Tag: automations

How to use Home Assistant to get an alert if your Tesla is not plugged in at night

I bought a Tesla Model 3 last year and it has been the best car I’ve ever owned, by far! Feel free to use my referral link if you want to purchase one also and get 1000 free Supercharger miles.

One of the best parts of owning it is that it never needs to be filled up for most daily driving. I don’t have to wonder if I have enough gas to go do daily chores. It charges up every night and is ready to go every morning.

This means that you have to remember to plug the car in every night. Normally, I plug it in when I get home from work (even though it is not scheduled to charge until later in the night). However, there are times when it doesn’t get plugged in for whatever reason (kids throwing a fit as soon as we get home, for instance).

I needed a way to make sure I always plugged the car in so it would charge during the night. Luckily, this is a simple automation in Home Assistant.

First, you need to configure the Tesla integration. This will give Home Assistant the ability to query your car to see if it is plugged in. It also gives you a lots of useful metrics about your car in the dashboard. Fun aside, my kids were so impressed with the speed of the car compared to my truck that they named my car Red Rocket! Therefore, lots of the entities have some reference to that name.

  • You can add the Tesla integration by clicking on Configuration then Integrations.
  • Click on the Add button in the lower right-hand side and search for Tesla.
  • Enter your Tesla.com username and password. Ensure the integration is able to successfully login to your Tesla account.
  • After the Tesla integration is finished configuring, you will see a large number of new entities. You can view them by searching for the Tesla integration in the Integrations page and clicking on Entities (I have renamed some of mine to make it more obvious what they were, so your entity names will vary).

The most important one for our purposes is the binary_sensor.red_charger_sensor as this one indicates whether or not the car is plugged into the charger.

Now that we have Home Assistant configured to communicate with your Tesla, the automation code is easy to write. In your automations.yaml file (or the GUI if you are so inclined), you will need to add the following code.

- alias: Notify if Tesla not plugged in at night
  initial_state: True
  trigger:
    - platform: time
      at: "19:30:00"
  condition:
    condition: and
    conditions:
      - condition: state
        entity_id: binary_sensor.red_charger_sensor
        state: 'off'
      - condition: template
        value_template: "{{ is_state_attr('binary_sensor.red_parking_brake_sensor', 'shift_state', 'P')}}"
  action:
    service: notify.notify
    data:
      message: "Tesla Model 3 not plugged in!"
      title: "Alarm"

trigger – This automation will fire at 7:30 PM every night (if I am still at the office by this time, I am working too hard!).

condition – I need to both check both that the Tesla is not plugged in (by virtue of the binary_sensor.red_charger_sensor being in the off state) and that the car is in Park (as indicated by the binary_sensor.red_parking_brake_sensor.shift_state being equal to P). I don’t want this automation to go off if I am driving.

I could have added a check to make sure I am home, but I still wanted the reminder in case I am traveling and need to ensure the car is plugged in.

action – I use the default notify.notify since this will send a notification to both my phone as well as my wife’s phone.

As you can see, this is a simple automation to add, but it has saved me from not having a charged car many times.

How to turn on a switch at nighttime via Home Assistant automations

My wife recently asked me if it would be possible to have her bedroom lamp turn on after the sun goes down to “make the house more cozy”. The answer, of course, is “for you, it is but a trifle”.

Home Assistant makes it easy to create “automations” or programs that run to control your house. Having a button on your phone or computer to turn lights on and off is fun, but having the lights automatically come on when the sun sets; that’s the power of home automation.

As you add more and more smart devices to your home, you can “chain” them together to create more useful automations.

There are graphical tools like NodeRED which can make it easier to build these automations graphically, but I have had success just updating the YAML files manually for now.

In this example, I’m going to show how to automate my downstairs lamp switches (really outlets) to automatically turn on when the sun sets (only when we are home).

Here are the major steps

  • Install smart switches and/or outlets in your home and link them to Home Assistant
  • Create “trackers” to determine when you are home or not
  • Add a “sun” component to Home Assistant to know when the sun rises and sets in your part of the world
  • Create a “lamps” group to enable you to control a group of lights that should be turned on at the same time
  • Create an “automation” to toggle the switches to “on” when the sun sets

Install smart switches and/or outlets in your home and link them to Home Assistant

Obviously, you must have some smart switches or outlets already installed in your home and configured in Home Assistant as the first step. See the below blog posts to learn how to do this.

Create “trackers” to determine when you are home or not

You need to set up a “tracker” to determine whether or not you are home. This is so that you can use this information later in the automation. The way this works is that your router knows when your phone is connected to the network. Therefore, Home Assistant can “query” your router to see if your phone (technically, the MAC address) is connected.

Your mileage may vary here. Home Assistant supports many routers, but not all. You should create a special account just for Home Assistant to use to login to your router, but the normal admin login will do in a pinch.

  • Open the device_tracker.yaml file and add the following.
  • platform: the type of router you have, refer to the Home Assistant list to see what to put here
  • host: the IP address of your router (may be 192.168.1.1 for simple set-ups, login to your router to be sure)
  • username: the username to login to the router with
  • password: the password to use to login to the router
  • verify_ssl: if your router uses a SSL certificate to encrypt the admin page/data when logging in to the admin console, set this to true, false otherwise
- platform: !secret device_tracker_platform
  host: !secret device_tracker_host
  username: !secret device_tracker_username
  password: !secret device_tracker_password
  verify_ssl: !secret device_tracker_verify_ssl
  • Open the secrets.yaml file and add the following (note the names match what you defined before in the device_tracker.yaml file)
device_tracker_platform: unifi
device_tracker_host: 192.168.1.1
device_tracker_username: dwight
device_tracker_password: dwightIsAwesome!
device_tracker_verify_ssl: false

Now you need to add some “known devices” to Home Assistant so it knows what to look for when determining whether or not you are home (based upon whether or not your phone is connected).

