I am completely renovating a house, having gutted it to bare concrete walls and I am interested in installing an ST system; however, I just found out about the Hub 2.0. How firm is the April release date. We will be starting electrical rough in next week and then drywall the week after. I would love to check out ST before but don’t want to be “stuck” with the current Hub 1.0
The hub (version 1 or 2) should be independent of any wiring that you do. If you wire in z-wave switches or plugs, they can be controlled by either (or any other z-wave) hub. The hub is just a standalone box that plugs into your router.
One piece of advice that I would give is to focus most of your attention on switches. They support automation AND good old fashioned manual flicking. Your guests don’t want to be learning a remote or app to walk around your house.
Since your building the house, I would recommend you get the deepest boxes possible as the zwave switches take up quite a bit of volume and can crowd a shallow box.
And figure out a way to get ethernet (CAT5/6) to a central location away from all of your electronic gear where you can put the hub. A high shelf is good. Be sure you have power there as well. This one is not obvious, but hub placement can make you life easy or hard later on.
Thanks for the replies.
I also plan on getting 2 Schlage locks. Do these require wiring? ( I have electronic door locks in my office that required special low voltage wiring). If I have the locks,do I need open/close sensors?
No wiring for z-wave locks, just batteries. You can decide later about contact sensors, as you figure out your automations. Those are also battery powered, and just stick on. There are scenarios in which you might want both the lock and the contact sensor. Just knowing that the lock is unlocked doesn’t tell you the state of the door being open or not, but the contact sensor does.
If you are down to completely bare concrete, you have options that most of us can only dream about. My thought is that installing extra cables and power now is relatively inexpensive, trying to do it later is much more hassle.
Before I go any further, the proviso. Do only what is safe and allowed for by your local/state/provincial/federal statues.
Yes, you can install many things with wireless, but some items could use power in those areas that normally don’t. For example if you are planning to install a motion sensor high up on a wall or corner, you could install a power outlet at the location. If you plan on ever installing motorized/electrical window treatments, you could install outlets around those windows.
If nothing else, I would install several CAT 6 cables in each room connected back to a common location to allow for future expansion of your network. Wireless is good, but wired network connections are still more reliable and much faster.
I would second the cat6 cables. You can never have enough Ethernet connections. Also anywhere you think you might put a ceiling fan install an extra wire from the switch box to the fixture box for a separate fan and light control.
I would suggest power up high where you want cameras and motion detectors if using something like the aeotec multisensor - no batteries to replace and the sensor becomes a z-wave network extender.
I really like being able to put a plugged in repeater on the ceiling for both zigbee and zwave, it can solve a lot of signal loss problems.
If you have any detached outdoor buildings where you may want control, either garages, sheds, or even pond or pool pumps, or yard lights, sheltered outlets on the outside of your house give you options for repeaters which can be useful. Just remembered “sheltered” doesn’t mean “inside a metal box” or you block the signal.
Also if you think you might want to use LED light strips, think about where they’ll plug in.
The same with wall mount control panels, which are typically a tablet.
I am thoroughly disappointed with my three kwikset z-wave locks. They’re wireless and run off batteries–not wired-in like real office doors.
I knew this going in but I didn’t realize how fast they’d chew through batteries. I burned through a 48-pack of Duracell’s in about 6 months. I also tried rechargables but they needed to be swapped every week or so. we got tired of constantly feeding batteries so now we just treat them as regular manual locks with no smarts.
Schlage locks might be better or worse with batteries… Idk.
In retrospect, I would not do any wireless door locks.
Battery Life for smart Doorlocks
I have a Schlage lock that I installed almost 9 months ago and my battery is currently 79%. I have been very pleased and highly recommend. I don’t have to worry about kids losing keys.
Thanks for the advice. I just went and bought 200 ft of CAT6 cable. And since I am planning on motorizing the shutters on the skylights down the line, I will have outlets install around them
@scubaaadan make sure the locking part of the lock goes in and out smoothly, if it sees any obstacles it can drain the battery 10 times faster than normal, just use some sand paper
I’ve had Kwikset locks for 3 months now and they have barely gone down 5%. I think maybe you have a defective one.
John, good flick with the new house. One huge piece of advice - CAT6 cable everywhere. Plan out security cameras now, and pull the cable. I would even pull the cable under your eves and bring in through the wall. You can always seal it and tie it off.
You don’t want wireless cameras (a drop cam is cool, but it’s not actionable video for police from any real distance). Cameras now use Power Over Ethernet (POE) for electrical power (NVR or Blue Iris using POE injector). This may sound confusing or beyond what you’d ever do, but if your building it’s not - do it. Ultra hi-def NVRs came out this year and you can grab one from Alibaba now for under $500. This is the technology you need to run 8-12 MP cameras to get true facial recognition and license plates.
I’m doing an install now (landed 4K Dahua NVR for $300), and the cabling is, as it always is - the most difficult and critical part of the install. Also, I do recommend Smartthings. It’s maturing, has Samsung’s support, and it integrates nicely with Harmony AV remotes (hopefully you have one or something comparable).
Cat7 if you want it shielded… I exclusively use it everywhere in my house and i don’t mix 5, 6 and 7’s.
Based on these recommendations, I have purchased and wired the house with CAT6 cable (CAT7 was too extreme) I have also placed and received an initial order from ST.
I decided not to wait for HUB2.0 as the release date seems indefinite with very little information coming from the powers that be. I find it annoying that they are not more forthcoming however,I had to get it as I had to find out how it works with the other devices I am installing
So far, I bought 2 Schlage locks,2 smoke alarms detectors, 14 dimmer switches and 12 3-way switches.
In addition, I beefed up the outdoor outlets to eventually accomodate a smartsense sprinkler system and some water features. Oh and I added power by the skylights so that I can eventually power the blinds
The hub will be very centrally located but for now I have connected it at my current location so that I can start experimenting with it. At first I thought it worked flawlessly but then I realized it is causing problems with my home network and that there must be a DNS conflict someplace. At least my Android phone app works.