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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17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
1k 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
5k 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
7answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
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
4answers
5k 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
792 views

Door lock and unlock based on authorized user proximity

I want to install an electronic lock on my office/workshop that only a specific individual(s) can unlock. I want it to lock every time the door is closed and the room is empty but I do not want to ...
6
votes
4answers
412 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.
6
votes
3answers
23k views

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

Our foyer chandelier has three switches 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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
2k 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
1answer
101 views

Which home automation standards will work with Apple and/or Google's forthcoming sofware?

On one hand I'm happy that Apple and Google are getting into home automation, because the existing software and control apps seem to be uniformly atrocious. On the other hand, I've been planning a big ...
5
votes
0answers
357 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
357 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
7answers
1k views

Are patch panels essential to a home network closet?

I am completing my home remodel and have decided to wire CAT6 cables throughout the house with at least 2 sockets for the wall jacks in each room. My subcontractor has already wired all of the rooms ...
3
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Home automation depending on who entered the home

I am looking for a way to automate some stuff in my household depending on who entered home. The only way I can think of implementing this is by checking which device connected to the WiFi. For ...
3
votes
4answers
297 views

How can I set up a timer for my motorized blinds?

My room has a window with motorized shades, which can be brought up or down using a switch that's in the same enclosure as the light switches in the room. I want to set it up so I could program the ...
3
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
7k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
9k 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
4answers
74 views

Wiring for Internet of Things [closed]

I'm interested in home automation and the Internet of Things and what options presently exist in the relatively cutting-edge field. I would like to know if it is possible to use something like a ...
2
votes
2answers
223 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
2answers
3k 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
59 views

Getting notified when things fail

There are a lot of things around the home which can be automated. For instance, at certain times during the day lights get turned on, sprinkler systems run, and so forth. Some of these operate based ...
2
votes
1answer
923 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
1answer
75 views

How can I use a Z-wave switch as a 3-way with no neutral?

I have two lights controlled by two light switches in a 3 way switch loop configuration with no neutral. I would like to replace either one (if I can get away with it) or both of the switches with a ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Home Light Automation - Emulate 4 way switch with relay

I've been thinking of ways to do home automation that is somewhat future proof (hardwired); and the best idea I have is to use relays for lights on a 3 way switch circuit. Put in a dual pole dual ...
2
votes
3answers
16k 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
439 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
313 views

How can I connect a zwave switch that requires a neutral to 3 way box?

I have a 3 way switch that looks like it's wired like the illustration below. I would like to remove the switch shown on the left and replace the switch shown on the right with a Zwave switch that ...
2
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
301 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Comparison of various home-automation systems? [closed]

Could anyone provide a comparison (or just link) of home-automation systems (such as FS 20, HomeEasy, RSL, ...)? (Wikipedia contains just a short list and I am unable to find something something ...
1
vote
2answers
222 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Can I safely disable a three way fan switch to use for providing ground to remote three way box?

I have a bit of a unique electrical situation that I am dealing with. My house was wired with several three way lighting boxes that included a switch for a fan which is not used. I am working on ...
1
vote
2answers
250 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Automation of electric machines [closed]

I have, of course, a lot of electric machines: Computer, printer, humidifier, etc. But I want to make them "smart" by automatizing when the humidifier will turn on everyday. The original humidifier ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

How to find a motion sensing light switch that turns lights on AND off when motion is detected?

Location: USA. The light switch to our laundry room is in the hallway outside the door. I replaced the standard light switch with a motion sensing switch (Leviton ODS10-ID). When we enter the room, ...
1
vote
3answers
337 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
288 views

Is this wiring suitable suitable for 3-way Z-Wave switches?

I'd like to install a Jasco Z-Wave switch (45709) and its add-on switch (45710) in this newish (2004) house, but the wiring instructions do not correspond to what I have behind the current ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

List of home automation systems? [closed]

As @keshlam explained me in Comparison of various home-automation systems?, it is not possible to get up-to-date NPOV comparison of various home automation systems. What about a list of ...
1
vote
1answer
616 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
2answers
208 views

How do I identify six light switch wires with a multimeter?

I need help identifying wires to know if I have what I need to install some new light switches that require line, load, neutral and ground connections. I'm hoping to do this with a multimeter, but I ...
1
vote
2answers
689 views

What different types of remotely controlled light switches exist?

I am looking to buy a remotely controlled light switch. What options are there? I do not want companies or brands or models or whatever. I am looking to buy light switches from which I can build my ...