Home Automation Project

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  • chrisjcbt
    • Jun 2017
    • 1

    Home Automation Project

    Hi there,

    I’m looking for some guidance from this forum. We’re in the ‘lucky’ position of having to do some major refurb work to our house, including new wiring and plastering. As a result I’m going to take advantage of it and have home automation installed. I’ve read feedback on this forum stating I should start with my goals, rather than the technology - so here goes:
    1. Internal rooms need movement and light sensors in each room, along with Ambience bulbs (not a colour fan). This will allow lighting scenes to be triggered based on time of day / light levels and/or movement

    2. Internal rooms still need a dimmer so that people can ON/OFF and Dim lights using a physical interface (it’ll also allow me to use Amazon Echo Dots in many rooms to trigger the same actions)

    3. Driveway lighting - supporting geo-fencing, and ability to trigger using Movement

    4. Garden lighting - supporting UK power Socket On/Off - also allowing me to use Amazon Alexa to trigger on/off

    5. Distribution of TV Signal distribution using CAT wiring we’ll have installed, I also already have Logitech Harmony for multi-device control (I’ll likely also use this for triggering the garden lighting as well [above]).

    6. Use our existing Songs platform for multi-room audio.

    7. Use the same CAT5/6 wiring platform to have networking points installed in all interior rooms next to power sockets, which I’ll use for Sonos/Wifi Access Points and internal cameras for Home Security

    So with that laid out, onto my questions...

    1. I’m thinking of driving this all through SmartThings Hub 2, the house is a pretty standard 4 bed house, does anyone have SmartThings running at this scale?

    2. Am I mad even thinking of using Smart Things for this?!

    3. Local Execution, this is my major concern. I cannot have lighting switches which don’t work if the internet is out. Do you have any advice on lighting switches along with Hue bulb setups which support local execution?​

    Kind regards,
  • jimboban
    Automated Home Lurker
    • Jun 2017
    • 2

    Hi Chris

    I see no-one has replied to your post - I've just put something similar up in the projects section.

    Very interested in the answers to your questions - I too had wondered whether the Amazon toys might have some uses for this kind of project

    Will keep an eye on your post - maybe you'll get a reply soon!




    • neal2000uk
      Automated Home Lurker
      • May 2017
      • 3

      Hi Chris
      Sorry this isn't a direct rely to your question, but am intrigued in your post as I am thinking of doing pretty much exactly what you're doing soon as renovating my place soon. Interested to see how you get on as I was also looking at smart things to control everything.


      • Kelly
        Automated Home Lurker
        • Oct 2017
        • 2

        Did you carry out this project would be interested to hear how you did it and any problems you faced


        • guyank
          Automated Home Sr Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 73


          Sorry for replying to this so late. I have SmartThings doing a few of things you've asked about.

          For lighting I use Fibaro modules. These are installed behind the switches and allow the switch still to be used as they detect the change i the switch as well as use Z-Wave. Different number of click set 'scenes' which then trigger other lights. For example, in the lounge where I have a Dimmer 2 installed, a single down click of the 2-way momentary switch sets the overhead light to full brightness, triggers the Philips Hue lamps to a bright white light and sets the LED strip in the inglenook fireplace to full brightness (I can't get this to change colour reliably). A double down click leaves the overhead light off and has the Philips Hue lamps at high brightness but a warm colour with the fireplace at a relatively high brightness. A triple up click turns it all down low for watching movies. Using Evohome, the room is normally heated to 18C, but if a lighting scene is set, or any Harmony activities are active, then it boosts the temp to 20C as that's the trigger that we're in there. I din't want to go for motion sensors as I thought we may be too still to be detected when we're watching TV. The heating in the house is scheduled to turn down at 2200, but if any lighting scenes are set in the lounge, then a number of the rooms stay at the same temp until the lights are turned off, which is done with a single up click.

          The bathroom uses a motion sensor to turn on the lights using another Dimmer 2 module so that if the children get up to use the toilet in the night, the lights come on.

          The porch light comes on at sunset until 2200 and on again at 0615 until sunrise (Fibaro Dimmer 2).

          The driveway lighting comes on for 5 minutes when our mobiles phones approach or the back door opens (Sensative Strip), or can be activated using another momentary switch (Dimmer 2). As we have young children, all the doors announce when they are opened using the Sonos.

          When family come to visit, this overrides the temperature setback in the spare room.

          A single Hikvision PoE camera covers the front of the house. It sends push notifications through SmartThings when we're at home and motion is detected. I've experimented with this motion detection turning on outside lights but couldn't make it reliable. I've now got a cheap Kindle Fire HD using ActionTiles that I'm going to wall mount and can be used for control, but also displays a permanent feed from the camera.

          There is lots more than I would like to do. In summary to your question above, with the exception of the distribution of TV, SmartThings could manage it all.