Tips before building my automated home

Hi :slight_smile:
So I'm planning my home now and I chose Hubitat to be my hub (already ordered :slight_smile: ) .
Because the home is still under construction then I can now tell them to place more sockets, change wiring and everything so it will be easier later to build the automated system.

Edit: all devices are 220v supported.

My goals of the automated home:

  1. Turn on/off lights in all the "service" places - kitchen, restrooms, hallways, balcony, closet by motion
  2. Same for AC
  3. Allow to control all switched, blinds, ACs from wall mounted tablets around the home (each tablet show deferent options)
  4. Save power - turn lights and ACs when no one at home.
  5. smart lock and ring - be able to remotely monitor and control it.
  6. Security - know and record when some un wanted person is coming
  7. Routine - have some automated routines for morning, night, vacation, go out from home, entering home.
  8. Voice control - Allow to control lights, ACs, music, routines with voice.
  9. No battery replacement or very little

The devices I chose: (Matching the map below)
S1-S16: Fibaro switches (single, double and dimmer)
M1-M11: Aeotec 6 in 1 motion sensors (plugged with usb)
T1-T3: Kindle Fire tablets (mounted)
B1-B7: Fibaro Roller shutter
AC1-AC2: BroadLink rm's (one big and one mini)
Key: August Smart Lock

So till now is my plan, and because it is going to be costly and also that now I can do any change I want in my future house, I don't want to do some stupid mistake and mess it up.
here are my questions:

  1. Do you think the devices I chose are good and will integrate good with HE?
  2. Think the goals can be archive with the system described? or I missing something?
  3. Do you see any way to improve it? add anything to it?

Thanks and sorry for the long one :wink:
Here is the map:

I found the fibaro double Switch's to be completely unreliable when I used them, I would avoid like the plage
I have no issues with my fibaro dimmers (I have 12), single switch or aeotec multisensor 6.
My broadlink rm and rm pro do miss the odd command( one does my projector screen up/down and one does my dehumidifier on/off) so it's not a biggie for me.

Not sure where u are based but I needed 70mm back boxes to fit the fibaro's in ( with is a pain when u only have solid brick walls). You can wire your house so that they don't need to be in the back boxes.

You might want to add a third motion to M4 and M5 so u get a better response

In case you are interested in a replacement for the Fibaro Dimmers/Switches, I have been very happy with Inovelli’s switches and dimmers. Zooz’s also work quite well. Both allow you to update their firmware which can be useful.

The advantage of Inovelli over Zooz is that you have a lot of options to control their LED. The inconvenient is that they have had issues getting stock due to the current chip shortages.

I would use Lutron myself. They are rock solid haven't had 1 issue in 2 years.

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I agree! I should have also mentioned Lutron. They are rock solid and a good proportion of my dimmers are Lutron.

My only issues with them are:

  1. They will not turn on to the previous value - Either High with the top (1st) button or low with button 2.
  2. The switch’s LED cannot be controlled
  3. Some are not fond of their look, but I personally like them a lot (dimmers though, not switches…)

Question - which app did you make the map in?

I used lucidchart home plan to create the map

So there are many reviews on the Fibaro switch here.
So I'm considering to change to the lutron switches.
Is it compitable with 220v as well? Did not find any

I'm just going to throw this out there as a concept/premise to see what those more experienced say.

As an alternative focus to "getting all the switch/device selections 'right' at this stage" might it be more critical to get the grouping/room/area wiring & circuit/breaker layout designed in a manner that optimally lends itself to HA monitoring & control NO MATTER whose hardware you put in now or later.

I have wondered if HA mindful circuit layout might be somewhat contrary to what most architect / electricians would design if the focus was load balancing AND automation on equal footing... not as an afterthought. Our LED lighting loads have really reduced how loaded those lighting circuits are now. I wonder how much this has impacted segmentation at the design stage?

I have a similar project in my future where I'm not sure if screwing around with the vagaries of HA devices is wise when your garden variety electrician is in there focused on getting building inspector sign-off. Have things evolved enough to where this stuff doesn't cause questions?

Whereas...dealing with the push-back of "we don't run/wire circuits like that, or put that kind of protection on, (or whatever is more suited to an intelligent home) it's overkill/unnecessary" might be a more worthwhile use of focus at this stage.

Thoughts?

P.S. Like the drawing.

P.S.S. And details like THIS for example of expanding on the above:

Many more of these bits of wisdom ...beyond the "what brand do I use" ...are following in this thread you started !

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I had a few Fibaro switches/dimmers on my system.
A hub update several builds back basically made them unreliable.
I moved over to Qubino and have had no issues.
I think people are now having success with Fibaro's and there are some built in drivers for them now.
Bit of a tricky one.

PS. Make sure you have neutral wiring to all light switches as this then opens your choice up to neutral and non-neutral devices.

