Operating openhab

I’ve finished my basic openhab configuration and mostly use the android app to operate everything.
Sometimes from work I use the basic ui to check if I didn’t forget to turn off anything.
Now my wife has been asking me if we could install a touchscreen on/in the wall to operate everything. That’s the thing that most people think about when you talk about home automation. :slight_smile:
Now in my opinion, such a screen is a waste of time and money. We won’t get off our lazy ass to walk to a screen if we can do it from our phones.

Now my question is, how are you guys operating your setup? Any nice things you can showoff?
I want to get some ideas on how I can take my setup to the next level. You know, some things you can brag about when you have people over. :smiley:

I think the best way to “show off” is to not operate it through any app. That is to say, your setup is really cool if you barely have to touch openHAB/the web interface. So maybe most people think about messing around a touch screen when you have a smart home, but that’s not really smart IMO.

To make my home more “smart” I actually needed to add a lot more things that can sense and then add openHAB rules to operate the things that can be operated.

E.g. if you have lights that can turn on and off then tie the on/off to motion/presence or the humidity in the bathroom when you just want to chill and not move. Or turn on the lights only when the brightness in a room falls below a threshold. Force off everything when you leave the apartment (solved with Tasker’s geolocation and some API calls), etc.

I think when you are constantly going to do certain tasks to the Android app, that’s a good sign that certain part should be automated.

1 Like

Hey Tim

It’s me again :slight_smile:

as @adarazs mentioned before, an ideal installation of a smarthome controlls itself without any inputs. But sometimes you need to override something for your convience or the WAF.

I do most of this things with scenes an zWave actors like Fibaro dimmers (eg all shutters up / down).
For the living room and the entry I use raspberry’s with thier 7" touch screen and HABpanel on it.

You’re right Michael, sometimes you can’t get around to have some user input. For that I use the APDS-9960 gesture sensor at some strategic places (like the top of my bed frame). It can be bought on ebay for cheap, but here’s a good hookup guide/description: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12787 ).

With it you can detect up/down/left/right/near/far gestures. I have it hooked up to an Arduino which just sends the type of the gesture to an openHAB string item and I make it do different things with openHAB rules. That usually gets a “wow” when I show how I can turn on/off/dim/change colors for the lights with a wave of the hand. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Lot’s of infos if your decision will be “tablet”:

Thanks for the nice replies. I’ll probably install some sensors in the rooms that we use the most. But I’m not sure what I would buy. Since I don’t want to bother breaking my walls (brick walls) for power and/or other lines, I would go for full wireless sensors. Meaning, battery powered and some kind of wireless protocol.
I’ve seen alot of zwave things, but most seem to be quite expensive. Any other recommendations?
I’m using a pi 3 to run openHAB.

Thanks for the link sihui. It seems from that topic that zwave is still the best way to go. But I guess it will have to wait a bit for budget reasons.
Maybe by that time there will be something cheaper available. :slight_smile:


one of the advantages of zwave is, that you can extend your environment step by step :slight_smile:
With a few bugs, you can start on the most important rooms, extending one by one.
The more devices you have (wired), the more reliable your zwave meshnetwork gets.

Just to add an opinion I know my favorite thing about my home is operating everything in the house with an Echo or a Google Home. People are never more impressed than when you can talk to your house and it responds.

I find it annoying when I have to get out my phone, open an app, find the switch or dimmer I want, and adjust it. I much prefer speaking to the air and having an assistant do the work for me.

That combined with the automated rules should eliminate the need for an interface largely. Just my opinion but I quite like having a voice assistant. And with the Echo Dot being $50 I can put one in each room for a reasonable price and the whole house can listen.

Just my thoughts but if you want to impress or add convenience that’s the route I’d take.