List of controllable home functions? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 5Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 43
List of controllable home functions?

I've been sort of planning/dreaming what a maximally-connected and automated home would look like. Basically, the same way almost everything mechanical about a Tesla can be controlled electronically, I'd like to apply that same level of control to a house. Controlling existing electrical devices like lights, power outlets, appliances, HVAC, and curtain/blind is certainly on the list, but what other things could be electronically controlled? I've seen motorized in-wall doors, but what about windows? Everything I've seen for windows requires some awful looking external arm rather than a side-mounted motorized unit. Is there any kind of centralized list or resource for connecting mechanical components in this way?
mcturkey is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 02:25 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
Not aware of any maintained list.
But, with some mechanical ingenuity, just about everything can be controlled.
We have motorized doors, vents, blinds, drapes, raising TVs, Pool and spa jets, etc.
Linear motors can be used for a lot of the efforts.
Just a passing thought or something you are wanting to actually do?
Each implementation takes thought, parts, labor, electronics, programming etc. So it would be an investment.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #3 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Something I want to do eventually. I'm not concerned about calculating total system costs at the moment, since any cost data is going to be hopelessly out of date by the time I'm ready to buy a house in a couple of years (either to renovate or to build). I'm just trying to get ideas of what is possible to control within the realm of relatively off-the-shelf components and kits, rather than expensive one-off engineering.

Edit: I mean, with enough money, I realize I could make the walls movable, and thus rearrange my house at the press of a button. Amusing, but impractically expensive.
mcturkey is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 05:39 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
You can get going by adding some of the conveniences into your current home.
The automation controller can be moved from one home to the next. And, if you want to DIY this, you can get going immediately learning how to do what you want.
The way to learn is by doing.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #5 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
You can get going by adding some of the conveniences into your current home.
The automation controller can be moved from one home to the next. And, if you want to DIY this, you can get going immediately learning how to do what you want.
The way to learn is by doing.
I'm aware of this, but that's not what I'm asking about in this thread, nor am I interested in spending money right now. I'm asking for examples of what can be done, not how.
mcturkey is offline  
post #6 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 07:27 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,495
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 571 Post(s)
Liked: 578
He basically gave you the answer. Almost anything CAN be done. It's a matter of time and/or money.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #7 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 08:00 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
Dean is correct.
If you can dream it, it probably has already been done.
cocoontech.com has a DIY automation forum. Redditt has a home automation thread as well.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #8 of 38 Old 11-24-2018, 08:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Look through the sites of automation companies like Crestron and Control4. They've been doing high-end whole-home lighting, HVAC, blinds, etc for many, many years, long before the current HA craze came about. Garage doors can be tied into an HA system, I don't think you'd want automated windows, as you need to manually seal and lock them to make sure that they are secure from burglars, as well as tight against air leakage in cold or hot weather. Smoke detectors, like Nest, can be tied into HA, or through a high end alarm system sort of thing.
BiggAW is offline  
post #9 of 38 Old 11-25-2018, 09:35 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
One example:

We had a client that has a very nice wine collection and cellar.

We wrote a wine database application for the job.

When the client has a dinner party, they pass the tablet around the table to view wine pairings for the meal. They can view details of the wine, see the label, and with a click, see a graphical image of where in the cellar it is stored.
The group goes down to the cellar. The lights dim automatically, the cellar lights (inside the glass walls) are a little brighter to highlite the cellar.
The audio system turns on with background light music automatically in that zone.
The owner does a finger print scan, which once authenticated, slides open the glass door to the cellar.
The chosen bottle is backlit brighter than the rest of bottles.
When the bottle is removed, the backlighting dims.
If one is to remove a different bottle, the tablet in the cellar immediately tells you what that bottle is, it's value, when and where it was purchased, Robert Parker scores, etc.
If a bottle is removed from the cellar and the cellar is not "unlocked" with proper credentials, then the security system is violated.
The bottle upon authorized removal, is then removed from the inventory automatically.
The guests enjoy the bottle, and can list their tasting notes into the database for future recollection of the experience.

What the heck, here's another:
Client had us install an outdoor James / QSC amp landscape audio system that was tied into myServer as an audio source.
We also created custom made RGB lights for the spa / pool. Including hand made copper "scuppers" that flowed water from the spa to the pool. In each of these copper scuppers was an RGB light.
We wrote software to take the audio feed and create RGB light values for frequency and "beat". We then used our DMX RGB lighting software to change the light values across the pool to "dance" with the music that was playing. So, it made the pool and the 5 "scuppers" a color organ.
Of course the client can select from client settable lighting presets, or use the graphical sliders to tune the colors infinately. They can see a preview of the color choices on the tablet before sending the choice to the DMX control system.

