My next major purchase was a Ninja Block for the Raspberry pi. I bought this ages ago, but never got around to writing about it! http://shop.ninjablocks.com/pages/picrust
I thought this was cool as it was a low cost way to start my home automation projects, and it is definitely marketed at the hobbiest, and I would not recommend this one for commercial use. Check out there NinjaSphere, which is aimed at plug n play users. Ninja Block requires a bit of tinkering, having to manually install modules and knowing some NodeJS would be extremely helpful.
So with this purchase I got a wireless door sensor, and temperature sensor and a wireless button. These were pretty simple to setup, and now when someone rings the doorbell it SMS’s me instead of making a chime :)
Not long ago, I kitted my house out with the LimitLessLED lights that can be controlled by the ninjablock, which I thought was pretty cool. It was a bit of an investment to replace most of the lights with these wifi lights, but well worth it :)
Installing this with the ninja block took a little bit of time, had to check the forums and fiddle around a bit, but most of it was just point and click setup. But once setup it was pretty cool. I have set up some rules to automatically turn the lights on in the morning, and off after we have both left for work. I have set up a rule to turn the lights on when the back door is open (so when my wife gets home from work everything is on) This was nice and handy for winter, as it was already starting to get dark when we get home. But now that its staying lighter for longer, this isn’t really useful anymore.
Next plan is to buy a IP camera, so the ninjablock can monitor my front door, so when the doorbell is rung, it sends me a picture of who is at the door. So stay tuned for that tutorial when I finally get around it it!