I am building a new house in southern Germany, near Stuttgart, and I am wondering whether there is a company which does the smart-home planning for the electrician? Looking for a company with decent experience in this field. The heart would be openHAB, of course
I had lots of trouble with my electrician, because I wanted him to make me an offer for home automation. Turns out that most electrician are not yet prepared for this subject.
Because you are building from the ground up, the main rule is to stick to cabled solutions. A little dusted, a bit pricey, but very reliable and with many suppliers is still KNX. Allow for a KNX cable to every wall switch, rollershutter, heating actor and garage door. You can either use KNX or Dali for ceiling and other lighting. An Ethernet Cat 6A or better a Cat 7 cable to every room and hallway helps.
Window and door sensors most of the time entirely depends on your manufacturer. Not a problem for openHAB later on of course. And you can always just use radio devices based on ZWave/Zigbee for sensors.
Electricians understand cables. That’s what I figured. Let them do the wiring, depending on the experience of the electrician, he will suggest you adventurous solutions otherwise.
2 Sachen. Erzähl mal was genau du vorhast zu automatisieren und ich gebe dir Rückmeldung. KNX Bus wie von meinem Vorredner vorgeschlagen, würde ich absolut nicht empfehlen. Ist viel zu kostspielig und “out-of-date”. In der heutigen Zeit alles fix zu verkabeln finde ich persönlich nicht mehr zeitgemäß. Hatte ich mir angeschaut als wir unser Haus renoviert haben (und wir haben die Elektrik komplett neu gemacht).
openHAB an sich ist schon mal ne super Wahl, weil man einfach sehr, sehr flexibel an sich ist.
Wir können uns auch gerne “privat” darüber austauschen und nicht hier im Forum.
Mein Fokus lag/liegt derzeit auf Heizungssteuerung, Rolladensteuerung, “Kino Modus”. Darüber kann ich gerne meine Erfahrungen mit dir austauschen.
Hm, I could join in German, but I think that’s not really polite in an English themed forum
There is no “newer” wired solution that KNX, but KNX actually evolved as well. There is KNX/IP nowadays as well.
But Wifi/Zigbee/ZWave/Bluetooth all have the same radio frequency (2.4 Ghz) and that band is over crowded it will get worse with LTE over 2.4 Ghz (yes, that is planned). Radio is not future proof and if someone is spamming WiFi (4K Movie download on 2 mobiles and a PC for instance), home automation devices are affected.
Don’t get me wrong, radio works most of the time, but why should you live with the almost solution if you can get a 100% working solution.
Hi Alex, @Patrick has asked for professional support. So I guess he is more interested in proven stuff were you can get support for even if the builder (you) is not available anymore
Think of situations when you’re on a business trip, sick in a hospital, … , just not available to fix something. Or, what If the house schould get sold?
I guess, the “basics” should work though - right? Switch light on/off. Drive the rollershutters…
To be honest, personally I would stick with a wide-spread solution which is even known/supported by the most electricians here in Germany. So yes, I would absolutele second @David_Graeff here even if KNX looks pricey at first. And sure: If you have still the chance - put wires in the wall, stick to wires!
I had the same questions to decide few years ago. I’ve choosen EIB/KNX for the base installation.
And it proved right for me.
This is relative - and - not always true anymore. (Think of multichannel actors and structured cabling).
Really? Mmmh. Let me think of it…
And: You can extend your basic (old-fashioned-but-working-and-remote-controllable) setup with all the new fancy stuff talking wireless for the fun functions. Trust me: I have a lot of wireless HA devices too. But just for (not-really-needed) sensors, remote controls, colored bulbs or in locations where I just forgot to put a wire to.
Result: The basics will do work even if the whole fancy wireless stuff (or openHAB itself) is broken.
So if somebody would ask me - my proposal would be:
Decide for something which is known/supported by one of your local electricians. Let this do the basic functions.
Negotiate with the electrician upfront, that you get the all the programming information (the project file in case of KNX) before signing the contract with him.
And: Put more wires in the walls as you might think you need. In case of KNX install some bus cable to every corner of you house. Don’t forget sufficient Cat.6/Cat.7 wiring for the network.
Again: Stick to wires if possible
I started working with KNX in 2003 and damn!, it was expensive back then. Now, the prices either remained constant (although inflation still went up), but with a lot more embedded functions in the equipment, or they went down (impressively down: 50-60%).
I still have feedback from some of my initial installations and all are excellent, furthermore I have enhanced existing KNX installations for the last 5 years (most of the enhancements with openHAB).
Thus said, yes, you are right! If for any reason someone should/would choose KNX, negotiate the commissioning beforehand.
Exactly. I’m in KNX since 2005 (when I’ve built my house)
That’s my experience too.
I had one single outage since the initial setup (in thirteen years!): A Merten bus power supply/Drossel (english?) has failed after lightning nearby. It was on a sunday. Called my local electician - he came an hour later and have put a new one in - done.
thank you for all the answers.
I am also a “cable guy” which tends towards well established standards. Although KNX is not as open as I would like to have it, its so widespread and stable (see @email@example.com and David_Graeff ) that I would prefer it over other standards. I also asked for a quote from Loxone but their weird “Tree Cable” scared me too much. Their quote was not that high, though.
I am planning to integrate the following “things”:
Fröling SP Dual heating (has a Modbus interface)
various LED RGB strips/bulbs to create light scenes
temperature, humidity and presence sensor per room
window sensors for ground floor
maybe IPTV/Streaming to certain devices
In the meantime, I phoned the electrician and he as KNX knowledge. An appointment for January is scheduled and I will post my experiences after that in this thread.
What I will do for sure is to put all those “things” into its own VLAN if they can speak Ethernet.
Actually it is an open standard. The only drawback is that apart from the KNX Association, no one has built a widespread and open source software for the commissioning of the KNX devices, but anyone is free to create their own tool for commissioning.
Take care with those. Lately the producers of roller shutters embed RF control in sealed motors which can not be opened without losing the warranty and there is no way you can have access to the motor direction control without losing the warranty. So, make sure that the roller shutter supplier either has an interface to KNX, or can give you a direct 4 wire (UP, DOWN, NEUTRAL, GROUND PROTECTION) connection to the motor and then choose a KNX actuator (browse as many KNX producers as possible - there are more than 400 producers on the market right now).
As far as I know it has a standard IP interface (why not use that?), and I don’t think you need a Modbus Interface. The smaller the number of protocols, the better!
If you will have an anti burglar system, DO NOT integrate the presence sensors and the window contacts in KNX (KNX is secure (for some products) in terms of telegram encapsulation but you will have big problems finding secure KNX devices), use professional security grade systems (DSC - binding is available, PARADOX - via MQTT are fully integratable with openHAB) and integrate them with openHAB for sending commands to KNX.
You can’t, you would be too late to the game. The association was quite smart.
You need device commissioning files that describes the devices capabilities. And all manufacturers and suppliers have .ets files nowadays. And those files can only be read by the ets application (which is a problem as long as reverse engineering is forbidden in some countries).
So the bus itself is open standard but not a single manufacturer provides “vendor neutral” description files.
I could help out here. But before we start I need your ETS5 project and your existing openhab project (I’ll have a look without any charge).
Also we could have a quick free pre phone call were I show you what I can offer.
Let me know if you are interested.