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 internet. I was thinking on a X10 system, which I could later integrate with other home automation features. From the prices I've seen, I guess I can accomplish all that for less than $500 USD. But I can't find decent prices in europe (€).

What kind of equipment would you guys suggest for this purpose? Is there a good place to buy this kind of equipment in europe? Should I use other technologies rather than X10?

Addendum: Because a good answer may depend on more details, here's what I'm expecting the equipment to provide me:

  1. Connecting wired indoor/outdoor cameras
  2. Connecting movement sensors
  3. Recording video
  4. Stream video through the internet
  5. Raise an alarm through the internet
  6. Raise an audible alarm
  7. Have a security keypad near the door


  1. Control light fixtures (just on/off)
  2. Control some electrical outlets
  3. Allow system customization by using a PC to program it (hopefully, through an API and not a proprietary, closed software).
  • Are you tied to X10 specifically? X10 is widely regarded to have many problems (eg, see diy.stackexchange.com/questions/333/…). It is very susceptible to noise and interference, including false signals that trigger lights on/off (or with a security system: false alarms), and missing legitimate signals due to interference. There are many newer systems that work much better.
    – gregmac
    Mar 26, 2012 at 22:51
  • In addition, many stand-alone security systems have interfaces to insteon/UPB/etc just to signal armed/disarmed/alarmed, so if that's all you need it may give you some more options in choosing a security system. You need to define what it is you'd like the automation to do, and then you can figure out what products to use and how much it will cost to achieve those features.
    – gregmac
    Mar 26, 2012 at 22:52
  • I just changed the title to remove X10. This question is not X10 exclusive, and I'm more than willing to hear about other options :-) Mar 26, 2012 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


If it is available in the UK, I would go with Z-wave technology. While I have only dealt in the US, I hope this can help. I've sold quite a bit of Z-wave and been trained in installation it's similar to installing regular devices like switches and dimmers. Programming is simple with the remote, and I hear the computer interface makes it easier.

Z-wave system

In the US there are many companies that make it, with most of them being able to be used with other Z-wave devices. The system is considered a mesh system, meaning it goes device to device and the more devices you have connected, the better the signal travels.

By having many companies using the Z-wave technology then you can get basic dimmers, receptacles and switches to security systems, air conditioner controls, shade control & irrigation.

This link has both US and UK product links you can check out. I've mostly dealt in Leviton, Cooper Wiring Devices and Intermatic as my sources but there are lot more plus the Audio Video and Mechanical companies.

The programming is done through the remote control or by computer if you buy the interface. No wheels or dip switches to set. A system can be conservative or lucrative, your choice. The pricing used to be about double that of X10, but if you had to trouble shoot X-10, then the price difference is worth it.

If you are a techie (not Trekky) you'll find lots of information on the WWW. Many forums to go through to help answer questions.

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