What do YOU do with your home automation

Most energy companies offer such a plan (cheaper at night), so there is definitely a good reason to do this. This is why I run the dishwasher etc at night.
As my long post on the preceding page indicates, the unique thing about it is that its temperature based, which allows for planning ahead based on weather predictions. That's what I really like about it, you get to plan your own energy usage as you like.
Perhaps not turning it off but simply turning it down might balance the cost. I still want a tankless heater myself.

Right now I have a ton of gagets but none of them are really doing anything. I use HomeSeer for the brains of the system.

Devices I have:

25+ Z-wave switches
2 Z-wave remotes
USB-UIRT for IR stuff
3 Wireless X10 Cams
A few motion detectors
and more

I feel as I have all the toys that I really need at this point to make a pretty good system but since I use HS as the brains and they are about to release 2.0 any day now I have been very hesitant on actually putting all this stuff in place because I don't want to have to do it all twice. So basically all i have going for me right now is my lights being controlled and everything else is sitting on my computer desk connected and being played with but not actually serving any purpose.

Also I have only been living in my house for a year and I have already noticed that its too small so I dont want to waste 5 years of my life setting up this system and have to rip it all back out when i move. So I guess you can say that i am preparing for the future and trying to educate myself so that when i build my own house I will be able to plan everything ahead of time and will have most of the toys that i need to put it all in place.

One thing that i have done is installed cat5 outlets throughout my house and tied them into two switches and a router for a nice network which i will most likely leave the wiring in the house and just take the network devices with me.

I also have make a projection theater in my basement which is about 90% complete but i have been turned of by the fact that i want t dedicated HTPC and also a better projecter than the Infocus X1. Money limits me getting the above.
Come on guys, I know for fact there are plenty of other Cocooners doing some really cool stuff, so post away! This is the kind of data newbies are looking for. We'll set up another thread soon to discuss the hardware/software we use, so we can keep this thread on track ;)
OK, a couple of small things.

1) I'm a believer in dimming outside floodlights. At 30 minutes after sunset, my front floodlights come on at 25%. I think it's a neat effect. There is also a motion sensor attached to a tree in the front yard. If it detects motion, the floodlights come on to 100% for ten minutes.

I implemented this after some of my son's friends thought toilet paper would make a noce decoration for the trees out front a couple of years ago.

2) I know a lot of people do this but, a motion sensor in the bedroom will turn on the bathroom lights to 30% if it detects motion between midnight and 6 AM. It will also turn on a hallway light that leads to the kitchen at 30%. Don't like to be blinded... The motion sensor is also positioned so that it won't pick up movement in the bed - only after people get up.

3) In most rooms, I've increased the wattage of the light bulbs to the max that can be used in the fixture. I then set the pre-set on level to the proper light level. For instance, in my den, when someone turns on the light that's in the ceiling fan, it goes on to 60% brightness by default. This does a couple of things for me. My light bulb will last almost 20 times longer (90% dim = double light bulb life, 50% dim = 20 times light bulb life) and secondly, if I do need extra light (maybe to find something), I can get it.

Dimming a light to 60% doesn't quite save 40% on the electricity. There is a little loss but it's not too much.
Martin i like your number 3. What switches do you use and are you able to use homeseer to preset them before each use. With my kids if i set it to 50% manually it would never stay that way because they never have enough light ;) I would like to be able to make it permanent and then have a script to override it if need be.

How are you handling it?
I use the Smarthome 2380 switches in most of the house and the Lightolier CC600 switches in some places.

Yeah, the kids do like to go to the switches sometimes and double tap then to go to full brightness. If they do that in some rooms though, it's like the sun came on!

One way to get around that is have your software looks for that light to be in a state of 100% on, if so, have the software then dim it down.... You need to have a 2-way status switch for this of course.
1. Motion sensor in the shower (mounted 6" to the right of the showerhead) turns on the exhaust fan and shower light). I have the fan and the shower light wired to an appliance module and I used one of the outdoor waterproof motion sensors ( ms16 I think).

