Show off your favourite simple automation

Watching DrZzs live stream yesterday where he left his son broadcasting for half of the stream and answering viewers questions, got me thinking what is your favourite simple automation in Home Assistant?

I’m not thinking long complex drawn out automations. Just quick and simple things that put a smile on your face everytime they trigger.

I did like how DrZzs has his bathroom door lock when the toilet seat is up, thus ensuring it must be put back the way it’s supposed to be (apparently) when you’ve finished or you can’t get out!

I think mine is the announcement over TTS if either myself or my partner get in our cars and the other person is home. The announcement will say for example “Craig has just got in the car, at the supermarket, and should arrive home in 10 minutes”.

The trigger for this is when our phones connect to the bluetooth in the car, which I can get from the Bluetooth paired device sensor from the Android Companion App.

This then starts the TTS, which will include “at the supermarket/work/park/pub” etc depending on if my phone is in a Zone. And finally the time to home comes from a Waze sensor.

Every day it goes off and is ideal to know when to pop the kettle on, start tea or jump off the computer and look like I’ve been doing housework the whole time.

What’s everyone else’s favourite quick and simple automations?


Believe it or don’t, a very simple automation to turn on outdoor lighting when the outdoor ambient daylight dips below 35 lux. Uses a Wemos D1 Mini with a BH1750 ambient light sensor, and ESPHome.

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I fully believe it. The simplest are often the best. My partner’s favourite is turning on the Bathroom lights by motion sensor and turning them off automatically too.


Mine closes the covers if it’s dark outside (BH1750) and opens them again if I unplug my phone from charging (Companion App). If it isn’t plugged in, they’ll open at sunrise.


My favourite is a simple reminder to enter the disarm code on the keypad when I get home. Instead of beeping, the nearest Sonos speaker says (very politely, in a cultured male English accent) “Hello. Who are you?” Several near heart attacks - tts.cloud_say is great.


Cool topic and I agree the most simple ones are those who give me the most joy too.

A few of the automations I have:

  • when I open the hallway door (leading to the toilet downstairs), and it’s after 21:00 (9pm) & TV is off, then turn on the hallway light dimmed so that person is not blinded moving towards the toilet at night. Also toilet light is slightly dimmed, just enough to not be blinding.

  • i use NFC tags since a few days and I like it thusfar. When I leave the house and I scan my phone, it turns on the away mode alarm. On the outside I have another tag, to disarm the alarm.

  • i’ve put an NFC tag in my car, when I tap it, my phone asks me if theres anyone I want to notify on my journey. I can tap a few favorite people (ones I message the most). I can also press other and select the right contact. Then it asks me where I want to navigate to. Some pre configured places show (ones i frequently visit). Also other option, and I fill in POI or Adres and it automatically opens Waze with the direction. And notify the person from the first popup about my traveltime.

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Nice automatons.

I need to upgrade my bathroom light automation to incorporate a dimmer light at night really because as you say, it can be blinding!

Its great to hear about your uses for NFC tags @Vasco

I bought a HA Tag reader and have some tags around, but have never really though of any use cases for it where I couldnt just use a simple button. The examples given about having a tag on a book to have a childs grandparent read it for them, or a jukebox system are both great ideas - just not for me.

Your first example about scanning your phone to turn on alarm away mode for example - I just have a simple button i click to set the alarm on the way out (Or, another of my favourite automatons is that if everyone has left the house, the alarm arms automatically!). A button always just seemed to be the better option in the house for me as you dont need your phone in your hand then. However, id always been thinking about using them in my own eco system I think was holding me back.

Reading you your using them in your car etc has opened up my thought process to how with a simple swipe of my phone I can interact with HA when in the car or at work. Thank you!

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I considered buttons too, but having a button that anyone can press to turn it off, is somewhat against security standards. Imagine a burglar entering and maybe knowing about this automation. My alarm goes pending for 30 sec when door opened. Would be a shame if anyone could simply turn that off with a press of a button.

This NFC tag is useless for those not having the automation on their phone and approved. My wife and I use it, but when someone else of the family or friends approach with their phone, nothing happens. Made it read-only (so locked) tag so no one can rewrite the tags to do something else.

A button is also more expensive (got 100 nfc tags for about 30 eur.) A button from ikea is almost 15-20? Plus they drain battery so saves me the headache of replacing those too lol.

Glad I could somewhat inspire you :slight_smile: @Craig_McGowan

Question btw. I first thought this to be handy and wanted to implement this too. But soon faced two major issues, thus making this rather annoying/disturbing automation.

1: I ocassionaly visit more than one store (combining) or go to gas station and than grocery store or other way around. So my wife would call me, well your automation said you should be home by now. Where tf are you? Hahaha never faced this issue?

