Things You Can Do With HomeVision


We put this list together to show many of the things that HomeVision and HomeVision-Pro can do. We doubt anyone will do all of these, but you may get a few good ideas. If you have ideas to contribute to this list, please let us know.
Also see our example system diagrams to see what a complete system might look like.

Do events automatically at preset times:

bulletTurn lights on and off. Have lights brighten gradually as it gets dark outside.
bulletControl thermostat.
bulletOpen/close blinds and drapes.
bulletControl indoor fans.
bulletControl sprinkler system (based on amount of rainfall, soil moisture, time of year, etc.).
bulletControl pool pump.
bulletClose the garage door if it was left open.
bulletTurn water heater off at night, then back on before morning.
bulletPeriodically turn off outside lights in case they were accidentally turned on.
bulletShut off the TV and stereo AC outlets in your child’s bedroom to disable them at night.
bulletDepending on the time, day, date, or month, display messages on the TV such as "take out the trash tonight", "kid's soccer practice tomorrow", "don't forget the monthly car payment", "Kids, it's way past your bedtime!", and "Happy birthday honey, I love you !".


Set up events controlled from an X-10 controller by your bed:

bulletArm/disarm security system.
bulletChange thermostat temperature (why get out of bed?).
bulletTurn on all lights (in case you think you hear a prowler). Use another button to set the lights back where they were.
bulletControl certain lights.
bulletTurn stereo on to play music. Use X-10, infrared, or telephone (with HomeVision-Phone device) commands to change station, volume, etc.
bulletLight the way to the kitchen in the middle of the night.
bulletTurn off the TV and lights in your child’s bedroom.


Set up events controlled from an X-10 wall switch (or better yet, from an in-wall touchscreen like TouchLinc or Companion):

bulletSet special whole-house lighting scenes for different occasions.
bulletStart a special whole-house mode like GoodNight, Away, Home, Party, Nap, etc.
bulletTurn stereo on to play music throughout the house. Change station, volume, etc.
bulletSound a chime to call the family to dinner.
bulletTemporarily disable chime modules and other audio sources.
bulletArm/disarm security system.
bulletChange the current thermostat setpoint.
bulletClose the garage door.


Set up events controlled from an infrared remote (for couch potatoes!):

bulletControl lights.
bulletRun macros to set your entire house into the desired mode.
bulletStart home theater system (control A/V equipment, projection screens, lights, curtains, etc.).
bulletAutomatically record your favorite TV show (no need to program your VCR!).
bulletStart up the CD player in "shuffle" mode with all the audio settings just the way you like them.
bulletChange the current thermostat setpoint.
bulletReprogram the thermostat schedule.
bulletArm/disarm security system (bypassing zones if necessary).
bulletView the event log on your TV so you can see what happened today.
bulletChange the time a light automatically goes on or off.


Set up events controlled from a telephone keypad (requires HomeVision-Phone):

bulletSet special whole-house lighting scenes for different occasions.
bulletStart a special whole-house mode like GoodNight, Away, Home, Party, Nap, etc.
bulletTurn stereo on to play music throughout the house. Change station, volume, etc.
bulletControl HomeVision’s video menu system via the telephone keypad. This eliminates the need for an infrared distribution system at each television.
bulletChange the current thermostat setpoint, mode, etc.
bulletArm/disarm security system, bypassing zones if desired.
bulletClose the garage door.
bulletTurn off the TV and lights in your child’s bedroom.


When you leave home, HomeVision can automatically:

bulletArm security system.
bulletSet thermostat back.
bulletTurn off lights (after a delay if it's dark).
bulletTurn off TV, stereo, etc.
bulletTurn off appliances (coffee pot, curling iron, etc.).
bulletClose blinds and drapes.
bulletIf you're leaving for a long time, turn off water heater.
bulletHave HomeVision-Phone or a modem to dial your phone company and enable call forwarding to your cell phone.


