Jump to content
Security Installer Community
PeterJames

Home Automation

Recommended Posts

Ive been into this for some time now, back when I was an engineer my G500 was controlling my heating, curtains, lights, and, various other bits via Galaxy Gold. When I moved to this house I wanted something more purposely built rather than something I had strung together, so I nailed my flags to Lightwave RF  good looking product nice sockets and light switch's and rad valves. Being an early user much of the stuff has not moved with the times, my rad valves wont work with the newest phone app, though my main stat does. None of the stuff is two way so you cant tell remotely if something is on or off, there are on and off buttons for each device so at least you know if its already on you havent switched it off or vica versa, but it would be great to know the status of devices.

With the latest voice integrated technology like Cortana, Google Voice, Amazon Echo, and that iphone thing, I thought it would be nice to integrate my lightwave with an Echo or something so I dont have to pick up my phone to switch the lights on or heating up when I am home , guess what none of them integrate with lightwave, though I have found that smart things can be integrated. 

 

Is anyone using any of the others like smart things, or wemo, ect. I know that Risco are integrating their app to work with Zwave. This is a nerdy forum so there must be hundreds of us fooking around with this stuff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't laugh but I'm doing our home using X10, simply because I have enough filters to effectively keep the lights electrically segregated from everything else (the USB controller is on the lighting circuit via a fused spur, too), it's cheap, I have an RF > Network gateway and an RF touch screen. I've even just managed to find an X10 > 1-10V dimmer from the US. What's not to like?

 

 


So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being looking also, like a few Elan, Loxone but KNX standard seems the best one at the moment http://www2.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/products-services/product-launch/knx/knx.page


www.nova-security.co.uk

www.nsiapproved.co.uk

No PMs please unless i know you or you are using this board with your proper name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's just too much choice and choosing the "best" route forward often leads to disappointment with drop-outs, failures, uncompatibility etc further down the line, if reading the automation forums is anything to go by. 

 

I keep reading up on going the Evohome route for individual heating control but when you need to involve 3rd party apps with a distinct lack of security, change batteries in every TRV, put up with disconnects (still), unexplicable timer clock changes causing heating to not come on when scheduled, binding issues, etc etc, it just isn't worth the hassle.

 

I always come back to simplicity, effectiveness and above all security, no matter how intrigued or interested in technology I may be, and right now there appears to be a lot of choice to potentially become an expensive ballache with incompatibility just down the road.

 

Basic on off automation from my alarm outputs suit me perfectly for now and possibly forever, allowing voice activation via Siri on my Watch or phone for activation.

Edited by Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried automation of sorts, ended up un-automating most of it tbf.

 

If I want the heating on before I get home (unlikely as it's set to an ambient all the time anyway, never off) I use Nest, also when we are away the stat recognises the lack of movement and drops it accordingly.

 

Lights are back to switches except a couple of links on the galaxy and 3 PIR presence sensors.

 

PITA imo for the reasons above.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

datadiffusion X10 ..... Really :o:lol:

 

Forget using your phone/ipad to control equipment it's just cumbersome and unnatural, use them to compliment physical switches/remotes is the way I have found works the best.

 

For controlling your everyday equipment (Tv, Sat, DVD, music) I use URC Total Control. I have used the product from launch (and aged some by doing so) but some years down the line the **** has been sorted out and it works as it should.

 

For multi room music Sonos or Denon Heos (Sonos preferred) with Spotify. It works and works well. It integrates well with most if not all other main systems and works well on its own.

 

For lighting Lutron or Rako. They both again work very well and integrate well with other systems as well as stand alone.

 

For heating (well basic heating) Nest 3rd gen room stat. Its like an apple iwatch on the wall. Integrates well and works.

 

Now for automation it depends on what you want to automate.  Im moving house soon :) and currently working on spec for house.  The brains of the house will be a Loxone server glued to all the above as well as my intruder.

 

I have to say some of the budget stuff works quite well. I have been testing/using lightwave from launch and it works around 90% of the time, looks ok and can be controlled from other systems easily. I would say the other brands work the same. But as said most are not 2-way, so its a send and hope affair.

 

I quite like the look of the Philips Hue lighting system and will probably put this in the kids rooms (colour changing) and integrate into system.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O and the Nest smoke alarms are very good.

