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31 posts

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#270636 19-May-2020 17:11
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So we are building our "forever" home, and I am opting for a smartish home, and wanting feedback on my draft hardware shopping list, baring in mind I come from an IT Background, but have never used google home/alexa before.
I went into showhomes, decked out with Sonos etc, claiming their home automation costed 40k, and figured with an open platform, much of it can be done for much cheaper.

Im looking at google Assistant, although on reflection that seems to be an emotional decision for the underdog...

Our draft shopping list includes

Schlage encode front door smart lock

POE switch, looking to power 2x Ubiquiti UAP AC LRs for wifi

 

Ring video 2 doorbell (google integration ain't that flash?)

 

Mitsubishi heat pumps with wifi for native integration

Garage door hardwired with a smart switch from future systems https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c20623a365f024b42175554/t/5d5097efe6a2b000010ef7c1/1565562868038/Future+Product+Catalog.pdf

 

Several Honeycomb Blinds with motors, also integrated with smart switches

 

Dimmer lights + Smart switches for living and bedrooms

Ceiling speakers setup to multizone Yamaha receiver, with chromecast audios for 3 zones. (unsure of Wake on Lan aspect of voice control, but I have a Yamaha Aventage 3000 which has 3 powered zones, but is getting a bit long in the tooth for AV Room.)

 

Downlights with Philips HUE GU10 for accent lighting (probably hard wired to always on?) for voice activation and for future HDMI sync box use in TV Room, sync to music etc.

Potentially a nest indoor cam or similar for a bedroom, (wife is considering doing in home childcare)

Any thoughts, comments, etc for the above?



 

 


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  #2486509 19-May-2020 18:08
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I would recommend to get temp & humidity sensors in each room, outside, etc. And for the future proof and constant expending , changing to go with local hub and devices which would work with hub otherwise you can face an issue when 3rd party servers are down - nothing works. Happened couple times for me with sonoff and broadlink devices.

Otherwise most smart home and best overall device is robot vacuum , heating based on environment inside and outside, smart ventilation, smart outdoor lights.




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  #2486569 19-May-2020 18:22
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Ultimately it won't matter too much what you buy, IOT devices seem to fall out of favour / stop receiving support or stop working at an alarming rate. Just make sure you run Cat cable for data EVERYWHERE and duplex OM3 fibre for video distribution (probably in tandem with Cat6 for now).

 

 

 

Re: blinds.

 

Good blinds keep quiet for their entire lifetime (no annoying squeeks) and will lift and drop at the same rates as each other.

 

Cheaper blinds largely let people down over time.


 
 
 
 


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  #2486587 19-May-2020 18:59
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Make sure you check out the “Works With Nest” side of GA. Due to security concerns Google has cut a lot of things that can interact now.

 

Also be aware GA is not officially supported for NZ. The closest you can get is setting it to Australia.
I have left my Alexa enabled speakers on US settings because when I set them up there was a real paucity of NZ ‘skills’. That may have improved by now.

 

Some services to interconnect IOT devices with Google Assistant are paid subscriptions. For example Merlin ‘smart’ garage door openers require a paid subscription to Chamberlain.





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  #2486590 19-May-2020 19:04
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Have you looked into

https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/

It aggregates heaps of smart devices, runs on a raspberry pi and is completely hackable with customisation.

Cheers, Matt.




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  #2486620 19-May-2020 20:19
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hairy1: Have you looked into

https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/

It aggregates heaps of smart devices, runs on a raspberry pi and is completely hackable with customisation.

Cheers, Matt.


I will look into it, I was trying to avoid having a specific automation controller,  But I was concerned about home audio AV Receiver in standby needing a WOL signal as part of a start up routine to play music, and sending a packet from an HA device makes sense as part of script or what have you.




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  #2486622 19-May-2020 20:22
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Dingbatt:

 

Make sure you check out the “Works With Nest” side of GA. Due to security concerns Google has cut a lot of things that can interact now.

 

Also be aware GA is not officially supported for NZ. The closest you can get is setting it to Australia.
I have left my Alexa enabled speakers on US settings because when I set them up there was a real paucity of NZ ‘skills’. That may have improved by now.

 

Some services to interconnect IOT devices with Google Assistant are paid subscriptions. For example Merlin ‘smart’ garage door openers require a paid subscription to Chamberlain.