And a simpler, more "practical" example:
Client that had a stroke, was wheel chair mobile.
We retrofitted her home so all daily things were accessible from her multiple tablets, including one mounted to her wheel chair. The user interface was designed with large, easy to read, easy to click buttons that was intuitive for HER. All of the doors were motorized. The ELK security system managed sensors to know wheel chair position. Our myServer software then "debounced" the sensors to know when to open a door automatically as she got close. Somfy RS485 Blinds through the home were installed and automated / manual mode accessible from the tablet. The graphics on the tablet displayed graphically the state of each blind (so she didn't have to move to see). The security system, irrigation, All media, whole house audio, lighting, etc were all accessible from her tablets.
We used DMX RGB lighting for visual effects, including edge lighting some LumaCore wall panels to provide room separation yet beauty. The lighting slowly changes colors through the day for best effect with the natural lighting. Very rewarding project that helps the client out every minute of every day.

One more:
Client had a deluxe home that had the expansive lower level be a party room. They liked to host parties with live bands and had a stage built into the home. On all touchscreens (that normally display artwork), the live band is announced and their playlist. We wrote an application for myServer that took the place of the mixing board...so the client can control the music mix from any tablet in the home (raise the volume of the lead guitar, lower the drum kit mikes, etc). The custom made bar had a curved screen built into the glass base that displayed the music "EQ". Lyrics are also accessible from any of the touchscreens. All built into the "automation" system.

Lots more cool things that are possible with the right technical foundation, mechanical and fabrication capability and hours.
Things you can't do with Control4, Crestron, Savant and most all others

If you can dream it, it's possible.
markrubin likes this.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 11-25-2018 at 10:07 AM.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #10 of 38 Old 11-25-2018, 10:07 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
And a simpler, more "practical" example:
Client that had a stroke, was wheel chair mobile.
We retrofitted her home so all daily things were accessible from her multiple tablets, including one mounted to her wheel chair. The user interface was designed with large, easy to read, easy to click buttons that was intuitive for HER. All of the doors were motorized. The ELK security system managed sensors to know wheel chair position. Our myServer software then "debounced" the sensors to know when to open a door automatically as she got close. Somfy RS485 Blinds through the home were installed and automated / manual mode accessible from the tablet. The graphics on the tablet displayed graphically the state of each blind (so she didn't have to move to see). The security system, irrigation, All media, whole house audio, lighting, etc were all accessible from her tablets.
We used DMX RGB lighting for visual effects, including edge lighting some LumaCore wall panels to provide room separation yet beauty. The lighting slowly changes colors through the day for best effect with the natural lighting. Very rewarding project that helps the client out every minute of every day.
That's a really good application for HA technology that would normally be considered stupid or pointless becomes very, very useful on a daily basis for someone with limited mobility. The same is true for Alexa, Google Home, and other sorts of smart home/HA types of systems.
BiggAW is offline  
post #11 of 38 Old 11-25-2018, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
One example:

We had a client that has a very nice wine collection and cellar.

We wrote a wine database application for the job.

When the client has a dinner party, they pass the tablet around the table to view wine pairings for the meal. They can view details of the wine, see the label, and with a click, see a graphical image of where in the cellar it is stored.
The group goes down to the cellar. The lights dim automatically, the cellar lights (inside the glass walls) are a little brighter to highlite the cellar.
The audio system turns on with background light music automatically in that zone.
The owner does a finger print scan, which once authenticated, slides open the glass door to the cellar.
The chosen bottle is backlit brighter than the rest of bottles.
When the bottle is removed, the backlighting dims.
If one is to remove a different bottle, the tablet in the cellar immediately tells you what that bottle is, it's value, when and where it was purchased, Robert Parker scores, etc.
If a bottle is removed from the cellar and the cellar is not "unlocked" with proper credentials, then the security system is violated.
The bottle upon authorized removal, is then removed from the inventory automatically.
The guests enjoy the bottle, and can list their tasting notes into the database for future recollection of the experience.

What the heck, here's another:
Client had us install an outdoor James / QSC amp landscape audio system that was tied into myServer as an audio source.
We also created custom made RGB lights for the spa / pool. Including hand made copper "scuppers" that flowed water from the spa to the pool. In each of these copper scuppers was an RGB light.
We wrote software to take the audio feed and create RGB light values for frequency and "beat". We then used our DMX RGB lighting software to change the light values across the pool to "dance" with the music that was playing. So, it made the pool and the 5 "scuppers" a color organ.
Of course the client can select from client settable lighting presets, or use the graphical sliders to tune the colors infinately. They can see a preview of the color choices on the tablet before sending the choice to the DMX control system.

