I’m in the works of building a new house for my family and since it’s still in the house plan/project phase I thought why not try to make the home as automated as possible. Since I’m a tech loving person and someone who loves tech challenges this seemed like a good project to take on. Before I continue I also would like to mention that I’m from EU just in case due to wall socket differences in UK/US/EU etc.
My main goal is to automate as many things as possible in our brand new home. This is a list of examples and what I would like to know since I’ve never done home automation. My question would be is it even possible to automate all of them? Would I need some kind of AIO solution or could I get away with using different manufacturers solutions?
- Alexa voice control
- Wall sockets (not all of them, just some of them)
- Light switches (timming, on/off etc)
- Electricity usage measuring
- Water usage measuring
- Heating (geothermal heat pump)
- Main door locking (remotely etc) & door bell (camera)
- Car fence door (open/close via app/calling a number)
- Security cameras and sensors
If someone has taken on a project this big I would appreciate if you would give me a little bit of insight on what kind of hardware to use etc.
the things you like to control to can be achived by different systems from different manufacturers.
There are a lot of possibilities.
In my smart house I use 95% enocean products sold by Eltako. I use the system 14 professional bus products. They are all located central at my fuse box respectively my fuse cabinet.
In my case I control/monitor with one manufacturer:
Temperature actual and setpoint in all rooms,
Humidity in all rooms,
Main door with bell,
Power consumption and generating,
Weather data like rain, wind, sun direction etc,
All window conditions,
and a few more…
With openhab you can connect the devices from different manufacturers into one system, so you don’t have to stick with one manufacturer.
Make sure you get a nice location where you can combine all your devices.
This is what it looks at my ground floor.
A huge cabinet (1,6m x 2,1m) with my fuse box, router, switch, Nas, ups, raspberry, underfloor heating etc. etc.
It’s a lot of work until all works like you want it to. But when you are done and your house is „alive“ with all its automations you will love it
All of these is possible via various means. You can do a few searches for the many related topics. I will just add two points:
- Hard wire them as much as possible. Wireless techs such as WiFi, ZigBee, and ZWave can be fragile with unpredictable latency.
- Voice control while useful is not the ultimate end game in many scenarios. You would want to aim for full automation instead of voice control ( (i.e. it is done for you automatically based on event triggering).
Thank you so much for so detailed response. This makes me want to go forward with the project. Would it be possible to contact you via e-mail / DM’s to get a little bit of overview how you did all of this. Did you plan all of it yourself or did you use a company that did all of it? I kind of want the same thing as you have plus integrate solar panel roof power generation monitoring into it as well.
You can contact me, but we can also write here. Maybe some others are interested in this topic, too.
A project of this size can’t be planned by yourself if you are not an electrician.
What you can do is, take your floor plans and write where do you want to control or monitor a device and what do you want to control.
If you knew what you want to control from which point, you can look for a company which will plan your wiring and needed components on the basis of your plans.
Make sure you can control everything with physical switches and room panels in case your Smarthome doesn‘t work or you welcome some guests at your home which are don‘t familiar with a control via voice, smartphone or tablet.
I got an iPad as my main controller at a wall. But I can also control everything with normal switches or panels. So everything is controllable like a „dumb“ house, but if you like you can control it via voice, smartphone, tablet or let it work based on automations.
I renovated my home and replaced everything with KNX. Very please with the stability of the system, installed since 2004 and all still current with new devices.
OpenHAB sits well on top for visualisation and deeper integration between lighting scenes, media etc.
Thank you @dirkdirk @crystollic for the suggestions. I’m going to look for a company that can do all the wiring and plan the system out, also I will let them know that I want OpenHAB on top of it to control everything.
Regarding physical switches, I’m going to make sure that I can control everything via them as well. I need a failsafe if something does not work.
Thanks everybody you all have been really helpful
Unless the company already knows what openHAB is, you’ll be better off determining what hardware works with openHAB and specifying it in your requirements. Do the homework yourself so that you’re not taking someone else’s word for it. Companies will have a vested interest in selling you their primary products, and some of them won’t dig any deeper than they have to before telling you it’ll work.
I want my house to just know what to do without my intervention. This is the true power of home automation.
On another note, while your house is being built, get a Pi or old laptop and load openHAB and give it a play, learn the system, get familiar with how openHAB works (there is a bit of a learning curve)
On top of what others have suggested I would like to point out that if you can get STAND ALONE devices that can interact with openHAB you will be better off than a device that requires openHAB to do the automations. If you have lights that fail to work when openHAB is down, that is an issue, but if they work regardless of openHAB and can also be controlled by openHAB then you have the best of both worlds. Build redundancy and fail safes into your home so it always works and the automations complement and extend the home.