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Thread: Which automation system

  1. #31


    One tip from the C-Bus course to help minimise the impact of failure of a single component - If you have say and 8 channel dimmer, use it for a single circuit across multiple rooms, rather than say all 4 circuits in 2 rooms. This way if it fails you'll lose only one circuit per room, not an entire room.


  2. #32
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    OK you can go the DMX route, but at 269 euros for the DMX module, and then another 75 for the PWM dimmer just to control 3 channels seems a bit of over kill to us.
    Forgot to mention that the Loxone dimmers need two 0-10V inputs one for colour as I mentioned above and the other is for overall brightness.
    For a single output I agree but I'm starting to wonder if it might make sense to move almost entirely to DMX for lighting control from both a cost and flexibility point of view. The Loxone DMX controller is 270 euro but after than additional lighting circuit control starts to get very cheap - 25 euro per channel via the Loxone LED driver, the Chinese LED driver I linked to above is on eBay for 25 delivered from the UK and there are others even cheaper (and a 27 channel circuit board for 90). If you're working with 240V then 'disco' DMX dimmer packs come as cheap as 15 a channel and if you just want to switch 240V then this unit gives 24 5A circuits for 200 (8 per channel).

    There's also then scope for a different, more distributed, topology on the lighting circuits as well with a lot less copper - locate a DMX unit(s) in each room (or floor) with a single 240V supply per room/floor from the consumer unit. Then you just have a Cat5 cable to each switch and another to the DMX unit. You'd save both on cabling and hardware as DMX kit is 'standard'.

    What would the disadvantages be? DMX kit isn't going to go away any time soon so I suppose it's whether any HA systems other than Loxone can deal with DMX in the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    As far as I can tell you only need momentary switches if you want to do more than just on and off from the switch. Such as long press dims up or down or you could have a multi press set up,so one press is scene one, 2 quick presses scene 2 etc. And to get the dimming functions you would also need the dimming extension module if you are not using the PWM dimmers etc. If you haven't already, done so, download the config software and have a play. Also watch the tutorial videos, they are very good starting points.
    Surely you'd lose most of the power of the system though - you're pretty much limited to one switch controls one light. I'm not certain but I suspect 'All off' commands are no longer possible, automation only works if all switches are in 'off' position, switching from either end of a corridor becomes much more complex to set up etc etc. I'm settled on using momentary switches.

    I've had a look at some of the videos - they're good. It's a shame the example config files are nearly all in German as it makes them a lot less easy to decipher. I'm pretty convinced on it at the moment.
    Last edited by b33k34; 4th January 2013 at 10:55 AM.

  3. #33
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Wexfordman View Post
    As someone on these forums said before, we are all a bit biased towards our own particular systems, and I certainly am too, so bear this in mind, my advise is definately biased towards the systems I use.

    Ignoring velbus however, I think you might find many here who are very very pro comfort, and for good reason. It is an exceptionally relaiable and versatile system.
    Thanks - that combination is the other I'll keep in mind. My build won't start until the middle of this year so final decision on this is possibly as far as 12 months away. Given our urban location I'm not particularly convinced by the need for an alarm system - no-one pays any attention to them and they give far to many false alarms. What I do want is presence simulation as I think that's probably very effective as a deterrent - looking down my street over Christmas it was very evident who was away. I'm considering fitting an alarm bell box just connected to a switch - a weekly or monthly 'test' is likely enough to convince.

    Price isn't the only issue of course but it my initial work seems to show that Comfort/Velbus comes out sufficiently more expensive that I could afford to keep some spare Loxone modules if I really wanted to.

  4. #34
    Automated Home Guru Wexfordman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Oops, I hope my last post didn't appear as a criticism of others, I was referring to my own bias, not others, I tend to get over enthusiastic about things sometimes -

  5. #35
    Automated Home Jr Member philipp.schuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Reading, UK


    Hi Everyone,

    I have held back a little on purpose and only read the responses over the past few days, rather than answering every question from a Loxone perspective. I have seen that a few questions poped up and have remained unanswered though, so I will focus on these:

    1. Hardware repairs:
    Where ever possible we do carry out repairs, i.e. if you overload and fuse a relay then this can be repaired. If damage is caused by use outside of specifications or outside of the warranty period, then there is a minimal charge for these repairs (for example 10 for a relay replacement).

