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Posts tagged with: home assistant

Using NFC tags in Home Assistant – Never forget bin day again!

This blog post is based on a transcript from a YouTube video that demonstrates a practical example of using NFC tags and Home Assistant to help you remember to take the bins out.

Do you often forget to put your bins out on the curb for collection? In this blog post, I will show you how to use NFC tags and Home Assistant to create a simple reminder system so that you never forget to take the bins down again.

NFC Tags and Home Assistant

Near Field Communication (NFC) tags are small, passive chips that do not require power. They can be activated when they come into contact with a compatible device, like a smartphone. In this example, we’ll attach an NFC tag to a bin and use Home Assistant to create an automation that reminds us to take the bins out.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Attach an NFC tag to the bin.
  2. Register the tag with Home Assistant.
  3. Create automation in Home Assistant using Node-RED
  4. Set a reminder cycle for the bin collection day.

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Saving money and the environment with home automation

Stemming from a small issue of leaving doors open I got a simple idea which could save both money and the environment. Yes, a bold claim so let me explain.

We have a cottage we rent out on Airbnb. That is all great, and we meet some lovely people that come to visit. However, for some strange reason, people will turn on the air conditioning in summer to cool the place down, but then leave the door open so all the cold air goes straight out. In winter the heater mode will be on the reverse cycle air con, and again the door open. Why? Really good question, but we have seen it at least 20-30 times. Not only does that get expensive (heating/cooling the outdoors), but what a waste of energy as well.

To fix this issue I deployed a simple solution using an Aqara door sensor, and a Sensibo air condition smart controller. Now the air con turns off if the door is open for more than 15 minutes. Job done.

Check out the full video for all the details.

Monitoring Water Tank Levels With Home Assistant

I have been getting into Home Assistant for automating and optimising the infrastructure on my farm for about a year now. One of that main reasons to initially investigate how to do this, was to monitor my water tanks. I have no town water connected, so I rely on rain water tanks and a bore/well for backup. Living in country Australia, it is east to suddenly use way more water than you think due to washing, pool filling, garden watering, leaks and much more.

The tanks are dispersed on the property, so checking them manually requires lots of walking, climbing, lifting and finagling. Having sensors showing levels, remote on/off for pumps and logic to automate it would save time, money and water. It took quite a while to figure out which solution to implement, but I ended up with pressure sensors/conducers to get a water pressure reading, then convert that to litres using mathematics. It was quite a journey, and the hardest to figure out was the house tank, as it is an in-ground tank. Measuring pressure at the bottom of it is tricky.

In any case, I documented the whole journey in the video below. Hope you find it helpful and leave a comment if you have a comment or question. 😊

Aqara Door Sensor, Govee LED Strip and Home Assistant Automation

I am getting into home automation big time. I am loving the learning process, the tangible result and nerding with all sorts of processes. Most of it involves networking components, programming, new gadgets and an improvement of my every day life. All things I value very much.

In general I am looking for one or more of two principles when I install IoT devices or home automation

  • Save me energy, time or money. There should be a measurable saving somehow that justifies the often many hours of work.
  • Add a function or feature I am missing and would use regularly.

As tempting as it is sometimes to install something “just for fun”, it is most likely a waste of time. This time I needed lights in my server cupboard (which is just a cupboard that I happen to put the server cabinet in) and I figured I could automate it with Home Assistant and automation. I used a Govee Light Strip, an Aqara door sensor and community integrations in Home Assistant to get it all happening. Check out the video below.