And a simpler, more "practical" example:
Client that had a stroke, was wheel chair mobile.
We retrofitted her home so all daily things were accessible from her multiple tablets, including one mounted to her wheel chair. The user interface was designed with large, easy to read, easy to click buttons that was intuitive for HER. All of the doors were motorized. The ELK security system managed sensors to know wheel chair position. Our myServer software then "debounced" the sensors to know when to open a door automatically as she got close. Somfy RS485 Blinds through the home were installed and automated / manual mode accessible from the tablet. The graphics on the tablet displayed graphically the state of each blind (so she didn't have to move to see). The security system, irrigation, All media, whole house audio, lighting, etc were all accessible from her tablets.
We used DMX RGB lighting for visual effects, including edge lighting some LumaCore wall panels to provide room separation yet beauty. The lighting slowly changes colors through the day for best effect with the natural lighting. Very rewarding project that helps the client out every minute of every day.

One more:
Client had a deluxe home that had the expansive lower level be a party room. They liked to host parties with live bands and had a stage built into the home. On all touchscreens (that normally display artwork), the live band is announced and their playlist. We wrote an application for myServer that took the place of the mixing board...so the client can control the music mix from any tablet in the home (raise the volume of the lead guitar, lower the drum kit mikes, etc). The custom made bar had a curved screen built into the glass base that displayed the music "EQ". Lyrics are also accessible from any of the touchscreens. All built into the "automation" system.

Lots more cool things that are possible with the right technical foundation, mechanical and fabrication capability and hours.
Things you can't do with Control4, Crestron, Savant and most all others

If you can dream it, it's possible.

Thank you for providing examples of practical applications of this kind of technology.
mcturkey is offline  
post #12 of 38 Old 11-25-2018, 12:21 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,495
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 571 Post(s)
Liked: 578
In the more 'workaday' realm, there are very useful things like 'set the house to day or night mode' or 'set the house to party mode', which can do a lot of things to get the house into some particular state. So the night mode could:

1. Arm the security system for night mode
2. Make sure various A/V and other equipment not used at night are powered down
3. Set a flag that is used by various 'triggered actions' to tell them to act differently perhaps because it's night. Some maybe to do nothing (do not disturb type stuff) and some maybe to be more important if they happen at night (e.g. motion.)
4. Maybe set the security cameras into some different configuration
5. Possibly drop the low set point on the thermostat a bit
6. Turn on some night lighting

These are basic but very useful things that can just make sure that particular things are in place for particular circumstances.

Ultimately, if the device is under control, you can generally it make it do what you want. If it provides reliable two way control, then you can have your automation logic make decisions based on the state of those devices. It's this latter bit that really starts to get you into the 'smart' realm. If this and that is true, then no need to do the other thing, or the other thing becomes a requirement, and so forth.

Typically any automation system provides you with a means to do something when the state of a device changes (which of course required reliable two way control.) That can be the basis of a lot of useful stuff. It will also provide you with the means to do things on a schedule, which is also very useful. If you have text to speech capabilities in the automation system, it can tell you some of these things are happening or remind you that something is about to happen and things like that.
joelslevy21 likes this.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 


Last edited by Dean Roddey; 11-26-2018 at 10:35 AM.
Dean Roddey is offline  
post #13 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 12:32 AM
Advanced Member
 
bryantc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 375 Post(s)
Liked: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
That's a really good application for HA technology that would normally be considered stupid or pointless becomes very, very useful on a daily basis for someone with limited mobility. The same is true for Alexa, Google Home, and other sorts of smart home/HA types of systems.
Indeed. Helping disabled/elderly is where I can see wanting to go all out. But when I read about stuff like lighting up wine bottles it just makes me roll my eyes at this whole industry.
BiggAW likes this.
bryantc is offline  
post #14 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 07:41 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryantc View Post
Indeed. Helping disabled/elderly is where I can see wanting to go all out. But when I read about stuff like lighting up wine bottles it just makes me roll my eyes at this whole industry.
Yeah, exactly, the wine bottles just make the whole concept seem like a silly plaything for the ultra rich who have way too much money. Helping the disabled have more control over their lives is a great side effect of rich people financing the development of all this stuff to show off in multi-million dollar homes though.
BiggAW is offline  
post #15 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 11:26 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 5
Another practical example - if a water leak is detected, turn the house water main off.
JP14 is offline  
post #16 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 12:14 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
The "practical things" are pretty well played out and readily available because there is a market for them.
Water leak detection and automatic valve: Look at Dome...Z-Wave. $120 - 240 depending on the quality of the valve.

BiggAW - yes, in our world, the folks with the $s do fund development of some of the projects that we then productionize and sell way less than the original ER&D cost. Many of our drivers and apps had their begining that way. We are continually working on such projects. Wrapping up Multizone, multimedia HEOS and KODI applications right now that were funded by larger automation projects...

