Smart lighting is great but what if we could take smart light bulbs even further by using them for more than just lighting a room? Today’s automation will be showing you how we can use Siri Shortcuts to use our lights to send us visual alerts.
For my use case, I want the lights to blink when my vacuum cleaner has finished cleaning but this can be used for any sensor or device that can be automated in HomeKit. However, if you want to try this out with your vacuum you’ll need to have it exposed to HomeKit. There aren’t any vacuum cleaners currently certified with HomeKit but I was able to use a Roborock plugin for HomeBridge to expose my Mi Robot vacuum to the Home app.
Based on the way my vacuum has been set up in HomeBridge, it creates an occupancy sensor that triggers when the vacuum returns to the dock which is what I’ll be using as my condition for this automation.
To get started, we want to create a new automation in the Home app, and choose the “a sensor detects something” option for the automation. I have yet to test it but you can likely use this “when an accessory is controlled” as well. To continue, I’ll be selecting my “Robot Vacuum Dock” and then when it “detects occupancy”.
From here, instead of choosing an accessory to trigger, we’re going to scroll to the bottom and select “Convert to Shortcut”. However, to do this you need to have an up to date home hub such as a current model iPad, Apple TV 4 or later, or an Apple HomePod. Once you select Convert to Shortcut, we’ll clear the “Set Scenes and Accessories” and start with a blank console. Press “Add Action” and search for the “Repeat” action. We’re going to set that to repeat three times so the lights will blink three times, but that is ultimately up to you.
Once you have your repeat action setup, we’ll start by choosing the “Control Home” option and we’re going to set a light to turn on to 100%, I’m using my Living Room Lamp as it’s in a common area of the house. We’re going to put that Control Home action within the Repeat and End Repeat tags.
Next, find the “Wait” action in scripting and we’re going to set that to one second, again that is up to you how long the light stays on. Finally, choose the “Control Home” option again and this time we’ll set the light to turn off. Make sure the Wait and second control home are within the Repeat tags and come after the first control home option, and your shortcut should look similar to what I have in the image below.
When you’re finished, save that shortcut and you’re finished. You’ll notice now when the vacuum returns to the dock (or whatever you decide to automate, maybe a door sensor or when a smart plug is turned on), the lights will blink three times to let you know that the vacuum has finished its job.