On our most recent IoT Podcast, Scott called in with a question to our voice mail hotline with a smart lighting question. He uses a Hubitat hub to turn his lights on automatically at sunset. However, on certain days, that’s not early enough because environmental factors make his house dimmer; I’ve seen this on cloudy days and can’t wait for the official sunset time for my lights to turn on.
He could use a time offset to have the lights turn on earlier, such as 20 minutes prior to sunset. That’s not always ideal either though. On sunny days, his lights would be turned on sooner than he needs.
The best solution to make the lights turn on in a smarter way is for Scott to add a LUX sensor. This type of sensor measures the amount of light in a room.
For some people, the cost of such a sensor might not be worth an extra amount of light only when needed before sunset, but I can understand why Scott wants this precision. Why not have a smarter home?
There are several Z-Wave multi-sensors that work with Hubitat and measure brightness to choose from. The $39 Philips Hue motion sensor, for example, is one option that would work. It measures LUX every minute as well, which is likely good enough for Scott’s purpose. But any sensor that can send LUX data to a hub will do the trick.
By using the Hubitat Rules Engine and the LUX sensor data, Scott can update his “lights on” automation for sunset so that the lights turn on earlier if the room is already dim.
To hear Scott’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: