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foogledricks

Home Automation

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So a recent youtube video about automating your home using Google Now, Tasker, Z-Wave, and VeraLite,   The potential boggles the mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOU5sFfajlg

 

Anyone here using z-wave, or even Veralite to do home automation?  What I'd love to do is replace a few light switches, maybe my thermostat, and the lock on my garage door with z-wave devices.  Then if it works well, maybe I'll go crazy replacing more light switches, hook up my web cams, and whatever crazy thing I can show off next time I have a party.  

 

I wish I could use a system where everything just connects to my wi-fi network.  Z-wave is its own wireless network, which seems sort of a waste since I have wi-fi throughout my house.  What if one of my devices has a poor signal to the receiver?  That is my only concern.

 

Any thoughts on home automation, z-wave, or this Veralite receiver?

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I have a control4 unit.  it's pretty awesome.  my controller is in my basement and I have no problem with range.

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Isn't control 4 a more expensive, custom installed system. Like you need a pro to come and do it? Whereas what I was talking about was more cheap and diys?

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Hey, look who I found while researching Home Automation!


 
 
I'm having a home built, and they offer "OnQ Audio w/ VC Prewire 16/4, 16/2 CAT5e" What does that mean?  Sounds like audio-only for the low price of $200 bucks.

They also offer Control-4 HC250 or HC800, but those are way more expensive. Are you meant to choose either OnQ OR Control-4, or are they two totally different things?
 
My home is automatically getting a "20” structured wiring can with an 8x8 audio/video module"  and I don't know if that's meant to go hand-in-hand with one of the above, or if it's just a "hub" from which I can run audio/video around the house. 

 

I can't gain access to the house under construction to wire it up myself (already asked and it's forbidden in the contract), so I need to decide before my design center meeting next week. 

 

 

Carlos.

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So a recent youtube video about automating your home using Google Now, Tasker, Z-Wave, and VeraLite,   The potential boggles the mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOU5sFfajlg

 

Anyone here using z-wave, or even Veralite to do home automation?  What I'd love to do is replace a few light switches, maybe my thermostat, and the lock on my garage door with z-wave devices.  Then if it works well, maybe I'll go crazy replacing more light switches, hook up my web cams, and whatever crazy thing I can show off next time I have a party.  

 

I wish I could use a system where everything just connects to my wi-fi network.  Z-wave is its own wireless network, which seems sort of a waste since I have wi-fi throughout my house.  What if one of my devices has a poor signal to the receiver?  That is my only concern.

 

Any thoughts on home automation, z-wave, or this Veralite receiver?

 

What are your needs? How big is your place?

 

I control my lights, thermostat, TV, home theater, bedroom TV & music, and all my devices via WiFi. I live in a 1,000 square-foot 2 bedroom / 2 bath condo in NYC, though, so my needs may be different than yours.

 

My setup consists of:

 

Harmony Ultimate

Philips Hue

Nest thermostats

Sonos x 2

DLNA NAS

Airtunes

 

The only thing I have wired in my place is ethernet throughout. All of this runs via WiFi.

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I want to control:

 

Some Lights

Thermostat (I'd love to be able to log in somewhere remotely and override the temperature programming if I'm late/early to home.

2-3 music zones (patio, bedroom, family room)

Open a socket to CTU

View security cameras from my tablet (remotely even).

Maybe arm/disarm security system remotely

Raise/lower garage door remotely

Control all my A/V equipment

Start the dishwasher

Open/close curtains (at some later pipe-dream date)

Dispense a dog treat remotely

 

Plus whatever I'm not thinking of that I need but don't know about yet.

 

 

Carlos.

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"Hey, look who I found while researching Home Automation!"

 

Seems like a Dick :P

 

 

"Open a socket to CTU"

 

You win life

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Wha? Dispensing a dog treat remotely removes all the fun of giving a doggie a treat.

 

I would consider this a lot of fun:

 

 

 

Carlos.

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I've been waiting for so long for google to take the home automation bull by the horns, for there to be an obvious time to jump in, but it has never happened. I should just do it. I'm a tech guy. And I can't even remotely unlock my door.

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Hey, look who I found while researching Home Automation!

 

 

 

I'm having a home built, and they offer "OnQ Audio w/ VC Prewire 16/4, 16/2 CAT5e" What does that mean?  Sounds like audio-only for the low price of $200 bucks.

