The Garage Automation Experiment: Aeotec Doorbell 6 and SwitchBot Meter

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I installed the Aeotec Doorbell 6 and SwitchBot Meter (Thermometer and Hygrometer) in my Garage. I have the vision to make my family’s life in the Garage simpler. Earlier, I wrote about the Aeotec Garage Door Controller (Gen5) installation experience in September. The Aeotec Doorbell would meet the need for my family to request entry to the Garage Entry or even use the Aeotec Doorbell 6 as an alert in case they needed help. The SwitchBot Meter will help me track the temperature and humidity levels are in the Garage. I think it’s important for homeowners to know what’s going on in their house when ambient temperatures change or when the vehicle enters the garage.

I hope to continue writing articles talking about homeowner needs and find ways to use smart home automation to meet those needs. I hope that these articles can provide some value to you.

Right now, it’s a bit of piece-mailing solutions from different providers. I am fairly new to the home-automation business, but I do have experience in the industrial setting. I have found in my experience, that you have to find the balance between cost and benefit; however, in smart home automation, it’s sometimes about whether the solution is actually meeting your need or overlapping with a solution from another device. Some smart home devices will communicate over WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Thread, or their proprietary protocols (i.e. Amazon coming out with Amazon Sidewalk (900Mhz)). These products have different ranges and can also work with each other.

Alan’s Garage Automation Experiment

Let’s talk about what I’ve installed in the Garage so far.

  • Surveillance: Wyze Cam – uses WiFi
  • Motion Sense (for lighting too): Wyze Cam – uses WiFi
  • Lighting: Wyze Bulbs – uses WiFi
  • Garage Door: Aeotec Garage Door Controller (Gen5) – uses Z-Wave
  • Z-Wave Hub: Hubitat Elevation Hub
  • Smart Home Integration: Google Home with Google Home Mini – WiFi

I am hoping to continue adding more devices to help automate my garage. I am always looking for more ideas, so if you have some, please go to the community.automatelife.net page.

Aeotec Doorbell 6

The Aeotec Doorbell 6 is a nice looking device. I’ve mentioned it before: Aeotec develops sleek looking devices. It fits in the palm of your hands. It is light-weight and has a power adaptor to plug into an outlet. The Doorbell also comes with a wall-mount and doorbell button. The Doorbell button can be placed anywhere and can operate at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit). This is good because winters are COLD. My garage is not heated, so we need devices that work in the cold.

Aeotec Doorbell 6 Wireless and Siren/Chime

The Aeotec Doorbell 6 can also be operated wirelessly. It comes with 2 – 12volt batteries, that can last up to two years without changing them. I may move the Doorbell 6 siren in different locations of the house to ensure that we can hear the Doorbell throughout the house. However, the Aeotec Doorbell 6 Siren can be adjusted to output 105 dB with 8 different tones. That’s very loud – I don’t think we’ll have a problem hearing it. Right now, it’s on the kitchen window sill. If our children need to reach us, they can just press the button; we’ll hear it.

Aeotec Doorbell 6: Z-Wave, Range, Easy setup

The Aeotec Doorbell 6 is a Z-Wave device. I think it’s an important factor to have when installing devices away from the main areas of your home – like the garage. The Doorbell 6’s button can be placed within 300 feet of the Chime/Siren. The Doorbell 6 Chime/Siren can be placed within 328 feet of the Hub (Z-Wave gateway). My Z-Wave Gateway is the Hubitat Elevation Hub. The setup of the device took approximately 20 seconds during the ‘Z-wave inclusion’ process. I can also change all the settings (chime, volume) through the Hubitat Elevation Hub. I integrated it into Google Home as a button located in the Garage. Now, I can use my phone to press the button. It’s an extra doorbell in the home. If I’m locked out or my main doorbell doesn’t work, I can press this one! <Ding-Dong!>

SwitchBot Meter: Thermometer, Hygrometer (Temperature, Humidity)

The SwitchBot Meter has been in my garage for a couple of weeks now. the SwitchBot Meter measures temperature and humidity. I think if you’re serious about controlling the temperature in different parts of your home, you may want to consider the SwitchBot Meter. I have not played with integrating it into any control of temperature or humidity yet. I have used it to understand the fluctuations of temperature and humidity in my garage. I have rooms above the garage, so when it’s cold or hot outside, I would like to know how it’s affecting the temperature in those rooms. I needed something simple and easy to use. Enter in the SwitchBot Meter.