I have also started playing with IFTTT

Edited by Simlec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have smokes and CO on the alarm, but yes, if not I would have the nest ones.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come to the conclusion Nest is probably a front runner for heating without getting too annoying, though I'm not interested in app control, nor geo fencing. That said, apart from being able to control DHW, which is always on a schedule anyway, there is no benefit to me compared to what I have now via its alarm output and use daily during the heating season.

 

Lights indoors are switchable still and a select few are on outputs too but that is a security measure rather than an automated convenience/pointless addition. Doing away with switches is a step too far for me and would only cause mayhem when visitors stayed over.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Simlec said:

datadiffusion X10 ..... Really :o:lol:

 

Yes really, and when isolated and being that the house is being refurbished (so no powerline which is the worst offender) as I've done it can't be knocked (literally).

 

The billy bonus being I got truckloads of the stuff, all new and unopened, for buttons.

 

Same with home hifi. The discontinued Richer Sounds 'Incognitio' system (aka Opus) offers 6 channels over Cat5 wiring, well, I got the main boxes / PSUs cheap as chips + spares,

the room controls were being sold off for buttons as they were the tabletop versions. And what is the tabletop version? It's a wall mounting version in a custom made table box. Unscrew

controller from custom box, bin custom box and you have a £100 item for £10! Yes it's well 'analogue' and slightly old fashioned but it's simple and that's the key. Each room can choose one of

6 channels, for 3 of them that's radio from a fixed tuner in the main cupboard, 4th is my (actual vinyl) jukebox, 5th a bluetooth rx with a modified antenna so it covers the house...

Best of all it works with any speakers you want to just reused my half decent Yamahas. No need to spend silly money or suffer tinny little pc type speakers.


So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh yes the old A-Bus system in its many forms... I remember them, most had US keypads/back boxes.  This was around the same time a Living control & philips pronto.

You can still buy new systems.

Edited by Simlec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

[I know this is an old thread but resurrected for @james.wilson]

 

 So, update, yes @Simlec you were right, and the X10 kit luckilly I binned off before it got too unreliable, I admit defeat!

 

I'll stick with the A-bus forever though, I am one of these people that prefers the radio to playlists and just want to walk in a room and press a button for music, not find my phone and tinker around with it.

 

Currently I am using...

 

Fibaro HomeCentre 2 (getting old now and expecting all-new Mk 3 controller esp. after Italian takover of Polish (Fibaro) firm

About 25 Fibaro switch devices

About 10 Qubino devices

A handful of other devices by other random manf's inc. Aeotec

 

Have recently integrated it with my alarm but at 'arms length' e.g. the HC can only do a set or unset through vague means, there is no obvious 'unset the alarm'

button in my HA app devcies screen if someone was to find my phone, it's hidden and only auto sets or unsets in very carefully controlled situations.

 

There is now 'home or away' integration with Nest through IFFT - I previously used to have to use a Belkin 'Maker'' (relay) module as an inbetween. As a bonus since I bought

the now redundant 'Belkin Maker' module they no longer make anything like it and I sold it used on ebay for £100, no joke.

 

As a summary it works the best it ever has after a recent surge of firmware updates -

 

TLDR I would definately recommend though that no-one on here ever installs it for a customer unless they have a special contract. I would never use it for security or first-line access.

 

I initially used the 'Lite' controller but this basically creamed in at about 20 devices, and that's before I started writing too many automation scripts. The reason for this is that the two devices (Lite and HC2) share code

but the Lite has even less RAM than the HC2 and the code was just getting bigger and bigger until one day a firmware update just broke it. It's fine now it's been reset and I intend to use it as a 'slave' or secondary

controller just for the annexe.

 

On the Vera / MiCasa Verde front, a lot of people on the Fibaro forums jumped ship thinking it was the answer to the problems with Fibaro, of which there are some, but only found out there were other, but ongoing issues. with Vera,

and at least came back to a system they knew by a company that hopefully is in it for the long haul.

