Why I used OpenHab (Completed Final Results)

50 Years ago when I started college in Milwaukee Wisconsin there was a building with a light tower. image The building’s flame changed colors depending on the weather so that you could walk outside and see what was coming tomorrow. It was convenient and maybe the first weather “app”.

When the flame is gold, watch out for cold. 
When the flame is blue, there's no change in view. 
Where there's agitation, expect precipitation."

I could have automated my house with Amazon, or Insteon, Wink, or X10 like I have for 30 years but without openHAB, I could never have replicated the Milwaukee Flame! Thanks to the generosity of guys like Rich and others in the community I was able to crawl up the learning curve and make it work. I’ll be casting an Asian Pagoda lamp out of concrete to house the RGB bulb. As time goes by my neighbors will learn the poem and the next day’s weather forecast. Thanks to all in the community that helped me out along the way!
I fought with ZigBee’s ability to access the colored light, but finally found a bulb that just made it inside the range. Here is the final version. Back to the rest of Home Automation!


Tagging @rlkoshak since he got mentioned and I want him to see this gratitude.
(I assume @cdstaley meant @rlkoshak with “Rich”) :wink:


Here is the weather beacon I remember when growing up.

The building is perhaps best known for its weather beacon, whose colour codes provide summarized weather forecasts at a glance. The information is updated four times every day by Environment Canada’s Weather Centre at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The forecast is for the next 4 hours. The top light shows:[2]

  • Steady green = clear
  • Steady orange = cloudy
  • Flashing orange = rain
  • Flashing white = snow

The white lights along the support tower show:[2]

  • Lights running up = warmer
  • Lights running down = cooler
  • Steady = steady temperature / No change

Forecast Period[3]:

  • 7am beacon signals the conditions for the morning.
  • 11am beacon signals the conditions for the afternoon.
  • 3pm beacon signals the conditions for the evening.
  • 7pm night beacon signals the conditions for the following day.

The beacon was the first of its kind to appear in Canada and was built at a cost of $25,000 (equivalent to $234,859 in 2018). The top of the beacon tower stands 321 feet (97.8 m) above University Avenue and, when completed on August 9, 1951, made the structure the third-highest in Toronto, after the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building and the Royal York Hotel.


I started with Smart Home when my company started converting the office into a Smart Office. At that time I was integrated into the team and started to work on it. At some point I realized how it could make your life easier. Now it has become a big hobby :wink:

1 Like

Some people do that by hiring smart people :rofl:

1 Like

This was a pleasantly surprising read. I saw the past tense in the heading and thought it was going to be one of those “I’m leaving OH because reasons” posts.

I was going to use the :hugs: emoji, but that’s not appropriate right now. So… :mask:


This can be also a useful topic :wink:

Wasn’t sure anyone cared so thanks. I like the Canada tower. Much more to think about. Living in Florida I can toss out the snow segment, but I like the cloudy color and may just add it to the mix.
Maybe "When the flame is green the sky can’t be seen"
BTW I’m using darksky which works great!!
Thanks for the feedback!

1 Like

I thought the rising or falling tower lights were a nice touch on the Canada Tower beacon.

That’s a really fun sounding project! I hope you post pictures when it’s done. Building progress pictures are even better. :wink: Thanks for the appreciation and good luck with your project!

1 Like

Today was casting day. Yesterday was form day! Want to get this done. Since I live in Florida I’m thinking there needs to be a Hurricane Warning. Maybe alternating Red/Green.
When I pull off the form there will be light holes like this

. .
Working on roof now! The base is upside down in this photo.


This is not a construction site but I’ve finished the casting. I’ll be wiring up the hue light today. Next post will be a night shot with it placed in yard.


I posted a YouTube link to the completed project. Neighbors are starting to ask “what’s with the light”. They are in awe. “how do you know the weather? Can I do that with Alexa? etc.” Lots of fun. Thanks again!


Final, Final Results. It takes 30 days before you can stain concrete. I selected something that resembled Jade. Comes on every night at sunset (thank you Astro) and lets me know the weather. Hoping openHab3 will have a weather control binding! Hurricane_Florida_Coast.sendCommand(OFF) :slightly_smiling_face: