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Rewiring House - Options for Future Proofing Switches and Lighting Automation

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  • 04-07-2018 8:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭


    All,

    Going to be rewiring the house from scratch in the coming year and was looking through this forum for advice on future proofing for some home automation. It's likely I won't have the budget for it up front but want to make sure I cover the requirements during the wiring process, e.g. adding neutral to light sockets.

    Ideally, I would like 3rd party light fittings and my preference is to operate from a switch (rather than use a phone to operate). For example, I love this iGuzzini fitting for kitchens areas. I would like this to be initially programmed to work with a standard light switch but eventually be transferred to a home automation system in the future. My preference is for a scene-set automation, where one button would switch on combinations of these 3rd party light fittings, e.g. ceiling lights and undercounter lights.

    I have seen the Loxone system and Lutron system which both look promising but expensive.

    Does anyone know what system would be best for this or am I chasing an unachievable dream? Systems like Hue, etc. rely on using their bulbs in a standard fitting which is too restrictive as I would prefer a switched excellent light fitting over an automated good fitting.

    Also, if there is a home automation system, do the lights work if/when the main hub goes down? My worry is that when I'm around I can fix a system but if I was away I wouldn't want it to be a major job to get back up and running again. Stoner's thread is absolutely frightening to read!


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Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    The lighting system you've named are well recognised.

    However for a domestic situation if you stick to the recognised Philips lamps GU10 , their strips etc, you can achieve great things things and still use generic fittings .

    There is no extra cabling required, maybe neutrals to the switches

    So you could be up and running with 200 euro and add on as you go.

    Plus Philips are very good when it comes to apps and updates etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,298 ✭✭✭✭salmocab


    I’m with stoner on this, for me the future is addressable fittings/bulbs. I think everything will be on WiFi. Just my guess of course but it seems more likely to be the way we go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    All,

    Going to be rewiring the house from scratch in the coming year and was looking through this forum for advice on future proofing for some home automation. It's likely I won't have the budget for it up front but want to make sure I cover the requirements during the wiring process, e.g. adding neutral to light sockets.

    Ideally, I would like 3rd party light fittings and my preference is to operate from a switch (rather than use a phone to operate). For example, I love this iGuzzini fitting for kitchens areas. I would like this to be initially programmed to work with a standard light switch but eventually be transferred to a home automation system in the future. My preference is for a scene-set automation, where one button would switch on combinations of these 3rd party light fittings, e.g. ceiling lights and undercounter lights.

    I have seen the Loxone system and Lutron system which both look promising but expensive.

    Does anyone know what system would be best for this or am I chasing an unachievable dream? Systems like Hue, etc. rely on using their bulbs in a standard fitting which is too restrictive as I would prefer a switched excellent light fitting over an automated good fitting.

    Also, if there is a home automation system, do the lights work if/when the main hub goes down? My worry is that when I'm around I can fix a system but if I was away I wouldn't want it to be a major job to get back up and running again. Stoner's thread is absolutely frightening to read!

    If you are rewiring, i would cater for a wired smart lighting system, that would entail cat 5/6 cable to the wall switches. You could cater for this initial my at the wiring stage and add it later.

    A wiring topology for this, is very similar for lots of wired systems, including the ones you mention such as loxone, eib,cbus etc.

    A velbus system (which is what I have), with the wiring in place, will cost you approx 45 euro o'er circuit above normal light switch installation.

    Wiring cat cable to the light switch allows you to add lots of options for light switch control etc, for example my light switches are controlling both my velbus system, and a few hue lamps, and they look and feel no different to a standard light switch.

    You also have tje option of putting in some lovely programmable light switches which can run lots of different scenes etc.

    Velbus does not rely in a smart hub to maintain operation, so if your hub goes down, you still have normal access to your lights with no impact, but actually most of the smart functions can still keep working.

    How handy are you for installing this sort if stuff yourself ?


    Other things to consider with rewiring is wired ethernet, wired coax for TV, muktiroom audio (now quite simple and very affordable with the likes if sonos, and google smart speakers)


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    Stoner wrote: »
    However for a domestic situation if you stick to the recognised Philips lamps GU10 , their strips etc, you can achieve great things things and still use generic fittings .

    Plus Philips are very good when it comes to apps and updates etc.

    The GU10 is similar to a typical spot that I see in kitchens. However, the iGuzzini lights that I mentioned before have a deep set LED so you don't get the typical glare that you see in standard ceiling spots (you only get glare when you're underneath them).

