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Old 03/05/2018, 06:09 PM   #1
mitch91175
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Making Your Own Smart Strip

So I am about to receive a new Apex to replace my existing one. I have a long strip that I purchased from HomeDepot that has no control (at the moment). I plug in stuff like powerheads (I use a WXM), Hydra52 lights (AWM controlled), etc. I am thinking about adding some of these to the strip so I can be able to control those plugs as well. Granted it won't be through the Apex, but still through my phone and can hook into SmartThings and Alexa.

SmartPlug

What do you guys think?

I am thinking about putting a heater on the strip separate of the controller just in case the controller freaks out (like they can). Also thinking about powering my Apex with one just in case I am away and something funky happens with the Apex. That way I could turn of the return, ATO but still have the powerheads and a heater going; granted there is power.


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Old 03/06/2018, 05:04 AM   #2
mcgyvr
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Should be just fine..
And you can do quite a bit of automation with them and IFTTT or Smartthings..

FYI.. I've outfitted my house with smartthings hub and I have numerous GE wall switches/fan controller/Hue/Ecobee/multiple echo(alexa) units,etc.. and a few of those outlets that work great to automate table lamps,etc...


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Old 03/06/2018, 07:14 AM   #3
mitch91175
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Should be just fine..
And you can do quite a bit of automation with them and IFTTT or Smartthings..

FYI.. I've outfitted my house with smartthings hub and I have numerous GE wall switches/fan controller/Hue/Ecobee/multiple echo(alexa) units,etc.. and a few of those outlets that work great to automate table lamps,etc...
I did the same thing with SmartThings. Replaced all the light switch with GE switches and also using Phillips Hue. Have Ring for doorbell and Apex for aquarium.

Man it would have been nice for the latest Apex to have IFTTT support.


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Old 03/06/2018, 08:10 AM   #4
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This really has nothing to do with your question but I'll post it here in case others want to go down the automation route..

My dislike for smart bulbs...
The thing that people tend to not thing about and the reasons I only purchased one Hue pack and will not purchase anymore is this..

1)If the wall light switch is off they won't work.. And your wife may not be into the automation as much as you are and just want to use the darn wall switch.. And she WILL leave it off on many occasions rending your expensive bulbs useless..

2)Its cheaper in the long run and in many occasions to replace the wall switch controlling the light and not replace the light itself.. Example.. A 5 bulb dining room chandelier can cost you $50+ in bulbs yet the wall switch is only $35 and never needs to be replaced where the bulbs may over time..
Your wife can also use the switch all she wants and your smartphone,etc.. can still control everything just fine..

Moral of the story.. Home Automation via replacing wall switches and outlets is far smarter than purchasing smart bulbs,etc...


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Old 03/06/2018, 08:32 AM   #5
mitch91175
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That is exactly what happened to me mcgyvr. Still use the bulbs, but the best solution is to go with the wall switches. If you want to set the mood, then the bulbs will work out.


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Old 03/06/2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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That is exactly what happened to me mcgyvr. Still use the bulbs, but the best solution is to go with the wall switches. If you want to set the mood, then the bulbs will work out.
For "mood setting" areas I buy the GE dimmer switches (dining room,etc...)
All my bulbs are LED already (new house came with all dimmable LEDs...good builder)

But yes I still use the Hue bulbs in one area (just because I have them)..
We just had our first child and I have Alexa throw a reminder and automatically turn on the nightstand light on my wifes side and set it to 30% dimming at our babies 3:30am feeding time..
She thought I was crazy at first but now loves it..
It always reminds her and keeps the light dim enough that it doesn't wake me .. No need for an alarm clock,etc...


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Old 03/06/2018, 02:30 PM   #7
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Agreed on the wall switch.

I have a few of the WiFi outlets. One of them controls the lights on the small freshwater tank that belongs to the kids.

I have one Z-wave smart bulb, but I still haven't done anything with it.

I use Hass.io running on a raspberry Pi with a z-wave/zigbee dongle for my main controller. It's a lot more work than the other Hubs to get working, but I enjoy the tinkering.


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Old 03/06/2018, 07:08 PM   #8
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I have Alexa throw a reminder and automatically turn on the nightstand light...

Thatís awesome- Alexa can turn on/off lights at a set time? How do you do that?



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Old 03/06/2018, 08:56 PM   #9
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Thatís awesome- Alexa can turn on/off lights at a set time? How do you do that?



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That should be pretty easy to do once you have the outlet connected to SmartThings. There are wizards that will guide you through setting up the time on/off.


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Old 03/06/2018, 09:08 PM   #10
d0ughb0y
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there are many choices for smart outlets, but the one I like is one that comes with energy monitoring. smart outlets do not require a hub like smartthings. they can be programmed for on/off time and keeps track of power usage. you can get individual outlets or ones that are like a power strip.


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Old 03/08/2018, 08:23 AM   #11
AquaManvsSkimme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch91175 View Post
So I am about to receive a new Apex to replace my existing one. I have a long strip that I purchased from HomeDepot that has no control (at the moment). I plug in stuff like powerheads (I use a WXM), Hydra52 lights (AWM controlled), etc. I am thinking about adding some of these to the strip so I can be able to control those plugs as well. Granted it won't be through the Apex, but still through my phone and can hook into SmartThings and Alexa.

