Building our first home - Smart-Home Lighting?

Discussion in 'Networking, Telephony & Internet' started by birdie, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. birdie

    birdie Member

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    My wife and I are in the early stages of investigating/planning our first home (building). Now one of the things I'd like to have some consideration for is the smart home lighting.

    As this is our first house we are sticking fairly run-of-the-mill house plan from the builder (4 bedroom, media room, double garage).

    Currently we are renting (obviously) and I have swapped a lot of the bulbs in our current place for Philips Hue lights (10x E27 bulbs and 2x B22 bulbs).

    Now it appears that most builders use LED down lights as the standard (well the one we are probably going to go with does), but Philips Hue downlight bulbs are far more expensive than the E27/B22 bulbs.

    So I'm wondering if it would be a sensible idea to ask the builder to use recessed E27 or B22 fittings and I can supply the bulbs. Or should I be looking at some other style of just smart switches?

    I want Apple HomeKit compatibility.
     
  2. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Smart switches IMO. If you go hue bulbs and someone (kids/guests) flicks the switch there goes you automation.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    birdie

    birdie Member

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    My main reservation for that is that as they date I’d need an electrician to change them when newer technology comes out. Also in 15-20 years when i come to sell it i think a standard switch would be more appropriate for the everyday Joe. Also not sure that I’ve seen a HomeKit compatible smart switch yet?

    We currently have the Philips Hue Dimmer Switches mounted right beside the the standard light switch. In our own home I can probably buy (or 3D print) a mount that the puts the Dimmer Switch over the top of the standard switch...
     
  4. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    I'm presently sitting in the Ikea camp, got some GU10 smart globes in a 5 x GU10 light bar for part of the upstairs dining room area.
    it has its own wall remote, cycling between warm, warm+cool blend, cool lighting and about 7 ? brightness levels.
    we've got some other globes throughout the hallway area, needed B22 to E27 adaptors to put them into the existing lamp shade.

    The remaining globes are controlled by the Ikea home app via a tradfri gateway, the range of the gateway is a bit shit, so your gateway needs to be central to your mesh of lights, the zigbee range extender isn't available in Australia either, so if you've got a big house, you're stuck with having to put in another globe, between the controller and the end light to provide connectivity.

    Someone turns off the light via the switch and you've likely lost the end bulb control.

    www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/categories/departments/home_electronics/36812/
     
  5. zero_velocity

    zero_velocity Member

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    I have the MyLights by advantage air (including the My Air integration to the AC and will be connecting items to the MyHome controller too).

    It is brilliant so far.

    https://www.advantageair.com.au/mylights/
     
  6. clonex

    clonex Member

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    Clipsals Cbus still cost an arm and a leg along with a kidney? eliminates atleast what lighting you have to use.

    Edit: what mylights worth and can you control lights on the move?
     
  7. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Yep, yep it does. I wouldn't touch CBUS nowadays.

    EDIT:

    In 15-20 years your house will need renovating. My current PPOR is 26 years old and it's on it's second reno.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  8. zero_velocity

    zero_velocity Member

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    Depends on what you get and how far you go.

    I spent about ~$2k on my system which has 4 rooms remote dimmable, 2 rooms remote switch. The MyLights has 'My mornings' in the master bedroom (set alarm, lights increase in brightness at wakeup to simulate sunrise) and MySunset - Porch and hallway lights automatically turn on at sunset.

    There's no strange switches or mechs to be used and the light switches work as if the system didnt exist. I have the crapsal Iconic range.

    The dimmable LEDs must be a special type from the manufacturer.
     
  9. clonex

    clonex Member

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    Can you turn lights/fans on/off randomly while on holidays?
     
  10. zero_velocity

    zero_velocity Member

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    You can remotely control whatever you hook up to the system from wherever you are - including the AC and other MyHome devices (pretty much anything that can be controlled by a relay - garage door, robotic blinds etc)
     
  11. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    I'm not doubting you but this sounds ridiculously cheap for CBus. When did you install?
     
  12. zero_velocity

    zero_velocity Member

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    Maybe because its not Cbus....

    Install date was a few months ago
     
  13. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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  14. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Sorry I confused your comment with clonex first comment.
     
  15. grrrr

    grrrr Member

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    +1 for smart wall switches.

    I also use home assistant on a raspberry pi but u don't need to.
    (And I hope to have a couple of ESPs working by the end of the weekend).
     
  16. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    I would still go smart switches, because even without automation they are still just a regular switch. So even if your automation goes down or the missus wants to just press a button you still have that option

    I’m looking at installing some of these soon

    https://www.3asmarthome.com/products

    Compatible with Home Assistant etc
     
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  17. Zee

    Zee Member

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    Smart Switch (Fibaro is a good start), but something like Lutron RA2 Select would be best.

    Ignore the Homekit/Alexa/Google bullshit - think about a solid lighting ecosystem first, then worry about integration with voice etc.

    All the big players will generally have ways to integrate with that stuff anyway.

    In order of preference, from about 25 years in the automation industry...

    Lutron (Homeworks QS is the full fat deal, RA2 Select is the budget option - both are beyond solid.)
    KNX
    Vantage
    C-bus
    Fibaro - FIbaro actually have specific Homekit modules, but seriously, go Z-wave, you'll have access to way more stuff (door locks, a bunch of various sensors, RGBW controllers, relays, switches, dimmers...).

    The End.

    Keep in mind, the likes of Lutron Radio RA2 Select and Fibaro (the only Z-Wave I can recommend) will wire up pretty much like a standard homes. Lutron QS, C-Bus, KNX and Vantage use dimming panels that are centrally located, with data cables then going to the wall plates (rather than 240v at the switch). Something to consider in advance.

    If you want more info, let me know. Anything else is a toy and will end in tears.

    Also, you need to test the light fittings before you commit to them - recently did a Dynalite job where the client insisted on using their fittings without testing. Lots of flashing and poor dimming. The electrician had to rip it all out and re-install different LED down lights - not cheap in a house with about 90 zones of lighting...

    Oh, and in the name of all that is golden and shiny, DO NOT LET the electrician design the lighting/switch layout. You'll end up with 10 billion buttons all over the place with no clue what they do.

    Z...
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  18. Zee

    Zee Member

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    This this this and this. If you can't go down the Lutron/C-Bus/KNX path, then this is absolutely a must. I've been called to so many horror shows where the builder and sparky believe that "the wifi/Z-Wave network NEVER goes down!"... So they end up with roller shutters on doors and windows that can only be activate through the app...

    Did not end well.

    Z...
     
  19. Zee

    Zee Member

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    Most of the systems let you do this - provided the programmer knows what he/she is doing.

    Z...
     
  20. TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    Zee has covered most of what I would add - as someone that's been retrofitting my house... dumb lights/devices, smart switches/plugs.

    Definitely consider the outage (system, internet, even power) situations, as well as guests.

    I haven't gotten around to it yet, but have some Aeotec Z-Wave dimmer/switch units that will go behind the existing light switches. They appear to support 'normal' light switches although I picked up some Clipsal pushbutton switches cheap so will be replacing the mechs and consolidating 2 circuits at the same time.

    Hue globes and lamps are pretty much for accent lighting only, and spotlights / party lights outside are just on various zigbee and z-wave plugs.

    Be aware it's a slippery, slippery slope. I started with a Hue set about 4 years ago... now have ~50 devices/sensors running out of hass.io, with more coming. Mostly sensors, and avoiding having to get new wall switches installed (eg for the fairy lights in the carport, the smart plug is up in the c-channel - but if they don't work suddenly, it's not critical).
     
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