Gjesterom 1/Guest Room 1

Løsninger for dette rommet/Solutions for this room


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Guest Room 1

On this page, I present the actual solutions installed in guest room 1 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
Lighting
  • Fibaro Single Switch smart relay

  • IKEA Trådfri E27 smart bulb

  • IKEA Trådfri GU10 smart bulb

  • IKEA Trådfri magnetic, wireless switch

  • Fibaro motion sensor

  • LED light panel with motion sensor

Climate Control
  • Aqara window sensor

  • 2 IKEA Fyrtur blinds

  • Mill WiFi Socket

  • Philips Hue dimmer switch

Home Entertainment

None

Security and Alarm
  • Logitech Circle Camera 2 (this camera comes in two versions, powered by battery or connected to mains power, we have the latter type)

Pet Care

None

Control and Automation
  • IKEA Trådfri range extender


Description of the solutions in this room

This room does double duty; as guest room for visitors and as dog room for our dog when she is home alone (notice the home-made dog cage in the picture which combines storage and dog cage into one space-saving piece of furniture…). For lighting, a ceiling lamp does the heavy lifting. It now has an IKEA Trådfri E27 smart bulb, see picture below. Previously, we used the built-in motion sensor in the Logitech Circle Camera 2 to control the ceiling lamp, which worked OK, but since the camera is at the far end of the room, we had to get quite far into the room before the light turned on. We therefore moved the Fibaro motion sensor freed from its living room sun screen control duty to this room, placed right inside the door, see picture below.

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On the left, Logitech Circle Camera 2 and the ceiling lamp with smart bulb

On the right, Fibaro motion sensor mounted right inside the door

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The light control for the ceiling lamp is set with very little complicated rules; when the sensor detects motion, the light goes on and then automatically off again after 5 minutes of inactivity, see screenshot below. If there are guests using the room as bedroom, they simply turn the light off using the manual wall switch to avoid having it turn on by itself (although I generally strongly mislike people “tampering” with the manual switches since devices go offline that way; it has taken quite some effort to train my wife to keep her fingers off the switches throughout the house that have smart devices connected to them). This could of course have been achieved more elegantly by programming this the same way as our master bedroom, i.e., that during specified intervals the light does not turn on when motion is detected, but since it is hard to know when guests will turn in and get up, manually works best. The motion sensor works well, and also measures temperature and light level, see screenshot below.

Simple programming of the ceiling light based on signals from the camera motion sensor

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Then there is a lamp by the bed, this had for a long time only a traditional bulb, but in the also this was replaced by a smart bulb, an IKEA Trådfri U10 smart bulb, partly because it was one of a very few light sources in the house still not «on line» and partly because the switch on the lamp itself is a little hard to find. Now this lamp is controlled by an IKEA Trådfri wireless switch, placed directly under the lamp, see picture below. This switch works as other control devices from Trådfri, by only being possible to program in the IKEA app by placing them in the same room as lights to be controlled by it, see screenshot below. Since both the switch and both bulbs are placed in the same room, it turns on/off both lights.

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Lamp by the bed, with smart bulb and wireless switch (and to the left of the head board, the remote controls for the Fyrtur blinds, see more about these further down)

Screenshot from the IKEA app, where light and switch are “programmed” by placing them in the same room

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Also here we had the classic challenge that if someone turned off the physical wall switch (which in this case was an xComfort wireless switch, with a relay in the ceiling box above the ceiling lamp), the smart bulb would lose connection and this no longer be remotely controlled. Since the wall switch here was a wireless switch, it wasn’t a feasible solution to replace the switch with a smart version and neither was it an option to install a smart relay behind the switch. This challenge therefore remained unsolved for a while, but I had a smart Fibaro relay left over from the downstairs bathroom, and this put me on to the idea of having this installed above the ceiling lamp instead. An authorized electrician was consulted, who confirmed that this should work, and he turned out to be right–he was able to install this so that both relays fit in the wall box/hollow of the lamp itself. That allows controlling the ceiling light from a phone or other device, even if someone turns off the manual wall switch.


Also in this room we have a LED light panel with a motion sensor, of the type we have several of elsewhere in the house, here installed in a clothes closet, see picture below. It provides a little extra light in the closet and turns on/off automatically.

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LED light panel in the clothes closet

There is also an IKEA Trådfri range extender here, placed in a power outlet under the bed, where it is quite close to the outdoor lights so that it contributes to a “dense” ZigBee network. The Logitech camera also works very well for keeping an eye on the dog. Before becoming confident that the camera would do its job, we loosely put it on top of a bed post, with poorer viewing angle of the room. After having convinced us of its usefulness, we moved it high up and mounted it in the ceiling with the attached wall mount, see picture below, where it has a very good overview of the whole room. Since the camera is HomeKit compatible and recently also was upgraded to support HomeKit Secure Video (see more about this for the camera used outdoor), footage is stored in iCloud and allow going back in time to review clips. In the native Logi Circle app, the camera view is as shown in the screenshot below, but notice that when upgrading to HomeKit Secure Video, this app can no longer be used, only the Home app. A firmware update has also given access to two additional sensors, light level and occupancy, see screen shot of the room view at the bottom of the page. The only drawback of having such a camera in a bedroom is that we must remember to deactivate it when guests are staying in the room!