While you're away:

bulletTurn lights on and off to make it look like someone's home.
bulletTurn TV or stereo on and change channels to really make it look like you're home.
bulletPeriodically turn ceiling fans on to circulate the air.


When you return home:

bulletTurn on lights if it's dark.
bulletDisarm security system.
bulletReset thermostat to scheduled temperature.
bulletTurn on TV or stereo to your favorite channel based on current time and day of week.
bulletDisplay status or messages (such as the event log) on your TV.
bulletUsing a whole-house audio system, play sound files on your computer announcing messages.


When the last person goes to bed:

bulletTurn off lights (but leave a few on for a minute), TV, stereo, etc.
bulletSet thermostat to sleeping temperature.
bulletArm security system.
bulletClose blinds/drapes in bedroom.
bulletTurn on electric blanket to warm bed.
bulletCheck the garage door and close it if left open.
bulletDisable chime modules and other audio devices so you're not disturbed.


In the morning:

bulletBefore it's time to get up, adjust the thermostat and turn on the bathroom heater.
bulletSlowly brighten lights and turn TV or stereo volume slowly up when it's time to get up.
bulletSlowly open the blinds/drapes.
bulletDisplay important messages on your TV.


If the security system alarm goes off:

bulletTurn on all the lights.
bulletFlash some outside lights to get attention.
bulletSound a "barking dog" alarm.
bulletTurn on all the TVs and display the name of the violated zone overlaid on top of the video camera picture.
bulletStart the VCR recording each of the video cameras (select the camera to record based on motion sensors or the zone which was violated, or cycle through them recording a few seconds of each).
bulletMake voice announcements through the computer. If you really want to get carried away, if you're away from home, record a sound file saying "Quick, grab your gun, I've got mine loaded" and play it through a speaker in one room, then turn on the light a few seconds later!
bulletUse HomeVision-Phone or a modem and have HomeVision dial one or more pagers to alert you. Don't call immediately, but wait a minute to see if the alarm gets reset (you don't want to call if a family member accidentally trips the alarm).
bulletAfter some time, turn the lights off (there's no sense leaving the lights on for a week if you're on vacation).
bulletLeave an outside light on continually so that if you are away, when you return you'll know that an alarm occurred. Periodically turn this light on to ensure it's on when you get there.


If a smoke detector goes off:

bulletTurn on all the lights.
bulletShut off the heating and cooling system fans, as well as any ceiling fans.
bulletOpen skylights to allow smoke to escape.
bulletTurn on all the TVs and display a warning.
bulletMake a voice announcement through the computer.


Use digital inputs and connect to detectors for:

bulletFlooding from a broken water pipe, water heater, washer, etc.
bulletFlooding in the basement.
bulletSmoke, heat, radon, carbon monoxide, etc.
bulletFurnace failure or overheating.
bulletRain sensors (turn off sprinklers and close skylights when it rains).


Use outdoor motion sensors, and when motion is detected:

bulletTurn on outside light if it's dark.
bulletSound chime so you know someone's there even before they ring the doorbell (unless you’re in the SLEEP mode, in which case you’ll probably disable the chime).
bulletDisplay a video camera picture of the visitor on all the TVs in the house.
bulletRecord the video camera with your VCR.
bulletPlay a sound file announcing "Someone's coming" on your computer and tie it into a whole-house audio system.
bulletIf you're not at home, wait 30 seconds, then turn an inside light on (so they'll think someone's home). To be even more convincing, turn a TV on for a few minutes.
bulletSound a "barking dog" alarm.
bulletUse a variable to count how often the motion sensor goes off or a use flag to indicate whether it went off while you were away.
bulletWhile you're away, if an outdoor motion sensor in a private area (like your backyard) triggers, turn on the sprinkler system for a few minutes. This will help drive off prowlers or animals.
bulletNOTE: You probably don't want some of these things to happen if you're going out the door and trigger the motion sensor, but only when people arrive. Tie the door to a digital input and start a 20 second timer each time it opens. Then, when the motion sensor goes off, you'll know that someone's probably leaving the house, so you don't sound the chime or start the VCR.