 



Thanks, Yeah I discovered the Chamberlain issue,  I talked to the guy at futures, and he reckons that the motorized blind switch can be used as a hardwired in switch for the garage door opener, and use the switches integration capabilities instead of merlin/chamberlain.


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  #2486628 19-May-2020 20:28
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Don’t forget CAT6 cable runs for IP cameras for outside property, wired intercom and electric door lock powered via PoE rather than Ring/Nest etc so it is controlled locally and more reliably. Bookshelf speaker for e.g Sonos or the likes of SVS or Kef with an external amp will provide better sound arguably over in ceiling speakers and you will not he loosing conditioned air from your HVAC via those big speaker holes in ceilings. Imagine sound coming above your head vs in front of you hence I recommend avoid ceiling speakers. 

 

I would also avoid WiFi switches. The specific model you have listed, you can buy them a lot cheaper than that anyway via Ali Express. The NZ model is rebadged Ali Express. I would recommend ZWave or Zigbee switches and sensors. 





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  #2486632 19-May-2020 20:37
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m1013828:

 

Dingbatt:

 

Make sure you check out the “Works With Nest” side of GA. Due to security concerns Google has cut a lot of things that can interact now.

 

Also be aware GA is not officially supported for NZ. The closest you can get is setting it to Australia.
I have left my Alexa enabled speakers on US settings because when I set them up there was a real paucity of NZ ‘skills’. That may have improved by now.

 

Some services to interconnect IOT devices with Google Assistant are paid subscriptions. For example Merlin ‘smart’ garage door openers require a paid subscription to Chamberlain.

 



Thanks, Yeah I discovered the Chamberlain issue,  I talked to the guy at futures, and he reckons that the motorized blind switch can be used as a hardwired in switch for the garage door opener, and use the switches integration capabilities instead of merlin/chamberlain.

 

 

An ESP8266 with a relay running something like ESPEasy or ESPHome would be cheaper. I have a cheap chamberlain controlled via https://opengarage.io/ but an esp8266 would do the same thing...





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  #2486652 19-May-2020 21:08
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kobiak: I would recommend to get temp & humidity sensors in each room, outside, etc. And for the future proof and constant expending , changing to go with local hub and devices which would work with hub otherwise you can face an issue when 3rd party servers are down - nothing works. Happened couple times for me with sonoff and broadlink devices.

Otherwise most smart home and best overall device is robot vacuum , heating based on environment inside and outside, smart ventilation, smart outdoor lights.


Is there any temp sensors you'd recommend? id prefer hardwired in solutions, or USB rechargeable rather than replacing batteries annually.




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  #2486657 19-May-2020 21:12
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billgates:

 

Don’t forget CAT6 cable runs for IP cameras for outside property, wired intercom and electric door lock powered via PoE rather than Ring/Nest etc so it is controlled locally and more reliably. Bookshelf speaker for e.g Sonos or the likes of SVS or Kef with an external amp will provide better sound arguably over in ceiling speakers and you will not he loosing conditioned air from your HVAC via those big speaker holes in ceilings. Imagine sound coming above your head vs in front of you hence I recommend avoid ceiling speakers. 

 

I would also avoid WiFi switches. The specific model you have listed, you can buy them a lot cheaper than that anyway via Ali Express. The NZ model is rebadged Ali Express. I would recommend ZWave or Zigbee switches and sensors. 

 



Being new to this, I was mainly looking for devices with sDOC for NZ sparky to install, If I'm going for some Philips Hue, it would make sense to go with a Zigbee wall switch, any NZ ones with sDOC?


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  #2486712 19-May-2020 22:29
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m1013828:

 


Being new to this, I was mainly looking for devices with sDOC for NZ sparky to install, If I'm going for some Philips Hue, it would make sense to go with a Zigbee wall switch, any NZ ones with sDOC?

 

 

I would also recommend against installing Phillips Hue or any smart lights. I recommend buying quality LED downlights that are dimmable with a standard wall switch in front for manual operation. There are so many standard switch varieties and colours to pick from like PDL Iconic. Then use ZWave (recommended) or Zigbee dimmer relay modules behind the standard switch in the backer box from the like of Aeotec or Fibaro. These are available in NZ with SDoC. This gets you standard switches that anyone can operate, you can use voice or phone app to control the lights and their dimming via a controller like Hubitat or Smarthings. Our LED downlights are getting installed throughout this week in our build.