2: got 3 kids and two of them do a nap during the day. The house is really quiet so if I or my wife go out for a quick grocery run, having tts say such thing could wake up the kids. I don’t want to come home where two kids are crying and an angry wife that I woke em up with that.

I don’t have a work around for this and it is a limitation unfortunately and does happen to me.
I do know for example that if it’s a weekend and she’s at the park walking the dog, she won’t be home after that as she will go to the shop first. However, I haven’t factored this into my automations as there is no set routine she follows (I guess that’s a women’s prerogative!) , the notification just gives a bit of a heads up to me.

Haha, I don’t have this problem but I have seen others have solutions for this. Something like a quiet mode for the house. So when the kids are napping, activate quiet mode. In your automations which incorporate TTS then check against this quite mode sensor first. Then you can chose to either broadcast at a lower volume, or not at all? I’ve never needed to implement this but always thought it’s a pretty neat solution.

This is true. My Xiaomi button is hidden away and it requires a special type of button click to deactivate the alarm, but yes, it’s not totally secure if someone knows where it is.
I may replace it in time with a keypad or even NFC tag as I want to implement that if my door is unlocked with a card/fob (z wave Yale lock) then the alarm deactivates anyway so I do not mind it being a lot harder to deactivate the alarm otherwise.

Both fully valid points. They are way more expensive that NFC tags and do run out of battery. However my Xiaomi buttons have run for over a year on their initial batteries and cost about £6-8. Plus I now have a load of spares hanging around as I used to use them as light switches but now have found good (no neutral) light switches so they have become defunct at the bottom of a drawer.

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My two favorites.

  1. Alexa will announce a reminder text (with a japanese train station jingle) cycle every 15 minutes telling my kid to go to bed from 9 - 10pm. The cycle reminder will stop if he lays in bed (bed sensor) for more than 5 minutes, but he never does.

  2. Heated toilet seats are godsend during the winter. I am fortunate to own one that has a remote. I have it turn off when no one is home and vice versa. In addition, the level of heat is set base on the outside temperature (DHT22).

I can think of a few.

  1. I borrowed that idea from DrzZz from the toilet. Instead of a door lock which isn’t necessary with two people at home, I purchased an oil aroma diffuser that turns on for 10 minutes every time somebody flushes the toilet for more than 2 seconds.

  2. Trash can with proximity sensor for automatic open/close. It doesn’t even bind to HA but it’s more convenient than I anticipated.

  3. “Ventilate the house”, “The house temperature is going too low”, “The bathroom has already been ventilated” warnings, as simple as they are I love them.

  4. If I left my mobile phone silent and somebody calls while I’m home, all alexa speakers will alert.

  5. Turning on/off the intercom/doorbell automatically. On when I’m expecitng an order or food, otherwise off. It does turn on at the very moment the order goes out for delivery, not before. For very close friends, it does turn on when they connect to my wifi. If one of us two goes out and forgets the keys (intercom and doorbell would reamain off in that scenario), pushing the doorbell/intercom 5 straight times will make it work either way, as a security measure.

  6. When requesting music through voice command, automatically set shuffle & repeat and start the playlist with a random song.

  7. When adding something to Alexa’s shopping list, delete the former item if it’s duplicated.

I actually had to google that. Found this, apparently there are a lot of different train jiggles haha. Can you share yours?

Is some sensor tracking air quality? If so, what kind of sensor?

This is my home station chime. It is embedded in my head for all eternity now.

I question why either of you aren’t just geofencing your alarm. It’s much easier and mine has been very reliable on just the android app unless my phone is dead in which case I do use my fire tablet keypad.

I find both buttons and nfc useful. I use switches and buttons inside my house because even though I am likely carrying my phone having to have my phone to switch lights is dumb and annoying. I have the nfc tags for outside switches where a button wouldn’t make sense as they aren’t water proof. One on the back porch to turn lights on. Another on my back fence to arm the alarm/disarm the alarm when I am at school as I am within geo/fenced area. Another on my garage instead of a keypad to open it.

it’s simpler than that, I use the house temperature to know when it’s been opened for too long. In the bathroom, it will alert depending on the humidity %. It alerts when to open depending on the weather. If it’s starting to get hot, it’ll alert at 20:00 when the sun is going down. During the cold months, at 16:00.

I do have a xiaomi air purifier which has an AQI (air quality index) sensor but I do not use it in this automation. Good idea though!

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Geofencing is good with android devices. iOS not so much. My wife has HA installed, but after a while it changes to Allows GPS only when Using the App, instead of Always. So GPS thinks she’s home, while she is actually away. This way I ensure there is always a trigger, no matter de GPS location.

You don’t have to use a single source. You can use wifi/gps and others.

I love this simple, quick and rock solid solutions:

You can find more details on this page:

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