    I've used the Hue system before and while I find it good, I felt that it was a retrofit home automation solution rather than what you would look for in a rewiring. The light fitting I used (Philips Hue Still) wasn't constructed as well as I would have hoped but matched the reviews for the product.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    A velbus system (which is what I have), with the wiring in place, will cost you approx 45 euro o'er circuit above normal light switch installation.

    Wiring cat cable to the light switch allows you to add lots of options for light switch control etc, for example my light switches are controlling both my velbus system, and a few hue lamps, and they look and feel no different to a standard light switch.

    You also have tje option of putting in some lovely programmable light switches which can run lots of different scenes etc.

    Velbus does not rely in a smart hub to maintain operation, so if your hub goes down, you still have normal access to your lights with no impact, but actually most of the smart functions can still keep working.

    This actually sounds ideal for my scenario. I looked at the velbus website and they note that the system can be expanded in a modular basis. Removing the need for a smart hub to keep everything running would be great as well.

    I would be handy enough to follow a manual and get the programming work but wouldn't really try my hand at the wiring. With the way regulations are going these days, there is a lot of responsibility placed on being competent in any area that you are working.

    I came across a few posts of yours on the Velbus forum, Wexfordman, and it seems there is a decent amount of work connecting the Velbus to other home automation devices, e.g. Nest. Am I right in thinking that Velbus isn't being integrated to the same level of other brands?


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    The GU10 is similar to a typical spot that I see in kitchens. However, the iGuzzini lights that I mentioned before have a deep set LED so you don't get the typical glare that you see in standard ceiling spots (you only get glare when you're underneath them).


    The GU10 is only a lamp. I'm not sure that deep setting the LED is the variable for reducing the glare. The lamp might have a better polar curve and angle of dispersion.

    Pop it into relux or dialux to check the glare issue.

    You seem to have a physical barriers to prevent the light from spreading out of the fittings , possibly creating pooling rather than glare directly under the fitting.

    The fitting you've shown looks like a standard gimbal fitting, I'm sure you could find many alternatives (less expensive)

    I don't agree that Philips is limited to retrofitting situations,
    However it certainly has issues with not having a UK switch and a 220Vac powered switch

    I moved away from two types of smart switch to Philips hue.
    I have kept my MK edge chrome switches

    For me I really enjoy the integration with hue and other systems. I was not always a fan. I'd wired lightwaverf switches and the old X10 before that

    But the Philips lamps are well made, I'm not familiar with the one you have, but I'm happy uisng generic fittings with smart lamps now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    This actually sounds ideal for my scenario. I looked at the velbus website and they note that the system can be expanded in a modular basis. Removing the need for a smart hub to keep everything running would be great as well.

    I would be handy enough to follow a manual and get the programming work but wouldn't really try my hand at the wiring. With the way regulations are going these days, there is a lot of responsibility placed on being competent in any area that you are working.

    I came across a few posts of yours on the Velbus forum, Wexfordman, and it seems there is a decent amount of work connecting the Velbus to other home automation devices, e.g. Nest. Am I right in thinking that Velbus isn't being integrated to the same level of other brands?

    I have my velbus controlled using a compatible alarm system, so its fully integrated.

    They are developing a hub for integration into the likes if Alexa anfld google home.etc also. In the meantime, I've been playing around.with openhab on a raspberry pi, and it is through this that I can pull in nest, hue, velbus etc at the moment. Thats how I have setup my standard retraxtive wall switches to control both velbus and hue.

    The wall switch is connected to a velbus input, and from that I can get ot to activate any velbus device or any hue device/lamp etc, so I have multifunctional.wall.switches controlling different device types.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    Stoner wrote: »
    I moved away from two types of smart switch to Philips hue.
    I have kept my MK edge chrome switches

    For me I really enjoy the integration with hue and other systems. I was not always a fan. I'd wired lightwaverf switches and the old X10 before that

    As this is my first foray into home automation, it's good to hear your feedback as you've had wired switches before.

    I just took a look through the Philips Hue again and note that they announced their 'Friends of Hue' integration. It will be interesting to see what people like Niko come up with in Q4 2018 - they have some lovely home automation switches:
    47af374525b9450092b5a56700c684dd.ashx?v=84c3d4bb27c84ddf98df208f1e038d27&h=250&w=250&la=en&bc=white&hash=6ECAE6E7F7B57231037CAF9E528E33C4B44D3BA3


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    I have my velbus controlled using a compatible alarm system, so its fully integrated.

