SmartThings Community

New Construction Planning for Bathroom/Living Room - 1st Time Smart User


(Justin Karp) #1

I’m going to start off by saying I’m new to smart devices, but did hours of research over the last couple of days. I’m in the middle of building a 24’x24’ addition and am wanting to go smart in 2 of the 4 rooms. Addition includes 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1 living/entertainment room. The bath and living area I would like to add smart switches for automation.

I’ll start with the bathroom area plans. I have (3) 6" recessed LED cans above shower & tub along one wall that I would like to be dimmable by themselves. I have (2) 6" recessed LED cans above the vanity that I would like to also be dimmable by themselves. Their is also an exhaust fan & light & nightlight combo in the middle of the room where I would like the main light of the fan to be dimmable. I was planning on putting the nightlight on a 24 hour programmable timer and the fan on a button timer switch for lack of knowledge on how the smart switches, etc. worked. The nightlight can stay on the 24 hour timer. All will be wired on 1 circuit but can be more if needed. How many smart switches do I need to successfully install and operate what I mentioned above?

Living room/entertainment room plans. I have (2) 6" recessed LED cans above couch that I would like to be dimmable on their own, (2) 6" recessed LED cans above computer area that I would like to be dimmable on their own, a fan/light combo in middle of room which I would like to be dimmable and work off voice commands for both fan and light if possible. The fan/light combo during planning without smart devices was to be set up with two 3 way switches and a 4 way switch between giving me 3 switches to control lights and entry points to room. But I’ve shifted toward smart things and not sure if its possible to have 3 switches anymore. All will be wired on 1 circuit but can be on more then 1 if need be. How many smart switches do I need for this setup?

Basically I’m in the planning stages and am willing to tweak some things and hear any and all suggestions the community has. I’m a newbie and this seems like a very daunting task. I want to try and get this right the first time before my drywall is installed making things difficult. After much reading today, I almost purchased the TP-link kasa smart switch and begin with 1 switch and play around by trial and error to see what I could accomplish prior to finding this forum. Waiting to make a purchase until I hear from the community. Thank you to all


#2

Welcome! :sunglasses: sounds like an exciting project, and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of good advice.

I’m not feeling very well today and since I rely on text to speech, I missed some of the details in your post, so I’m not going to comment on the specific layout at this time. Again, I’m sure you’ll get lots of other answers.

I did just want to address three quick points. First, if you are using SmartThings, you can definitely have voice control of everything that smartthings controls, and that includes the fan speed. We do need to know what country you are in as device options do vary somewhat. :microphone:

Second, if I understood your question correctly, you wanted to know if four-way set up is possible with home automation. The answer is definitely yes, it all depends on exact devices chosen. For example, you might even have one of the switches as a battery operated switch which looks just like the other and can be stuck anywhere. But more commonly there’s a way to replace the existing wired set up. :level_slider::level_slider::level_slider::level_slider:

Third, if we can just take a step back for a minute, there are three common ways of making a mains powered device smart.

A) The Lighting device itself has a radio inside it and can accept commands from the network. This is most commonly a smart bulb. These come in many different shapes and sizes, including recessed can lights.

B) there is a small device called a “micro” which is placed inside the wall on the specific circuit branch controlling one device. For example, there might be one inside the ceiling light fixture or Inside a fan canopy or behind a wall switch. This can be especially useful when you want to have individual control of multiple devices on the same circuit.

image

C) You can get an all in one smart switch that replaces an existing wall switch. There are lots of these in many different styles. The ones that can control a fan have a different internal mechanism than the ones that can control lights but they could look the same on the outside If you like that aesthetically. Or the fan controls can look quite different. But there are many options. If you use SmartThings, the switch will probably use Zwave or ZIgbee not Wi-Fi. ( that’s a good thing, for several reasons.)

There’s lots of information available on different brands and different options and all that, we can discuss that later.

Bulbs, switches and sensors, oh my....what to buy (device class features)

But I just wanted to start out by mentioning these three different approaches. Many people have all three kinds of devices in their home, with different ones being more suitable to specific locations/uses. And being open to all three give you a lot more flexibility in how you lay things out.

So you may get suggestions which include any of these three kinds of devices, and I just wanted to make sure it was clear what people were talking about before we got into the details of your own project. :wink:

Tagging @jody.albritton


#3

And just so you have it, here is the FAQ on fan controls. (This is a clickable link)


(Hal) #4

JD,

You are an amazing resource for this community! Thank you!

–Hal (another newbie)


(Hal) #5

Justin,

I’m going to throw one suggestion in:

Wire things so that your spouse/children/guests can operate lights without “training” and without needing extra devices.

It’s fun being able to turn lights on by talking to Alexa or Google. But when your internet fails or your grandmother visits, it’s nice to be able to just use switches.

In @JDRoberts helpful list of smart lighting approaches, I’d suggest going mainly with smart switches.

So for the places where you’ve got multiple groups of lights in one room, run separate circuits for each group and put switches where you would if they were dumb lights

–Hal


(Justin Karp) #6

What you suggested, HaID, is exactly what I have drawn up to be done. Thinking about it though, they don’t all have to be on their own circuit to operate as a typical dumb switch would, correct? Trying to save myself from maxing out my circuit breaker in case of further need down the road. I’m planning 2 smart switches in the living room and 2 smart switches in the bathroom. The switches in living room will each control a group of (3) recessed LED lights. The bathroom switches will each control a group of (2) recessed LED lights.


(Hal) #7

I’m not an electrician and don’t even play one on TV so my use of “circuit” was probably incorrect.

Wire as you would for dumb switches, replace dumb switches with smart switches as desired.