  • Open (or create) the known_devices.yaml file and add the following.
  • hide_if_away: hide this device if not at home (set to false, kind of defeats the purpose here)
  • mac: the MAC address (this is the unique network identifier for your device, look this up for your specific phone)
  • name: the friendly name you want for this device
  • picture: if you have a picture for this device or person, add the path here
  • track: set to true so we know where the device is
jordan_iphone:
  hide_if_away: false
  mac: !secret known_devices_jordan_iphone_mac
  name: jordan iphone
  picture:
  track: true

kristal_iphone:
  hide_if_away: false
  mac: !secret known_devices_kristal_iphone_mac
  name: kristal iphone
  picture:
  track: true
  • Add the needed keys to your secrets.yaml file (obviously, not my real MAC addresses)
known_devices_jordan_iphone_mac: 00:AA:11:BB:22:CC
known_devices_kristal_iphone_mac: 00:ZZ:11:YY:22:XX

Add a “sun” component to Home Assistant to know when the sun rises and sets in your part of the world

Home Assistant has a built-in “sun” component that can determine when the sun rises & sets based upon your location and this data can be used in automations.

The way this works is that you need to tell Home Assistant your latitude and longitude so it can send this data to the service that determines when the sun rises and sets.

  • Add the following code to your Home Assistant configuration.yaml file
homeassistant:
  # Name of the location where Home Assistant is running
  name: Home
  # Location required to calculate the time the sun rises and sets
  latitude: !secret homeassistant_latitude
  longitude: !secret homeassistant_longitude
  # Impacts weather/sunrise data (altitude above sea level in meters)
  elevation: !secret homeassistant_elevation

# Track the sun
sun:

You will notice that I am “hiding” my latitude and longitude in a secrets.yaml file. Home Assistant uses this special file for things that should not be open (like passwords, my actual lat/long, MAC addresses, etc.) Naturally, this file should never be public (never uploaded to GitHub, for instance).

  • Open your secrets.yaml file (or create it if it doesn’t exist in the same directory as the configuration.yaml file)
  • Add the following items (note the names are the same as you put in the configuration.yaml file). This is obviously not my house 🙂
  • Save and close the file
homeassistant_latitude: 34.211001
homeassistant_longitude: -118.436418
homeassistant_elevation: 0

If you don’t know your lat/long and elevation, you can get this data from Google Maps. Just type in your address and it will show you the lat/long if you right-click on your home and select “What’s here“.

Create a “lamps” group to enable you to control a group of lights that should be turned on at the same time

  • Open the groups.yaml file and add the following.
  • Two groups are needed in my example because I want the lamps to show up in other nested groups in my GUI. You don’t necessarily have to have 2 groups.
lamps_hidden:
  name: Lamps
  entities:
    - switch.downstairs_office_lamp
    - switch.front_door_lamp
    - switch.living_room_lamp
    - switch.master_bedroom_kristal_lamp
  control: hidden

lamps:
  name: Lamps
  entities:
    - group.lamps_hidden
  view: yes

Create an “automation” to toggle the switches to “on” when the sun sets

  • Open the configuration.yaml file and add a line for automations and link it to a new automations.yaml file.
automation: !include automations.yaml
  • Open the automations.yaml file and add the following.
  • id: a unique identifier for this automation. I have several automations above this one, so mine is a7, configure as needed
  • alias: the name of the automation in the GUI
  • initial_state: whether or not the automation should be enabled on reboot of the Home Assistant
  • hide_entity: whether or not to hide this automation from the GUI
  • trigger: what causes this automation to kick off. In this case, I want it to fire 1 hour before sunset (so the house isn’t too dark at dusk)
  • condition: this is needed to ensure someone is home before the automation is enabled. I don’t want this automation to run if either me or my wife is not home (I could set up a separate “burglar deterrent” automation for running the lights when no one is home)
  • action: what the automation should do. In this case, I want Home Assistant to send the “turn_on” signal to the “lamps” group. This should toggle all of the lamps to on.
- id: a7
  alias: Turn on the lamps when the sun sets if someone is home
  initial_state: True
  hide_entity: False
  trigger:
    platform: sun
    event: sunset
    offset: "-1:00:00"
  condition:
    condition: or
    conditions:
      - condition: state
        entity_id: 'device_tracker.jordan_iphone'
        state: 'home'
      - condition: state
        entity_id: 'device_tracker.kristal_iphone'
        state: 'home'
  action:
    entity_id: group.lamps
    service: homeassistant.turn_on

Now we can wait for sunset and see if it turns on. After it comes on, we can see the results in the Logbook.

  • Go to the Home Assistant homescreen and click on Logbook

As you can see, at 6:44 PM (1 hour before sunset when I am writing this), the automation “Turn on the lamps when the sun sets if someone is home” has been triggered. You then see all of the lamps & lights I have associated with this automation come on.

That’s all there is to it. Now the lamps will turn on in my house 1 hour before sunset.