Categories
Home Assistant Home Automation Z Wave

Inovelli Smart Bulbs

While I was in the planning phases of my blog move I wanted to find new sources of content for the blog. As I was shopping on Amazon for ZWave sensors I came across this company called Inovelli. I had never heard of them before and I kind of dismissed them and went on my way. But after a while I figured I would check them out.

Inovelli is a US based company and they make all their own products even down to the firmware. For my test of their products I decided to order 2 smart bulbs (one is being and open box and discontinued as the other one is their brand new Ilumin Bulb) since I had just purchased the Merkury Wifi Smart Bulb from Walmart and I was not unfamiliar with smart bulbs.

The packaging was not very impressive, in fact it was a little hard to figure out which was the open box and which was brand new aside from the label on the box. The bulbs were just rattling around in the box and were a little difficult to get out. That aside I am pretty impressed with the product.

The setup was pretty simple (after you read the instructions) and once the device was paired and I rebooted my Z Wave Controller it showed up immediately. They also work great with Home Assistant just an FYI there. The lights were bright and very responsive.

My Usage for these bulbs

You might be asking, Why do you want/need a ZWave smart bulb when you can get a smart switch? For me I am using one of these bulbs for a 2 fold purpose. The first being I have a pull chain light switch in my utility room in my basement and I don’t want to have to go through the trouble of setting up a smart switch. and secondly, as they are connected to power 100% of the time, and they actually will act as a ZWave extender/repeater (which I can go into at a later time) to expand my network.

I think if you are in need of a smart bulb and already have an existing Z Wave network you should really look into these Inovelli Smart Bulbs. I really regret not purchasing their colored bulb which I hope to purchase soon and have a review up for it soon.

Categories
Home Assistant Home Automation Z Wave

UPDATE!! Home Assistant: Open Z Wave Add-in 0.5.0 not working

So I just ran into this issue with my Home Assistant Setup. I logged in for the first time in about a week and found that I had an update available for the Open Z Wave Add-On. Oddly enough the check box that says Auto Update does nothing.

Anyway so I updated thinking everything would be okay….. WRONG!!!

After doing the upgrade and rebooting the appliance the Open Z Wave admin console would fail to load and the service would not start. I tried several times as that is normally what I have to do. Which by the way the the start on boot up also never works.

I checked the Home Assistant forums and found this thread. It turns out that the the issue is actually with MQTT. Apparently MQTT is presenting an invalid response which is causing Open Z Wave to barf. One of the options listed was to use an MQTT Browser to delete the entry and that has worked for some people to varying levels of success.

It did not work for me, but here is what I did:

  • Back up your configurations before you do any of this.
  • Step 1: Uninstall Open Z Wave from Supervisor > Add-ons
  • Step 2: Uninstall MQTT
  • Step 3: Reboot Home Assistant hardware
  • Step 4: Install MQTT again and make sure it is configured and then Start the services.
  • Step 5: Install Open Z Wave and make sure it is pointing to the correct ZWave Antenna and start service.

I then checked the Z Wave log to make sure the error was gone (and it was!!)

UPDATE!! Within about an hour of making this post I discovered that my whole Zwave setup was not working and the service eventually crashed. This morning I ended up doing a fresh install and I was able to pull down OpenZwave 0.5.1 and that seems to be working. I will update once I have more information.

I hope you found this post helpful, and if so please share with your friends.

Categories
Home Automation Z Wave

Exciting News!!

As I mentioned on the home page we are now an official reseller for a ZWave vendor! That means we are able to sell directly to our clients rather than having them go through an external reseller.

We look forward to serving you soon!

Categories
Home Assistant Home Automation Z Wave

Home Assistant Build out continued… Setting up Automation

I believe we left off last time with all of my Z Wave devices finally showing up after being patient. Now it is time to setup my favorite (also the first I ever did) which is to turn on my office lights when the door opens. It’s like a surprise party every time I go into the office (Okay I stole that from Jerry Seinfeld). For this post I will do a step by step guide.

For this guide we will start from the Configuration Menu. Just an FYI there are in fact multiple ways to setup an automation with this new version of HASSIO. The way we are going to proceed is the classic way of setting it up which is Configuration Menu > Automation. However if you are the devices menu looking at a device you will actually see all the automations attached to that device. This is an awesome feature I am so excited that it is available.

