Room-Aware Homekit Commands?

Is there such a thing as room-aware homekit commands? Whenever I am in a particular room of my house, I have to remember to say the name of the light (or room) that I want to turn on or off. Ideally, I’d like to be able to say, “turn off the lights” and only the lights in the room that I am in would turn off. Alternately, if I said “turn off ALL my lights”, it would turn off ALL the lights in my house. I have an Apple Watch or iOS device with me all the time but I am not averse to putting a Homepod mini in every room if that helps perform room-specific automations.

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What you are describing works with HomePod - the trick is you need one in each room where you plan on using it. I see what you did there Apple… :smirk:

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The problem I’ve run into with this approach (my home is seeded with HomePod Minis) is that the HomePods have excellent hearing. So, for instance, if I’m in the main bedroom and ask the HomePod there to turn off the lights, and the bedroom door is open, and my wife’s office door across the hall is also open, both HomePods will respond and turn off the lights in both rooms. My wife does not like this. :smirk:

So I usually just preface the request with the room name to ensure it works as expected, “Hey Siri, turn off Main Bedroom lights.” I’ve been automating my home exclusively with HomeKit since 2016, and this is the only way I’ve found to make it work without affecting adjoining rooms.

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Just remembered that there is another solution that works really well but can get a bit pricey. We just moved into our new home in August, so I had to buy a bunch of new automation tech, and I upgraded to the Ecobee Premium smart thermostat that came with an Ecobee Smart Sensor. The great thing about the smart sensor is that it doesn’t just detect motion, it also detects occupancy, so it doesn’t turn off the lights even when you’re sitting still and quiet within the room. I put one in our kitchen, so the lights come on to our favorite presets as soon as we walk in. Then, when we leave the kitchen, the lights stay on for a few more minutes, then Ecobee turns them off. They work perfectly, and I’m planning to get a few more for other rooms.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve also had the same problem with Homepod “hearing” sensitivity. My downstairs Homepod can hear me when I’m upstairs in my bedroom.

In any case, Aqara has a human presence sensor (on AliExpress) and an indoor camera with gesture recognition that may give us more options. Late at night, it would be handy to not even have to speak to turn off lights.

Nice! Thanks in return. I’m using Aqara open/close sensors and a few of their other devices. They’re quite fast and operate well. If you bought the presence sensor on AliExpress, did it come with English instructions?

I haven’t purchased it (the human presence sensor) yet but David Sparks talked about it on one of the recent episodes of Automators.