Originally Posted by wiz561
I don't want to be rude when I say this, but how much did you spend on installing this in your home?
I'd love to be able to do some of this, but I have a hard time spending 50 bucks on an outlet. It seems like many of the receptacles and sensors are a lot of money. I guess I have a hard time believing that a 'whole home' solution, like the one in this article, could cost a few thousand. Hopefully I'm wrong.....but I'm just curious.
It's a reasonable question, so here's a breakdown of the costs (assuming $0 for my time)
- HomeSeer Pro software $599, but can be had on sale for $399 frequently and was $299 on black Friday.
- Dedicated PC (I only had a work laptop, WMC and WHS, so wanted something dedicated). Inspiron Zino refurb: $300
- USB z-wave interface: $60
- Z-wave light switches can be had for about $30, but I went with Cooper Aspires (love the design) @ about $85 each. I have 9 or 10
- iPhone and iPad were things I bought for their own use and use for work. The fact that they run HomeSeer (with $0 software cost) is a huge bonus
- Kindles will be $199, compared to $500 for iPad or $1K+ for Crestron
- Power monitoring (my next article) runs independant of HomeSeer, but also forwards data to HomeSeer: $170
- Sump pump monitor $80 for RF receiver (X10, etc.) and $20 in X10 sensors. For me $100 for real-time monitoring of something that could trash my basement is real cheap insurance
- USB-UIRT for integration of lights and HomeSeer (dims when playing movie and raises when paused or stopped) and many other integrations from simple IR remotes (biggest benefit for me): $50
- Lamp/applicance modules: $30-50
- Security system. Bought DSC with PIR, Panel, Case, Battery, Siren and Keypad with 16 wirelss zones: $180. Installed myself, and it runs standalone, but also hooked in HomeSeer, so when I arm the system, it kills certain lights, reduces AC or Temp in Summer, etc. Then 30 mins before I come home (or when I enter house and disarm the alarm), it increaes heat/AC and turns on certain lights before.
- Z-Wave thermostat: $98
So, total for essentials (Software, PC, Z-Wave interface, 10 (good) switches, 1 Kindle Fire) is about $1800, but by far the best thing is that I was able to start with a few lamp modules and a USB z-wave interface. I could try the software on my laptop for 30 days and grow at a pace I was technically and financially comnfortable with (it is addictive).
Even at $1800 up front cost, I probably wouldn't have got started. It was the fact that I could try the software for 30 days (and if i really had to, put it on my wife's laptop for an additional 30 days testing) and a few hundred in USB interface and light modules (which I could sell for 70% of their value) that did it. So my total cash risk was about $50, if I canned it all and had to sell the stuff I'd bought on eBay.
The other big concern I had was choosing the right technology. Was very concerned about anything over power lines and z-wave was still fairly new. But that was the great thing about HomeSeer: I could add an interface for any technology I wanted in the future. With stuff like Control4, etc, you were stuck with ZigBee, which has very little installed base and then proprietory brands like Crestron, Lutron, et al. The latter all require dealer installation; although Lutron's new RadioRA2 system is designed more for DIY (but restricted in functionality)
If you look at stuff like Crestron, you're looking at $10K+ to get started. It must be installed by a custom installer and you're on the hook for every upgrade, every tweak, etc.
Obvously, I'm not including Sonos (about $500/zone) in the figures I quoted. There are cheaper ways with Airplay, etc. but at the time AirTunes was not that good and my wireless was too unreliable (and you had to have a PC on and iTunes running all the time).
Hope this clarifies things and shows that it really is cheap to get started and prove to yourself that it's what you want and that you can install it.