BeagleBone Black for Home Automation

A BeagleBone Black is an excellent platform to get build the foundation of a Home Automation System.  The board is low-cost, powerful, and expandable.

I ordered my BeagleBone Black from Newark in February 2014 for $45 plus tax & shipping.  It took over a month to arrive because of the great amount of demand that surrounds this platform. Continue reading

Connected by TCP API

** Important ** Connected by TCP has updated the communication methods to make a more secure connection between client and gateway.  As such, this API is no longer working.  I am working on understanding the new protocol and building a new API.

I have created a GIT Repository for the Node.js implementation of the Connected by TCP Lights API. In its current state it will turn on and off the lights in a room by passing the name of the room. Check out the exmaples folder for this demo.

A long while back I heard about the Phillips Hue light bulbs and thought it was a neat concept but at the price point I never saw it worth the cost.

So last weekend I was doing research into different options and I saw some lower cost options like Limitless LED and I was about to buy a couple bulbs to try them when I stumbled across the Connected by TCP system.  I quickly learned that they had a deal worked out with Home Depot to get a Starter Pack for $50!  Additional bulbs are available at the following places:

I did some looking for any type of API to control the system without using the included apps and came up empty. Continue reading

WeMo Insight Hacking

This is a web service breakdown that I have used to create an interface with the WeMo Insight to not only set its state but also pull information about its energy usage.

The potentials for this are endless.  An example use case for a device like this that I have used it for is I hooked this up to my Lasko Humidifier.   It has a built in humidity sensor which will cycle the unit on and off as needed.  The WeMo Insight gives me the ability to see if the unit is running or not.  When my  is running on maximum setting it uses 70W.  When it cycles off it uses less than 2W.  So with the WeMo Insight I can see how many hours of the day the humidifier has been running as well as an estimated monthly cost of running the unit based on past usage.  I had originally intended to use the humidity output of my Nest to drive a Wemo switch on and off.  But for now this was much faster and easier to set up and I can see all the metrics I wanted.

By using the information below you can integrate these units into custom applications for remotely monitoring energy usage.  You also get the same functionality the original Wemo offers.
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