We're doing an extension and back to brick refurb on a Victorian terrace property in the UK. The exended property covers c. 170sqm over 3 floors: Ground Floor 80sqm + 30sqm garden; 1st Floor 65sqm; Loft 45sqm. It now includes a fair few steel beams.
We've decided to go all in on home automation but out of consideration for costs, a desire to retain control and future adaptability and to enable an incremental approach, we have decided on a DIY home automation approach rather than using a professionally installed system the likes of Loxone, Control4, KNX, Crestron, Lutron etc.
As an IT project delivery professional with a (long long ago) engineering degree and a background in Enterprise Java development, I am broadly technical but very rusty when it comes to programming and cannot afford to spend all my time fiddling with the home automation systems. HE seems to offer a good range on the capability-simplicity spectrum. I've been reading lots but the rubber is about to hit the road and input from those with practical, UK-specific experience - recommendations/observations on compatible products, compatibility gotchas, drivers and integrations etc. - would be much appreciated. Items marked with an asterisk* are already bought/committed.
For those interested I'll post specific questions and/or solutions on related topics as I work through the integrations and select devices for TBCs over the next few months.
General Networking, Control and Integration
- Voice Control - Google Assistant*
- Integrated Home Automation - Hubitat Elevation C7*
- Lighting Integration - Hue Bridge*
- io-homecontrol Integration - Velux KLF200* - integration of io-homecontrol protocol devices via API
- WiFi and ethernet network - Google Nest WiFi Routers* x 2 (1 primary), Google Nest WiFi Points* x 3, unmanaged Ethernet switch
- Zigbee Network Robustness - IKEA Tradfri Repeaters
- Preferred Protocols - Zigbee 3.0
- Perferred Aesthics for Physical Controls Etc. - Minimal visible tech, traditional looking switches, faceplates etc.
- Remotes/Scene Selectors - TBC - Potentially Lutron Pico Remotes with RA2 Select Main Processor but on the basis of cost, will probably try a Zigbee 3.0 option first.
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status, proximity and presence aware mode, scene, schedule and lux based lighting control. All lighting will be smart controllable All switch points will be installed with neutral wires available at the switch and extra-deep plastic back boxes will be used to provide space for smart relays. Smart lighting circuits will follow one of two patterns which enable a level of resilience for the lighting in the event of issues with the automation hub and relatively easy future conversion to more conventional non-smart configurations if needed for resale:
Smart Switched Circuits, comprising:
- Smart Switch: Zigbee 3.0 smart trailing edge dimmer modules with 2-way physical retractive switches
- Non-Smart Load: Dimmable mains voltage LED fittings (Generally E27 or GU10) in standard fixtures or dimmable low voltage LEDs in fixtures with integrated low voltage drivers
Remote Controlled Smart Lighting Circuits
- Zigbee smart 2-way switch modules with 2-way physical retractive switches, wired in parallel on the circuit so it is powered by, but not controlling, the circuit.
- Mains powered LED Zigbee smart bulbs (Generally E27 - TBC or GU10 - Gledopto or Ajax)
- Non-Smart mains powered LED fixtures, fitted with a smart switch at the light fitting
- Low voltage LED cabinet lights with mains powered Zigbee smart drivers - Ikea TBC
- Low voltage LED strip lights with Zigbee smart controller and separate low voltage (12-24V) power supply - LED Strip controllers - Gledopto or Ajax, LED Strips - TBC
Prospective Integration/Automation: Scene based integration of lighting, AV and shading
- Retractable Projector Screen: TBC - Somfy motor equiped TBC projector screen
- Projector Lift: TBC - Somfy motor equiped TBC projector lift
- Music: Sonos with Spotify*
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status aware mode, scene, schedule, weather, lux and temperature based opening and closing. Integration with entertainment system operation.
- Velux blinds and awnings
- Somfy motor equiped garden awning
Zigbee 3.0 devices
- Was considering Zemismart for much of the below but they seem to be discontinuing their relevant Zigbee products. Ajax may be an option, though slightly pricier. Ruled out Lutron and Somfy products for now based on cost.
- Curtain Rails - TBC
- Blackout Blinds - TBC
- Venetian Blinds - TBC
Climate Control, Heating and Cooling
Prospective Integration/Automation: Whilst fairly smart and connected via WiFi, these systems are fairly self contained and I don't think there is much chance of integrating to leverage sensor or status information for example but I hope to integrate Away/At Home status switching at least.
- MVHR, Radiant Panels, Heating and Cooling Distribution and Controls - Radiana* heating and cooling distribution system with zone sensors and control
- Air Source Heat Pump - Samsung
- Domestic Hot Water - Mixergy
Tile and Towel Warming
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status aware schedule (e.g. wake-up time, bed-time), event (movement) and manually triggered anticipation of bathroom usage. Timer and/or humidity based shut-off.
- Electric UFH Thermostat - For warming the tiles in bathrooms and drying the floor only, to be controlled with a dedicated smart thermostat with floor temperature sensor. - Moes White ZigBee Smart Thermostat Programmable Temperature Controller For Electric Floor Heating (BHT-002-GBLZBW)
- Electric towel radiators - for towel warming only rather than space heating, controlled by a wireless smart switch which can also be operated using a local physical switch - Zigbee 3.0 1-Way Relay Module - TBC
Self Closing Fire Door Hold Open & Release
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status, schedule (bedtime), event (alarm state) and manually triggered closure of fire doors. A Grade D, Category LD2 fire safety system will be installed with all alarms interlinked on a physical 9V interconnect circuit. There will be a relay on the 9V interconnect circuit controlling power to a separate mains powered circuit for hold open devices on the self-closing fire doors. The power to this circuit will be cut in the event of the interconnect circuit activating. The hold open devices will also be individually controlled by Zigbee 3.0 1-way smart relays which can also be operated using a local physical switch which will toggle the circuit latched open or closed.
- Zigbee 3.0 1-Way Relay - TBC
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status based and leak based shut-off, remote control of mains water and potentially in the future, plant watering
Motorised Mains Shut-Off - Standard motorised normally open ball valve controlled by a 2-way Zigbee 3.0 smart relay TBC with a local 2-way physical retractive switch.
Leak Sensors - Zigbee 3.0 TBC
Prospective Integration/Automation: Away status aware schedule and manual remote control heating of sauna. Overheat and open door protection. Shut-off when no movement in sauna for defined period. Whilst fairly smart and connected via WiFi, this system is fairly self contained and I don't think there is much chance of integrating.
- Controller - Huum WiFi Controller.
Prospective Integration/Automation: Room presence and Away-At Home status aware scheduled and event based triggering of cleaning. Integration will probably need to be via smart assistant.
- Vacuum - iRobot S9 Plus*, iRobot i3 Plus
- Mop - iRobot Brava M6*
Prospective Integration/Automation: Room presence, proximity, Away-At Home status and schedule based lock/unlock; remote unlock; guest access control including schedule, notification and 'switching on' the house etc.
- Door Bell - Google Nest Hello* smart door bell.
- Door Lock Night Latch - Keyless Connected Smart Lock-Polished Brass Yale YD-01-CON-NOMOD-PB + Module TBC. They don't seem to have a Zigbee module in the UK. May have to go with the Z-Wave module.
- Door Lock Deadbolt - TBC
Prospective Integration/Automation: Presence, event and environmental status triggering of automations
- Motion Sensors - TBC - probably Hue Motion Sensor
- Lux Sensors - TBC - probably Hue Motion Sensor
- Door/Window Sensors - TBC Zigbee 3.0
- Temperature Sensors - TBC Zigbee 3.0
- Humidity Sensors - TBC Zigbee 3.0