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Thread: Lighting & curtain automation advice

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    4

    Default Lighting & curtain automation advice

    Looking for some advice and suggestions.

    We are due to have some major building work done (big extension) and taking the opportunity to “refresh” the rest of the house in terms of lighting, decorating, network, etc.

    Looking at what options are currently around to automate lighting and curtains.

    The work doesn’t stretch to a re-wire (not needed), so not feasible to go for systems that require star-wiring to central control modules.

    After mainly single-room mood lighting control
    - down-lighter dimming
    - wall/table light dimming (running from wall sockets)
    - curtain control

    Control to be
    - replacement wall “switches” (i.e. with scene-setting buttons)
    - handheld remote
    - dawn / dusk control
    - possibly smartphone / API integration (main interest is making the house looked “lived-in”)


    Thoughts / suggestions appreciated 😊



    Jim

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I've come across this as I'm in a similar starting location. Did you ever proceed with this project?

  3. #3
    Automated Home Sr Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    59

    Default

    I’ve done everything described here (with the exception of curtain control which appears to be very expensive) using SmartThings with a combination of Fibaro dimmers and Hue bulbs in table lamps. WebCore is a really powerful tool sitting SmartThings for writing rules.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Sr Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Thank you! I have very similar desires for our renovation and whilst we could (& probably still will) run extra Wires, a wireless network smarthome type of setup is my current preferred option! Having electric blinds is a priority for us though.

    Do you have any 'lessons learnt' or regrets I could work off please?

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Glasgow
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    59

    Default

    We have curtains in the front of the house and I tried to use the Indiegogo project MOVE, to operate them. This is a battery powered, bluetooth motor. I bought one to try it out and it did move the curtains but as it was an app on my phone, wasn't hugely useful. I subsequently funded their second project MOVEZ, which is the same, but Z-wave. This project has been plagued with problems and over 3 years later, their only just beginning to ship them (I don't have mine yet). From this, I would say that if you can get a mains powered motor to your blinds, then you can use a Z-wave module to control it, rather than relying on these standalone solutions. There are others now on the market, but I'm not sure how good they are.

    The other thing that I would probably look at differently now, is which hub to use. I used SmartThings before it was taken over by Samsung and it worked well. We've recently been forced to move to the new Samsung app and things have gone downhill. Samsung want to try and push a lot of their domestic devices into this and I don't think it's as useable as the old app for home automation. I've had a lot of problems getting location sensing with our phones to work and the custom integration that I used for years for Evohome has become a lot more unreliable. I would probably look at one of the other Z-wave and Zigbee hubs that processes locally rather than on the cloud (think lights not turning on or off properly if the internet connection is down) and allow you to create your own complex rules.

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