The Wyze Cam
Wyzecam and accessories
The Wyzecams have been around for a while. I'm generally not that interested in cameras, but Wyze has come up with a new twist. They've added some sensors that operate through their camera.This is where my interested was perked.
I bought the Wyzecam V2 as well as the sensor pack. The sensor pack includes two magnetic contact (2 piece) sensors, a motion detector, as well as the bridge that plugs into the back of the camera. The total price, including tax and shipping was $47. When you read the specs, you will see that this is quite the value. I won't describe the set up, apps, and operation. The instructions that come with your cam tell it all.
Dave's Mailbox Sensor
Dave's Early Warning Mailbox Alert System
Here is what you'll need:
Wyzecam V2 and the Sensor kit.
TP Link smart plug or smart bulb
Google Home or Alexa (optional)
IFTTT (IF This Then That)
Google Home (or Alexa) app
Kasa (from TP Link)
Note that you need to use a TP Link product as this is what the IFTTT recipe requires.
Set up your accounts, keeping track of your userid and passwords.
Here is the general plan: The Wyze cam will be set up somewhere inside, or outside if you can protect the camera. My camera is inside, with almost no obstructions between the sensor and camera. Set up the camera with the Wyze app, making sure to do any firmware updates available.
Plug in the bridge module and do the setup according to the instructions. You'll need only one contact sensor for this project. Give this sensor a name of your choice. I chose the creative name, "mailbox". See that everything works. At this point, you may want to test the distance between the camera and sensor to see if the this will work.
My mailbox is about 40 feet (12m) from my house. I walked across the street to see how the sensor worked at a further distance than I was planning to use. I read that the distance can be up to around 100 feet.
My mailbox is made of plastic. The material can be important as a metal box might block the radio signals. Although, the sensor only transmits when a change of state is detected, and an open mailbox wouldn't shield the signal so much.
The sensor and magnet both have an adhesive backing and will stick to a clean surface. (I'm hoping the sensor won't fall off.)
The plan is that when the box is opened, the sensor parts will separate, causing a "sensor open" signal to be transmitted to the camera.
After it all works, if you want, go to the Google Home app and set up a routine that will turn off that switch. If the routine is set up, your Google Home won't give a confirmation, but will just turn off your light. Audio alerts can be used instead of a light, if you like. It would be nice if the Google home would sound if the mailbox is opened, but need to work on that one.
What you should do
As stated earlier, set up accounts on the apps.
Next, start by pairing your smart switch or bulb in the Kasa app. I called my smart plug "mail alert", but pick the name you wish. While you are in the Kasa app, set up a scene and include the smart plug that you just set up. I called my scene "mailbox open".
Next, go to the Google Home app. Click the add icon at the top and then set up device. Click the works with google section and look for the TP-Link Kasa icon. You'll then enter your TP Link credentials and and tell your Google to "sync my devices".
The only thing the Google Home does is allow you an easy way to shut off the smart bulb or plug. If you want, you could also press the on-off button on the smart plug. You can also use the Amazon Alexa to do this.Setting up IFTTT: Go to IFTTT and create an account.
Then you will need to find the recipe that will allow the linking of your Wyze cam contact sensor to the TP Link Kasa app.
Look for "Wyze contact sensor opens run Kasa scene". You enter the name of the sensor and other info and before you know it, your Wyze cam sensor is linked to your TP Link bulb or plug.
A week or so after I set this up, I played some YouTube tutorials on IFTTT configurations. I also set up my IFTTT account on my iPad. The iPad app does a better job in guiding me to success in making my own recipes.
As a result, I made a new recipe using one of my Sengled bulbs as the triggered device. Not a big difference from the TP Link switch, but I'm more into Sengled structure.
I also saw that the Smart Life app can be controlled through IFTTT.
More Updates (July 2019)
The Wyze Bulb The Wyze people have been very busy. In May they announced some tunable/dimmable 800 lumen light bulbs. I got mine a few weeks ago.
The great thing about these bulbs is they can be directly operated by their sensors. No more IFTTT if you use these bulbs. I am in the test phase and so far, so good.
They go for $8 each (4 pack) plus sales tax and shipping.
Wyze Smart Plug I just ordered these at the end of July. I am on the "early buy" program. I believe the price, when released to the public, will be $20 for a pair, a decent deal too. Their app will control these switches too. That means that sensors will be able to switch these plugs too.
Perhaps a more important feature is that one app controls the cameras, semsprs, bulbs, and smart plugs. With what I've seen so far, I believe that this will make setting up a smart home much easier. There is less delay too, because IFTTT isn't involved in the chain. Presently, I have to remember which app goes with which bulb. Not a big deal for me, but it can get confusing.