    They are developing a hub for integration into the likes if Alexa anfld google home.etc also. In the meantime, I've been playing around.with openhab on a raspberry pi, and it is through this that I can pull in nest, hue, velbus etc at the moment. Thats how I have setup my standard retraxtive wall switches to control both velbus and hue.

    The wall switch is connected to a velbus input, and from that I can get ot to activate any velbus device or any hue device/lamp etc, so I have multifunctional.wall.switches controlling different device types.

    I think I understand how you have it connected. I presume there isn't too much lag between all the systems.

    It does sound like a bit of work to get everything talking but I might find time after the build is completed.

    Just as a query, did you ever have your light switches wired as a standard set-up? Or did you commit to Velbus from the start?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    I think I understand how you have it connected. I presume there isn't too much lag between all the systems.

    It does sound like a bit of work to get everything talking but I might find time after the build is completed.

    Just as a query, did you ever have your light switches wired as a standard set-up? Or did you commit to Velbus from the start?


    Nope, no noticeable lag at all between the systems.

    My light switches were always wired differently, I have had a smart system from day one when we built the house in 2000.

    The work to get them working was actually not too bad, I'm not great at coding, so always steered away from Linux and RPI type solutions but tried my hand at openhabian a few eeks back and got it up.and running quite quickly.

    I must post up some photos of my light switches as well, most are standard retractive stainless steel, but I have one recent addition which is a velbus glass panel LCD smart switch


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    If I was rewiring my home, I think I'd focus on getting the basic infrastructure in place, which allows you the greatest flexibility to chop and change over the coming years as technologies change. So:

    - Standard modern light fixtures. GU10 for recessed lights, E27 for bulbs. Note you might want to make sure the GU10 fittings have plenty of space. The Colour Hue GU10's are larger then normal LEDs
    - Neutral at each light switch and deep back box to allow flexibility to add smart switch
    - wexfordman2 would recommend cat5 to each switch to allow for various wired solutions

    I'd also stress the importance in running cat6 for ethernet to each room. The future of wifi is access points in each major room with ethernet back to the router. Plus you will want to connect every wired device to ethernet where possible.

    You might want to think about cat6 for HDMI and cat6 for CCTV cameras.

    Wires for a home security system sensors and and coax runs for satellite and cable TV worth considering too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    Nope, no noticeable lag at all between the systems.

    My light switches were always wired differently, I have had a smart system from day one when we built the house in 2000.

    The work to get them working was actually not too bad, I'm not great at coding, so always steered away from Linux and RPI type solutions but tried my hand at openhabian a few eeks back and got it up.and running quite quickly.

    I must post up some photos of my light switches as well, most are standard retractive stainless steel, but I have one recent addition which is a velbus glass panel LCD smart switch

    The openHABian set-up looks quite good. I wouldn't be too intimidated to try my hand at something like that alright in the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    bk wrote: »
    If I was rewiring my home, I think I'd focus on getting the basic infrastructure in place, which allows you the greatest flexibility to chop and change over the coming years as technologies change. So:

    - Standard modern light fixtures. GU10 for recessed lights, E27 for bulbs. Note you might want to make sure the GU10 fittings have plenty of space. The Colour Hue GU10's are larger then normal LEDs
    - Neutral at each light switch and deep back box to allow flexibility to add smart switch
    - wexfordman2 would recommend cat5 to each switch to allow for various wired solutions

    I'd also stress the importance in running cat6 for ethernet to each room. The future of wifi is access points in each major room with ethernet back to the router. Plus you will want to connect every wired device to ethernet where possible.

    You might want to think about cat6 for HDMI and cat6 for CCTV cameras.

    Wires for a home security system sensors and and coax runs for satellite and cable TV worth considering too.

    Thanks for that.

    Shame that the GU10 fitting is bigger though they seem to have gotten the just white version to fit according to this blog.

    I'm currently thinking that there is probably a requirement for 3no. CAT6 to each standard room for:
    • Wi-fi access point
    • Multi-room Audio (Sonos)
    • Some new product in the next five years


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    I'm currently thinking that there is probably a requirement for 3no. CAT6 to each standard room for:
    • Wi-fi access point
    • Multi-room Audio (Sonos)
    • Some new product in the next five years

    Definitely for wifi access points. Ideal location is ceiling or high wall.

    Sonos I think is wireless, as is Google Home and Alexa. But no harm.

    My apartment happened to come with two cat5e in each room, one at each side. Very handy.

