The Blog of Ian Mercer.

CCTV Cameras as Home Automation Sensors

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Home Automation Sensors

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.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Filtering techniques

Filtering raw data is essential for a reliable home automation system. Here are some of the many ways you can filter sensor data.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Bluetooth Sensing for Home Automation

Bluetooth sensing for home automation is a great proxy for people counting as it can detect and locate each cellphone in the house. iBeacons attached to tools, cars and pets can provide a 'find my anything' feature too.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Gas sensors

Gas sensors come in many different flavors including CO2, VOC and particulate sensors.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Humidity Sensors (DHT11, DHT22, AM2320)

Humidity sensors are great for controlling extractor fans in bathrooms and other damp spaces.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Light sensors for Home Automation

Having at least one light sensor is critical for any home automation system that controls lightng. Lights need to be turned on when it's dark not at specific times of day, especially here in Seattle when it can be dark and cloudy at any time of day.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Microwave Doppler Sensors (RCWL-0516)

Microwave doppler sensors can be found in some alarm sensors but there are also available very cheaply as a separate component. They offer exceptional range but suffer from false triggers requiring a probailistic approach to people sensing.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Optical-beam sensors

Optical-beam sensors are reliable and can cover a long-distance such as across a garage or aisle-way. When they include multiple-beams they have good false-trigger rejection.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

PIR Sensors for Home Automation

PIR sensors are cheap and easy to use but they suffer from slow response times and low repeat rates.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Strain-gauges

Strain-gauges are my top-rated sensor for home automation because they are invisible, reliable and can be tuned to detect people and ignore pets.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Temperature sensors for home automation

Temperature sensors I've experimented with for home automation.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

The Grideye 8x8 camera sensor

Experiments with an 8x8 IR camera for privacy-preserving people detection using cameras.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Pressure Sensors for Home Automation

Pressure sensors can detect HVAC system operation and could potentially detect clogged filters.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer