Controlling the amplifier, TV or air conditioner with the remote is easy. But imagine possibilities if you automate this small, but irritating and repetitive task?

Automation Bank is a community-driven list of over 100 practical automation ideas to make the best use of your smart devices. Read more about Automation Bank Mission and get blown away by the best home automation ideas as voted by our users.

Switching on/off, selecting the source or operating mode and changing the volume or temperature is always linked to a specific trigger. This might be your entering the home, switching on Xbox or saying “Movie time”.

How Does It Work:

Your Remote is a simple device that sends IR or RF commands. There are no reasons you cannot control it using a hub or controller.

  • Put your IR controller in the direct sight of the amplifier
  • Use controller application to learn IR codes first
  • You can also add RF to your set up to automate other related things (Projector Screen pull up and down etc)
  • Next, think about when do you use the remote and try to find way to automate. See the “Tips

TIPS: We have couple of automation ideas :

  • Control the screen: bring the screen down and switch on a projector on “Movie Time” command
  • Control your Amp: Switch on your amplifier, select the right source and put the best volume sound once the Xbox is on
  • Control your lights: Dim your lights when TV is on. Put them back once you are done.

What do you need? (And How Much It Costs)

DeviceOur RecommendationPrice

IR hub

A dedicated bridge
that emulates your
IR remote
$10 - $30

RF hub

RF bridge that emulates your Remote

 

  • Sonoff RF Bridge ($23.99) is our favourite RF bridge. The first thing you need to do is to flash it with Tasmota. This will allow you to connect to your bridge but also just control the bridge better.
$20 - $30

Shut off valve

A valve that will close and open water supply
  • leakSMART Water Leak Detection Kit ($365.72) is a more expensive option. It has all you need to set you up shut off valve. There are some negative comments on the hub but it works well in general.
  • Grohe 22503LN0 (from $14.00) is even more expensive. For the additional price, you have flow sensors capable to detect the pipe bursts without the sensors and better overall build quality. At the same, it has fewer options for integrating with your smart hub.
$99 - $400

Door/Window Sensor

Reports if a door or window is open or closed
  • Zigbee:  SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor ($19.81) is the best sensor by Samsung. Reliable, good battery life and looks amazing
  • Z-wave:  Z-Wave Door & Window Sensor ($30.42) is the sensor we recommend by Ecolink. It is easy to install, has up to 3 years of battery life and great customer feedback
$20 - $30

Motion Sensor 

Detects any motion. Ideally combined with luminance sensor.
A relatively simple device, with the price mainly dependent on the protocol you are using:
  • Zigbee Motion Sensor: SmartThings sensor ($24.94) is the best for its price and stability.
$25 - $60

Water leak detector

A sensor that will trigger the shut-off valve to work
  • Samsung Leak Detector ($19.95) is the most affordable and simple solution. At this price, you should cover all the areas in your house. Requires A Smart Hub
  • FIBARO Flood Sensor ($54.99) is a very good Z-wave leak detector. It has great battery life, easy to pair and very accurate at alarms. Requires A Smart Hub
$20 - $55

Outlet 

Allows you to remotely switch on and off. Can be retrofitted to any existing devices. 
  • Wifi outlet: Kasa Smart WiFi Plug (price for 2 - $34.99) is the best for price and local connectivity.
$20 - $35

Smart Colour Bulb

A a colour bulb you can remotely control 

$24 - $35

White Bulb

Practical bulb that would work for majority of use cases
$10 - $20

Switch US

Switch to turn on and off lights. Require neutral wire in the box.
$30 - $45

You might also need:

  • Smart Hub ($60 – $100; assumed exists already) – As we discussed in our smart home manifesto, all of the advanced automation require a smart hub to manage the routines and control all your systems together. We recommend SmartThings v3 hub ($64.97)  for the majority users, but please see our definitive guide to smart hubs (and review of 3 best smart hubs out of 10 we reviewed)

How to set up this automation?

Section below will have step by step instructions how to set this automation routine in the most popular smart hubs like SmartThings, Home Assistant, HomeSeer and Hubitat

Please leave comments below if you have any questions, or interested in the instruction for a specific system. This will help us to better focus our effort.