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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody. My name is Johnny. I just recently purchased a 4200sqft singe story house that was built in 2006. Im not too happy with how all the lighting is setup.. too many switches everywhere...


I am interested in some kind of Lighting and HVAC control system that i can install my self...I have experience with home electric, networking, structured wiring ect. . The last couple of year i have been busy working in the automotive electric field. I have been out of the home automation loop. i dont know what new products are out there.. I would like to ask you guys, the professionals, what products you would recommend.. I dont need something toooo high tech and too expensive.. I need something that can get the job done..


Have been reading through HAI's product catalog and its starting to grow on me..lolol...


and can you guys also briefly explain z-wave, upb, and x10 . Which one would be a better rout..



Thanks in advance.. JT..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtm3 /forum/post/14165410


.. . too many switches everywhere...




..and can you guys also briefly explain z-wave, upb, and x10 . Which one would be a better rout..

(disclaimer: I am not a professional.. at least in this field)


x10, UPB, Insteon send signals over the powerline. Z-wave sends RF signals. All these can be retrofitted into your house since it involves replacing existing switches. You can also get "scene switches"" to control multiple loads at once. But this really won't reduce the "too many switches everywhere" effect you have.


Also, consider if you are able to run low voltage wire (like cat5e, etc) to each switch location. Hardwired lighting control is pretty much universally considered to be more reliable than anything mentioned above. I am considering OnQ ALC switches for my new construction, but I have the advantage of being able to run the wiring without drywall in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. Hard wiring isn't a problem. The walls have to be repainted and retecured anyways... Which control systems are compatible with cat5e cable hardwired switches..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtm3 /forum/post/14165616


Thanks for the response. Hard wiring isn't a problem. The walls have to be repainted and retecured anyways... Which control systems are compatible with cat5e cable hardwired switches..

Do some searches here and on Cocoontech for "OnQ" and "ALC" and you will find some hits. These use two low-voltage conductors to each switch (or can be daisy chained, to some extent), but otherwise are wired just like conventional wall switches. Can be interfaced to home automation hardware.


More expensive options include Lutron, Vantage. Some of these top-tier systems move the actual switches to a central location, so you would be re-doing your whole high-voltage wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AceCannon /forum/post/14165846


Do some searches here and on Cocoontech for "OnQ" and "ALC" and you will find some hits. These use two low-voltage conductors to each switch (or can be daisy chained, to some extent), but otherwise are wired just like conventional wall switches. Can be interfaced to home automation hardware.


More expensive options include Lutron, Vantage. Some of these top-tier systems move the actual switches to a central location, so you would be re-doing your whole high-voltage wiring.

Yeah i dont want to have to redo the entire high voltage wiring..Iv seen projects with crestron products, with whole wiring closets... I just want some thing economical, and simple.. Thats the reason i was kinda leaning towards the HAI product line...
 

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Well I didn't want to go the hardwired route since I knew that I wouldn't be able to predict what I would want to control. Yes I could do the obvious locations but knowing me I would want to change things in the future.


I had X10 in my previous house and it was OK but took too much work to keep up and running. When it worked it was more or less reliable but just about every AC power loss resulted in one or more units (SmartHome products) losing configuration information.


So for my current home I checked out Insteon, UPB and Z-Wave. I purchased and tested a number of units of each type.


I went with UPB in part because my tests indicated it was robust and in part because UPB "thinks" the way I do, which is to say I found the UPB system very easy to understand and configure using UPstart.


Z-Wave as good too but Insteon escaped me and given the problems with the older X10 SmartHome products I wasn't too sure about investing in Insteon.


The home automation system I was considering (and have since installed) supported all three so that was not an issue but it can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt /forum/post/14166873


Well I didn't want to go the hardwired route since I knew that I wouldn't be able to predict what I would want to control. Yes I could do the obvious locations but knowing me I would want to change things in the future.


I had X10 in my previous house and it was OK but took too much work to keep up and running. When it worked it was more or less reliable but just about every AC power loss resulted in one or more units (SmartHome products) losing configuration information.


So for my current home I checked out Insteon, UPB and Z-Wave. I purchased and tested a number of units of each type.


I went with UPB in part because my tests indicated it was robust and in part because UPB "thinks" the way I do, which is to say I found the UPB system very easy to understand and configure using UPstart.


Z-Wave as good too but Insteon escaped me and given the problems with the older X10 SmartHome products I wasn't too sure about investing in Insteon.


The home automation system I was considering (and have since installed) supported all three so that was not an issue but it can be.

Which home automation system did you use?
 

