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Hi guys I am new to automation and I dont know where to start. I just wanted to know what is the best automation brand out there, what do I need to get started on a system that I can control a few light switches from the internet, also what systems can be controled by a harmony remote? If someone can please get back to me on those questions only that would be greatly appreciated.


Thank You
 

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I don't think a harmony remote is going to get you much of anywhere with HA. You really need something with wifi. You can do tons with an iPhone or iPod touch.


You should really think about what you want to do with HA.


For me I wanted very simple light controls, security, and HVAC. This was easily handled by HAI (Elk would do a great job as well). You can make HA as simple or complex as you want depending on what you need to do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 /forum/post/18181017


I don't think a harmony remote is going to get you much of anywhere with HA. You really need something with wifi. You can do tons with an iPhone or iPod touch.


You should really think about what you want to do with HA.


For me I wanted very simple light controls, security, and HVAC. This was easily handled by HAI (Elk would do a great job as well). You can make HA as simple or complex as you want depending on what you need to do.

+1 and to add to that what you really want to do is figure out what you want/have to have now (ex..just a/v control some lighting control) and what you would like to add in the future (ex.. security, pool control, full blown lighting control. etc..). Also think about about if you want to control it solely or do you want to pay to have it done?.. install and programming because they are 2 different animals.


This will help people steer you in the direction of a product you want
 

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Some relatively affordable automated lighting solutions include UPB and Z-wave technologies, many manufacturers of each.


Spend a few weeks/months researching online in forums, and reading manuals, before investing a dime, as you'll likely want to expand the number of lights you want to control, and you don't want to start over. I think solutions exist for IR control, for both of those, but I'm not sure.


Many cocoontech.com forum members have installed their own automated lighting systems, might be a good place to check out.
 

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Insteon sells an infrared receiver for their system that can be programmed to do anything based on any infrared code, which means you can use your Harmony to do anything. However, the interface on the harmony doesn't really lend itself to that kind of stuff, so it's best used as a supplement. For instance, in my planned system, when I hit the button on my harmony to "Play Movies", it will set all my inputs as well as send the signal to the Insteon IR receiver to ramp down the lights in my HT room. I would rarely use it to do things like, change the temp on my thermostat. But I'd definitely have that configured so it was possible. However, the best bet is using something like the iPhone.


Another possible solution is if you have a HTPC with an IR receiver, you can configure an application like Girder to control other Insteon devices if you have one of their ethernet or USB bridges.
 
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