New bathroom ideas

I am about to embark on a full renovation of a bathroom, which will entail stripping back to expose everything down to the wiring, plumbing etc.

With that in mind I would be interested in hearing from the community on what you would be looking to automate and measure using node red if you had a similar opportunity.

Right now my thoughts are:

  • measure humidity connected to bathroom fan - allows the ability to automatically switch the fan on when reaching specific humidity level
  • measure temp - although I will not be getting underfloor heating and only have a towel radiator (perhaps there is something that allows the valve to be turned on and off?)
  • automated control of lighting (no dimmers though) - possibly using a shelly 1PM so that I can also monitor power consumption
  • measurement of water consumption using a flow meter - may be overkill to put on each tap, shower, bath and toilet - perhaps using a YF-S201 sensor but any other recommendations here are welcome

I am already running node red on my raspberry Pi and have other devices around the house with Tasmota firmware running so preferably keeping in that ecosystem would be best.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas
Gavin more idea:

....assuming that you have a central boiler for hot water and have, or can install at least in that bathroom a circulation connection to the boiler...

  • switch on circulation pump based on time-of-day and/or upon entry in the bathroom (i.e. when lights get switched on or by presence detection) for a period of about 5-10 minutes, thus pre-heating the pipes and water directly at the tap, so hot water is provided directly/instantaneously as soon as the tap is opened.

If I had the options:

  • Certainly a sensor with:

    • Temperature
    • Humidity
    • Sound (for presence detection, possibly also for running water detection when the room is meant to be empty) - need only be a sound sensor not a full mic.
    • Maybe a PIR to also enhance presence detection.

    That can be on a single platform such as an ESP8266 or ESP32 or a Shelly (if you are rich :slight_smile:)

  • LED lighting with spots for task lighting and RGB for ambient lighting. You don't need dimming on the spots but you would want full control over the RGB (I'd use RGBWW probably if I had the option). I would certainly control on/off via presence detection.

  • Underfloor heating - we have electric u/f heating and it is GREAT!

  • Heated mirror - I'd love one of these, say goodbye to misted up mirrors. You could even combine this into a smart mirror that tells you the weather and news as you are cleaning your teeth. There are a few YouTube videos of people creating these.

  • If you are into music, you might want embedded speakers connected to a distributed media system (Sonos I guess if you have the money).

  • Don't forget to put in a fan about twice as large as you think you need. It should be one with auto-closing vents to keep out the cold when not in use. We've had fans put into a couple of bathrooms now and I always regret not going for at least the next size up from the one the builder suggests.

Maybe a video projection system is going too far though? :rofl: :rofl:

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Try to find solution for underfloor heating. This is where from the comfort begins. It may depend on natural temperature of the floor but commonly it is under the comfort level. Also the cold floor makes room dry out time way longer and in corners where air flow is also low, the nature develops pretty quickly.

As you have said you have a valve on your towel rail we will assume it is a hot water heated towel rail rather than electric.

If so i would definitely run underfloor heating (preferably on a different valve) so it can be on and off independently of the towel rail - nothing like a nice warm floor in the middle of winter.

Worst case the way that green energy is going now - install electric underfloor heating and control it from NR. If you get fancy you can read your calendar and then turn the floor on 30 minutes before you are due to have a shower in the mornings

Definitely some form of dimmable under cabinet lighting also just to use as a basic night light - we have our set so as we walk into our walk in wardrobe on the way to the bathroom it turns the lights in the bathroom onto 10% - just enough to see by


  • I set my light dim level based on time of day to avoid being blinded if I turn on the lights at 2:00 in the morning.
  • Also given no one in my house know's how to turn off anything (hence my start into the home automation black hole), if the fan is turned on during low humidity (assuming toilet usage) I turn it off after a certain period of time.
  • Same with the lights tied to motion though I override based on humidity in case someone is taking a quiet bath.
  • Leak sensor, though I also use humidity on that to differentiate between a shower caused water on the flow vs. a legitimate leak (will eventually add a whole home water shutoff valve in case of the 2nd, though given the construction work you could do just to the toilet).
  • Having nothing to do with automation, I'd also consider a GFCI switch behind the toilet in case you ever wanted to add a heated bidet :wink:
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My entire house is automated with NodeRED, but I did some extra things with my bathroom:

  • Short & Long fan timers
  • Iron timer
  • Timer for Wife's flat iron, curling iron, blow dryer, etc.
  • Query the bathroom Nest to look for sudden/drastic increase in humidity, then turn the exhaust fan on for 15 minutes. Repeat until humidity drops.
  • Control WS2812 night lights by MQTT from an Insteon keypad. Change hue depending on certain conditions. Change brightness on certain conditions.
  • Turn lights on to 15% if they are off and the WC door closes. If door is closed more than 25 seconds, turn exhaust fan on. Turn lights off 45 seconds after door closes.
  • Automatically turn closet lights (which is attached to the bath) on to low brightness if morning, and full bright during day when someone enters.
  • Monitor LP gas consumption for the radiant floor and on demand hot water.

