Originally Posted by freeoscar
I think people often approach this looking for a solution, rather than first determining what the question that solution is meant to answer.
So, what are you trying to accomplish?
What, if anything, frustrates you about your current setup?
What, if anything, have you seen or read about that you would like to incorporate into your home/lifestyle?
In your specific case, given that you have a high end HT setup but you've lived with a bunch of remotes and never even felt the need to integrate those into a universal remote, what has kept you back from that? Because HA is basically a somewhat more complicated version of a Universal Remote. If sequencing through a bunch of remotes doesn't bother you, how much would having other systems automated or simplified really improve your life?
Once you answer that, you move on to canvassing and evaluating the appropriate solutions. With your technical background, if you have the desire to spend time on this there is no system that is likely too complicated, but do you really want or need that or would you prefer a more basic system or a professionally installed one?
As to your initial topic, I heavily endorse (just a customer) Radio Ra2. Incredibly reliable, attractive, DIY and professional installation options, and integrates with virtually any solution you are likely to choose?
This is good advice. Let the need drive the solution, when I make design recommendations at work, I am often the one saying this.
And if I am being honest, no I don't really have any really specific need or desire for specific things I want to automate from a HA standpoint other than the lighting I started the thread with. I really do enjoy using the apps for my Ecobee, Rachio, Tesla, Solar, and a few others including now on my aquarium. So I think it would be interesting to start playing with things that could tie them all together.
I think my main frustration is that I really don't have any automation at all, and I have only limited insight into what might be a good one out there, I feel a little left out. I have seen some pretty bad one's, especially at the residences of very wealthy but techno-phobic people. Sometimes people are surprised when someone like me who is technical doesn't know about these things, and they don't really understand that that is why
I am not into it, or not yet. You can only be expert in so many things, time is important. It might also be just that I want to know enough about it so that I could speak intelligently with anyone I might hire to do it for me.
Some of my other motivations are:
- I am getting more and more into IT security, and want to look at the relative (in)security of IoT devices (I hate that name) and how one might secure them. So it would be nice to have one to play with.
- I am getting my aquarium setup, almost done with the cabinetry (I have been doing aquariums even longer than computers), and this time I am going whole-hog into automation. One thing I have noticed is that the people who typically setup aquariums know very little about automation, even the one's selling products like lighting. So there are some frustrating incompatibilities that I think could be resolved if I knew more about automation systems and controls in general.
- Eventually I will retire from my current job, and will probably look into doing something else. On my list of things I could possibly do is design custom home theaters, and home automation I think would be a necessary skill to have, or might be the job itself. This is partially why I was exploring things like HomeWorks QS, if I decide I want to start learning about the programming behind these types of things (or not).
- I actually don't currently have a theater setup since I moved to my new house, and it is starting to bother me. I have been focusing on kids, job, some rental property I own and manage, and finishing my aquarium. So when I start (re)building the theater, I think this time I will incorporate some automation.
It does sound like I could start building out a Lutron RadioRA 2 based system to solve my immediate needs while I read up on which automation system I might want to start with, so that is good to know.