How to Automate Your Home With IFTTT Recipes

How to Automate Your Home With IFTTT Recipes

IFTTT excels at turning your phone into an automated machine, so why can’t it do the same for your house? More and more technology is entering the home today, and each piece of tech you buy has settings to fiddle with, and tasks they need to complete. With a little help from IFTTT, all your home technology can respond to your needs automatically.

Do you have a routine that you go through every day when you get home? What about when you leave the house? Is any of the tech you keep in the house involved? If your answer is yes, then there are a few ways IFTTT can make these routines easier, faster, and smarter with proper home automation.


What Is IFTTT?

IFTTT (If This Then That) is all about taking a simple task and making it automated. Have you ever uploaded a picture to Twitter, and then wanted to put it in your Dropbox right afterward? IFTTT can take care of that for you, all you need to do is let it know about your individual needs and wants.

There’s some setup required, but don’t worry, we’ll guide you through it step by step if you don’t know where to start.

Uses IFTTT Home

Once IFTTT is ready to go, so are you, to start automating your home with helpful premade recipes, or even creating your own.



How Can IFTTT Automate Homes?

On its own, IFTTT can’t even wash your windows, but with the help of other apps and services, IFTTT can orchestrate magic. Have a HomeSeer system in place? Then you’re in luck; IFTTT is fully compatible.

HomeSeer isn’t the only system that works with IFTTT to automate your home’s technology, but it’s currently the most encompassing one with the most features. IFTTT also works with the Nest thermostat, and Philips Hue to name a few devices and services.

All you need is the right tech, the right know-how, and the right recipe to start making your house do everything it’s supposed to, but automatically.


Helpful HomeSeer IFTTT Recipes

Since you have all the pieces you need, now you just have to fit them all together. That’s where a recipe comes in, and for HomeSeer, there are plenty made by the company themselves. Since there are 27 total recipes currently, I won’t go over all of them, but if you want to see the rest, check out their profile.

Homeseer IFTTT Home

Below are just a few of my favorites, and the recipes that I think are the most useful out of the bunch. Additionally, if you don’t already have any HomeSeer software installed, you can find them here:

HomeSeer Downloads

Download Now Button


1. Receive a Call if Your Security Panel Goes into Alarm Mode

This first one is self-explanatory and seems like the most important recipe out of the list.

How it works:

If you set a virtual machine for security in HomeSeer, and then connect it to your security system, this sets a condition that lets the recipe do its magic.

If Then Phone IFTTT Home

What it does:

Once the condition is triggered, you immediately get a warning phone call.

Is this practical?

The call is only used to alert you, and won’t have any helpful information, but the call alone is help enough to alert you. If you have home security concerns, or even just want to bolster what you already have in place, this is a must have the recipe.

Recipe Link


2. Notify Family That No One is Home with GroupMe

This next recipe requires the GroupMe app, so if you don’t already have it, you can download it here:

GroupMe

Google Play download button

How it works:

This recipe works via motion sensing. If you create a new virtual machine in HomeSeer that’s triggered by no motion being sensed in the house for a long period; this will create the condition the recipe needs.

What it does:

Once the condition is triggered, a GroupMe notification goes out to everyone involved that lets them know that you aren’t home right now.

Is it practical?

If you live alone without any pets and need to notify family or friends when you aren’t around, and don’t have the time to do it yourself; this is helpful. Otherwise, this recipe doesn’t have much use.

Recipe Link


3. Receive a Call If a Special Emergency Code Is Used to Unlock Your Home

Like the first recipe, this has to do with security, so it’s worth a quick mention.

How it works:

Like all the recipes before this one, you need to create a virtual device in HomeSeer for your emergency door lock code. The recipe only works once you’ve fulfilled this condition. After this, create a HomeSeer event that triggers when the door is unlocked by your set code.

What it does:

When the set condition triggers, you’re called immediately. There won’t be anyone on the other line to tell you why your unlock code was used, but you’ll at least know that it was used.

Is it practical?

Getting a call is more than enough to put your gears in motion to call or message any other people with your unlock code to see if they used it. If they haven’t, you know, you have a problem on your hands even without being home.

Recipe Link


4. When You Leave Home, Lock Doors, Turn Off Lights, and Adjust Thermostat

This next recipe works with your HomeSeer system as is, if you have it set up.

If Then Phone IFTTT Home

How it works:

Without the need for extra virtual machines, when your phone detects you are out of what you’ve set as home, the IFTTT even triggers.

What it does:

When you’re out of the house, your lights turn off, your door locks, and your thermostat adjusts to a level where it doesn’t need to account for anyone’s comfort inside.