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While you're at it... run lots and lots of Ethernet! And don't forget to run some to the ceilings for those ceiling-mounted access points! And more for your IP cameras. And one to each TV location. And then some more just because the walls are open and you can.

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First thing I would do before you start is go get a psych evaluation, then maybe some good prescription "calming" drugs.. Maybe take a few meditation classes as well. Then I would take a long hard look at your financial resources and try and contemplate the rabbit hole you are about to plunge down into..

When you are ready we will be here for you - and at the very least provide a sympathetic ear and an understanding shoulder to cry on when things ultimately go pear shaped and your SO / Family / various pets want to murder you or worse.

:wink:

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If you're in Europe, I don't believe Lutron devices are readily available for the 'do it yourself' type of installation. Some of the higher end, professionally installed Lutron systems may be available though.

All of my switches /dimmers are Jasco Z-Wave plus. I have had no issues in the 1.5 years since I did my install. My motion / environmental sensors are ZigBee. I really like PunchCardPgmr's suggestion about paying close attention to the load distribution. I'll weigh in on the network cable suggestions. Use the best cable you can afford, cat6 or better at this point. Every room should get 1 to 2 outlet level drops and each TV should also get at least 1 if not 2. Plan for ceiling mounted wi-fi access points (even if you don't use them right away.

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Exciting. I wish I could have started my home automation journey before my house was built. There are several things that are very easy to do during construction, but very difficult to do after construction.

Here are some of the things I would make sure to have:

  1. A neutral at every light switch.
  2. Low voltage wiring to every window and door (including inside doors). You may not use this wiring for a contact sensor and instead go with a battery contact sensor, but if you ever want to go without a battery you know where to find the wire.
  3. Wiring to every window where you may want automated shades. Again you may go with battery operated shades, but if you ever decide to go with non-battery powered shades, you know where to find the wire.
  4. Lots of Ethernet cabling, especially determining where you have a high device load. For example, my basement tv/games room has a xbox360, xboxone, playstation, Marantz receiver, and a HTPC all on the same rack. I wish I would have run 6 cables to this location (meaning I would have one spare at the moment) as opposed to installing another switch at this location. Also if you ever think you might want to have outside security cameras, run Ethernet cables to these locations as well.
  5. Not sure what the smoke detector regulations are in europe, but here in Canada smoke detectors need to be mains powered and interconnected. Making sure you have access to this interconnect cable makes automation easy.
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It's becoming obvious that the low voltage and data cabling infrastructure will far surpass the number of mains power circuits.

Like with PEX plumbing I resist the idea (standard practice) of every single line having to be a "home run". I prefer the idea of layered distribution where there are accessible branch fittings.

Same goes for data, I'd prefer a hub and a power outlet in couple of centralized closets vs running EVERY single data (CATx) line back to a main wiring closet holding the rest of the guts of a Smart home.

I'm sure the outfits that specialize in powering low powered devices like LED lighting via POE have their own topology for this as well.

Of course by this point I think we are getting off what the OP came to ask. Hijack in progress here. Sorry, but it seemed relevant.

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Having built a house just a few years ago, I would agree.

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Not sure if this is the right thread, but I for one would be very interested in:

a) what points you had to keep driving to get things done a certain way
or...
b) what you gave up on, but you wish you wouldn't have in hindsight
and...
c) if you tried...what roadblocks or cost overrun/fear mongering was thrown at you in the process (and were they reasonable factors, code issues, or were they just exhibiting a resistance to change their process) ?

Thanks in advance.

One of the biggest things for me was Ethernet everywhere or plan on wifi coverage. I went with Ethernet everywhere. But WiFi 6 was not available at the time and probably would have saved me some coin.

Thanks everyone for the great answers.
So I definitely change a bit the state of mine to more prepare wiring and ethernet cable and to run it in the best way I can to cover everything as it appears it is an important thing for the future.

What I took till now:

  1. Neutral wiring to each light switch
  2. Ethernet cable to every camera/TV

And some questions about:

  1. More Ethernet cable to each room -> @Stephan.J , @brad5, @PunchCardPgmr - I understand the importance of many ethernet cables to each TV/Camera. But, how is it connected to other HA besides both? As I understand, HE is working mainly with ZigBee, ZWave and a bit with WIFI. So will the extra Ethernet cable be used for better WIFI covering? or really to connect for the different devices? (beside camera/TV).
  2. Low/hight voltage for doors/windows -> @Stephan.J, so if I want to prepare for the case of wire door/window sensor and for some wire curtains motor, will I have to run both low and high voltage for sensors and the curtains motor from the main closet? or I should just prepare one high voltage box next to each door/windows and will able later to take low voltage also from the box?

And for sure Meditation/Drugs/Psychologist - thanks @erktrek

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