Using Z-Wave Groups vs Home Assistant Automations

I installed two Z-wave switches into my house that i wanted to be synchronized, turn on one light switch, have the other turn on too, and vice versa. I first created a home assistant automation that worked using Z-Wave JS to MQTT, this worked but had a lag of a few seconds. I was hoping to find a way to have less latency to make everything work, so in comes Z-Wave Group Associations.

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Joplin Failed to Fetch Due to Certificate Expiration

Recently I ran into an error when trying to update Joplin (hooked up to WebDAV on NextCloud).

Last error: FetchError: request to failed, reason: certificate has expired

I checked the SSL cert with FireFox and everything looked good there. Finally I decided to try updating the application, on a wild attempt to fix it in a simple way, and… it worked. It might have just needed a reboot, but the update worked in this case.

Motion Sensing Lights with Home Assistant

I’ve already setup some fairy lights on the stairs which come on just before sundown and stay on until bedtime, but I started wondering, can I use them as night lights on the stairs for when I don’t want to turn on the main overheads, and can I do that all with motion sensors. For this project, I’d like to take my lights from here and add motion sensors so they turn on for some time period after being triggered and act as automated stairway night lights.

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Novelkeys Novelty Big Switch Macro Pad

After putting together the EspDeck 9 key pad, and talking to the wife of other places we could make things better, the bedroom fan and lights came up. I mentioned that we could use smart switches for them and make a small 2 key control for our night stands, which she was super excited about, and then I showed her the NovelKeys big switches and it was sold, we were going to have some hilarious macro pads to control our bedroom lights.

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Automated Pantry Light

I have a light in my pantry that isn’t super obvious when its on if the door is closed, and I may leave the light on from time to time by accident. The light switch is also partially buried in things hanging from the wall, so why not automate it to make things a bit easier, that is what smart homes are for. My idea is to use a smart door sensor and light switch to automate it and keep things from being left on.


  • Turn on the pantry lights while the door is open
  • Close the pantry lights when the door is closed
  • Allow lights to be turned on with the door closed
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WLED Notice of Laser Cutter Use

I have a laser cutter in my office that I use from time to time. I close the door when its running because you need safety glasses on while its running, but since I use my office for other things, the door closed doesn’t necessarily mean safety glasses are needed. To make this simpler, I decided to try and make some automations to notify when the laser is running. I want to use a WLED strip around the door and light it different colors based on laser operating status (and other statuses in the future).


  • Set the WLED strip to red when the laser starts cutting
  • Set the WLED strip to the previous settings (or turn it off) when the laser stops cutting
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