New Home, Starting with Home Automation

Hey all, we just moved to a new house today and I’ve been waiting to get into home automation until we got here. I’ve listened to a number of episodes on it but I’m wondering about if you were starting now what would you use? I don’t want anything super fussy, more plug and play with some customizations is my level of interest. I’d like to go with home kit compatible stuff.

We have four doors (door back doors, a front, and a walk out basement door) that all lock from the inside with a key! So I need four new deadbolts and would like keyless /smart entry on at least two (1 back door and 1 front). What deadbolt locks are you liking for this setup?

The other area I would like to invest in is outdoor cameras and flood lights. I’d like a couple cameras and at least one food light for the garage and backyard area. Any recommendations there?

Finally, is there a way to tap into an existing garage door opener and make it smart? It seems newish but it certainly doesn’t have automation built in. Is that something I can add on to or does it have to be a new system?

One thing I should add is data privacy is important to me so I want to keep it as secure as possible.

Any other recommendations or things you like for home automation, let me know. We are just getting started!

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eufy cameras have been great esp. with solar chargers.

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I didn’t even know you could do solar chargers. That sounds great. Thanks!

All this stuff is working well for me, and is HomeKit compatible:

I added this to my 1980s-era garage door.
Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub - Wi-Fi enabled Garage Hub with Smartphone Control, Model MYQ-G0301, Old Version, Black - -

I use this Kwikset lock for my front door.

Many Hue bulbs, including LED strip lights under kitchen cabinets to light countertop workspaces, and a couple of floods outdoors.
Philips Hue White Outdoor PAR38 13W Smart Bulbs (Philips Hue Hub required), 2 White PAR38 LED Smart Bulbs, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant - -

Logitech doorbell camera, and Logi Circle cameras.

Wemo and Koogeek switches

VOCOLinc LED strip light for a stairway VOCOlinc LED Light Strip Works with Apple HomeKit Siri Alexa Google Assistant 5050 RGB Strip Smart Wi-Fi Multicolor App-dimmable Voice Control No Hub Required (LS2 SmartGlow Starter Kit): Home Improvement

Flair pucks and smart vents help balance upstairs, downstairs, sunny side/shaded side temperatures. (Not HomeKit, but works with the ecobee thermostat.)

Ecobee 4 thermostat (I disabled Alexa)

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I didn’t realize the MyQ garage door openers were now HomeKit compatible (with a bridge, it appears?).

I have two HomeKit garage door openers from Best Buy which are very spotty and unreliable. If I was doing it over again this would be the first thing I changed, and would try the MyQ.

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This is a really great list. And great idea about the strip of lights. I had some at my last house and used some in the office. They were great.

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+1 for Philips HUE. We have so many I actually just added a second bridge to support them all.

Ecobee thermostats have been rock solid for us.

My experience with MyQ garage door opener was nothing but pain and suffering. Maybe it’s better now.

BestBuy / Insignia garage door opener has been mostly solid, however, when it decides to flake out it’s a damn PITA to bring it back up.

Just added this smart plug and has been amazing:
meross Outdoor Smart Plug Compatible with Apple HomeKit,

Good luck and warning that this journey is super addictive :joy:

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Do you feel that the battery lasts long enough for non-sunny days where the solar panel can’t charge?

I live in LA so that’s not really an issue….but before I connected them to the solar panels I’d need to charge the battery maybe every 4-6 weeks, so there should be plenty of time to get a sunny day in before your battery goes.

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Yeah, I have smart plugs connected to my smart garage door openers, because sometimes nothing else works, and cutting the power for 30 seconds usually does. (Then again, sometimes force-quitting the home app and then re-launching it a few times will do it.)

I also continue to use the opener in my car, and have a wall-mounted opener too, if all else fails. Still better than more keys on my keychain.


We are building a new house right now… probably done in about 2 weeks.

It is tough to know what you want for automation until you live there, and know how you will live in the house. I love Lutron switches, but will use some hue as well. I wanted all of the outside lights on Lutron switches - many to dim at certain times, but I have floods for the back yard - 2 at 7000 lumens each - that I want to be able to also run from remotes. Bedroom lights are also key. I know I will have others, but I can add them later.

Garage doors - easier to let the contractor put in what he uses, and address later. I should be able to find HomeKit controllers.

The same applies to thermostats. I will work on those later. Will probably tie in heat pumps with home bridge.

I did not use any cameras. Again, may add later, but too much right now.