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jtm3,


I have played with just about every type of lighting control (UPB, x10, Insteon, Z-Wave, Centralite...etc)...


Personally, I've found for a situation similar to yours, UPB is the way to go IMHO. x10 is just too old, I found Insteon to be a lot of hype, and Hardwire solutions are expensive and not good for retrofits!


Z-Wave works pretty well, I'm particularly fond of the Leviton ViziaRF series, and I find it works really well in a 3phase situation, or someplace where you can't use a UPB phase coupler.


UPB works well, and there are a good variety of switches, colors, etc available.


As far as a controller, I have a HAI Omni Pro II. It's rock solid, energy efficent, handles lighting, HVAC, security for me. It is expandable, supports UPB out of the box (along a host of other systems). HAI even sells their own line of UPB switches, which can be setup using the Omni Pro II, so no need for computer software.


For HVAC control, HAI sells their older line of RC thermostats, and a really new and interesting line of models, that have been getting a lot of attention.


Let me know if you have any specific questions.


Aaron
 

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for cheaper stuff or retrofit you could use z-wave to control things such as lighting (switches, dimmers, zone controllers, battery operated switches/dimmers), hvac, motorized shades, power to appliances, garage door interface for lighting control, motion sensing, door sensing, etc.; i have even seen pool/spa controllers although i don't have experience with them. a lot of the diy software incorporates z-wave these days anyway as well as a host of other technologies as an all in one solution. keep in mind zwave is a rf solution.


next step up might be the HAI and Elk line but some may consider them more like security systems on steriods although the functionality has increased tenfold over the last few years.


you could choose a full blown product line such as control4, amxhome, elan, convergent living, etc. or even rti or pronto remotes with rs232/ip controllers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all the responses. Lets say i go with HAI OMNI IIe.. Do i have to purchase HAI's line of UPB dimmer switches? Are other brands of UPB dimmer switches compatible with the HAI system?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtm3 /forum/post/14167228


Which home automation system did you use?

I went with HomeLogic. It uses dedicated hardware, is simple to configure and is not too expensive. Not in the league with Crestron or AMX but it did what I wanted (lighting, irrigation, climate, security, cameras, whole house audio/video, voice mail/email) and the HomeLogic dealer for my area was close by.


The only downside I have encountered is that you cannot write low level drivers in the field so if the HomeLogic folk haven't included support for a certain piece of hardware you may be stuck. You can define custom IR and SERIAL devices to send and respond to commands so that as been a help.


No regrets though, it has worked without a hitch.


If HAI supports the UPB standard (and I believe it does) you should be able to use any vendors UPB devices, unless they have built a device with some non-standard extensions to the UPB protocol.
 

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jtm3,


The HAI Omni support any UPB devices. Simply Automated and PCS both make UPB switches.


Aaron
 

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alot of guys on this website who are diehard crestron/amx fans will tell you no but, look at netstreams website. it is a home automation system that with one touchpad or no touchpad at all (just your home computer) that will control lights, thermostat security etc. it is also a built in intercom if you do the touchpads plus it is also a high powered music system that all runs over IP. you can also tie in escient media servers and ipods etc. and to make it even better it is expandable indefinitely. Caught this thread late so it may be too late but I figured I would throw my 2 cents in. oh yah and try looking at centralite if you just want to do lighting control.
 

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There are several home automation technologies out there depending on the requirements - many have different cabling requirements. I would recommend DIY kits. They've got a bunch of wireless and hardwired DIY kits that can be used with their inexpensive monitoring service. For a small to medium-sized townhome, a wireless kit may be good for you.

A very good option would be a company called Mile High Automation. They make an integrated system called Home Automation Platinum Package: Whole-House Solution which is sold in almost every where and is very popular.

It's got:


* Omni Pro II Home Automation Controller

* 1 Touch Screen

* 2 LCD Keypads

* 6-Zones of Audio

* 17 Automated Light Switches

* 20 Security Contacts

* 2 Thermostats

* Computer Control Software

* Complete Programming & Support



You can start with just the alarm system and grow it to a fully functional home automation system.


You can also submit your floor plan and can get free estimate plan to implement DIY systems in your home.

Home Automation Products and Services
Free Home Automation Estimate
DIY Home Automation
 

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Yes there is a tun of stuff you can do. First thing first is to have a 1 1/2 to 2in PVC pipe from your basement to the Attic. Access points at each lvl. Take pictures of your walls b4 you put up drywall. Have at least one Data point per room. Use the latest and greats cable for Data. And Plan for where you want your home theator. Use good cable for each run to the speakers. Dont go cheep here because next time you swap out speakers you will have good cable to handle the new technology.


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post14734737
 
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