How to teach a HA system to read the state of a dumb device?

So I’m very new to HA (and Reddit for that matter!) Have just picked up a Google Home and some sonoff switches to start playing with. We’re about to move into a new home and are having an alarm installed. I would like to keep my options open for bigger and brighter automation in future.

‘The internet’ says the most compatible system is a honeywell or DSC with envisalink, but nobody here installs those (I’ve asked)

The most common setup here seems to be AAP ( which are feature rich but have no integration with other systems that I can see. What I understand of the system is that it does have outputs that can turn on or off with the alarm. We have this system in our current home and I do like it.

Is there a way, that when I have the alarm installed I can have a ‘thing’ installed that turns on or off when the alarm is armed, and then another system like openhab or homeassistant can read the state of that ‘thing’ in order to trip other events.

submitted by /u/joff_nz
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Can’t get one particular Ikea bulb to pair with Hue bridge

I’m in the process of pairing most of my Ikea bulbs to my Hue bridge so I can use them with Lutron Connected Bulb Remotes and retain my ability to use them in automations. I’ve been successful with all but one bulb. Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that.

I successfully paired the bulb with the bridge, but then made the stupid mistake of pairing the Connected Bulb Remote with that bulb before pairing the remote with the bridge, which has the effect of unpairing the bulb from the bridge and making it so that only the remote can control the bulb.

I factory reset the remote and the bulb, but since then I have been unable to re-pair the bulb to the bridge. The bridge is just never able to see that the bulb is available for pairing. I’ve tried factory resetting the bulb and the remote multiple times, re-pairing the bulb to the Tradfri bridge then resetting it and trying Hue again, but nothing. The Hue bridge just doesn’t see it anymore.

Any ideas?

submitted by /u/Arpisti
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HELP – How do I wire up a 24VAC solenoid valve to this relay and my Rpi? – For irrigation

Hi guys,
I have a question here. I am very new to home automation as well as electronics so it is safe to say I am pretty lost right now.
I am trying to make a small automated irrigation system for my parents and have had some good success UNTIL NOW! haha.

Ok, So I am using sprinkers_pi software and have my relay connected to my Rpi. I am able to switch on and off each relay so that part is working fine.

my big problem is I do not know how to wire up the solenoid to the relay.. it is a 24VAC solenoid and I have a 24VAC power adapter.

I originally screwed up and misread a wiring diagram and connected both wires from the solenoid into the screw holes in the relay and then connected both wires from the power adapter into the GND and the JD-VCC of the relay.
Well this was obviously very wrong and I was met with a loud noise and a lot of smoke.. oops!
It is a miracle but I didn’t seem to damage anything.

I have been searching but cannot seem to find a clear picture of how to set this up so it works, so I am asking your help here.

Would someone possibly be able to explain it or draw me a simple diagram (simple so I understand haha) ?

Here is my setup for you to take a look.

or do I need some kind of converter as well?

I am really enjoying what I am learning right now, but don’t want to blow myself up and loose confidence!

Any help will be very much appreciated .. thank you

submitted by /u/MariaCummins
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Could someone tell me if this type of smart switch exists?

Our master bedroom only has one switched outlet, everything else has to be switched on by hand. Our bedroom is is about 325-350 sqft so one light doesn’t really cut it.

I’m not sure if this exists but I want to install a switch that could be paired with a smart plug which would turn on the existing switched outlet along with the paired plug.

Does this kind of switch exist? Or is this something i would need some sort of hub for?

submitted by /u/zieros087
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Alexa profiles prevent any home automation control

I posted in /r/Alexa but wanted to ask here as well as this is more about Alexa’s inability to be a useful home automation controlling device. If the cross-posting isn’t allowed I’m sorry.

There seems to be no way for a family to use Alexa correctly. The accounts do not share any information (groups, etc). I mean I can understand for some DRM reason they can’t share music via Amazon Music Unlimited. But absolutely nothing works across a family.

Here is my setup, I doubt it is unusual:
We have 3 Echo dots purchased in a promo sale (basically got 3 for the price of 1)
We have one positioned in between the living room and Kitchen (only a half-wall between them, and it can hear both rooms)
We have one in my son’s room
We have one in my daughter’s room
My wife’s account is the one that pays for Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited
I purchased the Dots, so they are under my account. However “Alexa Switch Accounts” correctly goes into my wife’s profile.
We have a WEMO Light switch in each of the Kids rooms and one WEMO smart plug outlet in each of their rooms.
On my Alexa App I set up three groups: {Daughter’s Name}, {Son’s Name}, Living Room.
In each group I assigned the correct Echo Dot, the room’s light switch, and the room’s smart plug. In the App I also assigned each smart plug to be a device type “Light”.

Here is the issue: In my Alexa profile If I say “Alexa, turn on the lights”. That room’s Light and smart plug turn on as expected.
However my wife’s account has the music unlimited and prime music, including about 300+ GB of uploaded music. (She is a music nut). So in my profile the devices can’t play and music, at all.
If I use “Alexa, Switch Accounts” it switches to my wife’s profile and all the music works. However all the groups are gone. All three Dot’s completely forget what room they are in. If I say “Alexa turn on the lights” It turns on EVERY LIGHT switch in the house! Also none of the smart plugs.

Initially I thought I’d just recreate the groups in my Wife’s alexa profile. Nope, you can’t! none of the Echo Dots show as devices. I was able to rescan and see the WEMO devices but even recreating the groups and assigning the WEMO devices to each room in her profile does not let me assign a Dot to that room so it is functionally useless for controlling those.

Can anyone help?

FYI: I’m an 20 year IT professional specializing in Networking and security. Also do a bit of programming in C++, .net and x86 assembler.

submitted by /u/dalgrim
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Detecting when a cat is occupying a pillow

I have a 1ft x 1ft red velvet pillow in front of my fireplace for my cat to lay on. The fireplace is turned on/off using a standard light switch. Would like the fireplace to turn on/off automatically based on occupancy of the pillow. Yes I know letting a cat be in charge of fire is bad, so I will be adding some safeties to make sure it can’t be triggered when no one is home, but that’s not the focus of this post.

I figure I can swap out the switch for the fireplace with some kind of wifi integrated switch which only leaves the problem of detecting the occupancy of the pillow.

I have a raspberry pi, access to cloud computing services, and software development experience. It’s the hardware portion of this project that has me stumped.

The occupancy of the pillow should be determinable even if it is dark, as well as be reliable, even when the occupier hasn’t moved for a significant period of time. Keep in mind that this will be near a fireplace, so something that isn’t going to be thrown off by heat from the fireplace is also necessary. Ideally a solution that is not hardware heavy and doesn’t require significant wiring.

I’m currently looking at using load cells, but they seem clunky and unreliable when used for long term measurements. A pressure mat under the pillow won’t seem to work either because the pillow itself could set it off, also concerned about long term wear. Any other suggestions?

submitted by /u/angrycat
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How do Casetas work?

I have an older home with no neutral wires on my light switches, and want to ‘move up’ from Hue bulbs to hardwired switches. In researching this, it seems like Lutron Casetas may be my only option outside having the whole house rewired. My question is this; if the neutral makes sure that the switch is always powered, how do the Casetas work without it? Do they have an internal battery or something?

submitted by /u/Vomitology
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