The "over the top" things are where the creativity comes in. And, yes, it's for the folks that prioritize them as the differentiating factors in their "over the top" projects.
We all have our hobbies and interests. And there are always the high line exclusive features that make no sense if it's not a priority for "me".
Living in Michigan: LOTS of high horsepower cars. For what? You can't use the HP. You can certainly brag about it. It's not economical. Doesn't even get you to your destination any faster. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. And nothing wrong with an industry that allows for that indulgence for folks that enjoy it. A lot of time, it's not even the destination. It's the journey.

Anyone own a nice collectible painting? Or an original vinyl LP by the Beatles? Or a wall of speakers or a huge projection screen? They are all "ridiculous". Unless that's your passion. It's all good.
joelslevy21 likes this.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 11-26-2018 at 01:13 PM.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #17 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 07:04 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
BiggAW - yes, in our world, the folks with the $s do fund development of some of the projects that we then productionize and sell way less than the original ER&D cost. Many of our drivers and apps had their begining that way. We are continually working on such projects. Wrapping up Multizone, multimedia HEOS and KODI applications right now that were funded by larger automation projects...

The "over the top" things are where the creativity comes in. And, yes, it's for the folks that prioritize them as the differentiating factors in their "over the top" projects.
We all have our hobbies and interests. And there are always the high line exclusive features that make no sense if it's not a priority for "me".
Living in Michigan: LOTS of high horsepower cars. For what? You can't use the HP. You can certainly brag about it. It's not economical. Doesn't even get you to your destination any faster. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. And nothing wrong with an industry that allows for that indulgence for folks that enjoy it. A lot of time, it's not even the destination. It's the journey.

Anyone own a nice collectible painting? Or an original vinyl LP by the Beatles? Or a wall of speakers or a huge projection screen? They are all "ridiculous". Unless that's your passion. It's all good.
I'm not against rich people doing silly things with their money per se. I think the technology behind platforms like Crestron and Control4 is super cool, even if I would find it personally rigid and inflexible, as I like to constantly play with the latest gadgets and customize stuff myself, which doesn't fit well with the idea of a large home automation system. That being said, I think the concept of the whole "smart home" thing is laughable. Companies are over-hyping all this crap that most people don't want. There is certainly a niche of people who want toys but can't afford the Crestron and Control4 systems, but that's a small niche. Your average person doesn't want to automate their lights, they want a light switch that turns them on. The same goes for Wi-Fi appliances and voice control of everything. They want their refrigerator to keep their food cold, not be an internet device, and so forth and so on. They just want to do what they want to do without excessive technology for the sake of technology. Wi-Fi thermostats are one of the few applications that I think most people would actually want, because if it's hot out, they want to turn the AC on before they get home so it's not hot inside, since it often takes a while to cool down. Most of the other "smart home" things are just frivolous nonsense to 99% of the population.

I can see the point where someone with a $3M house wouldn't bat an eye at dropping $100k on a whole home automation system that's really slick and makes everything work really well so that they're not running around an 8,000 square foot house turning things on and off all the time, and their technology in their $50k home theater just works off of a touchscreen. That doesn't mean that sort of technology has any appeal to your average consumer, even when it's made cheaper and more accessible.
BiggAW is offline  
post #18 of 38 Old 11-26-2018, 07:37 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
"which doesn't fit well with the idea of a large home automation system"
You're just looking at the wrong systems

"There is certainly a niche of people who want toys but can't afford the Crestron and Control4 systems, but that's a small niche. Your average person doesn't want to automate their lights, they want a light switch that turns them on."
Well, that historically small niche is now pretty dang big and getting much bigger. Anytime HomeDepot dedicates prime end caps for a product means they are selling lots of it. And automation stuff is getting more and more shelf space, not less. They cater to the masses.

My wife is putting up the Xmas lights this last weekend. Loves that they turn on / off all by themselves so she doesn't have to chase around the house turning off each light string. She is pretty much a non techie.

Watch this space (like we all will) over the next 5 years. Then go back to read this thread. I think you will be surprised of the prior assumptions.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 11-26-2018 at 07:45 PM.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #19 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 07:35 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
"which doesn't fit well with the idea of a large home automation system"
You're just looking at the wrong systems
Control4 can be user configured, but I'd spend more time re-configuring Control4 for new toys than actually installing the new toys, so I'll just stick with OEM remotes and Logitech Harmony. I guess if I had that kind of dough, I'd plan refresh cycles on equipment a bit better to avoid constantly having to re-configure stuff. The centralized HDMI matrix is so cool to me, but in practice, it seems like it's becoming outdated as everything is moving to $50 streaming boxes versus an HDMI matrix that costs $1500 a port and is relatively inflexible.

