Questions tagged [home-automation]

Questions related to automation of home elements like: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, light, audio-video systems, security, intercoms and domestic robotics. For questions related to the Internet of Things, consider asking at the IoT site (iot.stackexchange.com).

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19
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 ...
18
votes
7answers
8k views

Alarms on Doors that have Access to a Pool

I am finishing up renovating my pool and I changed the configuration of the barrier fence I previously had. I now use my house itself as the 4th side to keep the pool deck open (since our kids are ...
17
votes
2answers
43k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k 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
33k 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
2answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k 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
8k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
50k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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
2answers
2k views

What type of outlet has a button and small hole in the middle?

I just had a home inspection done for a home we are planning to purchase. The home inspector saw an electrical outlet and didn't know what the part in the middle was for/what was special about it. ...
8
votes
5answers
22k 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 (...
6
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
450 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
0answers
462 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 ...
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
117 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
382 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Identifying these light switches

I am working on a Home Automation system that I inherited from someone who didn't really know what he was doing. There are dozens of light circuits, but only three of them can be controlled from the ...
4
votes
3answers
31k 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. ...
3
votes
7answers
8k 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
19k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Automatic water pump for water tank

I am really tired of turning on and off the water pump (a motor that moves water to the tank and the tank is located on the top of the house ) everyday. I am looking forward for a way to automate the ...
3
votes
2answers
827 views

Is it OK to have a light that can only be controlled via automation?

I am retrofitting the main light in a room to be controlled by a home automation system, in this case, I'm using z-wave, but for purposes of this question, it could be any digital protocol. I would ...
3
votes
2answers
456 views

What is the proper way to power an in wall monitor for a new construction home?

A wall has been framed out to mount a touch screen computer monitor. Once the monitor is installed it will be used as a home automation hub. What is the proper way to supply power to this monitor? ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
168 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
869 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
2answers
117 views

Are these four add-on wiring techniques all up to code?

I'm fixing some wiring mistakes in my house and installing some GE Z-Wave Plus switches at the same time. Where there were 3- and 4-way switches I'm using the GE Add-On switch to add additional ...
3
votes
1answer
287 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
4k 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
11k 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
282 views

Integrate water circulation pump with Alexa to guarantee shut off in 10 minutes

I have a water circulation pump which is useful for getting hot water to the showers without wasting water. However, I am undoubtedly running up my natural gas bill in the process by running the pump ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Need help with 3-way wiring (diagram included)

Could really use some help. I'm putting in some GE Z-Wave plus switches in my new house and have come across my first 3-way switch. I think the far left Romex in box #1 is the cable that goes between ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Manual and Remote Switches - 12VAC low-voltage landscape

I have a 110V/12VAC (USA) transformer for common landscape lighting. We have 3 "zones" that I'd like to turn on/off as desired, two for lights (all LED at the moment) and one for a pond. My plan for ...
3
votes
1answer
524 views

Philips Hue dimmer switch detailed manual

I have bought a couple of Philips Hue white sets, including two dimmer switches, and started playing with them and various compatible apps. Normally, a dimmer indicates the command transfer by a green ...
3
votes
2answers
849 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
3answers
16k views

Connecting multiple hubs to a single Z-Wave device

First off, please forgive me if this is not the right Stack Exchange site for this. I figured this was the best option. Is it possible to hook up multiple hubs/controllers to a single Z-Wave device? ...
2
votes
2answers
265 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
8k 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
3answers
351 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 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
1k 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
185 views

Replacing light switches— can all live / all neutral wires be grouped? Is conduit a valid ground?

I'm replacing two switches (which control separate lights) in a two-gang box with two smart switches (TP-Link HS200). To make my questions as clear as possible, I've sketched the current state as well ...
2
votes
1answer
567 views

Trouble wiring a Leviton DZ15S (originally a single pole with two black?)

I'm trying to replace an old single pole toggle switch with a new Leviton DZ15S. Here's the issue... The new Leviton requires 3 connections to function. Black, red, and white. Please see the ...
2
votes
1answer
545 views

Trying to identify neutral wire in switch box to use with Wemo Light switch (more than one neutral wire seems to be present)

So I am trying to figure out if I can use a Wemo light switch. Wemo says you must have a neutral wire and it must be a single pole switch. This switch box has three toggle switches. One of them is ...