Home Environment Automation

Created by: Antonio Diaz

Resources used:

  • InfluxDB
  • Grafana

 

Antonio Diaz is an Account Manager at DSI. His higher education and professional experience have been linked to the manufacturing engineering world. Years ago, he started working for a large automotive manufacturer and then moved to a small engineering consulting firm, specializing in material flow engineering, where he has made most of his career. Now, Diaz oversees project teams, sales, some HR, etc. With time, his interests have moved from the pure physical world mechanisms to information technology and their relationship; during this path, he educated himself further formally, through a master’s degree in IT and also informally, through all the information available on the web.

On the personal side, since Diaz was a kid, his father was into whatever new consumer technology was available, starting from Betamax, Walkman, CDs, PCs, and the internet. Diaz inherited that and jumped into home automation as a hobby. Today, he combines both his professional interests and side hobbies. Through self-education with InfluxDB, he quickly got this neat time series database working silently to give him insights of how his family uses the house itself.

Customer Success Story: Home Environment Automation

Diaz is using InfluxDB for a home project to track temperatures, humidity, presence and power consumption. With that, he can better identify areas where there might be leakages or other issues, as well as understand how his family uses their house. In the long term, this will be very useful if he decides to build his next home.

At home, Diaz has a fairly good automation setup: switches, plugs, thermostat, contact and motion sensors, garage doors and door locks. All of them are connected to a Hubitat hub, and Diaz installed InfluxDB in his NAS to connect it with Hubitat. It also has the capability to read data from a weather station, adding further insight. As for output, Diaz was also able to get Grafana in his NAS to display visualizations. This setup is really nice as it is all local and therefore secure.

Diaz likes InfluxDB because it integrates well with other tools, is open source, and has an easy-to-use query language. InfluxDB works seamlessly with Grafana, and being open source, it was free to use for Diaz at home and for him to make it work as a hobby with no major expenses. Most importantly, InfluxDB seems to be easily installable across multiple platforms. He has been able to consume data from a laptop, a phone, and from a Raspberry Pi project. He is somewhat familiar with SQL, which significantly helped to get InfluxDB up and running quickly.

Diaz would recommend InfluxDB because it is open source and it is simple to install, Though he would not consider himself a skilled IT person, he was still able to customize it based on his limited knowledge of SQL. He also found that InfluxDB has a very good knowledge base and is easily accessible. Even though he used it for a home project, Diaz could see its potential in the industry, and how it could be implemented in manufacturing environments and excel in maintenance planning for equipment.

One tip that Diaz has is to not be afraid of InfluxDB. He does not consider himself a coding person and still was able to get InfluxDB running. It is not difficult to get a grasp on how time series works, and this is actually one of its major strengths. He also recommends subscribing to InfluxDB’s communication services because they offer a lot of information, webinars, etc. Though he started InfluxDB as a hobby, Diaz is hoping to find a way to make use of it at work as well.

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