Quote:
"There is certainly a niche of people who want toys but can't afford the Crestron and Control4 systems, but that's a small niche. Your average person doesn't want to automate their lights, they want a light switch that turns them on."
Well, that historically small niche is now pretty dang big and getting much bigger. Anytime HomeDepot dedicates prime end caps for a product means they are selling lots of it. And automation stuff is getting more and more shelf space, not less. They cater to the masses.
I think it's a solution in search of a problem. Once the novelty wears off, people aren't going to want this stuff. It all has to be configured, and then people have to learn how to use it, all for what?

Quote:
My wife is putting up the Xmas lights this last weekend. Loves that they turn on / off all by themselves so she doesn't have to chase around the house turning off each light string. She is pretty much a non techie.
Did she set up the automation behind them, or did you do it?

Quote:
Watch this space (like we all will) over the next 5 years. Then go back to read this thread. I think you will be surprised of the prior assumptions.
It's not going away. There are niches for all sorts of cool tech, be it drones, VR, home automation, heck I have a system that can control my model trains with my smartphone, but it's not going to be mainstream in any significant sense. There's a market for it, it's just not your average Joe and Jane. I think the industry will consolidate around a few product areas that people are actually interested in, like home security, thermostats, and maybe one or two other use cases that make sense to the average person. The rest of the stuff will stay around, but it will be a niche for techies and people who like gadgets. I don't think your average person is going to have microwaves, toasters, slow cookers, garage doors, or even lights on their home network anytime soon.
BiggAW is offline  
post #20 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 09:03 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked: 9
Some interesting posts here, so I thought I’d add my 2 cents.
I agree with most of you, that home automation for the most part is still a niche for enthusiasts and those with the dough.

However, I can see a huge potential for fundamental operations of home automation. I mean that, from a stance of energy and comfort of living.

Large offices and factories usually have some type of automation system to control heating/cooling, security, entry, and lighting.
In doing so, especially with heating and lighting, there is potential to reduce cost and more importantly, the environmental footprint.

I think having these backbone systems in modern homes would be an enormous step forward in how we live generally, and comfort of living.

Reducing energy waste should be an important factor in new developments, there have obviously been changes in insulation requirements and suitable materials etc, but once that’s in place, you need to manage it effectively.

I think that automating residential buildings can help the often forgetful humans when it comes to tackling these things.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Falcon2915 is offline  
post #21 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 09:40 AM
Member
 
joelslevy21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Liked: 5
Home automation is no longer a niche/hobby, look at g trends and even the best buy home page.

https://g.co/trends/kAiez

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...488068&thumb=1

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...488074&thumb=1
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.29.02 PM.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	71.5 KB
ID:	2488068   Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.38.37 PM.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	153.6 KB
ID:	2488074  
joelslevy21 is offline  
post #22 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 11:13 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon2915 View Post
Large offices and factories usually have some type of automation system to control heating/cooling, security, entry, and lighting.
In doing so, especially with heating and lighting, there is potential to reduce cost and more importantly, the environmental footprint.
No question about that, but that's a totally different use case than residential.

Quote:
Reducing energy waste should be an important factor in new developments, there have obviously been changes in insulation requirements and suitable materials etc, but once that’s in place, you need to manage it effectively.
Building codes are horrendously antiquated, it's just ridiculous that you can still build a house with R-19/R-36 fiberglass insulation in New England. The changes should come in the building technology and materials, once you have a well insulated house that can be heated with a small heat pump, you no longer have any need for automation, as it's more efficient to keep it at a constant temperature and humidity through the heating season, and a separate constant temperature and humidity throughout the cooling season. The big opportunity here is older homes where setbacks can save money and energy.

There might be some opportunity for automation of a few lighting circuits for outside lights or something, but most people just want the light to turn on when they flip the switch, and the energy savings comes from moving to entirely LED lighting away from CFLs and any old incandescents still kicking around.

Quote:
I think that automating residential buildings can help the often forgetful humans when it comes to tackling these things.
There is absolutely a market for that in existing homes that are almost all poorly built compared to today's technology, even brand new ones unfortunately, where controls are the second biggest energy saver after doing what insulation and air sealing improvements are possible given the limitations of the structure.
BiggAW is offline  
post #23 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 11:17 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,495
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 571 Post(s)
Liked: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelslevy21 View Post
Home automation is no longer a niche/hobby, look at g trends and even the best buy home page.
You do have to be careful about those types of things, because a HUGE amount of that traffic isn't to do with home automation at all. It's just standalone gadgets that are not really connected together. And, when they are, it's more likely to be just 'remote control on a phone' than actual real automation.
BiggAW likes this.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #24 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 11:30 AM
Member
 
joelslevy21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Liked: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
You do have to be careful about those types of things, because a HUGE amount of that traffic isn't to do with home automation at all. It's just standalone gadgets that are not really connected together. And, when they are, it's more likely to be just 'remote control on a phone' than actual real automation.
Very true, but it still shows the industry is growing as a whole. For example, I get all my Hue lights at Best Buy which are integrated in my HA system (combination of ISY-994i / HS3pro). Now I'm working on consolidating everything to a central control system using Allonis' myServer and I'm definitely not rich, I make less than 100k per year so I'm a DIYer / self installer for sure.
joelslevy21 is offline  
post #25 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 11:49 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
No question about that, but that's a totally different use case than residential.







