Smart Home Job Field

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(Ahmad Yazan Tibi) #1

Greetings everyone,

I need you answer; do you think working in smart home field (to provide the system to client) is good job field, (by the way I am computer engineer).

Or you just doint the system for your own home ?


(Lucky) #2

Depends. If you are messing with critical stuff, you better be licensed, or clients will (for sure) sue you when something goes wrong. Not only this, you need to not just know software, but proficiency in electrical engineering field as well. If you need to google what a triac is or need to use the internet to calculate and select resistor values for a divider, or if you do not know how to convert 220V to 3.3V without buying an off-the-shelf transformer, then I suggest you get educated properly first. DIY for your own house is one thing. Doing it for others require certifications, licenses, etc. You are basically putting their own home and safety under your own hands.


(Thomas Binder) #3

I guess, here in the forum >98% are doing it for fun for their own house. But in the field I would think >80% of hinge owners would like to have some kind of smart home, but the hurdles are too high. They go for some easy devices from one vendor, which has a nice UI or something.
But there are always still enough potential clients, who want a decent smart home and are willing to pay not only a system integrator, but for decent devises.

So, I don’t know your region, but I would think go for some additional skills like electrician (including KNX e.g.). As literally every smart home relies on electric stuff. If you’re capable of planning a complete home from scratch on a greenfield and can then break it down for existing homes I would think, you’re set.

But be aware: just installing software won’t suffice in my opinion, you have to have said electrician skills and such. Don’t underestimate the effort of marketing and sales until your business runs smoothly…


(Ahmad Yazan Tibi) #4

But there are many companies (integrators) doing smart home using even more simpler systems (smartthings, homeseer) !

I don’t think customers will buy equipment by themselves, they just need the final functions

I will not say doing DIY needs professionals, however not home owners can understand some of the used concepts
It obviously requires some technical skills


(Thomas Binder) #5

That’s the exact target group for your business in my opinion:

  • non-techy
  • non-savvy
  • “just get me a smart home”
  • “I’ll come back to you everytime I want a change in my setup”

There are enough out there, who won’t touch a console or an text editor - they simply want a smart home. That’s why in my opinion you have to have electrician skills for:

  • installing the tech
  • combining the tech
  • making a decent smart home for your clients (great User Experience, simplicity, personalization for their home, …)

But hey - you wanted our opinion! If you already set for go - go ahead and do it! but 100%, burn for it, live for it! I guess, you have a Business plan, you know, what kind of tech you want to have in your portfolio (meaning you know for sure how it works and how you can integrate it) for the perfect smart home of your clients?


(Ahmad Yazan Tibi) #6

Actually I see doing smart home for business it is self-evident. It is just like for instance doing many things for business (like designing website for clients, for sure the clients don’t need to do their website by themselves) !


(Lucky) #7

Please protect yourself and your clients. You need to be certified and licensed in most cases.


(Ahmad Yazan Tibi) #8

What do you mean by being certified, can you declare more please ?


(bob_dickenson) #9

In all cases, if you are doing any sort of commercial work, you will need a legal entity which is the “work provider” – (likely an LLC in the US) and various sorts of professional liability insurance with (paid-for liability limits) associated with said LLC. Where I live in NJ, a reasonable level of liability etc insurance will cost you roughly 2000+ USD p.a.

In many U.S. jurisdictions/states, anything that smacks of “alarming” to an external entity will require a state license. (I mean things like “fire”, “break-in” etc). Many local fire and police departments will NOT accept any sort of automated alarming from a source which is not certified and licensed by the state. This make it virtually impossible to get into the “security” market as a smallish-LLC.

Before you “jump in the pool”, make sure you know where the sharks are.


(Lucky) #10

@bob_dickenson Correct. Also, no insurer will accept any system without certificate, and no county will accept work (fire/pipes/gas/etc) from an unlicensed entity. Here in my area (Contra Costa County) you will need to go through hoops and loops just to be certified before you can even begin working on others’ properties. @a.tibi I;m also a software engineer, but software part of automation is just a small part of it.


(Stephen Winnall) #11

There will be different regulations in different parts of the world. But, if you’re selling something you have to be proficient in all related areas too. And if people are paying, they want a good, clean job (don’t ruin the decor).

In my experience, software is the easy bit (but I am a software engineer…).

Electrical engineering know-how is a must, and in Europe, at least, requires professional certification.

Other skills that you might need include woodwork, plastering, painting and masonry for when cables don’t go where you need them; and plumbing if you are dealing with heating (or cooling?) systems.

This based on my experience. I’m doing my own home, but I’m aware that it has to hold up if I ever want to sell it.

Steve


(Lucky) #12

Yep and not only that: if you sell your house and have critical stuff installed such as devices that are not certified, it won’t pass inspection.