Newbie Hardware Selection

I figured I would post my plans for my smart home adventure before i dive in and start committing to certain tech. Brand new to home automation but I have been in industrial automation for 10 years now. The one thing I learned quickly and often is make the investment up front. Switching out cheap stuff that breaks or having to have a full time engineer just to keep a machine running doesn’t actually solve any problems.

With that being said, I figured I would post some of what i’ve gathered so far in my research and see if anyone has any suggestions or cautionary tales. I’m sure it will benefit me and other greatly who are just starting to dive in as well.

There are a few things I have already that I will point out but I am certainly not opposed to swapping stuff before i start up.

I was planning on going with Lutron Casettas for my light switches. I will probably do this in the main rooms first and add as I go, keeping in mind I may need to add some in places just to help build a stronger mesh. Eventually I would plan on switching them all out. This seems to be the go to for most people on here. The only downsides I would see is cost, especially because you need the bridge and the fact that it is a separate mesh and wont help out my zwave stuff. My home is about 2300sqft. I am still a little bit on the fence only because I would be concerned about the strength of the zwave/zigbee meshes. The consistency you get from the shorter frequency of them strikes me as a huge positive but will I be sacrificing reliability of the other mesh networks…. :thinking:?

For outlets Zooz seems to be the leader. I see a lot of wifi options but not a ton, other than Zooz, that seem reputable. I was going to use these for appliances, any outlets that have things plugged in that i would typically leave plugged in and my washer machine to let me know when the cycle has finished.

For Security I already have a Ring doorbell and ring security system with a motion sensor and door/window sensors. It seems like Ring is better than eufy with integrating into IFTTT which I would be more concerned with then getting out of the subscription fee. The thing I am not sure about is with Ring’s sensors, would i be able to use them for other things like turning on the lights? Also, would I be able to use different door sensors with the ring as well? I assume I could, at the very least, use a work around like “if this sensor trips then trip this sensor also”. So even if the ring doesn’t like it, it will think it’s own sensor tripped and i can still use the few that the system came with.

I was planning on using 2 ring flood lights as well since I am already using the ring doorbell but if it makes no difference I would certainly look at a better option.

Door lock I was planning to get a Yale assure lock. This one seemed to be highly praised on here as well. I saw a lot of people having issues with the kwikset stuff. Open to anything in this department.

Zooz 4 in 1 sensors seems like a good bet as well. I would like to use them to turn lights on but put a limit on it so if it is bright enough it will disable the auto on for the light switches. I saw someone else on here that did something similar.

I havent picked any door/window sensors yet, besides the ones I have with the ring, but like i stated i think it might be advantageous to use all different motion/door switches and just trip the alarm with those so I can use them with other automations as well. Any thoughts on this dilemma would be appreciated.

I am probably going to get a kaiterra laser egg too. I plan on using the zooz power switch to control a large air filtration unit on the first floor and a smaller one on the second floor. This one is mainly for my wife who has allergies and also how i got her to agree to me blowing all this money on a new expensive hobby so this one is a must. But, again, open to different solutions.

Lastly, I was going to go with an ecobee for my thermostat. I assume this would run nicely with the zooz 4 in 1 sensors for temp and could avoid getting dedicated ecobee temp sensors? Similar predicament to the ring issue. I was going to pair this off with a Sense energy monitor and Aquanta water heater monitor to have 3 machine learning devices for all power/water/heat/hvac etc.

So far this is the extent of my plans but any advice or considerations before jumping in would be fanatic. Currently i have about 4 weeks before I would get started since I am remodeling the first floor. I plan on doing one thing at a time so i don’t overwhelm myself off the rip.

So the current plan outlined:

Light switches: Lutron cassetta

Power and outlet switches: Zooz

Motion sensors: Zooz/ring?

temp sensors: Zooz/ecobee?

Window/door security: Zooz/Ring?

Outdoor security cameras/lights- Ring

Video door bell and security system: Ring

Smart locks: yale assure

Smart thermostat: ecobee

Energy management: sense

Water managment: aquanta

Air managment: kaiterra

Caseta is a really great solution for smart lighting, well worth the price premium, and as long as the design doesn’t bother you (or your wife). Even if you plan to use other zigbee and z-wave devices, you shouldn’t have too much trouble establishing effective meshes for both if you’re thoughtful with your device deployments.

A point about ClearConnect, the Lutron protocol that Caseta uses. It’s not a mesh network, technically. I believe it’s a star topology, like wifi.

Each Caseta device communicates directly with the bridge, and most likely that won’t be an issue for you. Lutron does have a couple solutions for adding a repeater device to a caseta network if it turns out to be needed, though.

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Good to know Lutron isn’t a mesh! I’ll keep in mind that i may need repeaters in areas that are far from the bridge.

In typical Lutron fashion, even the repeater feature of a caseta network is over-engineered.

See this spec sheet.

It’s possible to add one dedicated repeater device to a caseta network. But the same network can also be extended with one caseta plug-in dimmer. So overall you can get extension on two sides of a centrally located bridge, if absolutely needed.

How’d they come up with that? :man_shrugging:

Hard to argue with success though :sunglasses:.

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Download the Hubitat app