I’m in the process of designing the electrical network for the living part of my home. We had to completely rebuild this part, so I’m starting from scratch. I’d like to automate as much as I could, but I’m stuck at which communication technology to chose.
I’d like it to be open standard, energy efficient, secure, and of course compatible with free software.
Wireless seems the easiest, for example with zigbee, but it’s inherently less secure, less stable, and I guess that it continuously must use some idle power (maybe it’s negligible ?).
As I have to put new cables anyway, I can can go wired. KNX seems to be the open standard, but it’s designed for distributed «intelligence», and most of all the devices need an expansive and proprietary software to be configured.
Consider Z-Wave, It is open & locally controlled. There is security and, if needed, it is designed well for battery operated devices such as sensors.
Z-Wave devices are world region-specific due to the regional frequencies used. Z-Wave does not use the crowded 2.4 GHz wireless space used by Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, and many other possibly interfering devices.
I have z-wave throughout my house (some 80 odd devices), but if I had the option of hard-wired, I would choose that over any wireless protocol, even if initially slightly more expensive.
Z-wave/zigbee do have communications issues from time to time, and every few days I find that there is a 2 to 3 seconds lag before a device responds. Whilst not end of the world, it can be annoying when it happens.