Hook up a driveway sensor and use it to:

bulletTurn on outside light after dark.
bulletSound a chime module.
bulletPlay a message over a whole-house audio system.
bulletDisplay a video camera picture of the vehicle on all the TVs in the house.
bulletRecord the event in the TV log so you can later tell when you had visitors.


Use indoor motion detectors, floor sensors, door sensors, etc. to control lights, stereo, etc. as you move around the house:

bulletTurn the light on when you enter a room. This requires careful planning because there will probably be times you don't want the light to come on (like when someone's asleep in the bedroom, or you're watching TV in the family room with the lights out). This works best for places like the garage, laundry room, closet, etc.
bulletDimly light your way as you move around the house at night. Night lights plugged into X-10 outlets work well because it's OK for them to go on to full brightness (you wouldn't want your main lights going on full brightness, then dimming).
bulletHave your stereo automatically turn on the speakers in whatever room you're in.


Use the multifunction expansion board or HomeVision-Pro with analog or digital temperature sensors to:

bulletMeasure the outdoor temperature and display it on your TV.
bulletTrack daily/weekly/monthly high and low temperatures. Create a custom TV screen to display the data.
bulletWarn you when the outdoor temperature goes outside a certain range.
bulletIf the temperature drops below freezing, disable the sprinkler system and similar devices.
bulletAutomatically switch your thermostat between heating and cooling modes based on the outdoor temperature.
bulletControl ceiling fans and attic ventilation systems based on indoor and outdoor temperatures.
bulletUse an indoor sensor to detect a heating system failure. Use HomeVision-Phone or a modem to send a message to your pager if you’re away from home.
bulletMonitor freezer and refrigerator temperatures.


After a power failure:

bulletSet lights and appliances back where they should be (turn back on the TV that you were watching!).
bulletTrack how long power was out for. If longer than a certain limit, adjust your schedule accordingly (for example, immediately turn on sprinkler if power was out for more than 5 days).


Use the built-in TV screens and your infrared remote to:

bulletChange the times of scheduled events or disable/enable them.
bulletView the status of all X-10 devices and control them when necessary.
bulletScroll through a list of macros and perform whichever ones you want.
bulletView the thermostat status (including current temperature and setpoint) and control it.
bulletReprogram your thermostat's time/temperature schedule.
bulletView the security system status (including each zone, by name) and control it.
bulletScroll through the event log to see exactly what happened and when (including the names and phone numbers of callers).


Create custom TV screens to display:

bulletA "Welcome" screen showing your family's name. System installers can create a screen with their company's name, phone number, etc.
bulletWeather information (from temperature sensors or a remote weather station).
bulletPower failure information (how many, how long, when the last one was, etc.).
bulletNotes of what happened while you were away (whether any alarm went off, number of phone calls, how many times each outdoor motion sensor went off, minimum and maximum temperatures, etc.).
bullet"Help" information to guide the user through the system.


Use caller ID feature (with HomeVision-Phone/CID or the HomeVision computer software):

bulletDisplay the caller's name and number on all your TVs (display it on a solid background or overlay onto the channel you're watching).
bulletWhen a call comes in, mute the TV and stereo (and if you have an in-wall vacuum cleaning system, shut it off).
bulletFlash a light to alert you to the call.
bulletUse a variable to count the number of calls while you're away. When you return home, let HomeVision automatically display the event log on your TV so you can see who called.


If you have kids you want to keep better control of:

bulletSlowly dim the lights in their room when it's their bed time.
bulletControl their lights from elsewhere in the house.
bulletPlug their TV and stereo into an X-10 outlet and shut them off when they're not allowed to be using them (but make sure the outlet is behind a heavy dresser so they can't easily move the plug!).
bulletAutomatically turn their lights on in the morning when it's time for school (make this happen only on school days, not holidays).


