I’ve been a Home Assistant user for a little over 4 years now and I’ve loved it ever since I started using it.
This led me to try to incorporate it at work. I work in a logistics company, and one of our responsibilities is to manage and maintain apartments for companies with personnel that come from abroad.
One problem we are facing is that the residents of the buildings (the personnel) do not care about energy efficiency at all, and always keep the lights and AC on even when they leave the apartment.
I want to solve this problem, and use Home Assistant to turn off the lights/ac whenever no one is in a specific apartment.
We have already acquired the necessary hardware to control the lights and the AC, but we’re still looking into a way to detect occupancy in each apartment in the building.
- The building has around 20 apartments.
- All the apartments are connected to the same network but each apartment has a different VLAN/subnet.
- Home Assistant instance in running on a Synology in the server room of the building and has access to all the apartments’ networks.
- Each apartment accommodates 3 to 4 personnel at a time.
- Personnel come in for 2-4 months at a time and are them replaced. The whole time they are on duty, they are allocated the same apartment and room.
- We do not want to collect location information of the personnel.
Our goal is to find a solution that needs minimal maintenance and is cost effective.
Will not detect people if they are stationary
Need to put a sensor in each room of each apartment
Zigbee: will the sensors be able to communcate only with one hub? or do we need to put a hub in each apartment
Battery powered: need o change batteries every once in a while
Plugged in: Good
|MM wave Sensor
|Very effective, can detect even if stationary
Need to put a sensor in each room of each apartment (Can MM wave sensors see through walls?)
|same as above
Battery powered: need to change batteries every once in a while
Plugged in: Good
|Location based tracking
|Not an option, we cannot use the personnels location data
|Personal device connected to apartment's Wifi
|Can track specific person in each apartment
|None, only using some configuration in router/homeassistant
|If personal device is off, will not detect occupancy
Need to configure the system with each new personnel's phone's MAC address.
iPhones randomise MAC adresses which makes MAC tracking useless (is that true in the same network?)
Note that I am also trying to minimize hardware purchase. I can very easily buy a mm wave sensor for each room/area in the apartment but that would be very cost ineffective.
So far, tracking the personnel’s personal device in the network seems the best option (if there is no issue with the iPhones), but there’s still the issue of if a phone dies.
Do you think there is a better way of solving this problem? another solution that is more robust/enterprise solution? A combination of solutions?
Plus if you have specific product recommendations that can be integrated into Home Assistant, could help a lot in choosing the best solution.
Thank you Home Assistant Community!