There is a lot of information out there that explains how you can automate your home. So I’m not going to repeat it here. Plus, other information is probably better explained than what I can put here.

Personally, I use openHAB, but there are a lot of different systems available. Which one you choose is up to your skill level and the level of involvement (and frustration), that you can handle.

The point of this article is to point out that you can incorporate your props into your smart home system. I don’t want to go outside to turn things on or off, or depend on plugs that activate based on sunrise and sunset.

Everything is automated and controlled from my laptop or phone.

Here are some of the ideas/things I do to help:

  • A ‘catch all’ button to turn everything on or off.
  • Sensors that sends a signal via Mosquitto, and depending on it’s input, a value is sent back to trigger different animations.
  • Timers that count for different props that help in controlling numerous props where timing is key. Also, to make it so props don’t trigger on our way out of the house.
  • Sunrise or sunset turns things on or off.
  • Control fog machine output without one of those expensive controllers.
  • Control motors.

There’s more but this is just to get you some ideas.