HomeKit Automation Tips

Getting more out of your smart home devices

The power of the Format Date function and how to use it for shortcuts using time of day or sunrise/sunset (part 2)

This is part two of the power of the Format Date function, and it will build on what we looked at in part 1. We’ll look at how we can utilize the Format Date function for use with the sunrise and sunset. In part three we’ll look at using this technique with offsets (for example if …

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The power of the Format Date function and how to use it for shortcuts using time of day or sunrise/sunset (part 1)

In this post I want to spotlight the Format Date function, which is very useful and makes using time in shortcuts a breeze. I’ll explain how you can use it with a shortcut example. What is the Format Date function? 🤔 The Format Date function formats date values as the name implies. However, it also …

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Building a shortcut using conditionals with sunrise minus one hour, time of day and room brightness

Keith, a reader of this blog, had a rather interesting problem he was trying to solve, and as I was taking a look at it, I thought the solution could help many with how to break down a trickier problem into smaller bits. What do we want to do? Use a Hue Motion Sensor to …

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What is the maximal duration for a HomeKit shortcut?

There have been some questions in the comments about what the longest possible duration a HomeKit can run. For what purpose would you need to use a shortcut that takes many minutes you might ask. Well, especially if you’re using motion sensors (or other sensors) for turning things (most probably lights) on and off, you …

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Customize your switches with a label printer

Using a label printer to customize your HomeKit compatible switches and buttons

When you get into HomeKit accessories, you’ll probably get a few smart switches or buttons to control your lights and other devices so that you don’t have to use your voice or phone every time you want to turn on a light. You also have the idea that this will make everything more spouse and …

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How to use a motion sensor to turn your lights off with HomeKit (but giving you a warning first) – More advanced version

In this post, we’ll have a look at how we can use a motion sensor to turn your lights off with HomeKit, but not before giving you a warning before doing so. I suggest that you start by looking at an earlier post about how to use a motion sensor to turn on and off …

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Where will HomeKit / the smart home be in 10 years?

This is my prediction on where HomeKit and the smart home will be in 10 years. I admit it is quite optimistic and perhaps even borders on science fiction, but I do think a lot will have changed in 2030. I’ll start by listing the reasons for the change. The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) …

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Using both time of day and sunrise as a criteria in a shortcut

I was asked to create a HomeKit automation that turns on a certain light at 4:30AM if the sun has not already risen. This is a good exercise to play with Weather and the wealth of useful information therein. We’ll start by opening either the Home or Shortcuts app. We then choose Automation (at the …

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Fixed: tvOS 13.3.1 fixes problems with HomeKit automation shortcuts

If you’re using your AppleTV as a hub for HomeKit and you got bitten by the bug in tvOS 13.3 that broke HomeKit automation shortcuts, you’ll be happy to know that it has now been fixed in the tvOS 13.3.1 update. If you held off from updating to tvOS 13.3, you’re now safe to get …

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The big players (Apple, Amazon, Google and Zigbee Alliance) form working group to develop open standard for smart home devices

Apple, Amazon, Google and Zigbee Alliance will develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design principle. The members of the Zigbee Alliance are companieas such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), …

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