Getting the Kids to school using Home Assistant

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Back to School

Summer is over, Fall is coming and school is starting!  School time is structured and routine driven and a perfect use case for Smart Home Automation!  I thought I would take some time to give everyone a run down of how I am using Home Automation and specifically Home Assistant to make school mornings in our house a little easier.

First I’ll describe the process and sequence and then I’ll link to all the automations that make it happen.  Most of them are based on the Time Trigger component.

5:50am – The system will first check to make sure it is a week day.  Then it will check to see if the School_Mode option is on/off (so we can manually override it the night before with a quick – Alexa, Turn off School Mode).  If we are home, the dining room lights turn on along with the fridge light (light above fridge).  We have a 24/7 system automation that will adjust the brightness levels of ANY light turned on, so at 5:50am, the system will make the lights go to 30% brightness.  

We also turn on some soft accent lighting in the kitchen for Kid 1.

6:50am – Kid 2 gets up.  We do the same checks before (weekday, school mode and home) and then the system turns on the dinette lights (again to 30% brightness) and turns off the dining room lights.   From here, the system will wait patiently until sunrise and then turn off the accent lights and fridge light as the morning sun should be providing enough interior light at this point through the windows.

8:30am – At this time the system begins to monitor the garage doors.  Once it detects one of them opening, it will wait 3 minutes and then turn off all the lights in the house.  

Both kids are off to school and the system watches and waits for me to get up. ;)

Of course, this isn’t a super complex set of automations but having the lights on and off when they are needed in the house automatically really helps keep everyone moving along on those weekday school mornings.   You just have to sit down and really take a look at what routines your family has and how you can build systems to seamlessly help them out.  Remote control is cool but having the system seemingly know what is needed is much more the vision of my Smart Home Automation.

If you haven’t automated your lights yet for your morning routines, check out the scripts below to see how easy it can be done in Home Assistant!


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Each one of these scripts and everything else running my house is available on my GitHub. Be sure to check it out.

https://github.com/CCOSTAN/Home-AssistantConfig/tree/master/config/automation/Timed_Triggers

P.S. We are launching a new Home Assistant YouTube channel very soon.  Please consider subscribing to help encourage me to make some videos. :)  It’s way harder than writing these blog posts. Ha!

https://YouTube.com/ccostan

Have a great School Year! 

- Carlo

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