Vinterhage/Conservatory

Løsninger for dette rommet/Solutions for this room


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Conservatory

On this page, I present the actual solutions installed in the conservatory 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
  • Eve Energy smartplugg

  • Koogeek smart dimmer

  • Philips Hue motion sensor

Climate Control
  • Heatmiser neoStat-e termostat

Home Entertainment None
Security and Alarm
  • Verisure smart camera

Pet Care None
Control and Automation None

Description of the solutions in this room

One of the light sources, which is now controlled by the Koogeek smart dimmer (see picture below), required some investigations before arriving at the final solution. The lights in question are a string of spot lights stretched across the room under the ceiling, using small halogen light bulbs (which have no smart versions). These were controlled using a manual wall dimmer switch, but with a special twist in that the spot lights were connected to power plugged into a wall socket, i.e., not directly connected to the dimmer switch.


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Row of spot lights underneath the ceiling (the picture was taken when they were connected using a Fibaro smart plug)

Koogeek smart dimmer switch controls the spot lights (keep in mind that the dimmer switch requires a neutral lead so that it gets constant power)

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I first tried simply using a smart plug, testing a few different versions, between the wall socket and the spot light power plug. This did not work; even with the dimmer turned on, the smart plug did not get enough power to fire up and get online. The next step was therefore a bit “radical”; I replaced the dimmer switch with a simple on/off wall switch. This allowed using a smart plug, but without any solution for dimming the spot lights, I could only turn them on and off, though using HomeKit. After having installed this solution, a HomeKit-compatible smart dimmer switch from Lightwave was launched, and this would restore the dimming functionality. Unfortunately, this switch also requires setting up a Lightwave base station (called Link Plus), which is quite expensive (although installing one means you can later add additional Lightwave products). Then the above-mentioned Koogeek dimmer became available, which requires no dedicated hub, so I ended up installing this. This allows programming, including dimming levels, as well as manual operations using the wall switch, which is a plus compared with wall switches with relays installed behind them (see for example the Fibaro switch in the library), where the switch must stay turned on for it to stay connected.

The dimmer switch also allows monitoring the power consumption in the Koogeek app, see screenshot below.

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In the Koogeek app (but not in the Home app), the current power consumption for the light sources controlled is shown

The second light source in the room, controlled using the Eve smart plug, is a floor lamp with a halogen bulb, see picture below. This lamp has a built-in dimmer, while the smart plug of course only can turn on/off the lamp. Both solutions work very well and both light sources are programmed to turn on automatically when it starts to get dark, as part of a HomeKit scene called Evening Lights (and off as part of the Good Night scene).


Eve Energy smart plug with connected floor lamp

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In the Eve app, more detailed information from the smart plug can be accessed, see screenshot below.

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More detailed power consumption data for the lam connected to the smart plug shown in the Eve app

In addition, a Philips Hue motion sensor has been installed at a suitable spot in a window, see picture below, to that is doesn’t register motion unless we actually are in the room. This is used in a routine that turns on the light at motion and if the light level is below a certain level, since there are so many windows in this room that extra light is only required when it is fairly dark. The light level measurements are also used in a routine to control the lights in the living room.

Hue sensor that registers both motion and light levels

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The electrical floor heating underneath the laminate flooring is controlled using a Heatmiser neoStat-e thermostat, which strictly speaking is placed on the wall in the adjacent kitchen, see picture below. In this room, there is a separate floor temperature sensor and the thermostat can be set to take its temperature readings from either a floor sensor, room sensor, or the built-in sensor. This set up works very well, the thermostat has never had any issues, and it is easy to program and control from a smart phone/tablet or from the display on the thermostat itself.


Heatmiser thermostat that controls the under-floor heating in the conservatory

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The alarm system from Verisure has two so-called camera detectors, which work such that in the case of a triggered alarm, pictures are taken and transferred to Verisure, but we can not access the pictures taken. Verisure also offers a so-called smart camera, which is both very expensive and lacking in functionality, in that it can only take still images at fairly poor resolution. I had thought it would be more useful, but when I got the chance to buy one second-hand at a good price, I accepted the offer. In the end, we placed it here in the conservatory, see picture below, so that should we need to see what goes on in this room, we can get a picture of it. As the screenshot below shows, the quality of the images is not very good, and the camera can only be operated from the Verisure app (and web page), while temperature readings from the camera appear in HomeKit via the Verisure Homebridge plugin.

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Verisure smart camera placed on a window sill

Example of picture taken by the camera

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

The devices in the room

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