Decisions, decisions!

Hi all,

I’ve just purchased a 1950s house which we’re stripping back to the walls and working our way from there.

It needs a rewire so we’re currently gathering quotes for that, but I’m stuck with which direction to take for anything home automation related decisions. In a good position as currently we don’t need to move in so have 3 months to get the house ‘liveable’

I was toying with the idea of the Loxone system as a friend has this and recommends - I’m just put off by cost and whether if it fails it could be an expensive one to replace, with no fallback option. So it would be light switches wired by Cat6 to the Loxone, or a standard switch and Cat6 wired but not attached for future reference.

Another option I stumbled across from the ST forums was Hubitat, it seems to tick a lot of the boxes and I think I’m in a good position with the rewire to mould the house to that system where needed.

But, where to start!

In short, I’d like the following to be connected/automated from the start:

  • Lights (for this I’m thinking of just standard circuits but smart switches)
  • Heating/Thermostat (like the nest look but unsure of the open future/compatibility) would like to control separate rads
  • CCTV (will be using Unifi G3)
  • Burglar alarm (looked at Yale Sync for ease)
  • Doorbell (like the ring but unsure of the open future for compatibility)
  • Music (currently own a few Sonos speakers)

The house is a shell currently so without living there for a while I’m unsure what else to start with. But a bit further down the line I’d be looking at sensors for rooms, doors, windows etc.

Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on the above? I’ve been looking at the Fibaro stuff on Vesternet which I like the look of, but any other help or ideas would be appreciated. TIA!

Go for it...

Hi and welcome to the forum.
The first thing I would suggest, as you are re-wiring the house, is to put in nice deep pattress boxes. 45mm if you can.
Also, if it's viable, run a neutral to each light switch.
This way you can fit z-wave or zigbee devices that require a neutral. there are ones that do not require a neutral but if you have one then your choice of switches will increase.
Also if you have nice deep pattress boxes you can fit Fibaro or Aeotec dimmer modules behind the light switch which means you can select from a greater number of dumb or smart light switches.
This would be a must for me if I have the option as you have.
Just a starter.


I'm in the UK and converted my house.

I didn't like the idea of smart bulbs because I like to keep stuff standard looking, ie light switches. So I installed fibaro but Shelly wifi ones look very good. The electrician needs to install deep backboxes and I would run a neutral to the switch.

Heating wise I went with Evo home which is a nice system.

CCTV - Synology nas with Poe cameras but think I would go for unfi ones now.

WiFi - network - unifi is a great system so I would run some cat 6 to far ends of house.

Music - I use Sonos because I had some from old house.

Doorbell - went with a cheap netvue one which works well.

Thanks both for your swift replies, very useful.

Have you found any decent UK websites apart from Vesternet for buying HA stuff that you wouldn’t class as standard kit (Ikea/Hue etc)?

Another thing to consider is to buy switches/outlets that are good repeaters for z wave and zigbee. This will allow you to build a good strong mesh for both signalling types.
IKEA smart outlets are good repeaters.
Smart bulbs can be troublesome as repeaters and personally I don't like them as I prefer to turn switches on and off. With smart bulbs you have to leave them permanently powered. If you don't then they are not smart any more. :slight_smile:

I just tend to google for what I'm after and see what comes up.

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