Door locks - I used Schlage sense that are HomeKit compatible with a keypad to unlock. Kind of nice during construction as those needing access can have a code.

One splurge. A Moen Ushower control valve. Controls shower head, rain shower, front jets and rear jets separately with the push of a button. Set the temperature you want digitally and it stays there no matter if someone runs a faucet. And, I can ask Siri to start my shower, the valves open and run until the water gets up to temperature, and then pauses until you get in and push the button. No getting wet with cold water turning on the faucet!

We skipped many things. I love automation, but it must serve me, and have a purpose. I did not get a kitchen faucet that allows me to turn it on and off with voice. When I put in a hot tub, I have no interest in hooking it up to Siri… you use that when you are close to the controls (unless it can warn you if the temperature drops and it isn’t ready,)

All of our appliances connect to WiFi, but I am not quite sure what they accomplish - will have to investigate. I think notification of a refrigerator or freezer temp might be handy, maybe ability to start an oven?

I know that there will be more!


I would love it if our washer / dryer would tell me when a cycle is complete, as I am apparently in.


The Moen shower looks great. This category is improving rapidly (provided the user experience matches the aesthetics)

The first generation stuff from the likes of Kohler left me a bit sterile but I’m liking the newest Kohler and Moen stuff.

Ditto on the Wifi appliances. My LG dishwasher offers connectivity but I never use it anymore. Next W/D will be connected and that’ll be more usable since washing loads is a queued thing.

There are some nice Lutron rumors out based on their FCC drawings. The gist being

  1. RadioRa and RA2 Select likely to merge.
  2. Round bridge from Homeworks with PoE support.
  3. Zigbee support - this is the big one. If Lutron natively supported Hue and other Zigbee bulbs they’d have a solution that covers tunable white and RGB.

For me future projects are shades. Yes they’re often ungodly expensive but I feel like a areas like my sunroom will really benefit from this automation.

Garage Door - Moving to a jackshaft to get my garage ceiling back.

Door lock - I’m liking the Level Lock here. My nabe is low crime …I don’t need ft Knox level hardware.

Robot Vacuums - For the love of God would this industry please get with the times. We have 4 of them and there’s got to be an easier way of turning these little minions into a cohesive team.

Water Heater - really wanted to go with a Heat Pump water heater for energy savings a coupe of years ago but the tank sits in a closet with not enough room to “breathe” I guess I’ll just wait for the opportunity to replace with a 5k SANCO2 system because who “doesn’t” want to get ridiculed for spending 5x on a water heater?

Outdoor project -

Motorized Pergola and outdoor kitchen. Should be easy to make HomeKit ready as you generally get a choice of motors for the Pergola.


@cwdaniels Just be warned it is a very slippery slope. This doesn’t even show my 31 lights :wink:


My one piece of advice is to set up homebridge on a computer or rasp pi etc. I’m much happier now that I can get the hardware I want without having to worry about specific homekit compatibility. I’d probably trade my Ecobee thermostats in for Nest and just rely on homebridge if I had to do it over again.

Also through homebridge I’ve been able to tie Arlo scenes to my homekit security system, which makes it much easier to switch between bedtime, daytime, etc.

LOL we do the same thing! Only I’m super paranoid about leaving the garage door open so I installed a camera trained on the door to make sure it’s closed :joy:

Awesome! Thanks……I’m trying to do as much with solar as possible.

31 lights……I call that a good start :rofl:


Hi all, I’m really loving this thread. So many great setups and suggestions.

Here’s is what I have done so far:

  1. Fiber optics internet (installed today) with Google Mesh Wifi. I have three routers throughout the house and later I’ll show you the really sweet setup from the previous owner. I think you all will appreciate the level this guy went to to wire the whole house for internet!

  2. I went deep with Eufy. It’s not here yet but I decided to stick to one main brand for security. I got 2 cameras, 2 deadbolts (one with the touch sensor), one floodlight, a solar panel, and the nightlight motion sensors.

  3. Chamberlin Garage door opener

  4. 4 HomePod minis and 1 regular sized HomePod (added two with the new house, the rest we already had)

  5. 2 Hue lights - looking for more of those now

  6. 2 Wemo smart switches, I plan to get a few more of those.

I am really looking forward to the Eufy’s coming and setting them up.


Same … I have a Eufy camera in the garage that I use to make sure the doors are closed, because sometimes says they are closed when they are not.

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