SmartPlug

What do you guys think?

I am thinking about putting a heater on the strip separate of the controller just in case the controller freaks out (like they can). Also thinking about powering my Apex with one just in case I am away and something funky happens with the Apex. That way I could turn of the return, ATO but still have the powerheads and a heater going; granted there is power.

The best thing I ever did and very cheap. See this link for my tank with these sonoff swith
https://youtu.be/ETtXkeXgudY


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Old 03/08/2018, 11:23 AM   #12
mitch91175
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The best thing I ever did and very cheap. See this link for my tank with these sonoff swith
https://youtu.be/ETtXkeXgudY
Like how you have everything setup. Can get a few ideas from it. Didn't consider if my outlets are connected to another GFCI outlet. My aquarium is near my kitchen so I bet it is on GFCI in the kitchen. Will have to find out how to check. If that is the case, I will definitely find one not connect to GFCI.

Also like the camera idea to see what is going on.


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Old 03/08/2018, 11:25 AM   #13
mitch91175
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I will have to remember to put my Nest cam in front of my tank when I go on vacation.


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Old 03/08/2018, 11:26 AM   #14
mitch91175
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Originally Posted by AquaManvsSkimme View Post
The best thing I ever did and very cheap. See this link for my tank with these sonoff swith
https://youtu.be/ETtXkeXgudY
Where do you keep you heater? In tank or sump? Asking because I didn't see it in the tank and if it is in the sump and the return turns off, wouldn't it be best in the aquarium?

Better yet have one in both.


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Old 03/17/2018, 07:32 PM   #15
mitch91175
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Man these little buggers are AWESOME!

I started a phyto culture and guess what, light setup with these took no time.

I ordered the 4 pack so I put another one on my water change station to cycle on for an hour then off for 5 hours throughout the day. Loving it.

Added the other 2 to my outlet strip without any control to 2 of my Hydra 52 LEDs (was having a quirky issue with AWM not turning them off) and was able to get that resolved pretty quickly. Leaving them there so I can turn on/off when/if necessary remotely and Apex not working right.

I like them soo much I ordered 8 more. I am POSITIVE I will find a use for them.


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Old 03/17/2018, 08:30 PM   #16
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Not to burst anyone's bubble here but something to keep in mind.
I have a geeky prankster type younger brother who absolutely gets a kick out of messing with his neighbors' smart home setups. Turing lights on and off setting off alarms they have set up opening and closing garage doors etc. I dare say it's harmless fun and he has never messed with anything serious, maybe had some folks call tech support for malfunction devices though.
From what he has said it's quite easy to access someones system and have a little fun. So I personally watch how much automating I do and don't wifi anything that could cause harm if hacked. Just some food for thought.

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Old 03/17/2018, 08:34 PM   #17
mitch91175
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Not to burst anyone's bubble here but something to keep in mind.
I have a geeky prankster type younger brother who absolutely gets a kick out of messing with his neighbors' smart home setups. Turing lights on and off setting off alarms they have set up opening and closing garage doors etc. I dare say it's harmless fun and he has never messed with anything serious, maybe had some folks call tech support for malfunction devices though.
From what he has said it's quite easy to access someones system and have a little fun. So I personally watch how much automating I do and don't wifi anything that could cause harm if hacked. Just some food for thought.

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I for sure know that if it was made by humans another human can find a way to hack it. I know better than most since I have a bit more technical expertise than some. I do not worry about any of it really. With that logic you would never pay a bill online. EVERYTHING THAT IS ELECTRONIC CAN HE HACKED IN SOME FASHION!!! Didnít mean to yell online, lol. But that was the perfect opportunity.


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Old 03/17/2018, 08:35 PM   #18
mitch91175
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Making Your Own Smart Strip

Also your younger brother is treading in dangerous water. I believe hacking is more than a misdemeanor if caught.


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Old 03/17/2018, 08:57 PM   #19
rjjr1963
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I use a lot of HUE bulbs. Many times I don't have switched outlets for lamps so I can't control them that way. I also use the dim and color functions and I like having that control.


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Old 03/17/2018, 09:10 PM   #20
Dsekula
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I for sure know that if it was made by humans another human can find a way to hack it. I know better than most since I have a bit more technical expertise than some. I do not worry about any of it really. With that logic you would never pay a bill online. EVERYTHING THAT IS ELECTRONIC CAN HE HACKED IN SOME FASHION!!! Didnít mean to yell online, lol. But that was the perfect opportunity.


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I understand what your saying. I'm not telling anyone not to use this stuff.. mostly just be aware that it's easily tampered with. Like using a credit card on line with a few hundred dollar limit vs an unlimited one. Ya, I'm a bit paranoid but Ive had credit cards and bank accounts hacked too and not by someone just getting a laugh.
I saw your second post and ya I agree there's probably some very questionable legality in the very least. I don't know who would take him to court for messing around with their lights once or spend the time or cash to prove it was him but it probably could be taken more seriously. I believe he's only done this to younger people that he's friends with who would generally laugh it off. Or messed with our mother or grandfather who live near by (he was auctually Morse codeing to my grandfather once to call him lol long story). I think they probably kind of know it's him but seeing as I'm on the east coast and he's on the west it's not like I keep track of him like when we were kids. Now he's got his own kids to keep track of lol.

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