10 Best automations to start Home Assistant

When you have followed through one of my previous posts how to set up Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi, you might wonder: “And what is next?”

One of the first things to do after you set up your first devices is to create some automations. Those can be created in the automations.yaml file in your Configurator if you use hass.io. Or otherwise access your configuration files via your favourite SSH application.

Here I share with you 10 of my favourite Home Assistant automations you could create when you first start discovering Home Assistant. Maybe these are not the most complicated or fancy automations, but they are great ideas to get you started out there in the world of home automation. I will write some blog posts to detail out some of those automations for you so please come back at a later time to see some more information about these automations.

1.

Let’s start with a simple one: when arriving at your room and it is dark there, the lights will turn on. This could be detected by either a lux sensor in the room or sunrise/sunset entities in combination with motion sensor to turn on the lights. When no motion is detected anymore, turn off the lights again after 10 minutes.

2.

We have an electrical water boiler in the kitchen, it uses quite some electricity and it’s on 24/7. In the night we never need it, so I created an automation where the water boiler turns off after 23:00 in the evening and turns on again at 06:00 in the morning. Use a smart power socket and a simple ‘off’ at 23:00 and ‘on’ at 06:00 automation.

3.

Our house has some pretty good isolation, so we do need good ventilation. After shower a humidity sensor detects moist in the air and turns the mechanical ventilation to the highest setting until the humidity is below a certain level again. The same can be done with motion detection in the kitchen, when motion is detected for more that 5 minutes straight, probably somebody is cooking, so turn the ventilation to the highest setting for at least 1 hour, after that back to normal setting.

4.

My wife and I love to watch a good movie now and then. So when we turn on the TV and the Apple TV for a movie and the lights are on, dim those lights or even turn them off. When TV is put on pause, turn the lights back up, because then we want to grab some nice snack in the kitchen.

5.

When we go on holiday, it’s often in the summer, so in order for the garden to survive, we need a sprinkler. No need to ask the neighbours to do it anymore. Just connect a smart water outlet to the sprinkler and off it goes as soon as the sun sets.

6.

Create your own Philips wakeup light. Set a time at which you want to get up, so that your nightlight slowly increases the brightness and wakes you up in a smooth way at the preset time.

7.

Turn on the toilet light when someone walks in. When someone stays there for more than 3 minutes, it’s safe to assume he or she is doing some big business and also turn on the ventilation for 10 minutes. All that’s needed are a motion sensor in the toilet and a smart switch to turn on and off the ventilation.

8.

Play some sound when the garage door or any other unsupervised door is opened. This can be done by a door sensor on that door in combination with any smart speaker or alarm siren.

9.

5 minutes after the last person has left the house and the alarm is not turned on, sent a message to your phone reminding that you have to turn on the alarm system of your house. This can be done with device trackers, like using the Home Assistant app on your phone with location detection or other types of device trackers.

10.

Sent a notification when the laundry or dryer machine is finished. This can be achieved by having the laundry machine connected to the wall power socket by a smart power metering plug. When the wattage measures is below a certain threshold for a certain time, one can assume the laundry is finished.

These are just some great ideas I do like and use in my home automation. There is (almost) no limit to what you can do with these automations. For almost all inputs there are some sensors available. If you want to know more about possible sensor inputs and maybe some integrations you might like and might fuel your imagination for your next automation, please have a look at the integrations available in Home Assistant.

Please leave some comments with your best or most creative automations. Also if you have some questions regarding this post, feel free to ask!

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