Scenes

Scenes allow you to automate a sequence of events and actions and to initiate them from by a single action. They are the home automation equivalent of a computer macro.

The scenes used in our Home Control System (HCS) can be run by incoming events, sent in the form of a structured message:
Scene,<source>,Good Night,<interface>

The above event has a type of 'Scene' and the scope is set to the user that invoked it. This is followed by an identifier (the name of the scene to be run) and the technology generating this event, e.g. Zwave.

We are using some basic level encryption of the source field and decryption at the HCS, to ensure it has come from a valid source. This has a time element to it. This is overkill really but, it does limit who or what can run scenes.

Manual Triggers

The scene can be initiated or triggered by many different manual mechanisms. It might be the push of a switch or a button on a remote control. It might be a scheduled event that causes the scene to be started or run. Again, we are not prescriptive and it could be a text command or voice command that causes the scene to be run.

Scenes can also be manually triggered by using a key fob.

Schedules

We don't use these much but, scenes can also be scheduled to run at regular intervals.

Automatic 'Smart' Scenes

We are now using our advanced presence to automatically run scenes based on detected and calculated occupancy and presence.

Example Scenes

These are some examples of scenes we are currently using in our home:

Christmas Morning

Not a scene that gets used very often! Switches on Christmas tree lights and outside decorations. This is a scheduled scene that runs auitomatically.

Good Morning

Opens curtains and blinds (if not already open, some are scheduled). Turns off the alarm. This is a smart scene that is run based on detected occupancy and presence.

This is a special scene that can be explicitly invoked by anyone in the house using a wide range of interfaces (including a bedside button). It can also be invoked automatically by our Home Control System (HCS).

Good Night

Checks the exterior doors are closed (soon to include lock status), all the lights are off and the alarm is on. It reports any exceptions.

This is another special scene that can be explicitly invoked by anyone in the house using a wide range of interfaces (including a bedside button).

Panic

This is a scene that is also activated by the panic button near the front door. It turns on the internal alarm, external alarm and external sounder. It also sends SMS messages to a list of pre-defined numbers.

What Just Happened

This scene is invoked when we hear a noise at night and don't know what it is. It turns on the outside and garden lighting for 5 minutes. It also turns on some of the downstaris lights for a few minutes. It sends a summary of the latest detected activity and any photos/video taken recently to our Smartphone.

Testing Scenes

A quick way to test scenes in our Home Control System (HCS) is to create them on our Z-Wave controller and to then use the web interface or the VeraMobile iOS app to invoke them. These Z-Wave scenes simple invoke LUUP code to send the required event into our HCS using socket layer comms. The VeraLite Z-Wave controller also supports scenes and is a good way to test schedules and triggers.

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