    2. Failures:
    If one relay fails, then the rest of the relays in your system will still operate as it should. If an Extension fails, then the rest of the system will still work as it should. Very good advice from Otto-Mate:
    If you have say and 8 channel dimmer, use it for a single circuit across multiple rooms, rather than say all 4 circuits in 2 rooms. This way if it fails you'll lose only one circuit per room, not an entire room.
    3. Using Switches rather than Push-Buttons
    The switches do not control outputs directly, and as such you can use multiple switches for one light circuit, or one switch for multiple lights / lighting scenes. Our configuration software contains a function block called "Push-Switch" that converts a toggle from a switch to a brief pulse on each change of state. i.e. when you switch the switch it appears like a brief press on a push-button. This means that if you have a room with a single switched light circuit, for instance your toilet, you can use a switch to operate this light inttuatively, BUT you can still also switch it through a central "All lights off" function as the real state of the switch (open/closed) is not directly related the output. This concept of creating a pulse on each change of state allows you to actually also allows you to use an ordinary switch to step through scenes or for double/tripple clicks. A double click would effectively be a quick on/off. This is not very intuitive, so I recommend momentary switches where double clicks are used.

    4. 24V PWM LED dimmer
    This dimmer can operate in numerous different modes. If you want to use the 3 channels independently, I would recommend DMX control. For all operating modes please refer to the datasheet. Note: The dimmer can also be used with 12V LEDs, but the power rating drops to 25W per channel.

    5. Fade Rates
    My dissapointment was really the software implementation for ramping rates. It appears the dimmer , something I don't own BTW, doesn't implement these internally instead relying on the mini server to send successive level updates timed to simulate a ramp. Incorporating ramp rates within a scene doesn't appear too easy, and advanced aspects like coincident arrival at a level not handled at all.
    This is not entirely true. In the Loxone system the fade rates are set during configuration per output channel, i.e. every none digital channel, 0-10V, DMX, Loxone Dimmer has a property where the fade rate can be set. This fade rate is stored in the Extension, the Miniserver then simply sends the final value. The Extension works out what it has to do to get there. It is correct that since a fade rate is set as a channel property that different scene changes cannot be configured to have different fade rates, nor can coincident arrival at a level be set up.

    On top of the above answers here is my personal opinion on some of the points that were discussed:

    1. Options for dimmed lights
    As has been established already the Loxone system offers you many options for controlling dimmed lights. We have got our own Dimmer Extension for controlling 230V loads. Many say that the dimmer is too expensive and I have to agree that it is not cheap, but you get what you pay for. I don't want to turn this post into an advert for our dimmer, but a few things I woudl like to point out, which you will certainly not find in other dimmers that cost less:
    • Selectable dimming type - leading edge, trailing edge, wave packet cutting (great for mains LEDs)
    • No minimum load for dimming LEDs
    • Auto re-fusable links for short circuit protection
    • Almost dead silent

    Another option is to use the analogue outputs with 0-10V 1-10V dimmers from other vendors. The same signal (0-10V) can also be used for dimmable ballasts of CFLs or fluorescent tubes. Finally there is also DMX, which you can use for 230V with DMX dimmer packs that are widely available for a range of prices. My final words are, you get what you pay for, if you want to discuss this more then start a thread on it and I am more than happy to contribute my own experiences with Soundlab, NJD and Anytronics dimmers.

    2. Wiring more than just CAT5 to switchplates
    I would not go through the hassle of doing this. As already pointed out a centrally wired system allows you to easily make changes in the future to a multitude of systems and in the worst case de-automate completely using a bank of 12V or 24V relays.
    Home Automation Enthusiast and Head of Loxone in the UK.

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  6. #36


    As promised, and inspired by this thread, we’ve launched a brand new feature on Automated Home today.

    Home Automation Systems and Technology Choices is an overview of some of the most popular smart home technologies currently available. This includes everything from basic protocols through hardware, software right up to all encompassing systems. We’ll be updating this page over time and if there’s something you’d like us to add then let us know.


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