 

I specified Visionary Technology various LED downlight models in different parts of the house. The company is local Christchurch based with all assembly done in NZ and the prices are not too much more than Chinese made one but the driver is so much better quality. The Philips Hue downlights are also not very bright and they have a much larger cutout hole in ceiling compared to non smart downlights so again less heat loss. I would also recommend to get a professional done light plan if this is your forever home. Good lighting will make your interior and exterior stand out.





Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  #2486831 20-May-2020 08:56
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m1013828:

 

kobiak: I would recommend to get temp & humidity sensors in each room, outside, etc. And for the future proof and constant expending , changing to go with local hub and devices which would work with hub otherwise you can face an issue when 3rd party servers are down - nothing works. Happened couple times for me with sonoff and broadlink devices.

Otherwise most smart home and best overall device is robot vacuum , heating based on environment inside and outside, smart ventilation, smart outdoor lights.


Is there any temp sensors you'd recommend? id prefer hardwired in solutions, or USB rechargeable rather than replacing batteries annually.

 

 

TBH, I don't know if there's anything out of the box that can be wired.

 

In general, I would suggest sensor, apart from security (I would suggest konnected.io board for security), to be wireless, you never know when you'd want to move them or add more. I started with 3, now up to 7. Also I would always look for an option that can be controlled over cloud and local logic, clouds and services get to end of life sooner than you think (2 smart services I used - closed in the past 12 mths).

 

As someone else suggested avoid smart bulbs, yes these easy to integrate and sometimes is the only option, but it's better to have wired smart switch, which can operate both online and old school, both of these needs to be in sync for best results + dimmable.





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  #2486869 20-May-2020 09:53
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As far as the Merlin (Chamberlain) garage door goes, I wasn’t willing to pay for a subscription just to get GA/Alexa integration. I only discovered the subscription after purchasing the ‘smart’ opener. What the “MyQ” app does do (free of charge) is provide status and activity reports, and activate the door. So without the need for a proximity sensor I can tell if I remembered to put the garage door down.

 

The door is also hardwired to a momentary action switch and the house alarm so not having voice activation is of little consequence.

 

For Philips Hue lighting, I have gone for these quite extensively throughout the living areas of our house. While I acknowledge the pitfalls as outlined in the posts above, I would also like to bring up how we use them. Our Hue downlights (Aphelion) were retrofitted and still have a (guarded) switch powering each group. Each group then has a Hue wireless dimmer switch associated with them. The dimmer switch will still operate the lights without an internet connection. Additionally, individual downlights can be controlled via the app (either Philips or third party), Smartthings, Hassio and Openhab, GA/Alexa and our Harmony remotes. Handy if you just want one light on to use as a reading lamp.

 

Eventually having everything under one controller, such as Hassio or Openhab, would be better than multiple apps linked to multiple cloud connections, it is finding the time to devote to the configuration of such a system. Because I have retained physical switches, the system can easily be made dumb again.





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  #2486893 20-May-2020 10:34
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Plus 1 for Konnected.io there is also an interface board if you want to use a traditional system and make it smart.

 

Plus 1 for Philips hue I have normal down lights and are using lamps were we would like some character/colour also using them in bedrooms.

 

Plus 1 for Zwave and Fibaro I've got a USB stick and double switch module coming which I will wire behind my light swithes to control the standard down lights.

 

Plus 1 for Home Assistant using this to control all of my home automation. 


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  #2491222 25-May-2020 17:58
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Is HRV not already smart ventilation? It generally keep the house at room temp during the day, but I wish I could turn the Mitsi 2008 air con on just for the main living area. Have a renai gas in the TV room, but dont spend much time in there. 

 

I do want a smart robot VAC, but I dont thin it will do my 1inch Rhino carpet? But if he stuck to the hardwood which is front entrance, dining set into one side, island kitchen to the right and our mini library to the rare which leads out onto the decking ether side. Should i stick to a basic robot vac just for the hard wood?

I think my Mitsi Air con is a bit old school for converting to Smart, it must be a 2008 model, still going strong. No possibilities? (it does have a timer so its already semi smart).

Lighting, I have no clue how to turn to smart, is there base guide out there?

Also I have any expensive lock on the front door, but would be interested in a smart lock, again, this all goes above my head. A really good Idiots guide to a smart home website would be good, anything out there?


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