Is it practical?

If you live alone or set the recipe to trigger when all phones have left the house, this is a fantastic recipe that will automate your house settings to save you money in the long run.

Recipe Link


5. When You Come Home, Lock Doors, Turn Off Lights, and Adjust Thermostat

If you think something sounds eerily similar about this recipe, you aren’t going crazy. This is the companion recipe to the one above it.

How it works:

This recipe uses your location to trigger an event, so location services need to be turned on.

What it does:

When you get close to home, this runs a HomeSeer event that makes sure your doors are unlocked, the lights are back on, and the thermostat goes back to a comfortable level.

Is it practical?

If you have both this recipe and the previous one, these two work very well in tandem. They work just fine on their own, but together they form a complete package that makes sure your home is running smoothly and functions how it should when you’re away, and then back home.

Recipe Link


Other IFTTT Recipes For Home Automation

HomeSeer isn’t the only home service that works with IFTTT; there are a few more notable recipes I can think of that work with other devices. There are IFTTT channels for:

  • Automatic – This channel mostly relates to your car, but also uses your car as a point of reference for home automation.
  • Nest Thermostat – This channel makes use of your Nest thermostat to adjust for a multitude of situations automatically.
  • Amazon Alexa – Alexa is a US-only channel that interacts with your Alexa device even when you aren’t around it.
  • Echobee – Echobee is another thermostat channel for users who don’t use Nest.
  • Philips Hue – This channel works with your Philips light system to turn off, turn on, dim, and alter your lights with certain triggers.
  • Garageio – Have a garage door you want to access without touching a button? This is the channel for you.
  • Honeywell Total Connect Comfort – Have a Honeywell thermostat? Use this channel to tweak it to your needs automatically inside of your home, and out of it.

The list doesn’t stop there either, but if I keep going, this list will never end. Just like before, I’m not going to mention every recipe for each channel, but instead, I’m going to list a few of my favorites.

Seven recipes are much more manageable, but if you have any of these apps or services, I urge you to look at their full IFTTT profiles.


6. Turning Your Lights on When Your Car Is Home (Automatic)

This recipe works along with another IFTTT channel, Philips Hue.

Automatic IFTTT Home

How it works:

Your car’s location is determined by Automatic, which then sends a signal to your Philips Hue system.

What it does:

When your car reaches a predetermined spot, like your normal parking spot, or your garage, your lighting system gets the signal to turn your lights back on without you needing to do a thing.

Is this practical?

If you have both the Automatic app and have Philips Hue installed, then yes, this recipe is a must.

Recipe Link

If you don’t have either app already, you can find both there:

Automatic

Google Play download button

Philips Hue

Google Play download button


7. Change Your Thermostat Based on Where You Are In the House (Nest)

It’s a pain to mess with your thermostat all the time when different rooms in the house don’t feel the same. If you have Nest, you can make your thermostat change just by walking around the house during your normal routines.

How it works:

This recipe works off your location and Nest controls. You’ll need to set the temperature you want Nest to respond with ahead of time, but after that, Nest will act on its own.

What it does:

When you leave a room, Nest changes the thermostat to suit your personal settings.

Is it practical?

If you like to set certain temperatures while you’re in specific parts of the house, this is great to set it back to a norm automatically, without you needing to dive into Nest to do it yourself. This isn’t for everyone, but it works well.

Recipe Link

If you don’t have the Nest app, you can get it here:

Nest

Google Play download button


8. Turn On Your TV With Your Voice (Alexa)

This recipe makes use of Amazon Alexa, which works on Echo, Dot, and Tap devices from Amazon, and Logitech Harmony.

Amazon Echo IFTTT Home

How it works:

With Harmony, adding “turn on the TV” to your to-do list triggers the recipe’s condition.

What it does:

If you ask Alexa the command above or ask her to add it to your to-do list, she’ll turn on the TV for you as soon as the command is finished, or later if you set a time for it.

Is it practical?

If you already have both services, this is an easy recipe to add to your list. It’s a minor thing, but an extremely convenient option to have around. If your remote somehow disappears into the void every other week like mine, give this a try.

Recipe Link

If you don’t have either app required for this yet, you can get both of them here:

Amazon Alexa

Google Play download button

Harmony

Google Play download button


Conclusion

IFTTT does a great job of melding all of your home systems together into one convenient place. It makes home automation easier, and even encourages more use of the systems you’ve already put in place. Its usefulness doesn’t stop there, IFTTT is always trying to make everything easier.

Had any problems along the way, or just want to share your favorite recipes? Please leave a comment below, and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

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