    I'd run a cat6 anywhere you plan on putting a TV, for ethernet. You might also want a second cat6 to any TV for HDMI over cat6.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    The openHABian set-up looks quite good. I wouldn't be too intimidated to try my hand at something like that alright in the future.

    Yeah, its pretty cool, dont know why I shyed away from it till now, loads of cool stuff and you can integrate pretty much anything together through it, so no matter what system you go for in the end, openhab will find a way to make them work better I reckon.

    Velbus are due to release an official hub soon, which will interface to the likes of echoe, GA etc, which to my mind was the one stumbling block with the system over the last 2 years. I got around this however, as my alarm system works with GA, and velbus, but I am looking forward to seeing what a more direct interface will look like.


    Velbus are releasing a hub of their own soon, which will have an official interface to the likes of alexa home etc, so will be interesting to see this, but openhab actually will give pretty much everything you need to control the system. I think, the idea for the new hub/interface is to provide something more user friendly, and with official support so that it can integrate officially to the likes of home/alexa siri etc.

    On the wiring front, if you are considering a wired system, either from day one, or adding to later yourself, you could wire it in a fashion that allows a wired system to be added later.

    Anyway, some photos/examples, all of whcih are wall switches with cat5 cable only behind them.

    Wall switch with cat5 wired, controlling velbus relays (in this example, 2 sets of kitchen lights, one dimmable).

    These are a fairly standard off the shelf wall switch, brushed steel, so while the control smart lighting system, they look and feel like normal switches.

    IMG_20180706_105937_zps4hywoqdy.jpg[/URL]

    This one is in the living room, the switch on the right controls the main living room light, the one on the left, controls a set of hue lamps.

    IMG_20180706_105948_zpseytlaevm.jpg

    This one below, until two weeks ago was similar to the above, but I replaced it for a velbus touch panel switch. This has a programmable lcd display, 4 touch buttons, but 8 pages of menus, so you can have up to 32 differrent button functions. At the moment, I have buttons setup to do a couple of different things for example

    Button 1 Kitchen lights
    Button 2 Outside front lights
    Button 3 outside rear lights
    Button 4 Kitchen Dimmer
    Button 5 (page scroll)Sets the alarm to away mode.

    I am aiming to add a few more scenes to it, add some more outdoor lighitng for it, control shed lights etc.

    It also reads and displays current temp, so can be used as part of heating control system.


    IMG_20180706_112116_zpslhlcyzns.jpg


    The beauty of the cat5 solution, is that I can easily reconfigure/program any input in the house, any wall switch button to control pretty much any device I want, any group of devices, any scenes etc. Hell, I could even get it to send me an email if I wanted it to (not that I would), thats how flexible the system is.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    wexfordman2, that is very cool, what alarm system you using? Is it Cytech?


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    That set-up looks good, Wexfordman. I like the gloss switches and they probably stand the test of time a bit better than one with a lot of information.

    I've summarised my understanding of the systems here:
    ctK4V2t.jpg

    If I've got something wrong, maybe somebody would let me know.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    That is an excellent diagram Victorian House, what software did you use for that?

    A few points:
    - The first one, the standard setup is standard for UK/Ireland. On mainland Europe you would normally also have Neutral going to the light switches. That is what I'd recommend for greatest flexibility. See:
    https://www.vesternet.com/resources/application-notes/apnt-23/

    - For the Velbus/Loxone, that is one way to do it, but I think the way wexfordman2 has it, is standard 3 wire including Neutral passing the switch and then also a cat5 to each switch as well. Gives you the maximum flexibility to chop and change as technologies change over the years.

    - Philips Hue one, yes, though you don't have to have the Hue switch in every room, I don't have any in the hall or study, just Hue motion sensors. I do have Hue switch in the living room, but never use it, lights come on and off on a timer, mostly just there as a backup if family visiting/babysitter.

    Once you get into Hue, you find that you sort of forget about light switches all together. It is more about full automating lights based on motion, sunset timers, etc.

    BTW Philips Hue are partnering with switch manufacturers and they will be releasing a smart switch solution by the end of the year.

    - Z-wave, yes, but some Z-wave modules, like some from Fibario will also work with just 2 wire switches with no Neutral.

    Note that you could also mix Philips Hue smart bulbs with some of the smart switch solutions above, to gain the extra functionality of Hue such as White Ambiance and colours. I think wexfordman2 is mixing his Velbus solution with Hue bulbs in some rooms now.

    But yes, overall that is an excellent diagram.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,769 ✭✭✭Nedved85


    Hi bk,

    "BTW Philips Hue are partnering with switch manufacturers and they will be releasing a smart switch solution by the end of the year."

