Rachio + SmartThings = securing my garden from voracious DEER


#1

So lately we’ve been getting a lot of visits from the local whitetail deer population that love to ravage the garden. No sooner had the wife planted fresh flowers and shrubs when some deer came by to feast on it all chewing them down to just nubs. There seems to be a lot of “solutions” out there but many are gimmicky (shock flowers), some are only temporary (urine) and others the deer get used to over time (blinky lights). Queue the Smart Things and Rachio integration that serendipitously came at just the right time!

I bought a little ZWave motion sensor, hung it up under the eaves facing the garden and set up a Smart Things SmartLighting automation such that if there is motion in the wee hours of the morning that the deer like to visit, it will trigger the little garden zone for a minute. This gives them both a sudden auditory and a physical sensory feedback as the heads pop up and start hosing the garden area. When this happens the deer bolt! They don’t even have a chance to get close enough to bite off even a single leaf.I WIN!

Franz, This may not have been what you had in mind with the integration, but it sure works in a pinch! I know many of us here probably plant and care for more than just our lawns so the scourge of vegetable hungry critters is a cross many of us bear.

The only feedback i could give is that one must us the SmartLighting smart app for automating this, whereas making a “Routine” tile does not work–the rachio zone will not ever fire off. Routines have an advantage of better native event logging whereas Smartlighting does not. Conversely, SmartLighting has better control of how, when and how long to enable with the option of turning off after a period of inactivity which is highly desirable in this case. Routines do not auto-disable in that way.


#2

Love it. I need to up my home automation game, I try and then it gets too confusing.


#3

That seriously made my day. Honestly, well done. What ZWave camera did you get?


#4

I only added a Fibaro ZWave motion sensor to detect the presence of deer. I already had a separate camera setup that is independent of the home automation. But once i saw that the SmartThings rule had been activated, i went back and reviewed and dumped the video footage from that point in time. The cameras have motion detect for thier own recording and alert purposes, but theres no integration with the smart things controller.


#5

Interesting. Too bad the cameras themselves don’t have this ability to integrate with smart things.