How To Use NFC Tags for Home Automation

Many people are now relying on technology to make their lives easier and more efficient. NFC (Near Communication Field) tags are one such way to simplify specific tasks in our day-to-day activities. NFC tags are fantastic pieces of technology that can be placed around our home to fully automate simple things such as turning off lights or keeping track of how often you take your medication.

Here is how you can use NFC tags for home automation:

  1. Make sure the NFC locator is installed on your smartphone.
  2. Program the NFC on your mobile device for full functionality.
  3. Place the NFC tags at the places you want to automate.
  4. Label the NFC tag on your mobile device for easy access.
  5. Test the process to make sure it functions properly.

If you are interested in automating your home by using NFC tags, then please continue reading. I will break down how to do the automation in simple steps that will help you with this process. You will be happy to know that the process is relatively easy to understand. Let’s get to it!

NFC Wireless communication technology

1. Make Sure the NFC Locator Is Installed on Your SmartPhone

Alright, here is the first and perhaps the easiest step on the path of automating your home. Ready for it?

It doesn’t matter whether you have an iOS device or an Android. It’s true! No need to go out and purchase an alternate smartphone because you don’t think it is going to work.

All you need to make sure is that your mobile phone has an NFC locator somewhere within its system.

Both types of mobile phones come with an NFC locator already installed on your phone. Most phones these days have this function due to technology adapting very quickly.

However, if you cannot find it on your mobile device, you can download an NFC app and install that on your phone.

Once you have an NFC locator or NFC app on your mobile device, you are ready to go for step 2. So please keep reading and do not forget to take some detailed notes!

2. Program the NFC on Your Mobile Device for Full Functionality

Now that you have the NFC locator on your phone make sure it works efficiently. This will help make the following steps easier and flow well.

Log in to your NFC app or check the settings on the locator that comes with your phone.

If it works and you are able to log into it or look at it, then you should be good to go. Otherwise,  you can try this step again to make sure you have done it properly.

Let’s move on to step 3!

Nfc Tags with phone

3. Place the NFC Tags at the Places You Want To Automate

You will now want to make sure you have a handful of NFC tags ready to go. It is pretty easy to purchase a small bag full of NFC tags from most stores for a reasonable price.

They are not difficult to find and you can even shop online for more convenience.

Walk around your house and think about what tasks you want to automate. You will need to place the NFC tags at the areas where these tasks usually take place.

So exactly where can you place these NFC tags, or what types of activities can you automate? Do you have any ideas? I will help you out here!

Believe it or not, all of the below options are things you can invest in to live a life of automation fully:

  • Do you want to remind yourself to clean the cat litter so it does not stink up the house? Put an NFC tag above the litter box so you will always have a reminder to clean the litter. Who wants a house full of smelly cat litter, anyway?
  • Place an NFC tag in your medicine cupboard. You can set reminders for when to take your medicine and even tell you how many pills you have taken, so you do not under or overtake your medicine. Who needs a pharmacy sending reminder texts when you can just install an NFC tag?
  • Do you have a hard time waking up in the morning and turning off your alarm clock when it is blaring that obnoxious sound? Well, you can place an NFC tag above your alarm clock to help set times for how to wake up and not be groggy. This will hopefully even help you regulate your night’s sleep!
  • Sometimes we need to remind ourselves at exactly which point we fed our pets. We do not want to feed them too much but obviously do not want to feed them not too often. Grab an NFC tag and put it near the pet’s food and water bowl. This method will help remind you when you feed your pet or when you should feed them next.
  • One of the most remarkable features is turning on and off lights. Get an NFC tag and place it next to a lamp or light switch that activates a smart bulb. Simply walk into your house and scan the NFC tag to turn off or turn on the lights in your home. No more wasted energy!
  • Let’s say you live in a place where the summers are scorching hot. Sometimes turning on your fan and changing its settings can be a cumbersome extra step. Put an NFC tag near the switches wired to the fans, whether they are ceiling fans or standing fans, and get your home feeling cooler much faster!

Alright, now you have a handful of ideas of how to use these NFC tags. Do you like any of them?

I am sure at least one or two of them would work really well in your house. Now that you have some examples, you will surely think of more that you will enjoy.

So make sure you place all of those NFC tags in areas that will be beneficial for you and help make your life easier. Let us know which methods worked well for you!