 

They also offer Control-4 HC250 or HC800, but those are way more expensive. Are you meant to choose either OnQ OR Control-4, or are they two totally different things?

 

My home is automatically getting a "20” structured wiring can with an 8x8 audio/video module"  and I don't know if that's meant to go hand-in-hand with one of the above, or if it's just a "hub" from which I can run audio/video around the house. 

 

I can't gain access to the house under construction to wire it up myself (already asked and it's forbidden in the contract), so I need to decide before my design center meeting next week. 

 

 

Carlos.

 

Which On-Q system are they installing? If its not digital audio, don't do it. I owe you a phone call on this anyways but I can direct you a bit better in terms of what to do.

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This is a Beazer house.   There are only 3 lines in our "options available report" that specifically mention On-Q:

Prewire - OnQ Audio w/ VC Prewire 16/4, 16/2 CAT5e  $199.00
Prewire - OnQ Prewire - Additional Location CAT5e  $99.00
Cameras - OnQ Ball Camera Package w/On-Q Camera, Camera Module, Power Supply  $959.00
 
There's also this:
Prewire - Future Proof Your Home - Structured Wiring - Upg (4) single drops to (4) port $999.00   which is vague as all fuck to me.
 
I have complained that the information is vague, but they just keep telling me that it will all be clear when I go to the data/design center meeting.  I can see their tactic--they want to overwhelm me with options and then hope I'll make an emotional/uniformed decision at the spur of the moment.  I'm getting just 1-hour with the Data guy, and the rest of the time is meant to be spent picking doorknobs and tile and such.
 
I want to go in as informed as possible and it's killing me not having pictures, or a website to go to for further information.  I just don't want to regret not getting at least the wiring I need done at the initial build because it will be way more hassle, and therefore I'll never get it done, after the house is built.  The house is getting spray-foam insulation in all the exterior walls, and I hear that's a bitch to run wire through later.

 

I'll start another thread to get you guys' input on my home theater pre-wire.  That's a whole 'nuther kick in the hangy-downies. 

 

 

 

Carlos.

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Anyone still moving ahead with some of this stuff?  I just jumped in with the Hue lights, I have the Gen 3 Starter kit with color.  Echo will tell them what to do now, but Siri is better because it will change scenes and Echo won't.

 

I've seen only one game on Xbox that supports the Hue's, that's Chariot.  It will adjust your lights to what is happening in the game, hope more do this.  Does anyone know if there are any apps that work with Netflix or things like that will also change your colors based on what you're viewing?

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I've got Hue Lights throughout the house and wifi enabled thermostats (Honeywell).  

 

The SyFy app will control your hue lights when you watch  episodes of 12 Monkeys.  I have tried this but of course in my media room the lights wash out some of the projected image, so what it add is immersion, it subtracts from PQ.  I mean to try it with just the rear bulbs enabled, but I haven't yet.  I'm not sure if they continued this in season 2. 

 

Get the Hue Disco app.  It will make your lights dance/change colors/strobe to the beat of the music and does an impressive job.  

 

 

Carlos.

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Hue lights cannot be energy efficient, right?  Are they LED?  I think I should buy some.  But I'm too cheap to have my electric bill go up for the novelty.

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They are LED.   Here's the money quote from an  Anandtech test:  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6805/philips-hue-automated-home-lighting-gets-colorful/6

 

 

In a worst-case scenario, if you have a fully populated network of 50 Connected Bulbs, each will draw approximately 1W more than a regular light in order to run the communication hardware. Over the course of a year, that will add up to 236kWh of power, or approximately $24 (at around $0.10 per kWh), which is negligible in comparison to the $3000+ in lights that you’ll have spent. 

 

The hardest part for me is teaching my family to stop flipping the light switches, which cut all power to the bulbs and render them un-controllable via voice or through the apps.  It's too hard for them to remember to say Alexa, ____ lights off.  So then when I want to voice/app control them, I have to go flip the switch first.  

 

 

Carlos.

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They are LED. Here's the money quote from an Anandtech test: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6805/philips-hue-automated-home-lighting-gets-colorful/6

 

 

The hardest part for me is teaching my family to stop flipping the light switches, which cut all power to the bulbs and render them un-controllable via voice or through the apps. It's too hard for them to remember to say Alexa, ____ lights off. So then when I want to voice/app control them, I have to go flip the switch first.

