What technology for new home?

I’m building a new house, and want to automate it using openhab interface and physical switches with things such as:

  • automated blinds with the option to schedule its opening in the morning and to close when becomes dark outside
  • automated lights with on/off/dimming capabilites and RGB led strips control
  • temperature/humidity sensors to activate fans or radiant floor as needed
  • CCTV, motion sensors, doors and windows reed sensors for alarm and surveillance purposes
  • Doorbell that interacts with home system for video display, music speakers and capable to notify via smartphone

But there are so many technologies and options around that I became a bit lost.I don’t appreciate wireless devices because of possible interferences. I prefer all wired, it’s more reliable, secure and no need to change batteries. I don’t want expensive brands like KNX and I’ve been looking for open source systems like Souliss with arduinos wich seems a good option but requires a lot of effort to learn and program, or openmotics but this last one doesn’t have a binding with openhab.

What system(s) would you recommend me, cheap, with lots of capabilities, and not extremely hard to configure? Thanks.


Just for clarification, are you going to build a ‘smart-home’ with openHAB at it’s core, or build a house and then when the building is finished automate the place?



If you are building from the ground up, or are renovating and will have your walls open, go wired as much as possible. Your biggest challenge will always be getting power to your sensors and dealing with the vagaries of wireless. Wired is almost always better but few can use it because their walls are closed, hence the huge market for wireless stuff.

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I have wired my new house with knx. The big advantage is, that you are free to choose the manufacturer of the products. With homematic for example, you have to buy all from one company. If the company will close, you can not buy any new things.

There are many cheap knx companys, i have installed lots of equipment from MDT. One channel of my on/off actors costs about 20 - 25 €. If you buy homematic, z-wave, enocean or something like this, you will not get it much cheaper.

I will place some android-tablets around my house and fix it to the walls. They are cheaper than knx-switches/sensors and you have much more functionality. And i installed many of motion/presence detectors, so i don´t need too much switches at all.


I’m building a new house from the ground, and then automate it.

KNX is a solid solution, but I believe that all the sensors, actuators and switches will make the overall price go way up. That’s why I think an open source solution might be cheaper and also have a good support.

With the android tablets you can’t have 100% wired since they only connect to your smart home network via wi-fi right?

If you don’t need that much switches you could consider led bulbs/strips with a build in switch like Philips Hue, or Milight. It doesnt’t get any easier than that, it is wireless though.
I agree with Rich and ‘halloween’ if it comes to KNX. KNX is well developed, well established, well documented, multi-vendor, and subjected to many quality controls, if you buy KNX, you buy professional, made to last hardware. Not all consumer solution offer that quality/durability/reliability. And to be honest; I really wonder if KNX is that much more expensive than other solutions If I were in you position I’d spend those extra euros and knx the place during construction.
I’d say forget arduinos and a complete diy solution if you’re already having a job, it will take so much of your time if you’re not exactly sure about what you’re doing. Use arduino’s for specific custom solutions where there is no commercial alternative.
Wireless isn’t unreliable or insecure by default. Many systems and protocols incorporate security features. And as long as you’re not building a bunker you shouldn’t be to worried about poor signals and stuff.

Goodluck and enjoy the build,


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Thanks for your answer. I believe I’ll need quite a few switches and led bulbs, so Philips Hue and the likes aren’t suitable for me. For 8 blinds, 10+ switches and leds, 7 motion detectors and door/windows sensors that’s not going to be cheap, and besides that I think that to program the system I need to buy the KNX software.
You’re right, I don’t have that much time with a job a two little kids at home, but altough I’m not used to work with automation, I’m an electrical engineer and have in the past played a bit with this kind of things and I love programming. That’s why I was searching for an open-source solution that gives me freedom to adapt the automation system to my needs without having to do everything from scracth.

BTW, what do you think of openmotics, it looks a kind of KNX open source, but the GUI is only available through the cloud.

maybe this will helpful for you http://www.intranet-of-things.com/smarthome

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