Questions related to automation of home elements like: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, light, audio-video systems, security, intercoms and domestic robotics.

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15
votes
4answers
794 views

What are some scalable, affordable home automation options?

I've been looking to set up a home automation system in my house for a while now, but I'm having trouble committing to any one starting point. I'd like to set up an initial system that controls maybe ...
13
votes
7answers
7k views

What open source home automation software exists? What are the differences between them?

I just bought my first apartment and I am now looking to setup a cheap home automation system. I would like to control : light electric shutter heater thermostat other stuff in the future I am ...
12
votes
6answers
839 views

How to keep home automation complexity under control?

If you installed some form of home automation (lighting control for example), how did you keep the complexity manageable for your family members? In many cases where friends have installed some form ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What wireless temperature monitoring systems should I look into? [closed]

I'd like to monitor and log temperature on few locations in my home. Wireless monitoring with normal consumer batteries etc would be preferable for the sensors. I have an Mac OSX server running at my ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the rules for unplugging a refrigerator?

I'd like to unplug my fridge for a few hours each evening to have silence in my small studio while I fall asleep. It is on a timer, so it happens at random times through the cooling cycle. I was ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Which communication bus systems for home automation?

Many communication systems have been proposed for home automation (e.g., HVAC control, alarms, access control, light control, and entertainment), including 1-Wire and X10. Which system is best ...
9
votes
6answers
11k views

Can I save energy costs by turning off the refrigerator for 1-2 hours every day?

Now that I'm looking into home automation, I'm thinking about automatically cutting off the fridge power from 3am ~ 5am. Given that modern refrigerators are well insulated, it should be able to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the pros and cons of different types of smart switches (that are on the US market) ?

When putting in a new switch for a light it is often less work to put in a smart switch than run the mains cables. However, how do you choose the type of smart switch to use? See also "What are ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to replace a standard 2-gang light switch with an electric dimmer switch

I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a new electric dimmer light switch. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference. I am trying to replace my existing two-gang light switch with a LightWaveRF ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Where can I find a temperature sensor that tweets?

I'd like to hook up temperature sensors in my house to remotely monitor pipes during winter. Ideally, I'd like the sensors to upload information via wireless, e.g. in the form of a Tweet or an email. ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

What are my options for multi-room audio?

Multi-Room Audio I've been tasked by the wife with setting up a multi-room audio system. We've broken the house down into the following zones: Kitchen (Stereo) Office (Stereo) Master Bed/Bath ...
5
votes
1answer
716 views

What's the best/official way to draw a building's electrical system?

We are installing home automation systems, and we have serious problems with electricians. Short: they are stupid and lazy. So, we have to do something. There're some stories: We have a spreadsheet ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a software-controlled central heating programmer and thermostat exist?

I have a central heating programmer in the airing cupboard (where the hot water tank is). It allows a couple of separate schedules for water and heating separately, and also for manual override when ...
5
votes
4answers
335 views

Good resources to learn about Home Automation

I'm looking to automate my home but know nothing about HA. What are some good resources to learn both the beginner stuff and more advanced topics.
5
votes
0answers
263 views

What are the pros and cons of different types of smart switches on the UK market? [closed]

When putting in a new switch for a light, it is often less work to put in a smart switch than run the mains cables. However how do you choose the type of smart switch to use? See Also "What are ...
3
votes
2answers
313 views

Alternatives to signal on power for home automation systems (such as UBP) - low-voltage circuits, wireless…?

I am kind of averse to using signal on power for home automation systems such as UBP as this seems to be shared with the outside world (I read somewhere that the signal can travel as far as the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What debuzzing coil should I use to get rid of lamp hum?

I have two lamps which use these big 300W bulbs that I am dimming with Insteon LampLink modules. They buzz quite a bit, and I previously asked a question about reducing the buzz which led me to ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to keep two water tanks have maintain the same water level?

My home has two water tanks (side by side), one used by the owner and one used by us. Unfortunately for us, the owner has a good supply of water and we don't. I have asked him to connect the two tanks ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Convert One 3-Way Light Switch to Belkin WeMo Light Switch (Single Pole)

Our foyer chandelier has three outlets that control it. I want to control it with a Belkin WeMo light switch, which specifically states is not compatible with 3-way switches/fixtures, sadly. Well, if ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I control a circuit breaker remotely?

We have a house in the country that largely sits abandoned. We have a large family, and we like to go visit for the weekends. When we leave the house, we turn off the circuit breakers to prevent high ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I replace a two way switch with a ZW4001 Z Wave enabled light switch?

I am trying to replace a single switch connected to a single light bulb with a Z Wave enabled switch, model ZW4001Z; a link to the manual for the switch is at the bottom. There is a wiring diagram on ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Do z-wave products suffer any limitations in the UK because of radio limits?

I'm looking into home automation and I think I'm settling on z-wave as my choice. however, I was slightly worried by this comment on wikipedia; In Europe, the 868 MHz band has a 1% duty cycle ...
2
votes
1answer
650 views

What is the most common home automation technology?

I will soon move in my new house and I am looking to create a custom home automation system using what already exists on the market. The most important thing would be to interface well with existing ...
2
votes
2answers
897 views

Where can I find a Time Restricted Keypad Lock?

