Help starting out with a new system

Hello :slight_smile:

I'm doing a renovation with new electric wiring done by an electrician and would like to ask you guys for suggestions for the setup.

I read a lot about Hubitat and I think I'm going for this hub, also after seeing the active/helpful community here :slight_smile:

I'm planning on having the following functions:

Lighting:
2 ceiling lights in the living room, two ceiling lights and a light strip in the kitchen, 3 in the corridor, light strip and ceiling light in the bathroom and 2 lights on the terrace.
I'm planning to have lights which can function as a warm and a cold light (during the night/day). One ceiling light in the living room should also have a colors option.
I want to be able to control the lights per voice command (I currently have an echo/Alexa, but I'm planning to get Google home devices for several rooms), including on/off but also light intensity, color, and warm/cold settings. It would be nice to have a "movie mode", morning/day mode and a night mode for the entire lighting.
I'm thinking I need smart switches to avoid manually turning of the lights and not being able to turn them on again with voice command.
I heard somewhere that Google Home would identify which room you're in so the simple voice command "turn lights on" would only work in the same room.
The lights should automatically turn on with the "warm" setting at night (when using the wall switch).
I also want a routine which can turn off all lights at night (which I figure is easy to do with Alexa/Google).

Blinds:
I'm installing electric (outside) blinds in the bedroom (overall: 3 motors and 3 separate up/down switches), which I plan on controlling using a Shelly-like device behind the wall switch and voice command with Google Home/Alexa. Would you recommend this kind of device or just getting smart switches for the blinds? They're not installed yet.

Heating:
I want to install the tado system (or a similar EU heating control system) for my gas heating, so that I could have temperature control in the living room and two bedrooms).

Audio:
Audio setup in the living room with multiple speakers, but also two speaker cables going to the terrasse. Is there a way to have music played only using the terrasse speakers and not the ones inside using voice command? Also, does Google Home also support the "party" feature where you could have the same music playing on all (echo) devices throughout the house?

There's so much information and it's getting pretty confusing. I'm looking for cost effective and reliable solutions. I live in the EU.

I'm hoping to plan this right, so I'd take any advice you can give for the right setup. I'm not really thinking of adding way more complicated features in the future - maybe a motion sensor on the terrace.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Just really basic rules are use plastic fast fix boxes everywhere, try to avoid metal "knock out boxes" ensure 35mm minimum depth. 47mm is the ideal (gives you options).

Ensure the wiring is "loop to switch" and do that to all switch locations. So live and neutral at each point then switch lines from there. Wire 2 way and intermediate "conventionally" using triple and earth to the other switches. This enables you to then use conventual switches (if you need to) but also a push to make or center off retractive switch (best for dimming).

Use ZigBee devices where possible, they are much less hassle than z-wave.

Wire data wiring to all rooms, for hard wired internet at least 2 point's. Wire data cable zones to each room, then from this point take cable to doors and windows. Wire the zones back to konnected and you can connect temperature sensors to one of the cores. Wire cabling to each room ceiling for a presence sensor, there are 12 v or mains ZigBee detectors coming soon so wiring a cable ready back to a security PSU would be perfect.

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I'm sorry, but I didn't really get that. I sadly know very little about electric wiring. I also didn't get much googling "loop to switch". ELI5? :slight_smile:

You didn't need to, it was what your need to tell your sparky. They will know what it means :slightly_smiling_face: ( coming from a sparkly).

It just means take the feed in and out to the switch. Rather than to a junction box or 3plate loop at the light.

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If Lutron Caseta switches are available in the EU, you might consider them. Many of us here long ago switched from zwave or zigbee wall dimmers to Lutron Caseta. They require their own hub, and it must be the PRO series hub, not the regular hub. The integration with HE is excellent and the switches themselves are rock solid.

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What about Philips Hue switches and hub? Can I use those instead?

don't waste your money on them, if you already had them then maybe but don't start there what ever you do. Best ZigBee lamps I have found so far are Ajax or Innr they are ZigBee 3.0 and I wouldn't buy anything less than ZigBee 3.0.

Although Hubitat don't support all the additional features of 3.0 yet, they A will fall back and do everything that Philips will do at a 1/3 of the price and B some of the additional features you can use now if you plan it well. Philips is old tech and were never "great" only not bad.

For even better stuff at really great prices but you have to jump through some hoops its sunricher there are loads of 3rd party sellers of this and its supported by Hubitat.