Building codes are horrendously antiquated, it's just ridiculous that you can still build a house with R-19/R-36 fiberglass insulation in New England. The changes should come in the building technology and materials, once you have a well insulated house that can be heated with a small heat pump, you no longer have any need for automation, as it's more efficient to keep it at a constant temperature and humidity through the heating season, and a separate constant temperature and humidity throughout the cooling season. The big opportunity here is older homes where setbacks can save money and energy.



There might be some opportunity for automation of a few lighting circuits for outside lights or something, but most people just want the light to turn on when they flip the switch, and the energy savings comes from moving to entirely LED lighting away from CFLs and any old incandescents still kicking around.







There is absolutely a market for that in existing homes that are almost all poorly built compared to today's technology, even brand new ones unfortunately, where controls are the second biggest energy saver after doing what insulation and air sealing improvements are possible given the limitations of the structure.


Your comments are all absolutely valid. In relation to the insulation standards and ac in the US.

I’m talking from a viewpoint of the UK where the nominal standards now are at a high value insulation. Building standards now require all new build properties to also include 1 source of renewable fuel in new constructions as far as I know. Whether that be an air source heat pump or a log stove, solar etc.

I still think that automation has an important role in low energy residential builds, as heating say a guest bedroom which is unoccupied makes no sense.
An automation system to adjust zoned heating is important in that scenario.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Falcon2915 is offline  
post #26 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 04:49 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelslevy21 View Post
Very true, but it still shows the industry is growing as a whole. For example, I get all my Hue lights at Best Buy which are integrated in my HA system (combination of ISY-994i / HS3pro). Now I'm working on consolidating everything to a central control system using Allonis' myServer and I'm definitely not rich, I make less than 100k per year so I'm a DIYer / self installer for sure.
You're a total niche. Your average person isn't going to be integrating Hue lights into anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon2915 View Post
I’m talking from a viewpoint of the UK where the nominal standards now are at a high value insulation. Building standards now require all new build properties to also include 1 source of renewable fuel in new constructions as far as I know. Whether that be an air source heat pump or a log stove, solar etc.
That makes a lot more sense than the mess we've got here. It's sad to see new houses being built that are built with 1970's or 1980's technology at best.

Quote:
I still think that automation has an important role in low energy residential builds, as heating say a guest bedroom which is unoccupied makes no sense.
An automation system to adjust zoned heating is important in that scenario.
True high performance buildings that are at <5 BTU/sq.ft. in New England (Design Temp of 0F) can't be zoned like that, nor do they need to be. The few good builders out there are building houses that are so tight and well insulated that a single central 12k heat pump head can heat a 1500-2000 sq.ft. house, and the temperature is still within 2F in the morning even if the bedroom doors are closed at night with no air circulation. If they used ducted inverter heat pumps, they can't be micro-zoned to individual rooms, as the loads would be too small to modulate to. When you build a high performance building, there is no point to setbacks and zoning, as your loads are so low it's impractical and just doesn't matter. The best part is that they cost no more than the 1970's technology crap that other people are building, because they don't have big central HVAC systems, boilers, furnaces, fuel tanks, gas lines, and all that crap. They typically use two mini-split heat pump heads and a heat pump water heater and they're all set.

This is an example of a good builder. He uses 12" double walls and triple-pane windows to get design loads that are handled easily by a single mini-split head:
https://www.lehtodesignbuild.com/

All that being said, there are millions of poorly constructed houses out there that would benefit from HA of the thermostats, and newer HVAC technology, like mini-split heat pumps. Mitsubishi has their own thermostat system for their heat pumps, as does Carrier and other HVAC manufacturers so that they can remotely controlled. I'm not a fan of what Nest and Ecobee are doing, mostly because high performance heat pump systems don't work with traditional thermostats, although they are still useful for some hydronic and steam systems that don't have their own thermostats for indoor reset control. That's another issue. If you have a tightly tuned outdoor reset curve, however, then you can't effectively do setbacks, as the system will take forever to recover, and if you have indoor reset, then you really can't do setbacks, since you're constantly resetting to load and nothing more. In most cases, setbacks and remote control of heating is a band-aid on a bad outdated HVAC system. There are some systems that could see a huge benefit like older houses with steam heat, or if you go away for extended periods of time often, and can turn the heat up several hours before arriving home so that a system on a tight reset curve can recover. For AC, however, there could be some really good uses to use the heat pump or AC unit manufacturer's app for remote control, since you can turn AC off completely, and modulating inverter-driven equipment can be effectively set back on AC if it's for an extended period of time.
BiggAW is offline  
post #27 of 38 Old 11-27-2018, 09:45 PM
Member
 
sbarnesvta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Greater Los Angeles Area
Posts: 131
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
One example:

We had a client that has a very nice wine collection and cellar.

