I've been looking at putting in a nice multi-room lighting and other appliance control across my house, to basically improve the ability to control lights, save energy, added security and a general techieness!!!

I've tried x10 in the past, but found it quite clunky, so when I was installing a new phone system at a dentist practice, and the builders/electricians were installing a cBus lighting control system, I was hooked! It looked quite simple - central control unit, lights fed from that, and controlled by, in this case, a central control panel.

What I'd like to initially look at doing is moving all our main downstairs lights (lounge, dining area, hall & landing, kitchen and conservatory) onto a centrally controlled system - i.e. cBus. These would then be controlled either by a central server (i.e. timed for when we are due home from work, or coming on appropriately if we are away as a security deterant) or by a central panel, which allows the user to turn the lights on/off and indeed dim.

In time, something I've also wanted to do is control our central heating and hot water from an intelligent source (i.e. computer)... this will time the heating coming on to heat the house for when we get home (i.e. a bit of maths based on temperate and time to heat etc), and do the same with the hot water.... I think this can be done by cBus, but no sure!

I've got a few questions though before I start...

- can I do the install? I'm not an electrician, but fully understand electrics, and from what I can understand, once the central unit is installed by a professional, I could then adapt the internal lighting wiring to fit in?
- I've seen the consumer style units on letsautomate (for example) which would presumably then need an appropriate number of lighting modules and other modules for other things (as above), is that correct?

Am I barking up the right tree, or am I completely missing the point? Any helpful suggestions would be welcome!

Many thanks