Here's an updated graph showing the ongoing reduction in energy for our
smart home. Driven mainly by continual improvement in the algorithms
that control the heating, air conditioning and lighting the overall
consumption of gas and electricity has continued to decline throughout
2010. It appears however that I am approaching the limit as to what is
possible as the trend lines are beginning to flatten out. Going forward
I'll continue to try to improve the algorithms but I'll also be on the
lookout for any parasitic power-consuming devices and I'll be dealing
with them using techniques like the smart power strip I mentioned
I've been working on home automation for over 15 years and I'm close to achieving my goal which is a house that understands where everyone is at all times, can predict where you are going next and can control lighting, heating and other systems without you having to do or say anything. That's a true "smart home".
An overview of the many sensors I've experimented with for home automation including my favorite under-floor strain gauge, through all the usual PIR, beam and contact sensors to some more esoteric devices like an 8x8 thermal camera.
Several years ago we did a major remodel. I did all of the finish electrical myself and supervised all of the rough-in electrical. I also put in all of the electrical system and water in our barn. I have opinions ...
An if-this-then-that style rules machine is insufficient for lighting control. This state machine accomplishes 90% of the correct behavior for a light that is controlled automatically and manually in a home automation system.