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Thread: eDIN Lighting & General Home Automation

  1. #1
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    Default eDIN Lighting & General Home Automation

    Hi All,

    I am in the middle of a new build house in Gloucestershire. I am in the middle of first fix wiring and have been reading the forums looking for inspiration and advice! I have chosen an eDIN centralised lighting system from Mode Lighting and have installed the structured cabling for this. I am now looking at running the data network and audio/visual cabling to each room. I haven't finalised the hardware to run the audio or video system as yet but currently have 5 coax runs from the SAT dish and DAB aerial. This will then be split using a multiswitch to distribute throughout the house. I am intending on running 2 coax runs and 3 CAT5Es to each TV point along with HDMI to those rooms which are close to the 'hub'. I have put a loft room aside as a plant room or 'hub' where all cabling terminates. All the lighting circuits come back to this point along with the structured cabling from each light switch. The main phone line also terminates here and all the CAT5E data cables.

    I'm now looking at how I'd like to automate some of the mains switching. For example I'd like to be able to switch off TVs instead of leaving them on standby but as all TVs are wall mounted I don't want to use the standard standby saver extensions. This is where network controlled mains sockets come in. I've been reading details of the Idratek system which looks very versatile but well priced. I haven't looked in detail at any other systems. Obviously cost is a big decider so being able to utilise CAT5E for any system is a bonus. I'd appreciate any inputs from people who have installed the system and how they find it in use.

    With regards to the eDIN lighting system, these are based on DIN rail mounted dimmers and accessories. I'm looking for a suitable enclosure for these as standard MCB enclosures are a little small. If anyone has any suggestions for suitable enclosures I'd really appreciate the input. Details of the eDIN system can be found here: http://www.edincontrols.com/

    I'm looking to incorporate quite a few different things into the system for local and remote control/monitoring. There are so many different systems out there it's hard to choose which is best! Any advice or recommendations much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    For an enclosure to use with your DIN rail lighting modules, these are good: http://www.aca-apex.co.uk/ACAApexCRISenclosures.htm

    If your network-controlled mains sockets can be controlled via telnet commands then the eDIN Network Processor could transmit those commands, as part of the lighting control scenes as well.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the link and reply. Looking at the link, the enclosure looks fine for where I intend mounting them. However do they have DIN rails already mounted as it's not clear from the website or would these have to be mounted afterwards?

    I haven't decided on the type of sockets yet so am open to suggestions!

  4. #4
    Automated Home Guru JonS's Avatar
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    Andy
    Sounds like you have made some significant decisions already about how to automate such as wiring layout and lighting controls. As you observe there are a lot of systems out there and which ones are "best" depend on what you want to achieve as well as how deep your pockets are or how much time you have. In my out of date blog below I have a post on the design which you may find useful to ensure you don't close off options you may want later.
    On Automating Mains Switches there a few approaches.
    The most effort is to radially wire the sockets you want to control back to a set of DIN rail mounted relays - this is what I did, but I am not sure I'd recommend it as its not flexible and involves huge amounts of cable. It is reliable though.
    Various plug-through devices are coming available where the control is achieved through wireless signals, either proprietory or a "standard" like Zwave or Zigbee. UK plugs do limit choice. Interoperabilty is a moot issue.
    Then there is X10, another plug-through approach where the signal is sent through the mains wiring - Power Line Control. A simple approach, but does not have a reputation for reliability overall, though many people have not trouble.
    If I was starting again, as the wireless plug through devices are becoming more common I'd try that, with maybe some radial-DIN relay sockets in key locations like the TV. Eventually wireless will prevail, reliabilty, availability and inter-op will all get sorted and it will be a lot less effort now.
    HTH
    JonS

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the reply and info.
    Yes itís a difficult decision knowing what cabling to put in and what route to take. Iíll certainly have a look at your blog and see if thereís useful tips I can use on my own install.
    The issue with network mains sockets is twofold from my point of view. Firstly, at present, it only allows simple on/off function for the socket with no interaction with the device attached. However in order for control or feedback from the device, you need inbuilt protocol on the appliance and, at present, these are few and far between. Switching on/off mains sockets is however very useful for standby devices like TVs so I will definitely radially wire these back to a DIN rail. I think Idranet is good for this type of switching and well priced. Perhaps itís an idea to wire sockets like these back to a DIN rail but also run CAT5E to each socket for future control of the appliance rather than directly through the mains switching. Iíve read lots of people wiring Idranet to washing machines etc but surely this will only allow switching the machine power on/off. Most modern machines, being controlled by PCBs, donít let you set a program and then isolate the mains for delayed start. Normally if you do this you lose the setting and restoring the mains would achieve nothing. Iím sure you could interface to their control modules internally but then this would undoubtedly void any warranty and youíd need a thorough knowledge of the appliance architecture to achieve anything useful.
    Lighting control seems to be much more advanced and with systems like eDIN thereís no end of control options. These systems also allow control of ancillary devices like curtains/blinds.
    It seems like a lot of appliances and devices are increasingly becoming Ethernet equipped allowing for connection to a network whether this be wirelessly or wired. I think this is where things are heading in the future rather than network control of the power but thatís just my opinion!
    To cover myself Iíll run CAT5E to all sockets Iíd like control of and run those like TVs back to a DIN rail for control of switching.
    Thanks for all the comments.

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