New to home automation and new house

Hello everyone new here. I am building a new home and I’m not sure where to start, I have a smartthings hub and the echo dot. I’m looking for lights door locks, and maybe small appliances, and some sensors. My question i guess is where and how many switches and outlets. I’m looking for some direction. Im not sure if I can upload plans here or not. Thanks for any and all help.

Welcome! :sunglasses: Sounds like an exciting project.

(By the way, I’ve moved this thread to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own set up.)

One of the best ways to start is with the “get started” quick browse list in the community – created wiki. That’s where you’ll find threads on various initial planning topics, including “top 10 things to do with smartthings” “what device should I buy next?” Etc.

As far as planning device layout, the following topics should be helpful. Even though it’s A discussion about large houses, most of the network backbone methods would apply for any house where you will have devices more than one hop from the hub.

If building new, the simple answer is every light switch. If starting from scratch I would use a mix of ZigBee and Z-wave switches to build out both meshes.

Outlets are a lot more subjective. Personally I use them on appliances that I want to make sure are off when we leave the house and for power monitoring. For " dumb" lights that I want to automate. Things like Network drives and CCTV DVR that I want to be able to reboot without having to go down into the basement.

There are not very good options for small appliances, the few that are on the market are overpriced for their performance and lack a lot of other basic features offered by comparable non-smart appliances.

Locks go with the Schlage they have the best security rating and work well with ST as well as other hubs if you decide to change your mind later.

Sensors will depend on which direction you want to go, motion sensors in each room is a good place to start and contact sensors for doors that will normally be closed.

So this may be a dumb question which switch feels and performs like a regular switch if my parents or someone not wanting to use alexa are in the house without us. I was going to get the ge switches but I’m willing to get any of them I just wanna do it right the first time. I looked at the Schlage locks I liked them I was also looking at the Yale keyless, any feedback on this particular lock? I would assume the electrician knows about these but do I need to have a extra wire ran with these also. I appreciate all the help, like I said I’m new to home automation and they are pouring the basement today so time is running low.

We have the GE switches throughout our home. They work great and as mentioned help with building out your mesh network.

As far as guests using them goes, none of our friends or family have ever had any issues using them as they work just a like a normal everyday switch. We’ve gotten a couple of funny looks when people first see the switch sticking straight out of the wall :sweat_smile: but you could even avoid that by getting the paddle style switches instead of the rockers (I don’t have any paddles so I can’t speak to if they work just as well but I would assume so?). Adding a couple of motion sensors to turn the lights on automatically would also prevent the guests from even needing to find or use the switch!

One other thing I love about the GE switches is the fact that they work to turn the lights on even if your internet goes down and/or SmartThings is unavailable for some reason (doesn’t happen often, but I’ve seen it once or twice since starting with the platform about 6 months ago).


First things first: are you using the US version or the UK version of the smart things hub? The available devices are somewhat different in the two different regions. I just want to make sure that we’re giving you the right advice for your situation. :sunglasses:

As far as locks, see the FAQ: it discusses feature differences between the Schlage and the Yale. Both are good quality locks.

For wall switches, all of the standard Z wave switches will be pretty intuitive for visitors, although some are a little different from a standard non-networked switch. For example, with the Leviton switches you only press at the bottom of the switch, rather than at the top for on and at the bottom for off. It’s essentially just a toggle. Many people don’t care, but some prefer a switch for you press at the top on and the bottom for off.

The following thread discusses the various features the different switch brands might have:

No, the locks are all battery operated, so no additional wiring is required for them. When dealing with HA, unless you find a contractor specializing in HA do NOT assume your electrician will have anything but dumb looks for you. That said the actually wiring is the same , so as long as they use the switches you choose want there should not be any problems on that end.

Since the wiring is not ran yet, you might want to think about any 3-way light switches that you might want to dim the lights on. That seems to be a big topic around here (I’m new to HA as well and have not done any 3-way setups yet). A lot of devices seem to need either traveler wires and/or neutrals.

One other thing I would have done if I was in to HA when we built our house 6 years ago, I would have talked to the electrician about what color wires he was using for what purposes… and made sure he understood the importance of following that plan. That alone can make your life easier a couple of years from now if you go to add something in.