July 27, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to install some home automation/home monitoring hardware in an apartment.

I'm having some trouble doing research on this as home automation/monitoring stuff seems to center around owning a house and having access to a lot more of the internals than I do in an apartment. I do own the apartment, however.

I'm looking for stuff along the lines of monitoring energy usage, monitoring the environment, controlling lights and electronics remotely, and so on.

I was thinking of something like Twine (although not Twine specifically, as the reviews seem to suck) or those socket replacements that monitor energy usage.

Also my wife has very explicitly indicated that she does not want to by spied on, so no cameras or motion sensors or anything similar.
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns to Technology (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by oceanjesse at 8:18 AM on July 27, 2013

Also, I saw a neat demo a few years ago at a Maker Faire by this company called ioBridge. I don't remember exactly what they did, but I know it involved a clean web interface and some lightbulbs.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:23 AM on July 27, 2013

You could get the venerable Kill-A-Watt and a pen and paper to track your energy usage. But that won't track your HVAC usage which is the biggest energy user in almost any dwelling; for that you'll need to look at your utility bill and learn about degree days.

Smarthome will sell you whatever home automation gadgetry you'd like. X10 is a cheap way to get your feet wet and will annoy your wife just as well as any newer technology (I speak from experience).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:40 AM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

(I should have linked you to the home consumer projects section for ioBridge, oops)
posted by oceanjesse at 8:44 AM on July 27, 2013

I asked a similar question in January...
posted by Sublimity at 9:07 AM on July 27, 2013

I've been happy with Belkin WeMo products. I use two of them as smart timers for lighting, but I'm sure you could do a lot of other stuff. They just introduced a light switch; I'm not sure yet what I'd do that that if I had one.
posted by reddot at 3:21 PM on July 27, 2013

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