Edited by datadiffusion

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im using Broadlink now, Ive imported a load of light switches, I have transmitters and receivers and some nice looking wireless light switches, everything works from Alexa, and when I part set or full set the alarm it switches off all my lights in the house (I got fed up with coming down in the morning to find the kitchen light has been on all night) I also have courtesy lights, the hall light comes on whilst arming and goes off when set, it also comes on when you open the front door but you have to switch them off manually. Lights also come on when the alarm activates. The best bit about the light switches is they dont need a negative to work, so they are a straight swap for standard light switch.  I have a couple of broadlink pros at home and one at work, I can control stuff at work like my aircon or lights from alexa at home or at work , and vica versa 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PeterJames said:

The best bit about the light switches is they do need a negative to work

 

I'm guessing you meant DON'T need a -ve as that is a pain with most HA kit, though less of an issue than you might think as I've simply installed some in a recessed Appleby ceiling rose box, the rest of the house was rewired anyway.

 

I agree that the killer feature for me is the 'goodnight' switch which is at the bottom of the stairs, press once (or twice) and its a 'normal' lightswitch, hold down and the house is basically put to bed...


So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, datadiffusion said:

 

I'm guessing you meant DON'T need a -ve as that is a pain with most HA kit, though less of an issue than you might think as I've simply installed some in a recessed Appleby ceiling rose box, the rest of the house was rewired anyway.

 

I agree that the killer feature for me is the 'goodnight' switch which is at the bottom of the stairs, press once (or twice) and its a 'normal' lightswitch, hold down and the house is basically put to bed...

Thanks for point that out Stu watching Grand Tour and typing at the same time then not proof reading after a few beers. Part setting the alarm works well for me, my daughter doesnt like it so much, she has to switch her light back on if she is still doing stuff when the alarm gets set. Mostly though, by the time the 20 sec exit time is expired and system is armed we are all in bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

On that point I've gone for press type switches so that some of them can do up to 4 different things, have you kept toggle types? Or are most of yours new wireless ones?

 

I put up some Philips Hue floodlights (nearly 200 notes each, f me!) for a client as part of an alarm recently, although some of the lights were simply our own globe ones with their Hue lamps; to be fair it does seem to work

quite well for a DIY system, and total freedom for placing the wireless PIR, but I just hated the whole thing in the rest of the house where you have to blank off or leave the existing switches on all the time or do wierd click

combinations on a rocker switch. In the main room they did have an adaptor which covers over a UK standard plate with holder for a battery powered remote, but again it's not intuitive what the buttons do for the casual user.

 

8 hours ago, PeterJames said:

my daughter doesnt like it so much, she has to switch her light back on if she is still doing stuff when the alarm gets set.

 

And I think it's hurdles like that the kit has yet to overcome to gain acceptance.. Our 'goodnight' button doesn't set the alarm yet, I've got a spare input on the bedroom lamp module so I might actually use that as a goodnight+alarm scene rather than starting the set from the stairs even.

 

As much as I love my setup, and even with all my experience doing it on my own home, I'd be really wary installing it for a customer or more bluntly, providing an day to day warranty on functionality. Too much for the customer to mess up let alone the firmware updates.

 

As you can imagine even the Hue job was done as an add-on the an IAS on the condition that the customer is fully responsible for the Hue parts...

Edited by datadiffusion

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, PeterJames said:

Im using Broadlink now, Ive imported a load of light switches, I have transmitters and receivers and some nice looking wireless light switches, everything works from Alexa, and when I part set or full set the alarm it switches off all my lights in the house (I got fed up with coming down in the morning to find the kitchen light has been on all night) I also have courtesy lights, the hall light comes on whilst arming and goes off when set, it also comes on when you open the front door but you have to switch them off manually. Lights also come on when the alarm activates. The best bit about the light switches is they dont need a negative to work, so they are a straight swap for standard light switch.  I have a couple of broadlink pros at home and one at work, I can control stuff at work like my aircon or lights from alexa at home or at work , and vica versa 

I leave couple of lights on at night , your more of a target with a dark house around here 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're just generally a target in London full stop.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, norman said:

You're just generally a target in London full stop.

Yep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, al-yeti said:

Yep.

On the plus side it's great for business, just need to branch out into stab vests, tasers and CS spray.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, norman said:

On the plus side it's great for business, just need to branch out into stab vests, tasers and CS spray.

Put me down for a Taser & can of CS spray B)):ninja:


Customers Love us, Intruders Hate us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Specialist said:

Put me down for a Taser & can of CS spray B)):ninja:

Me3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, al-yeti said:

I leave couple of lights on at night , your more of a target with a dark house around here 

 

Ah you see in Somerset torches are way out of the budget of the average burglar, they get all confused in the dark and go for easier targets with the candles on all night.


So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.