Families and Parenting

Getting Kids to wind down using Sonos Alarms

We like to get our younger kids to start to wind-down shortly after dinner, and try to get them to fall asleep by 8:30.

One of the nice things about Sonos is the ability to schedule alarms, which can play internet radio stations and Apple Music playlists.

At night, we play some white-noise in their bedroom. Prior to this, we have an ambient radio station playing.

It’s calming, and when it comes on it’s like a subtle background reminder that “bedtime is coming up.”

Note– These instructions are for S1.

Step 1: Pick a calming station or playlist

Step 2: Add the station to your Sonos Favorites

Step 3: Add an Alarm

Our schedule:

  • 7:30 PM, Ambient Sleeping Pill automatically begins playing
  • 8:00 PM, switches to a playlist called “Sleep Sounds,” which consists of a single track, Airplane Ambient by Thomas Blofeld.

Smart Home & Home Automation Technology

My Smart Home Inventory

This is a running list of all the home automation stuff I’ve bought over the years. Like drugs, once you get started it’s hard to quit. I will update this post periodically.

Contact, Motion, & Environmental Sensors

  • Ecolink Z-Wave Door & Window Sensor
  • Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor
  • Ecolink Garage Door Tilt Sensor
  • First Alert Z-Wave Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Halo + Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • SAGE Window Sensors
  • Iris Window/Door Sn


  • Centralite Zigbee Thermostats (x3)
  • ecobee (Sold it)
  • Nest (Returned it right before they opened up their API)
  • Old Z-Wave one (died)

Switches & Dimmers

  • GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Light Dimmer
  • GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Light Switch
  • GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Fan Control
  • GE Z-Wave Plus In-Wall Smart Fan Control ZW4002
  • GE Z-Wave Plus (14291) Wireless In-Wall On/Off Smart Switch
  • Inovelli Red Series Z-Wave Fan & Light Switch


  • SYLVANIA SMART+ ZigBee Indoor Starter Kit, Color Changing Light Strip
  • SYLVANIA SMART+ ZigBee Full Color Accent Light Starter Kit
  • GIDERWEL Home Smart Zigbee Dimmer CCT Strip Controller
  • dresden elektronik FLS-PP lp Zigbee RGBW Controller
  • h801 Wifi LED Wifi Controller

Outlet Modules & In-Wall Dimmers/Relays

  • Inovelli Dual Z-Wave Plug w/Built-In Repeater
  • Aeon Labs DSC26103-ZWUS – Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller
  • Aeon Labs DSC26103-ZWUS – Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller
  • Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd Edition
  • Aeon Labs ZW078-A,White,V3.26,US,AL001 Zw078-A Z-Wave Heavy Duty Smart Energy Appliance Switch
  • Almond Peanut Plug


  • Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Keypad with Z-Wave
  • Schlage Deadbolt

Other Stuff

  • Aeon Labs DSA03202 v1 – Z-Wave Minimote
  • Centralite 3400 Alarm Keypad

Historic Stuff

  • SmartThings v1 Hub
  • Vera Z-Wave Hub
  • RS232 X10 CM17A FireCracker Transmitter + AC Receiver
    • Controlled lights via cron
  • X10 PHT02 Alarm Clock + lamp/appliance modules
    • Gave house “lived-in” look
  • Honeywell Wireless Home Control System w/ X10 from ~1998