We wrote a wine database application for the job.

When the client has a dinner party, they pass the tablet around the table to view wine pairings for the meal. They can view details of the wine, see the label, and with a click, see a graphical image of where in the cellar it is stored.
The group goes down to the cellar. The lights dim automatically, the cellar lights (inside the glass walls) are a little brighter to highlite the cellar.
The audio system turns on with background light music automatically in that zone.
The owner does a finger print scan, which once authenticated, slides open the glass door to the cellar.
The chosen bottle is backlit brighter than the rest of bottles.
When the bottle is removed, the backlighting dims.
If one is to remove a different bottle, the tablet in the cellar immediately tells you what that bottle is, it's value, when and where it was purchased, Robert Parker scores, etc.
If a bottle is removed from the cellar and the cellar is not "unlocked" with proper credentials, then the security system is violated.
The bottle upon authorized removal, is then removed from the inventory automatically.
The guests enjoy the bottle, and can list their tasting notes into the database for future recollection of the experience.

What the heck, here's another:
Client had us install an outdoor James / QSC amp landscape audio system that was tied into myServer as an audio source.
We also created custom made RGB lights for the spa / pool. Including hand made copper "scuppers" that flowed water from the spa to the pool. In each of these copper scuppers was an RGB light.
We wrote software to take the audio feed and create RGB light values for frequency and "beat". We then used our DMX RGB lighting software to change the light values across the pool to "dance" with the music that was playing. So, it made the pool and the 5 "scuppers" a color organ.
Of course the client can select from client settable lighting presets, or use the graphical sliders to tune the colors infinately. They can see a preview of the color choices on the tablet before sending the choice to the DMX control system.

And a simpler, more "practical" example:
Client that had a stroke, was wheel chair mobile.
We retrofitted her home so all daily things were accessible from her multiple tablets, including one mounted to her wheel chair. The user interface was designed with large, easy to read, easy to click buttons that was intuitive for HER. All of the doors were motorized. The ELK security system managed sensors to know wheel chair position. Our myServer software then "debounced" the sensors to know when to open a door automatically as she got close. Somfy RS485 Blinds through the home were installed and automated / manual mode accessible from the tablet. The graphics on the tablet displayed graphically the state of each blind (so she didn't have to move to see). The security system, irrigation, All media, whole house audio, lighting, etc were all accessible from her tablets.
We used DMX RGB lighting for visual effects, including edge lighting some LumaCore wall panels to provide room separation yet beauty. The lighting slowly changes colors through the day for best effect with the natural lighting. Very rewarding project that helps the client out every minute of every day.

One more:
Client had a deluxe home that had the expansive lower level be a party room. They liked to host parties with live bands and had a stage built into the home. On all touchscreens (that normally display artwork), the live band is announced and their playlist. We wrote an application for myServer that took the place of the mixing board...so the client can control the music mix from any tablet in the home (raise the volume of the lead guitar, lower the drum kit mikes, etc). The custom made bar had a curved screen built into the glass base that displayed the music "EQ". Lyrics are also accessible from any of the touchscreens. All built into the "automation" system.

Lots more cool things that are possible with the right technical foundation, mechanical and fabrication capability and hours.
Things you can't do with Control4, Crestron, Savant and most all others

If you can dream it, it's possible.
Those are some very cool out of the box projects. Just more proof if you have the money someone has the time.

I would be weary of statements like this though "Things you can't do with Control4, Crestron, Savant and most all others ", they aren't always true.

Any of those projects mentioned could be handled in Crestron. They have had the ability to run native C# code on their processor for years now. It is all up to the programmer at that point. Not sure about the C4 or Savant side of things.

SBTS-Inc.com
- Certified Crestron Master Programmer and DM T-4K, D-4K, E-4K, DM-NVX Certifications.
- RTI Programmer/ Driver Developer
- Rational Acoustics Smaart Certified
- QSC QSYS Lvl 2 Certified Programmer
sbarnesvta is offline  
post #28 of 38 Old 11-28-2018, 07:42 AM
Member
 
joelslevy21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Liked: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
You're a total niche. Your average person isn't going to be integrating Hue lights into anything.



