Documenting a System

This is a Work In Progress documentation of my system setup.

Devices

Hubs

  1. Lights.
  2. Everything else.

Bulbs

  1. Installed
    1. CCT & RGB
      1. Group: Kitchen Sink
        1. GU10 x9 AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White
      2. Group: Entrance Hall
        1. B22 x3 AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White
      3. Guest WC
        1. B22 x1 AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White
  2. Purchased
    1. CCT & RGB
      1. >10x AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White B22
      2. >10x AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White GU10
      3. >10x AduroSmart ERIA Tunable Colour + Tunable White E14 Candle
    2. CCT
      1. Purchased: 4x Smarte Deckenleuchte Amela, 30 cm, white+ambiance

Routers

  1. 1x Aeotec Range Extender Zi

Apps

  1. Circadian Rhythm (06:00-19:00, 2200k-6500k)
    1. Group: Kitchen Sink
    2. Group: Entrance Hall
    3. Guest WC

Network Problems Overcome

  1. When more than one ZLL light was added to HE, messages would be lost or delivered with delay, it occurred randomly and consistently. Adding an Aeotec Range Extender Zi solved this problem.

Discoveries

  1. Cannot run a Samotech rotary dimmer direct without a bulb in the middle, it will cease to work.

ToDo Short Term

  1. Security system.
    1. Test Ring Keypad v2 & various open/closed sensors
  2. Switches.
    1. Replace traditional switches with key switch or hidden switch behind blanking plate to maintain old wiring and prevent bulbs being powered off.
    2. Add smart switches as an interim step and to judge aesthetics and practical use vs traditional mains wired switches.
    3. Test the Samotech rotary dimmer to see if it will report a level without load, expectation is that it won't based on a comment here.

ToDo Medium Term

  1. Switches
    1. Smart switches may be replaced due to battery maintenance, quality, mobility, look or feel compared to traditional wall switches.
    2. Idea: Wire traditional style 0/1-10v rotary switches to Z-Wave Fibaro RGBW Controller 2, which will give ON/OFF/Level control.
      1. Note: There is no driver for the 0/1-10v inputs, this driver will need to be ported to Hubitat.
    3. Idea: Wire traditional style retractive, push to make switches to [nearly any] Zigbee switch module which will give ON/OFF or Level control.
  2. Buy more HE hubs for a dedicated testing environment.
  3. Continue with retrofitting lights.
  4. Find a final resting place for HE such as a wall hung box in a room out of the way e.g repurpose the HKC alarm box in the guest WC.

ToDo Long Term

  1. Uninterruptible Power Supply for HE & modem/router.

To Figure Out

  1. Security System
    1. Existing system is an unsupported HKC installation with wired PIRs and wireless open/closed sensors. To get a supported system, an upgrade is needed, coming in just under ā‚¬4k, it would include 50 sensors mostly wireless and will require a monthly sub for around ā‚¬35. Company will change batteries when necessary, included in the subscription.
    2. After reading the comments here, I would hesitate to go with a wireless system. Due to costs, I will continue to test Z-Wave/Zigbee security devices with the goal of replacing the existing unsupported HKC system with a HE implementation.
    3. Should security devices be on a dedicated HE device like lights?
    4. The more HE devices, the more routers/repeaters will be necessary to extend the range, are there routers that support multiple networks?
  2. Hue Bridge
    1. 2x Hue Bridges were acquired due to lost messages when more than 1 ZLL light was added to HE, however, adding an Aeotec Range Extender Zi fixed all issues. Therefore, should I keep the Hue Bridges, are they going to provide any additional utility beyond native HE?
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I would recommend getting a dedicated, monitored, security system.

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I would also "second" the recommendation of @aaiyar to get a "dedicated, monitored, security system."
However, with one important caveat.
I suggest getting a security system that interacts well with Hubitat.
The ones that I have had experience with, and interact well:

  1. Ring (via the "unofficial" integration)
  2. DSC (via the Envisalink board)

There may be others that play nicely with Hubitat as well.
A key advantage is the ability (in Hubitat) to use all of the sensors that are put in for the security system. Another advantage is to use Hubitat devices to interface with the security system.
Together (Hubitat + dedicated security system) are much more powerful than each alone.

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I'm curious as to why you both feel this way. I called to get a quote for a dedicated system; and it ended up being around $2,200 plus $60 per month (Vivant). This was for a basic 7" screen, six contact sensors, four glass break sensors, one thermostat, two fire alarms, two motion sensors and two cameras.

I've installed almost double those devices for a little more than half the cost. I have set alerts via motion and contacts to alert me when anything is "tripped". I can then check in on any of the multiple cameras that get switched on; and see what is happening real time. If I see any evidence of an intruder, I can call the police.

What am I missing? Is it the piece of mind of having a professional installation? Is it that they monitor 24/7 so you don't have to? I'm genuinely curious.

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What if there is a delay or an issue with you getting these alerts? What if you're in a location or situation where you cannot check your cameras? Real time is not guaranteed.

At this point you're in trouble. If you have to wait to see an intruder before the police are called, you've given them enough time to do what they intend to do.

For me, yes, 100% especially for fire. Every level of my home has a professionally installed, hard wired smoke detector tied to the alarm system. My alarm system is fully hardwired. If power goes out, multiple batteries keep it running.

Yes. I can be out of town without having to worry about myself or another family member needing our cell phones 24/7 for alarm notifications. If the regular alarm or fire alarm is triggered, Central Station will immediately attempt to contact us at home. If we cannot be reached they will immediately contact the police and/or the fire department. They will also then attempt to contact us via cell phone, and then go through a list of authorized contacts for notification so that multiple people are made aware of the alarm having been triggered.

