AKA adventures with mains electricity...

Right then, this is hopefully going to be the start of a wonderful adventure. I've been loosely interested in home automation for a while, but thats essentially been reading rather than doing. Tiny little foray a couple of years ago when we had the kitchen done and Rako lights installed. But I've frankly had a fair bit of grief from Rako, its quite expensive and isn't that easy to integrate with other things.

So it all stalled.

As of last October though I'm now a very happy father for the first time. Which meant the wife panicing about the heating and us running it more or less non-stop all winter last year. Not helped with the fact the thermostat (which has been replaced) still doesn't work as anything other than an on off switch for some reason.

So I'm motivated to do something about the heating.

Looked hard at Evohome ( / Sensible Heat's offering), but while it ticks a lot of boxes its still not going to integrate well with anything else DIY, is expensive (+1,000 if I want web control) and is a bit opaque from a DIY perspective (or if getting it done means extra install costs and the whole thing at once).

One of the things holding me off of some of the other routes were the switches. Sorry to those who have them but I really don't like either the x10 or z-wave switches (save for the Vitrum ones, but then we're back to expensive and a lack of clarity on integration). Saw LightwaveRF and figured them for a decent looking alternative and with mood switches (a la Rako) which is really what I was looking for. But more digging and the lack of two way, permanently delayed heating controls etc. started putting me cold on that.

But in amnogst reading up on it I did come across references to others using the LightwaveRF kit in mixed installs. Very specifically Durosity who was using Indigo, LightwaveRF mood switches and other bits of z-wave kit. A review of Indigo on here, a lot of further reading (noting that Sonos can also be worked into Indigo) and a loose plan was formed.

So I have a Mac Mini gathering dust that I need to get sorted and a clean install on.
An order into Vesternet for a z-wave stick, a Fibaro dimmer, double relay boiler switch, wireless thermostat and wireless radiator valve.

Intention is basically to breadboard that lot with a few test lamps rigged up to the dimmer and the boiler switch and the radiator valve in a room (the wife doesn't use...) and then get the trial of Indigo going and seeing if what I want looks feasible and reliable. Assuming it is I can start zoning up the heating and look at bringing in the LightwaveRF mood switches (with RFXcom) and stealth installing Fibaro dimmers.

Biggest bit I'm not yet sure on is the underfloor heating in the kitchen / breakfast room. Its currently two circuits with two wireless thermostats from Heatmiser and two Heatmiser receivers. There is a single on/off switch the electrician installed though so (assuming its under 3kW, which I'm not sure of) I'm hoping I can just get a relay put in series with the switch, boost the thermostats to max (with the floor temp protection) and then use a single z-wave thermostat and Indigo to control the radiator in there and relay on/off the underfloor as necessary.

Wish me luck all and I'll try and keep the project documented here.