That makes a lot more sense than the mess we've got here. It's sad to see new houses being built that are built with 1970's or 1980's technology at best.



True high performance buildings that are at <5 BTU/sq.ft. in New England (Design Temp of 0F) can't be zoned like that, nor do they need to be. The few good builders out there are building houses that are so tight and well insulated that a single central 12k heat pump head can heat a 1500-2000 sq.ft. house, and the temperature is still within 2F in the morning even if the bedroom doors are closed at night with no air circulation. If they used ducted inverter heat pumps, they can't be micro-zoned to individual rooms, as the loads would be too small to modulate to. When you build a high performance building, there is no point to setbacks and zoning, as your loads are so low it's impractical and just doesn't matter. The best part is that they cost no more than the 1970's technology crap that other people are building, because they don't have big central HVAC systems, boilers, furnaces, fuel tanks, gas lines, and all that crap. They typically use two mini-split heat pump heads and a heat pump water heater and they're all set.

This is an example of a good builder. He uses 12" double walls and triple-pane windows to get design loads that are handled easily by a single mini-split head:
https://www.lehtodesignbuild.com/

All that being said, there are millions of poorly constructed houses out there that would benefit from HA of the thermostats, and newer HVAC technology, like mini-split heat pumps. Mitsubishi has their own thermostat system for their heat pumps, as does Carrier and other HVAC manufacturers so that they can remotely controlled. I'm not a fan of what Nest and Ecobee are doing, mostly because high performance heat pump systems don't work with traditional thermostats, although they are still useful for some hydronic and steam systems that don't have their own thermostats for indoor reset control. That's another issue. If you have a tightly tuned outdoor reset curve, however, then you can't effectively do setbacks, as the system will take forever to recover, and if you have indoor reset, then you really can't do setbacks, since you're constantly resetting to load and nothing more. In most cases, setbacks and remote control of heating is a band-aid on a bad outdated HVAC system. There are some systems that could see a huge benefit like older houses with steam heat, or if you go away for extended periods of time often, and can turn the heat up several hours before arriving home so that a system on a tight reset curve can recover. For AC, however, there could be some really good uses to use the heat pump or AC unit manufacturer's app for remote control, since you can turn AC off completely, and modulating inverter-driven equipment can be effectively set back on AC if it's for an extended period of time.
Right, but the Hue lights themselves (via the app) have the ability to do HA activities such as routines and working with voice assistants. That is home automation in it's simplest form and a large amount of people use Hue/similar products.
joelslevy21 is offline  
post #29 of 38 Old 11-28-2018, 10:16 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,321
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelslevy21 View Post
Right, but the Hue lights themselves (via the app) have the ability to do HA activities such as routines and working with voice assistants. That is home automation in it's simplest form and a large amount of people use Hue/similar products.
I still don't think it has mass market appeal, it's just a niche that's 10x or maybe even 50x bigger than the custom installed HA niche, just based on price, but it's still a small niche IMO.
BiggAW is offline  
post #30 of 38 Old 11-28-2018, 06:20 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 287 Post(s)
Liked: 91
Guess it depends on what definition of niche is...I can buy Hue bulbs at most all of the big box retailers like Home Depot, Menards and Lowes.
Once that happens, I don't call it niche anymore.

re: Xmas lights: In my home, I add the devices. These happen to be Z-Wave plugin receptacles (but could be Insteon, Caseta, Homeworks, Vantage, X10, RadioRa2 and many others). I "learn" them into the myZWave controller. X10 plugin modules are great for Xmas - cheap, require no RF stuff, pretty reliable, did I say cheap?

My wife strings up the lights, grabs one of the receptacles and plugs the lights in. Then, from the myServer Scheduled Tasks consumer user interface, she adds the device to a house mode (Sleep vs. Wake up), or schedules by time of day, weekend, random, she wants the light string to work.
And then I go change it on her just to mess with her setup then she calls me a "control freak". Then she changes it back. Something like that...

Attached is a screen view of how to setup the automation:
Select a device to control,
Select a Month, Time, House Mode of when the event should occur
Determine if you want to be notified that the event occurred (SMS / email etc)
Enable the task
Save it.

Joelslevy - How goes your install?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	SchedulerNotifications.png
Views:	26
Size:	43.4 KB
ID:	2488782   Click image for larger version

Name:	SchedulerDevices.png
Views:	18
Size:	36.3 KB
ID:	2488784   Click image for larger version

Name:	SchedulerRunTimes.png
Views:	13
Size:	38.0 KB
ID:	2488786   Click image for larger version

Name:	SchedulerRunMonths.png
Views:	18
Size:	43.6 KB
ID:	2488788  

Last edited by smoothtlk; 11-28-2018 at 06:45 PM.
smoothtlk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Home Automation

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off