I have a background in theatrical lighting design, and am now a web
developer. I’m building a new house and doing my own electrical work.
I’d like to integrate automation into the house, but I’m stumped on the
options and methods for automating the lighting in a home. There seem to
be a ton of options that aren’t necessarily compatible, since I only
get one shot to wire with the walls off, I’m looking for some advice on
how to pre-wire for the future.
I want to use as much open source software as possible, I want to use
off the shelf lighting fixtures (not build DIY light fixtures), and I
want nothing to do with companies like Google, Amazon, or Wink. I’d like
to be able to program lighting levels in different rooms, with
different colors and have them triggered by events like the alarm system
disarming, times of day, or the weather. Ideally, there should also be a
way to recall a preset via a touch pad. I don’t want anything that
requires a smart phone (don’t own one, never will), the cloud, or
communication over the Internet (LAN communication is OK, but no signals
sent off premise). I prefer wired over wireless whenever possible.
So with that in mind… what are my options for lighting fixtures and
devices? For general lighting, I’m thinking “dumb” but dim-able LED
bulbs would be fine (although changing the color temperature is
appealing to me), I could place them in regular screw base recessed
fixtures like the Halo H7, and wire them to wall switches just like
regular ceiling lights, except the wall switches/dimmers would be
automatable via OpenHAB. Are there any dimmers like this that work well
with OpenHAB? Especially ones that don’t require any type of proprietary
protocols or interfaces in between the switch and OpenHAB?
It would also be great to have something that could throw color at
walls, or the ceiling, or under cabinets and have the color
controllable. But if I understand correctly, anything with color mixing
is not compatible with any wall switch, smart or otherwise, so if I
wanted to use RGB lighting, I would want to run constant (un-switched)
power to those locations? And is color mixing only available if I buy
"smart bulbs" with built in electronics?
I haven’t been able to find any good information on a whole-house
lighting setup that makes sense. Are there any devices that use wired
networking or other wired control instead of wifi? Is there anything at
all that should be done in new construction that’s different that
standard lighting, like running CAT6 to wall switch or potential
lighting locations? It seems all of the products are intended for
retrofit anyway, so maybe nothing special needs done? What are your
thoughts on this?