Weeknotes 12, on home automation and air quality

January 12, 20203 min read

Home Automation

I’ve been considering home automation for some time but the number of competing platforms and lack of standards has put me off.

My wife and I are firmly entrenched within the Apple ecosystem, and with her outright refusal to have Alexa in the house, our decision to use HomeKit was inevitable.

Whilst a HomeKit setup may cost considerably more, and support far fewer hardware options, the integration with our existing computers, tablets, phones and watches is unparalleled.

In terms of hardware support I have installed HomeBridge on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ to allow support for TP-Link’s HS100 smart plugs, as well as our Panasonic TV.

The bulk of our current HomeKit setup, though, revolves around seven Philips Hue White Ambience bulbs which cover our bedroom and main living area.

Monitoring air quality with Awair

I’ve been struggling to shake a cough for the last three weeks and I suspect that the air quality in our bedroom is largely to blame.

Our house was built in the 1830s and has thick stone walls. During the winter, when it is too cold to sleep with the windows open (or the wood-framed windows have warped themselves shut), we experience a lot of condensation.

In addition to humidity I am curious to know the levels of CO2 in our home. Joel Jean published an article in which he monitored the CO2 in his bedroom over a two year period and calculated that, without ventilation, the levels far exceeded what is considered “safe” and reach the point where they will significantly effect one’s cognition and decision making.

With this in mind I purchased an Awair unit, as recommended by @dhh in his presentation Why Air Quality Matters (below), to measure the problem. I will report back when I some more data.


Due to the aforementioned cough I haven’t done any exercise this week.

Fasted five days, ate sensibly, didn’t drink and lost a bit of weight.

Haven’t been on Twitter all week so I’m feeling a lot less anxious. Unsurprisingly.


On the subject of all things IoT I came across a this Reddit post entitled Unremovable ads on my $2,500 Samsung Smart TV. Also worth watching is this video about Why TVs Have Become So Inexpensive

Great episode of Sex, Death & Money with Anne Lamott.

Sea-thru: using algorithms to remove the sea from underwater photography