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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm starting to think about the installation of some home automation equipment in my new house and I would like some suggestions on what equipment might fit my needs. I have a 2300 sqft home with an unfinished basement.

Here are some criteria:

1. I do not want to pay someone else to program the system. I want to buy, install and program the equipment myself.

2. To start, I want to control 1 TV, lighting and HVAC .

3. Eventually, I may add control of 1 more TV, 4 zones of 2 chanel audio, 1 home theatre (to be built, with 5.1 or 7.1 reciever, projector, blue ray), blinds, security maybe with a few cameras.

4. The control center will be in the basement which will eventually have dropped ceilings so I don't mind having to run new wiring now or later.

5. I'm looking for something that is fairly cheap, but the wife will not accept poor reliability, and quite frankly, neither will I. I haven't approached her to talk money yet, but I think my budget will be about $5K, spent in increments as cash becomes available.

Can you guys suggest some systems that would work for me? I've been looking at Control4 and I really like the products, but I don't know if I can afford it. I haven't been to any dealers yet.



6,089 Posts
C4is somewhat protected, 'dealer only'. However, you may be able to strike a deal with the installer who could give you the software when he's done. I don't think he'd let you install, though.

Since you want to install yourself, it could take a few years. Put your list in order of importance. Plan ahead, install as time and money allows.

Many people start with alarm first. Elk and HAI offer security controllers that offer great home automation capabilities. With them, you can control lights and HVAC, and a bunch of other stuff. If you pick the right lighting control system, you'll also be able to control it with the remote control.

I suggest Harmony for the TV remote. Will take a while to learn the intricacies of IR programming - the Harmony is very simple to program and will be ready to go in 30 minutes. You can do some more advanced programming with the Harmony, once you get into it.

Lots of lighting and other HA discussions at cocoontech.com forums.

Harmony has a forum, and lots of RC discussions at remotecentral.com.

Serial and IP control are advanced topics that you can pursue, do some research.

The Elk M1 system might be a good option. Elk and HAI subforums at cocoontech.

Edit - you had better enjoy the process, or you won't get far.
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