Here's the reed switch on the WC door, which is wired to an ESP8266 (which also controls the WS2812 lights in the mirror, under the sink, in the shower, etc). It's turning on the lights and exhaust fan.

Here's the dashbloard:


There where a lot of nice ideas, here some from an Architects point of view:

  • Underfloor heating, if nessesary in your climate it should be water based
  • Cabeling: allways use 5x1mm instead of 3x1mm. you end with 3 usable phase wires and a neutral!
  • wall sockets: depending on your local system allway use the biggest casing available to install additional devices behind sockets
  • Toilet: A power and water connection next or better behind your toilet seat. These "washlets" getting more and more common. I was gifted one and still haven`t installed it because I do not have water and power connections here
  • Safety: always install a "fi circuit breaker" for bathroom areas!
  • If you plan to install the washing machine perhaps provide warm water pipework to this location in addition to cold water. My dishwasher works on warm water and on sunny days I get a great cost reduction (and time saving) by using my solar panels on the roof (and safe the future a little bit). Washing ,machines with cold and warm water supply are not available today but they will perhaps. Only warm water is a bad idea when you think about 60°C > 30°C sensitive closing. That's only OK for dishes.
  • provision for touch panels and other interfaces on 1,60m height were suitable
  • separate (big) head shower.

And another IT/Node-RED ideas

  • think about a magic mirror (LCD Monitor + RaspberryPi + Spy mirror). Or minimum the cabling for this = an Gigabit cable is better than WIFI: Perhaps you want to watch the news while you brush your teeth or check your dashboard of choice
  • and perhaps another one visible from the bathtub :wink:
  • CAT7 cables in all rooms for TVs, PCs and all data hungry devices, saved our family peace.
  • cheap twisted pair cables form light switches or panels to light fixtures. As there is no current standard for dimming LEDs (only the retro phase dimming) you do not know what the future brings (PWM, 0-10V, DALI, DMX ...). Best is to have a little batch field somewhere hidden to be flexible in the future.

Just to note that I think some of that wouldn't be permitted in the UK. I believe that there are quite strict building regulations for "wet" areas?


Yes, and also make provisions for redundancy, if you have to work away for a week and the system fails on your first day away, your partner will be pretty annoyed if he/she cannot use the bathroom!!!

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Excellent idea on the circulation connection to the boiler. Thanks I will add that to the list. I have such a system on my boiler and plumbing in the bathroom so that just requires a relay switch on the pump in the boiler cupboard.

As you perhaps all know we Germans are very good in regulations and norms. Even sometimes stopping you to what you later probably regret. But we have IP classes which perhaps can get you around:

DIN VDE 0100-701 says
Area 0 (underwater): IP X7
Area 1 (inside shower areas) IP X5
Area 2 (60cm around shower areas ans sinks) IP X4
Area 3 (all other Areas) IP X0 or IP X1 (humidity and drew water drops)

you can google many nice illustration for this norm

An "fi circuit breaker" is a must but have fun searching for leakage current if the breaker triggers all the time.

I have a indicator on my dashboard if the shower / bath is CO2 neutral (the solar panels produce enough temperature >30° & the base part (provided by solar) of the water tank is heated by solar energy >50°C. Even on a sunny winter day as yesterday I got a green light as sun was shining on the panels for a few hours.

For the future I plan

  • to have a small LED to indicate without lunching up the dashboard - this you do a few times and then it is`t funny anymore.
  • to stop the circulation pump from the gas burner reheating in the morning were everybody showers and the sun is not up or not powerful enough and wait for solar energy if the weather forecast predicts enough energy to reheat the tank later. That is what I would call home automation - not only fancy remote controls :wink:
  • or implement some fancy AI to predict the habits of the inhabitant - that would be a great Node-RED project.

Will definitely do lighting. I will have both LED lights in the ceiling but also some LED strips which will be under the basin cabinets (two seperate switches on the wall).

Do you have any recommendations on which LED strips to purchase which will allow different colours?

Also on the dimming front I guess even if the wall swtches dont have dimming controls on them I could still have dimming control via node red if I use something like the Shelly Dimmer?

I like the idea of the presence detection which can be used to turn off the lights if no-one is in the room for a while. Any one have suggestion on a PIR motion sensor? How would you get the input from the PIR motion sensor to Node there one which has a wifi which can perhaps be flashed with tasmota?

There doesn't seem to be much feedback on the water flow sensor idea. Anybody have experience with the YF-S201 Hall Effect Sensor?

Looking at the specs this seems a little under-dimensioned for use in the bathroom. It might be easier to read the main water meter, especially if you have a smart meter.

Actually, if you have a gravity fed feed they should be OK!

What is "gravity fed"? My bathroom is on the second floor so not sure that is applicable here.

Also, I dont have a smart meter (yet!) and the plan initially was to monitor usage in just that bathroom for more granular information.

A tank in the loft feeding the hot water tank from the bottom.

Ah...nope, our boiler tank is on the same level as the bathroom.

I also had some concerns about the sturdiness, but it appears there are other ones which are metal rather than plastic, eg: