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Which home automation?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello, I have been searching the site, and the web for home automation. I have found a few FAQ/guides, but most seem to be outdated to a point. Some are from 4-6 years ago. Most talk about serial control (rs-232). Is this still the way to go?

I'm building a new house, still in design phase. Floor plan is done, elec and plumbing to go. Here is what I would like to accomplish, if the system is outside my budget, I'd like to rough in for the components. I don't have a total budget, but rather depends on what the house comes in at, and what I make on the current house.

-Dedicated theater lighting control from a remote, 4 scenes. All on, all off, low lighting (walkway/riser lights for movies), mid level light (for sports etc)
-home lighting control, with status. I'd like to be able to look on a pad in my room, and see what's on/off and switch it accordingly. Ie, I forget my office lights on, I can switch them off. Also remotely, from an iPhone. I'd like to be able to switch lights, and receptacles (if the wife wonders if her hair straightener is off, I can kill the plug).
-thermostat control with humidity, outside temp a plus. Remote access to thermostat, for turning temp back up on way home from a trip. Also dehumidifier in garage.
-door lock control.
-door status with voice (my friends have a cheap setup to monitor kids, let's you know when garage door, patio, or front is open.
-security system (wired? Wireless?)
-irrigation control (2 DO for solinoids, front back yard, this will be after the build
-photocell input through an HOA for exterior lights, and Christmas lights.

I'd also like the ability to control blinds should I go that route, so pre wiring would be done.

What products are for me? I was looking at mainlobby, but not sure that fits me, maybe something better.

Thanks.
*edit* can a mod please edit title, fat fingers on the iPhone don't help.
post #2 of 20
Cocoontech's Wiring Your New Home 101-102-103 guides are from 5 or so years ago, but they were put together by the good people at CT with future proofing in mind. The recs are still very valid, with minor exceptions.

There is a strong movement to control much with IP, rather than 232, but they essentially use the same category cable for remote control.

HAI OPII And Elk M1 Gold seem like they would fit your wish list well. Research the devices at cocoontech forums.

If you prewire correctly, you can wait to install your hardware until later. Tech changes rapidly, so I'd wait to buy every piece until you're ready to install it, e.g. the alarm controller.

I would, however, choose a lighting control system now.

Alarm door and window contacts should be hardwired.
post #3 of 20
Based on learning from my own mistakes, I would personally go with HAI UPB and OmniPro II.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
So the HAI UPB is pretty much replacement switches, that send signals via the power wire? Thats what it appears. As long as I have a neutral in every outlet box, and deep boxes or double gang with plaster rings, I should be good?

Im also really digging the Haiku Home Automation for HAI, App, over the HAI app.

Also does display matter? If its Cat5e can I use anyone display? Are thier 3rd party ones that work? Or is it suggested to only stay with the HAI ones?
post #5 of 20
If doing a new home, I would strongly recommend using a minimum of CAT 6. I did my house 3 years ago and did Cat 6A (which was most likely over kill).

Bryan
post #6 of 20
superb combination: iMCA as the integrating 'brains' and the Elk/Ness M1 as the sensing/switching 'hands/feet'. Just google "iMCA Controller youtube" for a video of the combo in action, showing monitoring, controlling and automating all manner of things from smartphone, tablet, touch-panel, PC etc
post #7 of 20
Link to UPB Overview, from member work2play at cocoontech forums:

http://www.cocoontech.com/portal/art...-home-with-upb
post #8 of 20
For lighting and shade control I would go with Lutron RA2 or Homeworks QS. Solid RF communication and can be integrated with HAI Omni Pro 2 through RS232 and integration ID. Lutron keypads are superior to HAI and programming is more intuitive.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
The lutron stuff looks good. Since its new construction I'd rather use the the home works, since I have the option of hard wiring. I really need to find a sales rep, but the website does not show any within 100mi of me.

In looking at the dynamic keypad, I see it uses a 2 wire control, and 2 wire power. How do their dimmers work? Same thing? Line power and control wiring, or is it line power coms? Ii can't seem to find that info. Though I can't see everything as Immon an iPad3, and I don't have flash yet. But in a few weeks it will be jail broken, and it will get flash.

Full automation is out of the budget right now. However I'd like to wire for it, then as I can I'll buy components. Maxing the budget with the build. I played with the app tonight it looks good. Only thing I didn't see control for In the demo was garage doors and door locks. Also wasn't a security demo either. What's the integration like with other systems like?

Also in all my research I'm not seeing remote transmitters. I'd imagine status would be difficult, but is it possible to see if the tv is left on remotely and turn it off via a fixed transmitter to simulate the remote?

Thanks for your time.
post #10 of 20
HW QS isn't designed to control everything in your house, e.g. security.

Call Lutron sales. They will find you someone.

Keep in mind that QS is dealer only. You won't be able to makes hardware changes yourself.
post #11 of 20
So I too am looking for home automation and my question is why not use control4 or savant systems, or crestron to integrate what the OP wants to do?

Thanks.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nehsmit View Post

So I too am looking for home automation and my question is why not use control4 or savant systems, or crestron to integrate what the OP wants to do?

You could definitely use those to accomplish the same goal. I personally use c4 and it could handle it, except for the irrigation (I've yet to find a good solution for irrigation with c4). Some of the relevant questions are cost, whether you want a DIY solution or a dealer-installed one, and reliability (of hardware, communication, etc). Many on this forum are interested in the technology and/or like to get their hands dirty and, thus, prefer a DIY solution.

Think of it this way, if I want to get from home to work, I can drive a Kia or I can drives a Mercedes. It depends on you budget, priorities, taste, and the perceived value, among others. Crestron is definitely like a Mercedes and C4 is probably like an Acura.

Heck, my security system can control x10 lighting but I'd put that at the Kia level. I didn't choose that because I didn't want to type numerical codes into a security keypad to turn on and off the lights. Plus, it's not very wife-friendly which makes it a non starter for me.

Dave
post #13 of 20
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Gordon View Post

Irrigation control for Control4 is coming:

http://sl-fl.com/?page_id=10

http://www.wgldesigns.com/rain8pc.html

Control4 have written press releases at least as early as 2010 saying that it was coming then too. It would be great if it did, but call me skeptical.

Unfortunately, I just replaced my irrigation controller so I wont be changing again anytime soon.
post #15 of 20
Just curious, why do people continue to go with anything but Control4 for whole home builds? As far as my experience goes I always recommend C4 for ease of use and value. Even on the programming side, drag and drop means your house is programmed in a snap.
post #16 of 20
I imagine for the same reason people buy different brands and models of cars or anything else for that matter?

There are a lot of good systems out there and they give differing levels of control and function at different price points..

Strange question from someone in the business?

Ed
post #17 of 20
What I find curious is he number of people here who post about C4, having signed up that day, and often seldom ever posting again, or they make a few posts, all of which are basically C4 propoganda.. It happens a lot around here, and makes one wonder.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

What I find curious is he number of people here who post about C4, having signed up that day, and often seldom ever posting again, or they make a few posts, all of which are basically C4 propoganda.. It happens a lot around here, and makes one wonder.

I think the line must be too open really?
It is too easy to get in and it is the High End I think to most C4 guys.
post #19 of 20
Yeah, I have to agree Dean. Thought the same thing.

I think C4 has ****** marketing tactics.

Edit shi tty
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Yeah, I have to agree Dean. Thought the same thing.
I think C4 has ****** marketing tactics.
Edit shi tty

LOL... We love our C4 system... It works for us...
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