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Topic # 132340 18-Oct-2013 09:27
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Hey all,

I am on the hunt for some light switches that can be remotely and locally controlled over WiFi, something very much like the WeMo Light Switch, except there are none in NZ.

Has anyone here installed something like this? Any recommendations?

My requirements are:

1) Still operate as a normal on/off switch
2) Controlled over local LAN
3) Controlled remotely over the Internet
4) Be programmable, i.e. timers, events, IFTTT.com integration

All of these can be answered with a WeMo.  Note - I am not after the wall plugs they offer, as these need to control both internal and external lights.

Ideally I would also like replacement power sockets too (and yes, there apparently are WeMo ones coming out too, but again nothing I can buy today).

I would also rather stay away from 'controller' type situations such as Lutron, although X10 could be an option, but I cannot find as much product as I could a couple of years ago.  Is 240 X10 becoming rare?

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  Reply # 916890 18-Oct-2013 09:58
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Uses a separate WiFi controller, but the Vera Lite z-wave range seems to be popular.  Available ex Australia licensed for the AUS/NZ frequency.  The light switches are >$100 last time I checked.




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  Reply # 916892 18-Oct-2013 10:04
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Yep Z-Wave is a good option (I am using it throughout my place). They are in-wall micro switches and dimmers (some with two switches in one unit) which sit behind you standard face plates. Your switches still function as normal but you also have the ability to switch them remotely. Fibaro has some very nice devices, they retail for $140 for a single dimmer module, or a 2x1.5kW double switch, so not the cheapest.

And yes, they do require a central controller. 

Once you have that central controller however, you can then easily add other sensors and devices. I.e. door/window sensors, temperature, flood and smoke sensors, and even thermostat controllers.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 916978 18-Oct-2013 12:11
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Thanks for the comments - interestingly enough I came across VeraLite whilst looking into automating blinds (for anyone who wants to do this with a DIY approach, I have been looking at http://rollertrol.com/store/en/ ).

I will check out there light control offerings.

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  Reply # 916991 18-Oct-2013 12:34
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If you do go the ZWave route be sure to buy Oz/NZ devices - anything from Europe or the states will not be suitable/allowed here as they use a different frequency range.

Awesome
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  Reply # 917014 18-Oct-2013 13:53
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A colleague of mine is doing a big home automation install at the moment. He went with Z-Wave as it seems to be the best option out there at the moment.




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  Reply # 917015 18-Oct-2013 13:53
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What is he using as the ZWave controller, if you don't mind me asking?



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  Reply # 917017 18-Oct-2013 13:55
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I would like to know too - and where it was sourced from.

Originally I wanted a 'quick' solution but it seems to do it properly I will have to plan more, which in the end will be worth it, especially the integration of blind/lights/other stuff.

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  Reply # 917019 18-Oct-2013 13:57
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DISCLAIMER: I am in the process of starting up a business to retail the Fibaro ZWave devices. So if you are interested I can supply these. Check out www.fibaro.com/nz for details of what they have available.



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  Reply # 917024 18-Oct-2013 14:17
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SumnerBoy: DISCLAIMER: I am in the process of starting up a business to retail the Fibaro ZWave devices. So if you are interested I can supply these. Check out www.fibaro.com/nz for details of what they have available.


Ooooo, very good timing!  When you say "in the process" how far through are you?  Do you have product in NZ?  Do you happen to be in Auckland?

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  Reply # 917027 18-Oct-2013 14:20
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No I am in Christchurch. The business is very much in the early stages, so no website etc, but I have a supplier organised who has plenty of product, and they are based in NZ so there shouldn't be too much delay in getting things shipped.

PM me with your contact details and we can take this offline if you like.

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  Reply # 917218 18-Oct-2013 21:47
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+1 to going the Z Wave route

Have automated my whole house also (it does become a bit of an obsession). I did a bit of a write up 6 months ago or so of what I used back then.
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=73&topicid=116052

It's moved on since then, added a load more controllers, replaced the tablets with the new Kindle Fire HD's (much nicer screens) and location based services now works from android app direct to server rather than via Google latitude which got shut down in Aug. Been thinking about having some fun for Halloween using the front door sensor to trigger some events.

You unfortunately just missed out on a 25% off sale @ smarthome.com.au that ended a week or so ago which was a good deal considering the price can start adding up once you become addicted.



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  Reply # 917234 18-Oct-2013 22:28
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Ahhh Mr Shimmer - you are the one who pretty much inspired me to get started in this whole area, and like you I am totally addicted! It would be great to compare notes one day!

In particular I am interested in your Android app/presence detection. I too was using Latitude until it was killed off. I am now using a useful app call Mqttitude which publishes MQTT messages to my own MQTT broker which my home automation software is subscribed to.

It works ok - but the Android/iOS apps are in their infancy and are not using the Geofence stuff built into Android/iOS these days, so it is not all that accurate when I am arriving/leaving home.

Do you happen to have a readonly portal to your setup that is available to the outside world? Unlikely I know, but worth asking.

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  Reply # 917303 19-Oct-2013 10:17
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Sorry no read only portal as it has access to my camera's, location information (would take some figuring out but am sure a determined person could find it), voicemails & family photo's (I've configured the Kindle's to act as an electronic photo frame for 30 mins after any use before going to sleep).

After latitude died I went through a bit of trial and error using a bunch of apps.
Btraced - works on iOS and Android, reports back to your own server but is designed more around the principle of a trip rather than something that would continually post location data.

Followme - same centralized model as latitude. often would be delays between posting and updates being available to read. App not very configurable. Left myself open to the site going away just like latitude.

Backitude - Android only (fine for my household). Originally designed to work with latitude but highly customizable (accuracy, posting frequency depending on whether device is connected via wireless, by data network or if USB power plugged in) which was brilliant for conserving power and data. A few of us on the HS forums had been in contact with Brian (the author) and he updated the app to allow posting back to a user specified server along with some user defined variables (like device ID so I can differentiate my phone from my wifes). I'm still on the beta version I had been testing on, but believe he has now published the latest version to the Play store. This has worked flawlessly for me over the past 2 weeks.

Hopefully the OP wont think I've strayed too far from the original topic, but playing with location based events was one of the first things I did after automating the light switches (after motion based events).

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  Reply # 917305 19-Oct-2013 10:26
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I was using Backitude for a while when Latitude was still running. Good to hear the author has kept it going post-Latitude. Unfortunately my household is both Android and iOS so it won't meet my needs entirely.

I might start another thread, as this one is getting a little off topic, similar to your initial one 6 months ago, to discuss different rules and events you have configured in your system. I am always interested to know what and how others are automating their homes.



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  Reply # 917306 19-Oct-2013 10:45
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Many thanks for all the details - it looks like I will have to plan this out more.  Originally I wanted a simply system, like the WeMo's, for a couple of lights and a blind.  Now I see what the Fibaro system can do, I will need to plan it all out properly.

Would those with similar systems mind posting a diagram or details of what devices they have/can control, and what sensors they use?

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