I am buying a house in Alberta, Canada that was built in the 1950s. It currently has a 60 Amp supply, and I will be upgrading this to 100 Amp and upgrading a number of outlets to use GFIs. The house has a front door and a back door, plus a raised basement with a separate suite along one side. The house is about 1,000 square feet and is wood framed. It also has a detached double garage with two separate garage door openers.
I run a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials installation that provides file and media management, and runs Netcam Studio for IP Camera monitoring and recording. I would eventually like to add solar panels to the house roof and garage roof. I am from the United Kingdom, and have not owned a house with a furnace and AC before, so I am unfamiliar with some housing terms in North America.
After looking into Insteon and similar products, I have focused on SmartThings as a simple yet expandable approach. My style is for minimal and modular implementations, which is why ST is appealing. I’m going to list each of the sections I’d like to install, to invite comments. Before I ask the electrician to do anything I want to make sure I’ve not missed a trick. However, my modular approach means I’m much more likely to stick something to something else than bolt it into the guts of my house.
Home & Family
The core of the system
Q1 Is there a new version of either hardware or firmware due soon?
Primary User Windows Phone
This is me, using my Windows Phone
Q2 I leave my car in the garage and take transit to work, should I consider dropping a Presence Sensor in the car to confirm it is located at home?
Secondary User Android Phone
This is my roommate in the basement suite with a Galaxy S5 Mini
Q3 If any adult users of the home have the app installed, will they need a Presence Sensor?
Tertiary User iOS Phone
This is my other roommate in the second bedroom with an iPhone 5S
Q4 Any ideas what other clever uses someone could put to a Presence Sensor?
Wattvision WV2-DF Front Mount Energy Sensor and Gateway
Monitor overall energy usage in the house
Honeywell YTH8320ZW1007 Programmable Thermostat
Manage overall energy usage in the house
Q5 Do these kind of thermostats control heat and air conditioning, or would I need a separate control for the AC as well as the heating?
Q6 Are there other thermostats I should consider, such as the Lyric?
Doors & Locks
Kwikset SmartCode 914 Series Z-Wave Deadbolt x 3
Door status and remote activation for the front door, rear door, and garage access door that will allow the same key to be used for each door
Q7 Will these sensors report the status of the door to the hub, obviating the need for an open/close sensor?
Q8 Is there a cheaper alternative for the garage access door?
Q9 Is there a cheaper alternative for the basement suite door?
SmartSense Multi Sensor x 2
Detects if the garage doors are open or closed
Q10 Will a Open/Closed Sensor work just as well?
Q11 Would the Multi Sensor allow me to confirm the temperature in the garage for use in a scene?
Evolve Z-Wave LFM-20 Fixture Module x 2
Actuate the garage doors to open or close them
Q12 Will adding this extend the mesh to the garage, approximately 5 meters from the house?
Lights & Switches
SmartPower Outlet x 7
A set of power outlet switches to allow the remote or scene activation of various lights in the common areas of the house
Dangers & Damages
SmartSense Moisture Sensor x 5
Located in the upper kitchen under sink, upper bathroom floor, lower kitchen under sink, lower bathroom floor, utility room
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm x 2
Located on the main floor and basement
Q13 Any other danger and damage sensors I should consider?
SmartSense Temp/Humidity Sensor x 0
Alberta is very dry, I can’t imagine I’d need one of these
Q14 What interesting uses have these been put to?
SmartSense Open/Closed Sensor x 0
Q15 I’m assuming most people are using these to tell if something has been moved or actuated, but has anyone come up with any creative uses?
I will have IP Cameras at the front door, back door, garage, and server. These are connected to my home server, which runs software to capture video.
SmartSense Motion Sensor x 0
Q16 We’re going to get a cat - how can we stop the beast turning on all the lights? By knowing that we’re all away? Does this mean that if I am home, the cat can turn on all the lights by running around?
SmartSense CR-2 Battery Life
Q17 How long is the battery life for most of the SmartSense products?
I love using IFTTT and I’m very much looking forward to expanding my recipes
Q18 Would it be possible to write a text-based log of events to OneNote, EverNote, or another destination using IFTTT? Has anyone done this?
Here is what I think the next steps are for me:
Upgrade 100 Amp system and ground, including GFIs
Install Energy Sensor and Gateway
Install Garage Door Fixtures
Install SmartThings Hub (using Energy Saver Kit + (2 x SmartSense Multi Sensor Pack) + (4 x SmartSense Moisture Sensor Pack) + ( 5 x SmartPower Outlet Pack) + (2 x SmartSense Presence Sensor Pack)
Configure all the bits and pieces to work together
If you’ve read this far, thank you so much. I’d appreciate any feedback on this - answers, validation, suggestions, course corrections, anything. I want to make sure that when I get the electrician to upgrade the supply to 100 Amp I also get them to perform any installations that will help future proof the house in terms of modular automation as well.