Lastly, home automation and Hubitat are a convenience and hobby for me. The peace of mind knowing that my home is professionally protected 24/7 is worth its weight in gold.

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It is a great idea to document.

I agree. A security system is a must.

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In addition to what @jkudave has said, IMO, a security system should minimally have hard-wired sensors that cover the perimeter - so door/window contact sensors. It should be monitored 24/7 by a central monitoring station. Ideally, it should also include hard-wired Smoke/CO sensors within the interior of the home.

For my needs, I don't care whether it integrates with Hubitat or not. I'm fine with having two contact sensors on some doors and windows.

From my perspective, automation is a nice optional thing to have. Security is essential. And I'm not okay with using battery powered wireless sensors for the latter.

Finally, systems like Hubitat come with a nice disclaimer that they should NOT be used as a security system (thanks for the correction @jkudave)

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The most important part of a burglar alarm system is the sign in the front yard.

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I think you meant to say should NOT be used as a security system. :smile:

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Friend of mine in the police used to say that's how criminals know which houses have the most good stuff. :wink:

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@jkudave Thanks for the response. I definitely see your points. But, the devil inside me has to keep picking a little more, if you don't mind.

Yes, I agree a completely hard-wired, battery backup, redundant security system is without question the most reliable; but also the most costly. What I was hoping to compare was the quote given to me by Vivant. Their entire system runs on WiFi (at least the one quoted to me). All sensors/contacts are wireless battery operated. If the installation crew is installing hard-wired; I imagine the cost will increase substantially.

That aside, the monitoring. If a burglar trips a contact sensor; my rule immediately sends me a text (among other things). Yes, it completely relies on power. If power is cut, I'm screwed. (until I get the UPS going). I'm notified within seconds of it happening, tho. I can assess myself, and decide if it was just a "ghost" or if it needs intervention. A monitoring company is going to get the notification; decide internally if it is a valid threat; make a phone call to the owner, wait for them to answer; inform them of a threat; wait for them to say they are not home; hang up, then call the police.

In all honesty, I think a thief would be "in and out" before police arrived regardless of which method is being used to monitor.

I'm not trying to advocate for hubitat over a professional security system. Obviously, professional is far better. I don't have super valuable stuff in my home (other than my kids); and if I ever leave, it's no more than 5 minutes away. I'm just trying to justify if the added expense is really worth the piece of mind; or if what I have will suffice.

EDIT:
One thing I forgot to mention was the delay. Yes, if I'm delayed it could affect the timing. I have only tested around the house and things are instant. I'm guessing it might not be so instant if I'm in a different state.

And yet INCREASINGLY you can read about a BOATLOAD of things that people are automating with HE that, if not constructed with adequate fail-safe and accommodation for the unexpected, could cause a whole HEAP of problems in a home/garage etc.

The emphasis on "not be used as a security system" at this point seems to ignore a much broader spectrum of use case risk that is welling up...wherein the likelihood of trouble is probably greater than any failings in the "home security" categorization per se.

Just sayin.


By the way, I have battery operated Visonic security sensors that have been rock solid on the same battery for YEARS, and...when they start to get low and communication is dicey/lost the system actually notifies you (how novel) and the monitoring station if desired . Companies that make wireless security systems wouldn't have the certifications they've gotten if these systems weren't pretty well refined and reliable by now. Granted jamming is a risk, but some companies have even built in mechanisms to recognize that.

@joshlobe

The one thing I will say, when you approach these type of systems with a Security mindset it forces you to take a belt & suspenders HEAVILY TESTED & CERTIFIED approach. There are things folk tolerate in the HE environment that just wouldn't be accepted in the Security world. Not that you couldn't achieve a whole heck of a lot in the direction you are speaking of.

And like I said in another post, I think barking about "the risk in using this as a Security monitoring platform" ain't barking up the whole tree of potential risks here; i.e. anytime you are dealing with electricity, motors, heat, water, and the unattended motion of things to name a few.

Buy a "real" alarm system from Alarmgrid or scrounge on eBay. Link to Hubitat via Konnected/Envisalink/IP. Self monitor with Surety (alarm.com) for less than $20/month.

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The $2200 price you listed above for a wireless Vivint system is a rip-off. This is going back over 15 years, but I paid just under that for a fully hardwired system. 2 floor house plus basement. Every window, 2 x exterior doors, sliding patio door, plus glass break sensors, siren, whole house temp sensor, keypads and panel were included. $60 per month for monitoring is also insanely high. I pay $33 per month for 24/7 central station monitoring.

I suggest looking into local installers, rather than something like Vivint, ADT, etc.

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Sure. That's very well said. I had an old job working as a subcontractor for a DARPA project. Talk about security... Sheesh.

While I understand I may lose power; thieves trip breakers; meteor falls from the sky and hits the house.... it seems for the cost, that the HE can provide at least SOME of the piece of mind.

Lol, I couldn't agree more. Perhaps if I argued. But I wasn't ready to pursue; just getting quotes. The others did come in less (admittedly, I picked the highest one for the sake of my argument).

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So let me ask this; do you feel police would arrive to your location before the thieves leave? Is that a roll of the dice? Is the idea to try to get as much "video" evidence as possible?

Iā€™m sure it would depend on the information the dispatcher receives and from whom.

Intruder confirmed on video, or just a contact/motion sensor going off?

Is the house currently occupied? Does the intruder have a visible weapon?

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