    Just wondering would you have a link to this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,769 ✭✭✭Nedved85




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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk




  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    Wow check this out, already a light switch that works directly with Hue!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmHjCVet8vM

    Unfortunately it seems you can only buy them in group of 100:

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/zigbee-ha-light-link-zll-smart_60620245504.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,769 ✭✭✭Nedved85


    Seems to be eu/us. Might not work in UK/Ireland?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    bk wrote: »
    That is an excellent diagram Victorian House, what software did you use for that?

    A few points:
    - The first one, the standard setup is standard for UK/Ireland. On mainland Europe you would normally also have Neutral going to the light switches. That is what I'd recommend for greatest flexibility. See:
    https://www.vesternet.com/resources/application-notes/apnt-23/

    - For the Velbus/Loxone, that is one way to do it, but I think the way wexfordman2 has it, is standard 3 wire including Neutral passing the switch and then also a cat5 to each switch as well. Gives you the maximum flexibility to chop and change as technologies change over the years.

    - Philips Hue one, yes, though you don't have to have the Hue switch in every room, I don't have any in the hall or study, just Hue motion sensors. I do have Hue switch in the living room, but never use it, lights come on and off on a timer, mostly just there as a backup if family visiting/babysitter.

    Once you get into Hue, you find that you sort of forget about light switches all together. It is more about full automating lights based on motion, sunset timers, etc.

    BTW Philips Hue are partnering with switch manufacturers and they will be releasing a smart switch solution by the end of the year.

    - Z-wave, yes, but some Z-wave modules, like some from Fibario will also work with just 2 wire switches with no Neutral.

    Note that you could also mix Philips Hue smart bulbs with some of the smart switch solutions above, to gain the extra functionality of Hue such as White Ambiance and colours. I think wexfordman2 is mixing his Velbus solution with Hue bulbs in some rooms now.

    But yes, overall that is an excellent diagram.

    Hi Victorian/bk

    Actually, my setup has no mains at all at the light switch, it is pure cat cable.

    If I was doing it again, I would do it the same way, no .mains at the light switch. For those that might be nervous (and tbh, I see no reason to be nervous) you could divert the live an neutral down to the switch and up again to the light circuit.

    Good diagram Victorian, I have a few diagrams of my system from a document I did up on it, I will post up a link here later. Its old now, but still relevant.

    The hue integration, I am using just for hue lamps etc, but it works great. It actually eliminates the need for dedicated switched lamp circuits (you know the ones with 5a round sockets that people put in for bedside lamps etc.

    The 220v wiring is actually very straight forward, just a live out to the circuit and neutral back, you don't need to go wiring drops to light switches etc.

    Again, you could wire the 220v and neutral to the switch to give you flexibility to ass the system later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    That set-up looks good, Wexfordman. I like the gloss switches and they probably stand the test of time a bit better than one with a lot of information.

    I've summarised my understanding of the systems here:
    ctK4V2t.jpg

    If I've got something wrong, maybe somebody would let me know.

    Hi Victorian, yep that looks about right, and if you consider it, the wiring topology is pretty much the same for loxone, knx, velbus etc.

    The velbus modules bow come in two distinct module types, a relay/switch module and an unlit module. The switch modules typically come with 4 relays to control 4 circuits. Then you have input modules, for example a din rail module which has 7 inputs. So your switches (or pirs or door sensors etc) wire to the input modules which are programmable to switch or activate anything.The inputs can be commined up as well, that's how you achieve two way or three way switching also, which is very simple.


    You could expand out on that a bit to get it clear in your head, how you could then integrate hue into the cat cable wired switches., so that would just need the addition of a RPI with openhabian in it, which talks to velbus and your hue hub.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    bk wrote: »
    Wow check this out, already a light switch that works directly with Hue!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmHjCVet8vM

    Unfortunately it seems you can only buy them in group of 100:

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/zigbee-ha-light-link-zll-smart_60620245504.html

    It does look neat, although hard to make out if it is the hue app itself or not ?

    Again, I think not a bad solution for a refit without being able to re wire, but not as flexible as other solutions


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    bk wrote: »
    wexfordman2, that is very cool, what alarm system you using? Is it Cytech?

    Yeah, it's cytech, but i be had that for nearly 20years. Its not critical for any of the uses I described in my earlier post except for arming and disarming, but lots if ways if achieving that with a standard alarm.