Nfc Tags on laptop with phone

4. Label the NFC Tag on Your Mobile Device for Easy Access

Whether you have an iOS or Android, setting up and labeling your NFC tag will be quite similar. Despite the phones operating differently, they handle NFC tags in virtually the same way.

Programming the NFC tag is the first step in this process. You want to make sure your phone recognizes the associated NFC tags so you can automate the proper task.

Click on the NFC app on your mobile device and place it next to the NFC tag you have set up in your house.

Make sure the NFC tag properly scans and pops up in the app or on your mobile device. Once you see it, you can move on.

What will appear next is a place for you to write the label of this NFC tag. What kind of labels should you use?

Well, let’s make it simple; otherwise, these tasks will seem cumbersome rather than fun and convenient.

If you are automating when to clean your cat’s litter box, name that NFC tag “Daily Litter Cleaning” or “Smelly Cat Litter.”

If you are setting a reminder for how often to take your medication, you can label the accompanying NFC tag “Medication Reminder Alert” or “Daily Pills Intake.”

Now you get the idea, right? It is so much simpler than you may have initially thought.

With the NFC tag labeled, you should then click the button that says “Next.”

Then, you will see an option to click “Done.” What should you do? Definitely click it because you will actually be done!

Fantastic! You have now activated your first NFC tag in your house! Woohoo!

Nfc Tags on laptop

Home Assistant

Another way to implement home automation with NFC tags is to make sure you have the Home Assistant function installed on your phone, which helps you set up tasks around the house.

Once you log into Home Assistant, there will be a series of options that you can click. For example, you can click “Call Service.”

You can think of placing an NFC tag near your mobile device’s charger. Program the NFC tag  to automatically call services you use.

Just scan that NFC tag and dial directly to your favorite pizza delivery. Next time you are ready for a hot fresh pie, all you need to do is to scan that NFC tag!

Home Assistant is also great for medication reminders. Many people use it for this purpose, mainly because taking medicine is such an easy thing to forget due to our busy, hectic days.

You can even scan an image of your medication dosages so it will appear when you scan it with its correlating NFC tag.

Isn’t living in an automated home fantastic? It is pretty cool!

And you should definitely recognize the fact that you have done this all by yourself! It is no small feat.

Now that we have established where and how to program your NFC tags, let’s move on to the last couple of steps.

5. Test the Process To Make Sure It Functions Properly

When programming any type of technological device, you want to ensure it functions properly. If it does not, there are definitely ways to help fix the situation, so no need to worry.

Test all of the NFC tags placed around your house so that you are confident they work efficiently.

Does the cat litter NFC tag work? Excellent! Say goodbye to those awful smells. Your cats will thank you for it too!

Do the light switches turn on and off when you exit or enter your house? Wonderful! Save money on electricity when you are not using the lights.

Does the medication reminder work properly? No? Well, this is no problem. You just need to troubleshoot the situation to find the problem.

The best way to troubleshoot is to walk through the programming steps again, but this time slowly and double-checking your procedure along the way.

You can also follow YouTube tutorials such as this below. It is concise and the concepts are explained well.

In this YouTube tutorial, you can learn about how to program NFC tags for a variety of different tasks. It is easy and free to watch, so it is very accessible for everyone.

For example, you will learn all about:

  • How to set up a medicine reminder, so you never forget to take your pills or take too much or too little.
  • How to use a LED light automatically so you can enjoy a pleasant ambiance in your living room.
  • How to add NFC tags in the Home Assistant function, which will be an excellent visual for the steps above.
  • How to disarm an alarm, so you do not accidentally set it off or forget to activate it.
  • When to water your plants, so they grow strong, healthy, and flourish to live long lives.
  • When and how to install a light for your garden to add beautiful lights for your plants and flowers.

Who knew there were so many ways to automate your home? The options are endless!

Watching the YouTube tutorial is also a great way to troubleshoot and check that your NFC tags work well because the YouTuber shows precisely which steps to follow.


Well, here we are! You have now fully automated your home using the simple device known as an NFC tag.

As you use NFC tags throughout the day, you will begin to think of new ways to use them. You can buy more NFC tags and find more ways to automate your home efficiently.

Just follow the simple steps in this article and you will be good to go.

Whenever you need a reminder, feel free to read through this blog post again or check out the linked YouTube video to remember how to do the programming.

Happy automating!


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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