19th February 2012, 07:11 PM
Automated Home Lurker
Remote Control of Mains Sockets/Appliances
I'm in the middle of a new build and am putting in a lot of automation including centralised lighting, security, heating etc. However I also want to have control over other devices which are plugged into standard wall sockets. I have my alarm panel connected into a lot of the other systems which allows various actions to be taken when the alarm is set. E.g. Switch off the mains water, turn off the lights etc. This is simply done with a set of voltage free output contacts from the alarm panel. Ideally I'd like to do this with the mains sockets I want control of.
So far I've looked at several options including LightWave RF, Z Wave, HomeEasy and PlugWise. I particularly like the PlugWise offering as it can independently measure and log electricity usage from each connected appliance. However it's drawback is that it needs a PC to run the software and the PC has to be on to allow remote control of the PlugWise units whether within the LAN or outside. LightWave RF is a possibility but doesn't have the ability to log usage and from looking at their website and their means of control outside the LAN, it doesn't seem to be the most professional of setups. The website is very basic and having to direct all WAN requests through their servers is not ideal in my opinion. I'd rather have an internal web server doing this.
However none of the systems I've looked at seem to have an easy way of utilising the alarm panel as a signal device. I'm sure it's possible but may take a bit of head scratching.
Anyone know of a system which might suit my needs? To be clear this is for control of devices plugged in or wired in on the normal ring main.
Thanks for any ideas.