 

 

Carlos.

 

Your solution is easy, just use tape.

 

 

Duct tape.

 

 

About three rolls.

 

 

And some plastic bags, rubber gloves and bleach. Problem solved.

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I used my 3rd bulb for a TV backlight.  I just got a $12 desk lamp and aimed it straight back to the wall behind the TV, it's pretty awesome.  I tried a LED strip from Amazon, just a $15 one with a remote, but it didn't light up much at all since my TV is about 14 inches from the back wall.  This way, the light bulb is perfectly splashing color behind the TV.

 

I will be getting the Hue Disco today as well.

 

Not the best picture... my walls are currently a "theater red" I put on about 7 years ago... I'm going to go some other color this weekend, do you think just straight White is the way to go, or would a Silver or some kind of Grey look ok?  I wonder....

 

https://goo.gl/photos/oRJ1yeD4z7jzbg4U7

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I painted my theater walls grey, with black on the ceiling, and it came out nicely.  But I'm not trying to get any ambient lighting effects up there since it's a projector.

 

Looks like with the 3 bulbs you can get that back wall to appear to be any color, so a white/off white color would probably do nicely.  My downstairs TV is in a little niche, and I have it painted an almond color, and use the Hue Light strips for my backlight.  It works great for blues (movies) and greens (sports), but I can't get a plain white color with those strips.

 

Nice Pup!  

 

 

Carlos.

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Thanks for the info, I will most likely just go off-white to get the ambient colors I actually want.  The Hue Strip would no doubt do what I need behind the TV, but I wanted to avoid the $90, I considered the Philips Bloom for $59, but this works fine for me.  Once I get it all done, I'll show you again with the right colors!  And my pup is a 6 month old Corgi... he's a ball of energy, awesome little dog.

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Tell me if I'm making a mistake. I think I am.  I just bought a SmartThings hub and two z-wave switches so that I can schedule my interior and exterior garage lights to turn on at night.  That's stupid right?  I should just get 6 white A19 Phillips Hue lights instead?  Those can be scheduled too, right?  I have a google home and have google assistant on my phone.  Is there any upside to using SmartThings?

 

Originally I had intended to get like 12 z-wave smart switches and control lighting around my house, and then scaled that down to just these two.  The more that I think about it, so long as Hue lights work in the cold, and work as long as they have wi-fi access, and can be scheduled and work with google home, SmartThings seems stupid just to control 6 lights, right?  Am I missing something?

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Tell me if I'm making a mistake. I think I am.  I just bought a SmartThings hub and two z-wave switches so that I can schedule my interior and exterior garage lights to turn on at night.  That's stupid right?  I should just get 6 white A19 Phillips Hue lights instead?  Those can be scheduled too, right?  I have a google home and have google assistant on my phone.  Is there any upside to using SmartThings?

 

Originally I had intended to get like 12 z-wave smart switches and control lighting around my house, and then scaled that down to just these two.  The more that I think about it, so long as Hue lights work in the cold, and work as long as they have wi-fi access, and can be scheduled and work with google home, SmartThings seems stupid just to control 6 lights, right?  Am I missing something?

 

If you are only going to schedule lights to turn on and off, then SmartThings is probably overkill. I have a SmartThings system in my apartment for security, I have two door sensors, two motion sensors, a power outlet, and a siren alarm. I've also configured it so that the lights all turn on a vibrant red should the alarm be 'tripped'

 

Otherwise, I can't think of any specific functionality that ST offers over the Hue app (or other apps that "talk" Hue and other lights at the same time) for scheduling and/or geofencing lights. Actually, there is one small advantage to SmartThings, they offer a fob which can be used without a smartphone to determine if someone is present at home.

 

If you expect you might want to interface with other devices like sensors, non-Hue lights, cameras, temperature or humidity sensors (note that most ST sensors also have temperature built in), then the ST hub will be able to coordinate all of those.

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Thanks.  I took you advice.

 

I've opted to return my SmartThings stuff, and have so far just installed a bunch of $15 Hue lights in my garage and front door.  I will expand to the rest of the house as soon as I figure out whether I want the white ambiance or color ambiance options or just more of the cheapo no-ambiance bulbs.

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