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post #1 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Question To Automate or Not

So I'm working on designing my automation system for my lighting, and I have a question for what everyone has done for things like Bathroom Fans and Closet Lights.

My inclination is to use humidity sensing switches for the fans, and occupancy sensing switches for the closet that aren't connected to my RadioRA2 setup. My thought process is to do occupancy sensing in the closet will use up two devices for no real benefit, and for the bathroom fans Lutron doesn't have any humidity sensing RadioRA2 products, so I'd have to use Z-Wave sensors to trigger my RadioRA2 switches anyways.

How has everyone else addressed this?
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 01:49 PM
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Cheap occupancy sensing switches make the most sense in closets - no need to tie those into home automation. Some will autosense when someone is there and turn on and off as required; others require a press to turn on and will only turn off when there is no motion - make sure you pick the one that works best for you and that location.

Bathroom fans can have two uses - to clear 1) the humidity and 2) the stink. I know my wife appreciates that I can turn the fan on manually. ;-)
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 03:17 PM
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Cheap occupancy sensing switches make the most sense in closets - no need to tie those into home automation. Some will autosense when someone is there and turn on and off as required; others require a press to turn on and will only turn off when there is no motion - make sure you pick the one that works best for you and that location.

Bathroom fans can have two uses - to clear 1) the humidity and 2) the stink. I know my wife appreciates that I can turn the fan on manually. ;-)
X2 on the closet occupant sensing switching, just buy the cheap ones from Home Depot and call it a day. No need to tie it into the lighting system, that is wasted money that can be spent elsewhere.

As far as bathroom fans are concerned, I have a separate light and fan switch that can turn each on individually. When the light gets turned on the fan get triggered as well. When the light is turned off the a timer is set on the fan to turn it off in 15min so the fan runs 15min after the light is shut off. This seems to be working well so far it is plenty of time to eliminate any odor or humidity left in the air and shuts off automatically.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So leviton has non integrated ones that can be manually actuated or turned on for humidity. I have a few now and they're great, but I can't do anything elaborate like you described.

So closets im definitely leaning towards the cheap switches, except the master closet which is more like it's own room.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-19-2017, 12:32 PM
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I went with the Lutron timer switches for locations like closets and bathroom fans - though like you our master closet is more of a room and has an RR2 dimmer on it. I dislike motion/occupancy sensors, perhaps because they remind me of my office, or because I find them to be unreliable at times. The timers blend in seamlessly on the gang plate with my RR2 switches and dimmers.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-21-2017, 06:45 AM
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For the large walk-in master bedroom closet I replaced the closet light switch with a Z-wave switch and tied it into automations related to my morning routines. If the closet has a door you could use a door sensor in combination with the light switch. So in my situation I'd keep the Z wave switch but I'd add a Z wave door sensor and automate it so that when the door is opened the light comes on and when the door is closed the light goes off. Kevin Tofel mentioned on the Internet of Things podcast that he uses such a setup for his closet and he likes it. Just and idea.

For my master bathroom, if I do change out the fan switch I'd change it to a Z wave switch and I'd add a Z wave temp/humidity sensor. I would then create an automation that would turn the fan switch on when the temp/humidity sensor reached a humidity point that I designated.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-23-2017, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Bedroom lights & Fan? Blinds in Bedrooms? My thought is blinds and fan of course can be great for energy savings. And if the bedroom fans are then it wo old be silly to not have the lights.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-23-2017, 03:00 PM
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Bedroom lights & Fan? Blinds in Bedrooms? My thought is blinds and fan of course can be great for energy savings. And if the bedroom fans are then it wo old be silly to not have the lights.
I would love to have automated blinds, but it's a massive increase in price from my dumb blinds. And there are a lot of times I move blinds up and down independent of lighting or sun conditions, so I'm not in a rush. The thing with automation, I find in my case, is that for each routine I could automate, there are as many times I want things set up differently than the routine. I just end up with too many rules.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-24-2017, 06:14 AM
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Bedroom lights & Fan? Blinds in Bedrooms? My thought is blinds and fan of course can be great for energy savings. And if the bedroom fans are then it wo old be silly to not have the lights.
All the lights and fans. Ha! I did every single light switch and ceiling fan in my house. I have Z-wave temp sensors that trigger when the Z-wave ceiling fan switches turn on/off based on a temp that I've designated for each temp sensor. Automating the fans based in tandem with the temp sensors I would imagine provides some sort of energy savings and efficiency. I think that you may like automating your ceiling fans. At the minimum you could ask Alexa or Google Home to adjust the fan speed or use the app; makes life easier.

I want to automate all of the blinds, but I need to save up the cash. Automating the blinds is the last step in my home automation project. I would imagine that you could see some energy savings there.

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-24-2017, 06:19 AM
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I would love to have automated blinds, but it's a massive increase in price from my dumb blinds. And there are a lot of times I move blinds up and down independent of lighting or sun conditions, so I'm not in a rush. The thing with automation, I find in my case, is that for each routine I could automate, there are as many times I want things set up differently than the routine. I just end up with too many rules.
Good point. I think of automation as making my life easier. The less I have to think about doing something or walking around the house doing something the better. I'm so glad that the voice assistants are here. I don't open an app or touch a switch or remote. I let Alexa do everything or I have rules that kick in at the appropriate time.

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