" to "Running" when the Smart Switch 6 detects energy usage (the washing machine is powered on).

Our "Washing" Variable plays a very important roll here. The Scene needs two conditions to be true for it to run... The "Washing" Variable must be "Off" and the power consumption must be greater than 10w - by changing the "Washing" Variable to "Running", we eliminate the chance that our Scene will get caught in a "loop" (which would break our logic) as "Washing = Off" is no longer true.

On to our second Scene...

Scene 2- Washing Done.

Our final Scene will detect when power consumption drops (washing machine has finished its cycle) and send the Notification we created above - as well as re-setting our "Washing" Variable back to "Off" (ready for next time).

Let's go through the Scene logic step-by-step...

Our "Triggers"...

  • When "Washing" (our Variable) is "Running" (set from the 1st Scene above).
  • And "Washing Machine" (Smart Switch 6 module) W
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