    Where cytexh excells is being able to integrate sensor logic with your automation, ie, motion sensors work from both a security and automation perspective, so you can have rules not just based in sensor state, but also alarm state. So a pir will behave differently based in sunset/sunrise and dependent in if the alarm is set to night, day or away mode.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    If I was doing it again, I would do it the same way, no .mains at the light switch. For those that might be nervous (and tbh, I see no reason to be nervous) you could divert the live an neutral down to the switch and up again to the light circuit.

    Yes, I'd be quiet uncomfortable with just this and I don't think I could recommend it.

    What if you decide to sell your home? Wouldn't you want to take your expensive kit with you? And the new owners might just want simple switches and might not want to buy expensive fancy lighting system and all the geekiness involved with it.

    Or what if your gear breaks down in 20 years and you find these companies have gone out of business or gone expensive commercial only. You may end up stuck and needing to spend a lot to get someone in to re-wire switches.

    I'd say if you want cat5, cool, but I'd still run three wire to switches and really that shouldn't be much extra effort for an electrician, it is just follow the mainland Europe approach to lighting circuits
    Yeah, it's cytech, but i be had that for nearly 20years. Its not critical for any of the uses I described in my earlier post except for arming and disarming, but lots if ways if achieving that with a standard alarm.

    Where cytexh excells is being able to integrate sensor logic with your automation, ie, motion sensors work from both a security and automation perspective, so you can have rules not just based in sensor state, but also alarm state. So a pir will behave differently based in sunset/sunrise and dependent in if the alarm is set to night, day or away mode.

    It is very cool how much versatility you are getting out of such an old system, you are certainly getting your moneys worth!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,541 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    bk wrote: »
    Yes, I'd be quiet uncomfortable with just this and I don't think I could recommend it.

    What if you decide to sell your home? Wouldn't you want to take your expensive kit with you? And the new owners might just want simple switches and might not want to buy expensive fancy lighting system and all the geekiness involved with it.

    Or what if your gear breaks down in 20 years and you find these companies have gone out of business or gone expensive commercial only. You may end up stuck and needing to spend a lot to get someone in to re-wire switches.

    I'd say if you want cat5, cool, but I'd still run three wire to switches and really that shouldn't be much extra effort for an electrician, it is just follow the mainland Europe approach to lighting circuits



    It is very cool how much versatility you are getting out of such an old system, you are certainly getting your moneys worth!!


    Yep, the alarm system is old, but still receives constant updates and new features, and is steady as a rock. The fact that it is still sold today, in the same form, and still being developed with new interfaces etc speaks volumes.

    With regards resale, the argument for is if course that a professional level system can add value to your house, of course it may well detract some buyers, but the important thing is that the system can and should operate exactly like a standard light switch, there should be no difference in his it operates, and it should be capable of running in its own without the smarts.

    I would also recommend going for systems and technologies which are about for a long time, the likes of eib, knx etc are not going anywhere, these are large widely used systems deployed in large commercial buildings, stadiums, event centres and if course domestic. Velbus is owned and made by velleman, is also used across a range of commercial and domestic installations, also not going anywhere. I did my research on this before taking the plunge (part of the reason I chose not to go for loxone at the time).

    The technology behind these things as well, is not complex, there is nothing new or fancy in these, there are no wireless systems, its simply a comms bus and relays, technologies that are decades old, and reliable.

    As I said to Victorian house also, the additional backup is that the wiring topology for these systems is pretty much identical, so you can if need be replace one system with another using the same wiring topology, so an extra safety net (an unnecessary one to be honest).

    Smart lighting systems are not going to dissapear, they are going to grow and the market is expanding not shrinking. It won't be long now until smart lighting systems are standard, the wiring systems we have now are legacy, havnt changed in decades pretty much, and need to move on.

    The wireless light bulb systems such as hue will only help accelerate the adoption of smart lighting systems, as people become more familiar with the concept, and adopt the principle of it, home automation will become more mainstream, and that will expand the market for all systems.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    bk wrote: »
    That is an excellent diagram Victorian House, what software did you use for that?
    Autocad for the diagram!
    bk wrote: »
    - The first one, the standard setup is standard for UK/Ireland. On mainland Europe you would normally also have Neutral going to the light switches. That is what I'd recommend for greatest flexibility.
    Yes, I'll definitely include neutral to the light switches. The other issue with the standard lighting circuit is my understanding that you connect circuits in a series, i.e. 4-5 lights would connect back to a single fuse, whereas a velbus or loxone set-up requires them all in parallel, i.e. every light has an individual fuse on the fuse box.


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