So it’s winter here on the east coast of the US. My wife and I like to sleep with the thermostat turned down low (both to conserve energy and because it just helps us sleep better) but when the alarm goes off at 5:30am a cold room is hardly an incentive to get out of bed!
Our solution (since we don’t have a programmable thermostat) was to use one of the little “Lasko” space heaters we have. The only problem was that to sue the remote you have to leave the unit plugged in, and consequently you have a glowing red LED at all times; both of us prefer a DARK room when we sleep. I needed a way to warm the room up before and after bed, without worrying about that annoying LED, and having to manually do it… ENTER SPARK CORE!!!
The project consists of three parts.
Part One started as a way to control my Christmas lights over the holidays. With an inexpensive RF receiver/transmitter I was able to decode the patterns used to turn on those little RF Outlets, and use a Spark to control them.
Part Two consists of an IR LED. Using the IRremote Library by Ken Shirriff I was able to clone the remote for the heater. Now my spark could also control the heater.
Part Three is an Android app I wrote that I use for all of my home automation projects. I updated that with a section for the Space heater. Now when I hit the On button it first uses the RF Transmitter to turn on power to the heater itself (that way I can turn it off completely and not worry about the stupid LED) then after a second or two it sends a signal through the IR LED to turn on the heater and start heating.
Plus, since it’s now controlled through the cloud I can have schedules (it automatically turns on right when my alarm goes off, allowing me to snooze a couple of times and then hop out of bed into a nice warmed room) and control it from other rooms. I also added a few “macro” functions like up or down 10 degrees,
Anyway- nothing too elaborate, or unique, but I’m loving how easy Spark makes home automation.