Do you need a hub?

This question comes up a lot, do you need a hub?  What about just sticking a bunch of WiFi plugs/switches in and calling it a day?  Or what about Hue with their motion sensors, that automates my lighting right?

The truth of the matter is, no you don’t NEED a hub but it can greatly improve your automations and allow dissimilar devices to be pulled into a central platform.  There are also some security and performance considerations vs just using WiFi devices.

Let’s explore some of these!

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XML Parsing and Database Writing with Node-RED

Getting useful data into your home automation platform is always a challenge.  Weather, snow emergencies, school closings, etc are vital pieces of information as your automations mature.

Unfortunately there isn’t one nationwide, definitive source, for much of this information.  In this post I will outline ONE way to scrape and parse this data for use in automations or alerting.

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Individual WiFi SSID Scheduling

I figured I would start off with something relatively simple.  How can you toggle WiFi networks on a schedule.  Now Ubiquiti offers this scheduling function natively, however that doesn’t tie into the rest of your automations and means you have to manually change things up as schedules change.

I imagine you are asking yourself, why would I do this?  Kids are the obvious answer, shut down the WiFi at night and turn it back on in the morning.  This only works if you have a separate SSID that the kids devices connect to.  Though you can get creative with other options too which I will detail in a second post.

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