SwitchBot Meter – Bluetooth Connectivity, No Hub required

You don’t need a Hub to work with the SwitchBot Meter. You can operate and track the temperature and humidity with the SwitchBot App on your phone. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone. You need to be in range. I connected the SwitchBot Meter to the SwitchBot Hub Plus to integrate into my Google Home environment. You will need the SwitchBot Hub plus if you want to enjoy integration from wherever you are. The SwitchBot Hub Plus acts as a WiFi to Bluetooth bridge to connect to your devices. I enjoy looking at the SwitchBot Hub Plus and it’s a variety of colors, including their rainbow output. I can use the SwitchBot Hub Plus as a night-light in the garage so I don’t have to turn on all the lights when putting out the garbage or getting some tools.

SwitchBot Meter Temperature and Humidity: Track, Monitor and Alert

I have set warnings on the SwitchBot Meter to alert me when the temperature reaches certain levels. If it gets too cold, we can ensure the room above is going to get the heat it requires. If it gets too hot, we can make sure that we are prepared to open windows, turn on a fan (maybe with a SwitchBot later), or turn on the Air Conditioning. The temperature and humidity accuracy are within acceptable limits for monitoring within your home.

The Garage Automation Experiment with Aeotec Doorbell 6 and SwitchBot Meter

It’s neat to think about all the different ways to provide smart automation to my garage. I am thankful for all the innovation between manufacturers like Aeotec and SwitchBot. The installation of the Aeotec Doorbell 6 and the SwitchBot Meter has been simple.

The Aeotec Doorbell 6 gives our family the opportunity to use the doorbell as an alert system. I have ideas to use the Aeotec Doorbell 6 in other applications outside the garage environment: We’ll talk about that later. In the meantime, the Doorbell 6 operates seamlessly through Z-Wave and is quite functional for the size. The Doorbell 6 siren/chime and doorbell is portable, which gives me the opportunity to put each the siren/chime or doorbell devices in secure locations to function as an emergency alert for my family once they are in the garage.

Aeotec has already announced its new Gen7 products. You can read about it in our article: Aeotec 700 series Z-Wave Gen 7, Z-Wave Plus Version 2. There should be exciting opportunities to improve my garage automation with the new Gen7 products.

The SwitchBot Meter gives me a way to track temperature and humidity. In my garage, it’s important to understand how the energy (temperature and humidity) affects heating and cooling in my house. You can read about the science of cooling in this article [here]. It will give me an accurate measurement to prepare for hot or cold days.

The Garage Automation Experiment

I hope that this article serves you well. I don’t know if we use automation in the garage other than using a garage controller to open and close the garage door. I would like to think of my garage a smart home automation lab. So far, we’ve talked about surveillance, motion sensing, triggering lights, controlling the garage door, garage entry chime/alert, monitoring and tracking temperature and humidity and integrating the devices to your hub. I can use my phone to ring the doorbell now – It can alert someone in the house that I need help. I think experience is giving me insight into how to make the garage smart. Today, we measure and track temperature and humidity, maybe tomorrow we use that to control a garage heater or an exhaust fan. I have a way to alert someone in the house that someone in my family needs my help; I can respond immediately – an integrated panic button. The relevance is that the automation to do these things is mobile and versatile. I hope that it is helping you too. I am looking for more ways to automate my garage. It’s fun to try new things out.

Thinking ahead in the future (just some thoughts for garage and vehicle automation:

  • What if I could find a way to attach a device to my vehicle that will allow me to park the vehicle exactly the same way each time to save space? Could I use a number of sensors to make that happen?
  • I wish I had more telematics on my vehicle that could send the information to my phone (like Automatic or Geotab). Right now it’s not available in my country or not available in the residential market. If we get there, does that mean that we’ll be using Satellite communications to connect to our smart home devices?
  • I’m dreaming that my vehicle could be a secure automation hub in the future. How do we make that happen?

Thank you for reading. I hope this helped you. I hope to continue testing out new devices and sharing my experiences here on AutomateYourLife.

In the meantime, Don’t Hate, Automate.


If you have a solution or would like to share what you do for your smart garage, please share with our community at:

community.automatelife.net

If you’re in the market for a Hub, like the SwitchBot Hub Plus, you can find it on our affiliate (please note that we may receive proceeds from the sales) [link here], Otherwise, if you’re in the market for Smart Home products like Aeotec’s Doorbell 6 or SwitchBot Meter you can [find it here] under ‘Smart Home Gems’.

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