Use HomeVision-Phone or a modem to dial a pager:

Use different code numbers and you can look at your pager and immediately tell when:

bulletThe security system alarm goes off.
bulletThe security system gets armed or disarmed (know immediately when your kids get home from school!).
bulletAn emergency condition occurs (fire, flood, etc.).
bulletThe temperature goes outside a defined range (have HomeVision report the temperature so it appears on your pager!).
bulletWith an alphanumeric pager, you can even display messages!
bulletSetup a button on an X-10 controller or RF remote to dial a pager with a preset message. Then your kids can easily page you long before they learn to dial a phone! Also, someone who's injured and can't reach the phone can still call for help.


Run the HomeVision software with built-in web server on your PC:

You can  control HomeVision from any web browser inside or outside your home. Anything described on this page can be done from your browser. You can also view complete status of your home!


Use HomeVision-Phone:

From anywhere in the world you can dial in and:

bulletDisarm the security system to let a neighbor or repairman in. With an electric door strike, you can even unlock the door for them!
bulletArm the security system.
bulletTurn off the lights in case you left something on (of course, this won't be necessary if you had HomeVision turn them off before you left!).
bulletChange the thermostat setting so the temperature's just right when you get home.
bulletStart the hot tub.


Set up whole-house audio:

bulletKeep HomeVision connected to your computer and you can play wave (sound) files.
bulletDistribute the audio output from the computer:
bulletInput the audio into the same modulator you're using for HomeVision's video channel. Whenever you're viewing the HomeVision screen, you can have audio as well!
bulletInput into an auxiliary input on your whole-house stereo system. Use your stereo to broadcast messages by switching to this input.


Use the built-in and add-on serial ports to control other devices:

bulletThermostats (such as RCS RS232/485 serial thermostats).
bulletSecurity system (such as GE (CADDX) NetworX RS232 systems).
bulletPool control systems (such as Jandy).
bulletLCD screens (write text or graphics to the screen).
bulletOther automation systems with a serial port (such as JDS StarGate, AMX, Crestron, etc.)
bulletVideo projectors and screens.
bulletAudio/video receivers (such as Denon).
bulletDigital and analog input/output devices.


Miscellaneous things:

bulletUse Home Voice, HAL2000, HomeSeer, or other voice recognition programs to control your entire home by voice.
bulletSynchronize your bathroom lights and exhaust fan. Have a wall switch turn the lights out immediately, then wait 5 minutes and turn the fan off. This gives the fan time to do it's job.
bulletWrite to the TV event log each time the security system is armed or disarmed. You can later review the log.
bulletHave an indoor night light come on while the garage door is open.
bulletTie the doorbell into the system. Count the number of visitors and record the time of each.
bulletProgram a specific doorbell pattern to open the garage door. For example, if you forgot your keys, five quick presses, followed by a 3-6 second gap, followed by three presses, could let you in the garage.
bulletAutomate your Christmas lights so you don't have to crawl under the tree to plug them in.
bulletAutomate Halloween lights and sounds using motion sensors to create an eerie effect.
bulletAutomate your fish tank.
bulletAdd an electric door strike and allow visitors to enter without going to the door yourself.
bulletIf you have an X-10 baby monitor, plug the transmitter and receiver into appliance modules so you can turn the system on and off.
bulletTie a digital input into a washing machine or clothes dryer (through a relay). When the machine stops running, sound a chime module or turn on a light. That way you can tell when it's done even if you're elsewhere in the house.
bulletControl everything from your computer with the included software, a web browser, or other software.


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Last updated:
09 March 2012

Copyright 1996-2012, all rights reserved, by:
Custom Solutions, Inc.
1705 Canterbury Drive, Indialantic, FL 32903

HomeVision is a registered trademark of Custom Solutions, Inc.