Vaskerom/Laundry Room

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Laundry Room

On this page, I present the actual solutions installed in the laundry room of our smart home, with links to specific products used and how these have been set up

This room contains solutions for the following systems (notice that on phones, the table might only be displayed in landscape mode):

System Type Components
  • Aqara motion sensor

  • Aqara door sensor

  • Aqara smart light switch

  • Hue motion sensor

Climate Control
  • Aqara temperature and humidity sensor

  • Høiax smart hot water heater

Home Entertainment None
Security and Alarm
  • Aqara water leak sensor

  • Aqara vibration sensor

Appliances and food
  • Bosch washing machine

Control and Automation None

Description of the solutions in this room

It is not mentioned in the component list above, but for a while, we also had a Xiaomi camera here, for a very specific purpose, see further down...

The lighting control her was a demanding task to solve. This was due to the light sources being two ceiling fixtures for old-fashioned fluorescent tubes, which go poorly together with most smart devices. The tubes produce such a high load on start-up that most smart switches cannot be used, and the laundry room is not used enough to warrant replacing the light fixtures. For an intermediate period, we resorted to an ELKO motion sensor to turn on/off the lights, but this allowed no remote control.

The light switch was replaced with a smart switch, which by a mixup turned out to be a double Aqara smart switch. This room is in reality partitioned into two rooms; in addition to the laundry room, there is also a storage room and these are separated by a door. There is a lighting fixture in both rooms, and each of these are now connected to its own switch of the Aqara switch. In the laundry room, an Aqara motion sensor has been installed, see pictures below. The light has been programmed to turn on at motion and off again after 10 minutes, see screenshot below.

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Aqara light switch on the left and Aqara motion sensor on the right (mounted under the wall shelf)

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Simplified programming of the ceiling light

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Furthermore, an Aqara door sensor has been installed at the door leading into the storage room, see picture below, and this has been set up so that the light turns on when the door is opened and off again when it is closed, see screenshot below.

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Aqara door sensor on the left and simple programming to turn the light on when the door is opened

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The ceiling light, which is controlled by the Aqara motion and door sensors

I have installed an Aqara temperature and humidity sensor, though in the storage room beyond the laundry room itself, see picture below. This storage room is not insulated and we store some items here that would not benefit from sub-zero temperatures, so this way we can check the temperature on really cold days. The measurements also show up in the Home app, since the Aqara components natively support HomeSkit, see screenshot below.

Controlling the ceiling light in the storage room normally works perfectly well, but in some cases this room is used as a “workshop”. In such cases, it makes sense to have the door closed, but still keep the light on. This was for a long time accomplished manually, but after a Hue motion sensor became redundant, it was moved here, see picture below. This is set up such that the light turns on at motion, if the door is closed (and off again after five minutes).

Aqara temperature sensor and Hue motion sensor installed on a shelf in the storage room off the laundry room

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We have also had a couple of cases where the floor drain has become so clogged up by lint and dirt that the Samsung washing machine has interpreted the water outlet to be closed. It then releases the water straight onto the floor, and warns of a leak, but with such a low sound one would have to be right outside the door to hear the warning. We have therefore installed an Aqara water leak sensor on the floor next to the washing machine, see picture below. This is very small and monitors for new leaks, in which case it will give a notification, both via the Aqara app and the Home app.

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Aqara leakage sensor placed in the floor next to the washing machine

One thing that I have really been missing is smarter appliances. Both our former Samsung washing machine and Siemens tumble dryer are intelligent enough to display the remaining time of running programs, but they are both too old to be online in any way. Thus, when wanting an update on the status, there is no way to avoid going downstairs to the laundry room to check it. This is of course far beyond the limit of true needs, but I have in any case investigated whether I could get these appliances connected. The conclusion is that this is impossible, and I have therefore looked for another solution. A small and very reasonably priced Xiaomi camera was mounted on top of the wall switch facing the two appliances. However, the distance was too great and the camera resolution too low to be able to read the displays, see below, so the camera has now been moved outdoor to monitor the cat pen.

Screenshot from the Mi app (even when zooming in, it was impossible to read the displays)

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A halfway solution has therefore been to install an Aqara vibration sensor on respectively the old washing machine (replaced now) and tumble dryer, see picture below. They can obviously not tell how long it is till a program will be done, but in the Home app it is possible to check whether a program has ended (no vibration registered). But it should be said that the sensors don’t always detect that the dryer is running, especially when the current phase involves little movement. It also happens that the sensor on the dyer registers motion even if only the washing machine, which the dryer is placed on top of, is running, especially during spin cycles. In other words, not a perfect solution, but it somehow works. I almost hope the dryer will break so it can be replaced with one that is online…

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Aqara vibration sensor installed on the tumble dryer

It has therefore been a boost to replace the old washing machine. Our fairly expensive Samsung machine, with 10-year motor warranty, failed shortly after the 5-year general warranty expired. Replacing the motherboard was so expensive that we found it just as well to buy a new machine. After some investigation into smart washing machines, we finally landed on a Bosch front-loaded machine, see picture below. This is part of an extensive line of products from Bosch/Siemens equipped with so-called Home Connect, which makes the appliances available through the Home Connect app and allows starting/pausing/stopping them, see the remaining time, etc. Thus, we have realized the functionality attempted solved by the using the vibration sensors described above, and the experience with a smart appliance has created an appetite for more!

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Bosch vaskemaskin og skjermbilde fra Home Connect-appen

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There is also both a Homey-app for Home Connect and a Homebridge plugin, which both open some functionality. In Homey, we can see that status of the running program, whether the door is open or closed, and start/stop the machine, but sadly the washing machine often shows up as unavailable in the Homey app. Via HomeKitty and via Homebridge, the washing machine can also be brought over to HomeKit, but with fairly severe limitations. From Homey, in practice only the door status view shows up, while via Homebridge we can see whether the machine itself is turned on or off and whether it is running a program or not (see screenshot below). In practice, it means that we must also use the Home Connect app, especially to read the remaining time of the current program.

The last years, electrical power has been very expensive here and heating hot water is one of the things that consume much power. When smart hot water heaters were finally launched, we installed a Høiax Connected 200 with built-in temperature sensor, see picture below, and is online. I have not found any way to integrate this into HomeKit, but it is controlled from an app, myUplink, see screenshot below, and mostly minds itself and requires very little intervention. It is connected to a database of power rates and controls the water heating to save as much money as possible.

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Høiax smart hot water heater and screenshot from the myUplink app

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In the Home app, the devices are shown as in the screenshot below.

The devices in the laundry room

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