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I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 08, 2019 06:33PM
I am doing a substantial refurb of a condo. I would like to install some home automation as part of the upgrade. Any suggestions about what I might do and how to do it are welcome
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 08, 2019 07:05PM
What’s your budget? Do you enjoy tinkering?



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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 08, 2019 07:24PM
No budget restraints - my wife is planning to recreate the Taj Mahal. I can do some tinkering but would prefer to keep it on the simple side
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 08, 2019 08:02PM
Look at what you want to realistically automate. I've seen everything from coffee makers to curling irons automated, so what you want can likely be done.

standard A19 or E26 Lightbulbs are easy, just get smartbulbs. If it is a fixture that needs more than 3 bulbs or oddball size bulbs then a smart switch is usually cheaper but you will still need dimmable LED's.

Thermostats are pretty common, it just becomes a question of how much you want. The Nest learning ones are nice but costly at $200+, Ecobee is a bit less but still close to $200. If you just want to be able to adjust the temp from your la-z-boy, then Emerson and Honeywell have some that do the basics for well under $100. (I went with the Honeywell because it did what I needed without a bunch of extra, unneeded bells & whistles)

Ceiling Fans can be done but the choices are limited. It really came down to two- the $90 Bond or the $26 QIACHIP. I have the QIACHIP and it was an easy hook up and works fine.

You can use Smartplugs for just about anything that simply needs to be turned on/off. I use one to control my under cabinet lights

Outdoor floods can be done with smartbulbs, or you can put a whole fixture in that could include a camera.

Some TV's can be used directly, but if yours isn't one then a Logitech Harmony Companion will do the job.

I connect everything to an Alexa Echo Dot for voice control

For Bulbs, switches, plugs I settled on the TP-Link Kasa series since no hub is needed. Those products are affordable and reliable. I just couldn't see the logic of needing a hub. Wyze also has some nice, affordable security stuff that works with its cameras.


Hope that helps.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: Carm
Date: October 08, 2019 08:09PM
Second the Tp-link stuff that works through their Kasa App and Alexa/Google
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 08, 2019 08:11PM
Ombligo hit a lot of good points.

I decided to go with smart switches since I'm picky about my bulbs.

You have three choices for smart home items - wifi, zwave, or zigbee. Almost anything wifi will be dependent upon a cloud service and will likely stop working if that thing ever goes down. zwave and zigbee are very similar. They're both local networks and require hubs. The biggest difference between the two is that zigbee is on 2.4Ghz and zwave is, uh, 800Mhz? So zwave might travel a bit further and avoid 2.4Ghz congestion. That said, people tend to have a mix and get the devices they like best.

You'll probably use the Samsung Smartthings hub to tie it all together. There are competitors but they're less popular. I use Home Assistant running on a raspberry pi. I have a lot more control but it also take a lot more to set it up.

Oh, I swear automated shades cost $150 each. If you have money you need to spend there you go.



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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 08, 2019 08:29PM
Thanks
This gives my something to start with. What are the pluses and minuses for Home Kit?
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 08, 2019 09:18PM
Quote
pipiens
Thanks
This gives my something to start with. What are the pluses and minuses for Home Kit?

I found very few items that work with it beyond the basics. I quickly decided it wasn't needed.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 08, 2019 09:24PM
Kids, turn on the light.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 08, 2019 11:00PM
'Sorry, I cannot do that, Dave'.
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: October 09, 2019 12:56AM
Quote
pipiens
What are the pluses and minuses for Home Kit?

It is the most secure option for home automation and is well integrated (and already built-in) with the devices you already have, e.g. your Macs, iPhones, etc. More here:

[www.imore.com]

[www.apple.com]
[www.apple.com]
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 09, 2019 09:30AM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
pipiens
What are the pluses and minuses for Home Kit?

It is the most secure option for home automation and is well integrated (and already built-in) with the devices you already have, e.g. your Macs, iPhones, etc. More here:

[www.imore.com]

[www.apple.com]
[www.apple.com]

That is a lot of devices that Home Kit works with. What is missing that I might want?
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: Buck
Date: October 09, 2019 10:43AM
"I need advice for home automation"

You don't need any. You can turn off the lights and open the shades yourself!
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 09, 2019 12:03PM
:-)
Quote
Buck
"I need advice for home automation"

You don't need any. You can turn off the lights and open the shades yourself!
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: October 09, 2019 12:24PM
A requisite for me is for automation to be intelligent. That means using sensors, time of day and/or atmospheric conditions. I mean, I feel no need for a remote control for a light, but illuminating an area at dusk is kewl.
My home is pretty crippled right now, but it’s very aware.
Also, I would not do any automation that doesn’t conform to HomeKit. More on principle, but also for security.
Lastly, I prefer Bluetooth over WiFi when possible.



• back to confinement


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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 09, 2019 04:19PM
Quote
rich in distress
A requisite for me is for automation to be intelligent. That means using sensors, time of day and/or atmospheric conditions. I mean, I feel no need for a remote control for a light, but illuminating an area at dusk is kewl.
My home is pretty crippled right now, but it’s very aware.
Also, I would not do any automation that doesn’t conform to HomeKit. More on principle, but also for security.
Lastly, I prefer Bluetooth over WiFi when possible.

Why Bluetooth?
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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: October 09, 2019 04:57PM
It becomes a local affair by definition, plus optimized battery usage instead of AC. It's probably trivial...



• back to confinement


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Re: I need advice for home automation
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: October 09, 2019 06:13PM
....only have knowledge of auto....immune....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Consider...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 09, 2019 07:34PM
...electrical power backup.

That just popped into my head.

Don't know why.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Consider...
Posted by: pipiens
Date: October 09, 2019 09:15PM
Quote
RAMd®d
...electrical power backup.

That just popped into my head.

Don't know why.

At the very least you have to be able to do important things like open the front door if commercial power is lost or batteries run down.
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Re: Consider...
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 09, 2019 09:27PM
Quote
pipiens
Quote
RAMd®d
...electrical power backup.

That just popped into my head.

Don't know why.

At the very least you have to be able to do important things like open the front door if commercial power is lost or batteries run down.

locks have batteries but you should have a physical key to enter your house as well.



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Re: Consider...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 09, 2019 09:50PM
locks have batteries but you should have a physical key to enter your house as well.


I think a smartlock is at the bottom of the list of worries during a power failure for just that reason.

Oddly, I've read that a few people have modded locks to operate on wall power and not battery power so as not to be bothered replacing them. The automation is dead in any power failure, but there is always the key option, assuming they carry one.

There is an August smartlock in my future, but it nor any such lock would keep me from carrying a key that may never be needed.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Consider...
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 09, 2019 10:01PM
>I think a smartlock is at the bottom of the list of worries during a power failure for just that reason.

fwiw we had a power failure recently - cable modem, router, and home automation hub on battery backup. neither internet nor smarthome were affected.
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