Anyone doing home automation for a living?

As the title says, does anyone do this for a living?

What are the typical installs you do? Are you a licensed electrician/low voltage? Or do you mainly stick with easier plug and play type stuff?

Just curious, are you looking to get into the industry?

I do it professionally but for commercial system and clients. It can't do the crazy things that HE can and it's mostly for lighting/ switches/ presence detection and battery testing/ monitoring. All on the basis of energy saving and comfort. And most we get RGB and circadian rhythm, sometimes BMS integration.

As we are now owned by Legrand they have a domestic system, so the future should be more interesting in home automation. I would love to do in homes professionally but currently it's just on the side for anyone who asks.

BTW I'm a qualified electrician aswell, but my title is now "Specialist Lighting Controls Project Commissioning Engineer"

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Possibly. There is one or two companies where I am locally that does doorbell installations and a few other very basic "smart home" installations.

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I am doing it as a side project from my main enterprise work (consulting/software dev/project mgmnt).

Got into it when we renovated our house and the builder liked the automation stuff I was installing. Brought me in to help with his customers.

Currently working on 2 projects - a new build and a major renovation. It's been fun and I've made a lot of contacts in town. Has kept me busy while the enterprise work has slowed down. Also has allowed me to buy more stuff to "test". The issue is getting paid enough to be worth it - I am not so sure it is long term without changing my model.


Wired/wireless or both?

I assume you mean powered/battery? Everything operates wirelessly at some level - except for A/V stuff which I prefer hard-wired.

For my current reno project - C-7 + zooz & GE toggle switches throughout the house. Will be incorporating some other devices as well including water shutoff valve, motion detectors + whatever client wants after discovering the joys of automation.

Other systems include Nest thermos and smokes, Ring doorbell & floodlight cams and Sonos for audio. Also on the table is potentially the Ring Security system if the client wants to go there.

I am taking a "layered systems" approach with this...


It's one thing to install your own system using HE / smartthings etc, but from what I can see these systems aren't ready for prime time in a customer installation, the amount of post install support you'd have to provide would be a nightmare IMO.


Yes it is a calculated risk. However I feel comfortable enough with the types of tech I am incorporating that I can handle most issues. I am also not trying to do anything crazy just simple rules. I also made sure the client was aware of potential pitfalls well in advance. For the most part rules like exterior lights on/off sunset/sunrise etc. - no Garage door open/closing or anything like that.

And challenging since remote access to HE is minimal. So now you also need to manage their network for them so you can setup a vpn tunnel.


Don't doubt it, but if ppl's systems are like mine there will be some glitch/slowdown/non firing rule every now and then which as tinkerers and hobbyists we take in our stride, but a paying customer expects things to just work, hence my comment :grinning:

I used to install a commercial building automation system. It was mostly chiller/boiler plant control. But we did the occasional lighting and access controls project. Everything was wired to controllers and controllers had RS485 or ethernet

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Yep that is a concern and expectations have to be set up front.

In this case the client has no idea of what he wants - which is the case in most of my installs. I have some simple baseline rules and a dashboard that go along with an initial install. These are known working things that I have a high confidence in.


What a coincidence! I also recently got a new title - I'm a Specialist Domesticated Canine Sustainability Engineer. :wink: What do I need to do to get the "Comissioning" part added? I really like how that sounds...


:rofl: i don't think your dog will appreciate it, it involves a dongle :rofl:. It's a crazy title because no one really knows what we do, so that's what they call it. My wife has no idea what to say when they ask her what i do :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

LOL...I feel your pain. I worked in Fortune 500 consulting (Accenture, previously Andersen Consulting, born from Arthur Andersen Big 8 accounting firm) and then had a somewhat focused/specialized role at major consumer electronics company. My wife and family were always completely confused about what I did. (Have to admit, there were times I was a little confused myself.) :slight_smile:

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