Anyway, on to the guide.

From the configuration menu click Automation

On the Automation page you will be shown a mostly blank page, with a little plus icon in the lower right hand corner. Click on the icon and proceed to the to setup wizard.

Home Assistant New Rule Button
New Rule Button

Once you click on the new rule button, it launched the new Automation Wizard

New Automation Wizard

From here you can follow the wizard and type in what the automation should do and then click Create Automation and it will walk through the process of creating the wizard, or you can be like me and kick it old school and just click SKIP.

You will then be presented with the blank automation form

Blank Automation Form

Now you will need to name your new Automation in my case I named mine Office Lights Turn On. From there you will need to move onto the Triggers section.

Specify the Device, in our case it is Door/Window Sensor and then what the triggering status would be. Then move down to Actions.

Here we will specify the device which in our case is my GE in Wall light switch and the action which will be to turn it in.

Once you are done with all the configs you will need to click the Save icon in the lower right hand corner (you might need to go looking for it).

To recap the rule we just setup will set the in wall switch to ON when the door sensor is set to on. It is really that simple, and it makes your friend and family think that you are a wizard…. well maybe not but it’s still cool.

I hope you found this guide helpful and if you did please share with your friends.

Categories
Home Assistant Home Automation Z Wave

Home Assistant / HASSOS 2020 Build out

With all that has been going on in the world I decided with all my extra free time to get back into my Home Assistant setup and do some updates. There had been many changes and updates since the last time I looked at my system and let me tell you right off the bat, my system was running great. It had been up for about a year or so since the last catastrophic failure, which in my defense was due to my SD card becoming no longer readable. Before that my Home Assistant (that’s right not HASS.io) ran for like 3 years before this happened.

So I logged into my HASS.io setup and decided to start updating…. and that is where things went wrong. I tried to install OpenZWave which caused my zStick to stop working and my APIs for my smart thermostat and IKEA TRADFRI stopped working as well.

Needless to say I had to start from scratch so I downloaded the latest version of HASS.io and turned off my Raspberry Pi. Here is what I am working with for this setup:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+
  • 128 GB San Disk SD Card
  • Aeotec Z-Stick Gen 5

I loaded up my setup and fired up the Pi….. then I realized I forgot to configure my static networking for HASS.io. Fiddle sticks, So I hit the power button on my USB Dongle, popped the SD card back in my PC and made the Network changes (I can create a walk through for this later, or you can RTFM on the Home Assistant Website. Then I replaced the SD card again and fired up the Pi, and after 3 hours, nada. It didn’t work. ARGH!!!!

Apparently HASSOS (the OS for HASS.io) does not like it when you pull the power out while it is attempting to download files and databases. Go figure.

So I powered off the Pi and flashed the Card again and we were off to the races. FYI, I didn’t do the network config file this time either and it worked fine…. Thanks DHCP!

Once I got to the log in screen my first order of business was to get Open Z Wave running. I went to the Supervisor section of Home Assistant and added the Open Z Wave Add-on. What I didn’t realize was the fact that I needed to install MQTT before Turning on the Open Z Wave service. I can go into details on that in a later post as well but for now just know 2 things. First, once you turn on Open Z Wave for the first time it may take 2 or 3 tries for it to actually start and stay started. Even then it will take about 2 minutes for the service to load (depending on your hard ware). 2. Even if you click start on boot, it does not start on boot.

After all of that I finally got it to load as seen here:

Open Z Wave Dashboard

If I can give any first timers or even those who are used to the older Z Wave Interface any advice, it would be to be patient. It took about 12 hours for all of my Z Wave devices to finally report in.

Currently my Z Wave Devices are as follows

  • GE Z Wave Smart Switch (Gen 1)
  • Zooz Motion Sensor
  • Zooz 4 in 1 Sensor
  • Z Wave Door Sensor
  • Wave Door Sensor
  • GE Z Wave Smart Switch (Gen 2) (Not installed yet)

I am going to end this post here, but I plan to document my build out of Home Assistant and maybe even my VMware Home Lab where I might start to run Home Assistant on a VM!.