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The introduction & background

Hello there! A small summary of me might be in order to provide some context. So here it goes.

About

Markus is the name I was given and Finland is the country where my home resides. I’m in the IT business, but not a developer. I have a basic understanding of coding but that’s it. I am however very tech oriented and I love to tryout new gadgets and tech gear. This includes computers, hi-fi, entertainment systems, gaming, mobile phones & tablets, smart watches etc.

Due to my inability to code, my home automation projects are often filled with pain (mental and sometimes physical -_-), trial and a lot of error. On the other hand I’m extremely eager to learn new things and an expert at googling (hence the name for the blog). Fortunately I also have a bunch of very smart friends who are often of great help. Sometimes voluntarily and sometimes they get tired of my endless stupid questions and decide to take the easy way out by helping.

First steps towards a smart home

My journey with home automation began about three years ago, when I discovered the Philips Hue product line. And wow, did it pique my interest! At the time I felt it was too pricey, at around 180 euros. That was enough to get 3x color E27 bulbs and the Hue bridge. I did however kind of manage to speak a colleague of mine to try it out first.

He ended up buying the Philips Hue starter kit. He played around with it for a weekend and decided it wasn’t for him and returned it. The local retailer put the returned item to their outlet at a slightly discounted price and I ended up picking the same item from the outlet. Only to come to the same conclusion as my colleague – it wasn’t for me either.

At the time the biggest problem for me was the price. I felt that with only 3 bulbs my apartment with multiple ceiling lights would only become an annoyance. I could retrofit 1-2 lights with the bulbs to become ‘smart’ and that’s it. With at least 10 other lights staying completely and utterly stupid. So it would’ve required closer to 1000 euros to make the rest of the lightning smart. It didn’t feel worth it at the time and I too ended up returning them.

Last chance to turn back

After that it took about 1,5 years, a couple of random events and the fast evolution of the smart home market to bring me back to this. I started with Ikea Trådfri lights and then went on to purchase Philips Hue lights, RuuviTag BLe sensors, smart outlets, a video camera and other things.

The apartment building I lived at the moment went through large renovations a while after that. We got fiber internet and new electrical wiring. This presented the opportunity to upgrade my network and also have new outlets to places where I felt I needed them. While setting up my new Ubiquiti Unifi network, I somehow convinced myself that now I have the perfect infrastructure to expand my home automation setup. Of course that was totally unrelevant but hey, whatever works! =D

We moved to a 181m2 (1950ft2) rowhouse at the end of august and the new house has a lot more to offer compared to the previous, much smaller apartment. I’ve already at least tripled the size of my setup and there are a lot of ideas on the To Do list.

I thank you for your interest so far and hope to see you soon!

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