2. Snow melt cable is wired thru an appliance module and shuts off at 3pm in case I forget to turn it off.

3. Haven't done this yet but might try this out. Motion sensor (facing up) buried in the bottom of the bird feeder. Use the darkness/daylight function of the sensor to tell when the bird feeder needs refilling.
electron said:
Most energy companies offer such a plan (cheaper at night), so there is definitely a good reason to do this. This is why I run the dishwasher etc at night.
About 10 years ago when I lived in Raleigh, NC, Duke Power had a "plan."

If you signed-up for the plan, they isntalled some wireless doo-dad (No not a new plugin ;) ) on your AC/Heatpump and the doo-dad would be triggered to cut power to your heatpump during peak demand periods.

My roomates and I were in college and looking to save $$ anyway we could, so we wanted to sign-up. We couldn't, though, becuase we were renting and couldn't get authorization from the landlord to let Duke hack-up the heatpump.
Ok, you guys want some off the wall stuff that I am using HS for, you got it!

I do most of the stuff mentioned throughout this thread, Lighting control, motion, announcements blah...blah...blah....

That said:

Auto Lighting

I have a magazine rack next to the couch where the TV circular is kept. This rack is between the couch, and an end table with a lamp on it. This lamp is seldom used, as normally the overhead lighting is kept on dim in the evenings. I have placed a motion sensor strategically aimed on the side of the magazine rack. It will ONLY detect motion in this area. The only reason to reach down there would be to grab the TV guide, or a magazine ect. When you reach in there, the lamp right next to you turns on. With a nifty event trigger (if device is on), when the magazine is placed back, the lights goes back off. This seems trivial, but the usefullness and the effect are quite impressive, ESPECIALLY when company is over ;)

Doggy Monitor

I have 2 roomates, and all 3 of us are on completely varying schedules. We have 2 small dogs. It used to be a cellphone frenzy when someone got home, and dosent know when the dogs were taken out last time. Me calling roomate one, and he tells me he didnt walk them to call roomate 2... you get the idea.

We may have just missed one another, and they could have been taken out just minutes earlier, or no one has been home and they havent been out in a few hours. Thus, Home Seer to the rescue! We have a hook by the door that we keep the leashes on. With another strategically aimed motion sensor (only will pick up motion if the leashes are moved, not just when someone walks by). HS now keeps track of when the dogs were walked last. If it has been more than 6 hours, it will announce the dogs have not been walked recently in rooms where motion has been detected. If no rooms have had motion recently, it will catch the first poor soul that comes in the door next and tell them to walk the dogs hehehe. This cant just be based on when someone was home, as they may not have walked the dogs at all. This announcement also has scheduled times. This keeps HomeSeer from waking us up at 4 in the morning to tell us to go walk the dogs!

If the dogs have not been walked for a really extended period of time, HomeSeer will text message each of us to let us know. This way the stop after work at the store, or to grab a beer, will have to wait, and go home and take the dogs out first.

So, there's a couple things I know I have not seen before in the Automation forums!
Hey ELECTRON:can you explain how you do that medication reminder in homeseer? for newbies like me (48Homesser hours of experiences),this would be a base for other aplications I think. ;)
If you are new to Homeseer, this might not make much sense, but I will post a short version now so other people understand the concept, and will try to post a tutorial later tonight.

Basically, each device can have a value stored. So I created several events, when you hit the button once, and the value = 1, then it announces the remaining time until next dose, and changes the value of the virtual device to 2. It also triggers another event which will reset the device value back to 1 after 5 seconds. If you hit the button while the device value = 2 (which is a 5 second window), then it will reset the medication timer back to T-5 hours. I also have another event which will remind you once the 5 hours have passed, and it will do so every 10 minutes (by not allowing the event to retrigger for 600 seconds).

Btw, this isn't limited to just Homeseer, this concept should work with most applications (using variables/timers)
you are rigth,very complicated,for now the option of have HS reminder the medication every day is good,how I can do that?..personaly those "scripts" scare me
No reason to be scared, we'll help you with whatever you need. As for a daily reminder, just create an event and select "By Condition" as the trigger. Then simply select "Time Is" as the condition, specify the time you wanted to be reminded, select the days you want to be reminded, and I would also recommend setting it so it won't retrigger in 60 seconds. That should do the job.