I'm looking for a keypad to use in the external door of an small business office to open said door. The plan is to give every employee (around 20) a PIN that they input into the keypad for the door to ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

What type of centralized home control hardware is available?

I recently got excited about the idea of creating a web software to run locally for my home that could be accessed via computer, smart phone, or tablet, which would give me complete control over most ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Surveillance System and Home Automation in Europe [closed]

Hi recently bought an independent house, and I was thinking on installing a couple of indoor/outdoor cameras, and some movement sensors connected to an alarm. I also want to monitor my house from the ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there any ductless mini split systems that offer standard HVAC wiring controls?

Have been looking for in the US a ductless mini split heat pump system something like the Mitsubishi Electric Mr. Slim that uses a non proprietary wiring scheme for its wall mounted thermostats. ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Centralised home automation system - Any product out there?

I read the Scalable, affordable home automation question and answers with great interest. Simply Automated looks pretty cool & so do the ideas behind Z-Wave. What I'm looking for, I don't seem to ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

Automated/Controlled Lighting - Options?

What are some good options to look at for controlled and automated lighting? I've seen some DMX (stage-lighting standard) implementations for homes, but I'm not sure if that is the only/best option. ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

How can I keep an entry gate operating during a power outage?

I have an electric sliding gate, with a motor powered by 220V. The problem with this kind of solution is that, when we have a power supply failure, we must remove a screw and open it manually. It ...
1
vote
1answer
578 views

How can I set up my somfy controlled blinds to go up and down at specific time periods?

Our kitchen at work gets really hot when the sun sets, so I want the RF Somfy controlled blinds to automatically go down at some pre-programmed time (ideally I could automate this by date and season ...
1
vote
2answers
919 views

Any obvious problems with this DIY home automation?

I'd like to know if anyone sees big issues with this system I want to implement in my home. The software is in beta, I will start doing the hardware side of things in a few weeks. Current Home ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

How to bind/pair a Sunvic wireless radio heating controller to its receiver

I have a Sunvic wireless controller and thermostat with a receiver base station in the boiler room. It became detached and I'd like to reconnect it with the controller unit. Note: this is a question ...
1
vote
0answers
126 views

Where can I find a remote mains socket for my electrical heater?

I have been looking around for a remote mains socket which will operate my heater in my office at the end of the 70 feet garden. I want to be able to switch on the heater from the house. The label on ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

How can I consolidate different heating/cooling systems into a single system?

I have 3 different types of heating/cooling systems that I inherited. Hot water heat. This heats the whole house/garage via 3 zones. Zone 1: Kitchen/Livingroom Zone 2: Bedrooms/Bath Zone 3: Garage ...
0
votes
2answers
200 views

Why do most home automation products only control incandescent light bulbs?

I have a new bare apartment due soon to work with. It's my first time investigating home automation but all I come up with are home automation products for incandescent lighting. Yet all my rooms have ...
0
votes
2answers
159 views

What future-proofing should I include when refurbishing an apartment?

I will soon be renovating my apartment, going to the bare bricks (removing the floor, electricity, plumbing). Would you have some advice on what not to miss, from the perspective of cabling and ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Temperature control when I can't affect either airflow or thermostat

Our apartment is heated by a natural gas burner (the burner itself is inside the unit) that vents in two directions: one vent into the bedroom and a second (about 3x the area) into the rest of the ...
0
votes
1answer
386 views

How to replace a single light switch with an electric dimmer switch

This is a very similar question to one I asked yesterday, which Ryan Walkowski kindly helped out with. This time, I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a a single electric dimmer unit. I am ...
0
votes
1answer
509 views

How can I modify a 4 wire thermostat to a new thermostat requiring c wire?

I attempted to replace my thermostat with a fancy new Trane z-wave enabled model. To my dismay my home was only wired with a 4 wire setup with no 5 hidden in the bundle. I followed Insx on the web ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

What home automation devices have android apps UK?

I'm looking to install a home automation device in the UK. I require one that has an android app, so I can turn on and off my heating from my mobile phone even when I'm not in the house. I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Can I replace this Airwell thermostat?

I am in market to replace my simple A/C control unit with one that integrates with home my z-wave based home automation system. However, before I make the splash and buy a compatible thermostat, I ...
0
votes
1answer
917 views

Replacing a standard 2-gang light switch with an electric dimmer switch

I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a new electric dimmer light switch. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference. I am trying to replace my existing two-gang light switch with a LightWaveRF ...
-1
votes
2answers
163 views

How can I remotely control electrical devices? [closed]

how can i turn on remotely or turn off the lights or TV with remote controller or via internet which tools i need to prepare or buy to make the circuit or device that do this work? is there any way ...
-1
votes
2answers
216 views

Any way to monitor load on a power outlet and receive notifications of usage? [closed]

My sump pump float sometimes sticks. This is an issue because the pump can easily run dry and burn out, especially if we are away for an extended period of time. Ideally I'm looking for something ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

What options are available for controlling electrical devices over WiFi? [closed]

I've been looking on how to control power outlets through wifi and I've only found Belkin's WeMo. Are there any alternatives?