The Pilot

Welcome to our first newsletter full of Home Assistant tips and Automations to level up your smart home game!

The Pilot

Firstly, a huge thank you for subscribing to our newsletter and we hope you find it useful! We really appreciate the support and are forever grateful.

Please bare with us while we get into the groove of this and adopt our own style - it's all a learning curve, isn't it? Saying that, constructive feedback is always welcome on how we can improve!

We have been working on a lot of things behind the scenes and this is one of them - unfortunately for him, Lewis assigned this task to me and has had to go back and edit all my posts to make them more "professional" shall we say. I'm a bit more casual than him in terms of my writing and I use humour (I use humour very lightly here) to fill it out and apparently that's too "Intragrammy".

He could be right, but we won't tell him that, will we? 👀

I digress

We are going to send out semi-regular newsletters - no time frame guaranteed - as there's nothing more annoying than receiving constant emails from the same person, is there? So this means that our newsletters will (should) be jam packed with information and with that being said, the first one should be no different, right?

So let's kick it off with talking you through how to do these 8 simple different automation ideas (you seen the video, right? It was pretty much Lewis's way to "Sarah-proof" the house) so you can get them started in your smart home. Even better, you need the bare minimum (if that) to get them going!

I think I've rambled on enough already - I wonder how much Lewis will have to edit this one - so enjoy your weekend and hopefully you'll enjoy setting up these automations in your home!


Oh psst...I nearly forgot (where was my Home Assistant reminder, Lewis!?), we have a newsletter email: [email protected] so you can send in your creations! We'll be featuring our favourites in each newsletter to share with the community, so whatcha waiting for?

As this is our first newsletter, I turned to Reddit and somehow managed to pick a favourite (there were a lot of good ones!):

Huge shout out to /u/dreeas and his brother on creating this gem:

My brother has way too much free time, Zelda puzzle to open hidden liquor cabinet. from homeassistant

This is such an incredibly inventive and fun little puzzle (maybe not after you've had a few mind you) to access the drinks cupboard - I love this so much!

On to the automations!

Automating Washing Machine Reminders

The first automation idea is for notifications that let you know when the washing machine is finished running so you (or anyone else in your household) don’t "forget" to empty it. When the machine is finished, you can choose whether you want phone notifications, text to speech on speakers, lights flashing or perhaps all three at the same time!

Automate Shopping Lists

I’m sure you’ve been here before where your significant other asks you to pick up something from the shop and you get there and completely forget what it was!  So, to prevent this (and being told off), Home Assistant will send us a notification when we get to the shop asking if we want to open our shopping list so we never forget - so handy! 🛒

Create Wake Up Sunrise Lights

Next up, try a more gentle morning wake up. You can do this by gradually brightening your bedside table lights over a 15 minute (or however long you'd like!) period - nicer than being jolted awake by an alarm.

I'll admit that I was sceptical that this would make a difference before I had even tried it but give this one a go and see what you think, I for one think it’s quite nice! ☀️

Daily Morning Announcements

Why not create yourself a morning announcement that when you go downstairs (or anywhere of your choosing) first thing in the morning, your speaker announces things like what the weather forecast for that day, or maybe any upcoming events in your calendar or anything you'd like? Or to play music from Spotify? 🎶

Creating A Window/Door Notification

Ever accidentally left a door/window open when you've been out? You can set up a Home Assistant notification whenever any of your doors and windows are left open and no one is home - this stops you getting too far away from home before realizing you've left something open so you can quickly come back home and make sure to get them locked up. 🔐

Create Visual Smart Light Alerts

This next automation is one that is pretty simple but really useful and effective: flashing the LED strip on the back of my monitor red if I am sitting at my computer and someone opens the front door. Having that visual cue on the back of my monitor is a great way to alert me and stop anyone sneaking up on me, especially with my headphones in. 🚨

Save Power By Sleeping Your PC With Presence

I am really bad at leaving my computer on all the time when I’m not using it, so one automation that I like to use is to automatically sleep when the computer is not in use and is idle. 🖥️

Automate Reminders For Your Bin Collection

Last but not least: automate your bin schedule. This is to let us know that the recycling and the other bins need putting out because sometimes relying just on your neighbours isn't enough. ✅

Signing Out

That's it from us, we really hope you enjoyed this first pilot edition of our newsletter - if you did, tag Lewis on Twitter - he love's reading all of your responses!

Thank you so much again for all of the incredible support, we were blown away by how many of you signed up in just a few short days 🙏have a great weekend and we will see you in the next one!