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Screenshot from the Logi Circle app

For a long time, we had old-fashioned manual blinds covering the two windows in this room, but these gradually became annoying in that they were difficult to open. We therefore installed two IKEA Fyrtur smart blinds, see picture below. These can be operated using buttons on the blinds themselves, but as mentioned above, there are also remote controls attached with the blinds, and these have been placed by the bed (as shown in the picture further above). The blinds work perfectly and they are easy to operate, now also from the bed.

The Fyrtur blinds in closed position

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Since we rarely use this room, heating has not been a priority, but there is an old-fashioned panel heater (old-fashioned in the sense that it is not online in any way, but it has a built-in thermostat) used only when guests stay here. Recently, though, we had to spend a lot of time in this room when nursing our dog after surgery, when she could not use stairs for some weeks, and when introducing a new kitten into the pack. By coincidence, around this time, I saw an add for a product promising to add smart control to traditional electrical heaters, Mill WiFi Socket (Mill is a Norwegian company that also makes different lines of heaters with built-in WiFi). This product is in reality a smart plug with an integrated thermostat, and it is installed in-between the wall socket and the power plug of the heater, see picture below (I should also mention that the initial setup of the plug was a bit fiddly, it would not connect to our wireless network using the standard method, something I suspect is related to us having a mesh WiFi rather than a pure 2.4 GHz one, but using Mill's alternative method, it worked in the end).

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Mill WiFi smart plug with the panel heater connected (since there is some draft from the wardrobe next to the Mill plug, it had to be calibrated to measure the correct temperature)

The temperature setting on the oven itself must be set a few degrees above the expected maximum temperature, so the Mill plug can control the temperature by simply turning on and off the power to the heater. Using the associated Millheat app we can define programs, with different temperatures throughout the day, see screenshot below, or override the programs and set a fixed temperature. I won't claim this to be the world's most user-friendly app, but it works well, and we can now adjust the temperature in this room no matter where we are.


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On the left, room view from the Millheat app

On the right, setting up a weekly program

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Officially, the Mill products don't support integration with any of the smart home platforms. Since this room sees so little use and since I couldn't find any other products with the same functionality, I accepted this when making the purchase of the smart plug. I should, however, mention that I also investigated the possibilities for using a traditional smart plug combined with some device able to measure temperature (in this room, the Fibaro motion sensor has this capability). In principle, this can be done, by creating routines that turn on/off the heater at defined temperature thresholds using the smart plug, but this would require separate routines for each temperature level as well as activating/deactivating these to change the desired temperature. When most traditional smart plugs costs as much or more as the Mill version, the choice was simple.

A bonus was that I found a Mill WiFi app for Athom Homey, and this works very well. The smart plug appears as a device in Homey, see screenshot below, and practically all functionality available in the Mill app can also be found here (except for editing the 24-hour temperature programs, but this is something one rarely adjusts). My joy was no lesser when I next discovered that this exposed the Mill socket to HomeKit  (via the Homeykit app). Unfortunately, the functionality in the Home app is more limited, see screenshot below (later also a plugin for Homebridge for Mill has been created, but also this with some limitations in which adjustments can be made in the Home app). Also here the current temperature measured by the Mill socket is shown and it can be changed, but instead of the program modes used by Mill, the Home app offers its standard HomeKit modes (heat, cool, auto, and off. Choosing either of these has no effect on the actual settings in the Mill app, while changing the temperature actually goes through to the Mill socket.

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On the left, one of the screenshots for the device in Homey

On the right, the plug as it appears in the Home app via Homey

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I later realized that for guests staying in this room, this solution would be cumbersome; they would either have to install the Mill app on their own smartphone and be allowed to log in with our user to control the heater (something we would be hesitant to allow) or ask us the change the temperature. So when a Philips Hue dimmer switch was freed up from the office, the solution was to reprogram this to control the heater, see picture below. I had to do some testing to figure out how this could be done, but in the end the solution was to connect the switch to Homey (via the Hue app for Homey) and program a flow for each button. Since changing the program this way would mean the heater would not revert automatically to the programmed temperature change throughout the 24-hours period, the buttons only set different temperatures.

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The Hue dimmer switch placed on the side of a bookshelf and with buttons that set predefined temperatures

As in the office, where we also have an electric panel heater, we wanted a solution where the heater would turn off if the window was opened for airing. The idea is of course to avoid using unnecessary energy by having the heater trying to compensate for the cooler air from the window, and this has been solved using an Aqara window sensor, see picture below. Since controlling the heater does not fully work in HomeKit, this had to be programmed in Homey, and the window sensor is therefore also connected to Homey rather than the Aqara hub. This has been programmed using two simple "flows" (as routines in Homey are called), where open window turns the smart plug off and closing it puts it back into the automatic program mode.

Aqara window sensor controls the heater on the wall below

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The Home app view of this room, showing both lighting and heating components as well as video feed from the camera, see screenshot below.


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Room view in the Home app, here from an iPad