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I do not know if Lutron Caseta switches and dimmers are available where you live, but if the are, they are great devices. They operate on a different frequency than Z-wave, Zigbee, and WiFI, and have great range and reliability. You will need the Caseta Pro hub. I used a older non-pro Lutron hub with Smartthings, so I had to upgrade to the Pro2 hub when I changed to Hubit.

I also agree with the advice to avoid Hue bulbs and dimmers. I started with eight Hue bulbs as part of my overall lighting. I have since converted three of them over to Lutron Caseta dimmers. The only Hue bulbs that remain are in single-bulb lamps that plug directly into a wall socket. Using the Hue bulbs was less expensive than purchasing a Lutron plug-in dimmer. However for floor lamps that have multiple bulbs, I am using Lutron dimmer plugs as using multiple Hue bulbs in a lamp fixture gets expensive. When I started with home automation, there were not many options, so I chose Hue. Today, there are plenty of options for Zigbee, Z-wave and WiFi bulbs that do not require an extra hub.

Thus, use Lutron Caseta devices if you can.

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@BorrisTheCat just a passing thought. Are you in the UK. There doesn't seem to be an aweful lot of ZigBee products over here. For anyone in the UK, any pointers on reliable well priced devices. (Not overpriced Phillips) Currently I have. Aldi bulbs, IKEA bulbs, IKEA outlets, IKEA blinds. Xiaomi door sensors, xiaomi motion sensors, xiaomi buttons, xiaomi double switches (battery ones) Smartthings multi sensors, outlets and motion sensors. Any advice will be well received :slight_smile:

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yes :slight_smile:

it depends on what your looking for, most things are but sometimes you have to know where to looks for odd things.

not sure on the aldi stuff but the IKEA stuff is a create price and good stuff the only "problem" is their RGB stuff doesn't uses standard mapping so the built in drivers don't work yet with them (they use XY rather than hue/ sat) there are some community driver that I believe work though. I have the RGBW strip and 2 RGBW GU10s a socket and the extension socket for the price I have been impressed with them. I just go Ajax for the GU10s though, only for the ease of the standard mapping.

never tried these as heard some bad story's about the none standard profile they use.

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Thank you all for the tips.
Any advice on products I could easily get in Germany?
I need to find the right combination of RGB lights and smart switches. The function I'm aiming to achieve at the end is using the switch and having different lighting settings (warm/cold/intensity) in different times of day.

Cheers @BorrisTheCat I've only been a Smart home user for 2 years now and migrated from ST using Webcore to HE. Understandably HE is exceptional compared to ST but it just feels like all of the good tech is in the US. That said, I'm happy so far with my outfit in the UK. I'm not a techy and have a plumbing background so you can understand my inexperience. However, I think I'm doing well despite the lack of support. (I.e. I'm the only smarthome user in the village ha ha)
Just to give some context regards the xiaomi aqara gear. I used this with ST and took a chance with HE. To date, I've had no issues whatsoever with my mesh. From reading the community, it really does feel like it's a lottery with xiaomi aqara....as for the Aldi Livarnolux range, I saw a review from @PaulHibbert and gave their gear a stab. The price is remarkably cheap and I've had no issues with the bulbs and 3 way extensions dropping off the mesh. Granted the dimmer levels at 1% are brighter than Vegas but can I argue when the price point was cheap as chips. Thanks for your input and help to date, it's certainly keepimg the WAF at a desirable level :+1:

look at the links I posted before.

This is what I do/ have. It can be done with motion AND/OR with switches in Hubitat. There is some new devices coming from Sunricher which will take 230v input then give 4 inputs SR-ZG2833PAC-C4. you would use this to control the smart lamps using push to make or centre off retractive switches.

They also do touch scene plates.

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The Innr products are looking good. Thank you.
What switches would you recommend? I guess "smart" switches which wouldn't render my voice commands useless when turned off would be better.

Yes you have to have smart switches but they don't have to be battery powered separate buttons you can make your normal looking switches smart (that's what that input does). Or you can get switches that look smart like the touch scene plate. With both if you get the right stuff (tested it on innr lamps and the sunricher scene plate and it worked) you can use find and bind, this is a ZigBee 3.0 feature. Official it's not supported but because it's a ZigBee 3.0 feature it works anyway between 2 supporting ZigBee 3.0 devices. It enables you to join the devices to HE then you join the devices to each other, this means even if the hub failed the light would still be paired to the scene plate and would work. It also allows the scene plate to send inputs to HE to do more complex things then the same for the lamp.

This will be the same for the input unit but I haven't figured that out yet.

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