Hello to anyone who reads this.
As the title implies, I am new to ST and I am just getting into the HA hobby/passion/obsession/prelude to bankruptcy.
I started looking into HA a little over a year ago as part of a garage renovation where I stripped everything down to the studs to rewire the entire 28’ x 26’ garage and thought “Hey! I should put some motion sensors in here!”. The research I did at the time led me to the Vera (no monthly service fees, customize-able, etc.), which is why I started to buy the Zwave “toys”. As time rolled on and I kept waiting for the whole UI saga to unfold, I decided I needed to revisit my research.
So… here I am.
I have read thousands of messages here and at the MiCasa forums and I have to say that both are full of extremely helpful, knowledgeable members. Very impressive and I hope to become a contributing member myself.
Okay, enough intro… get on with it already!
Here are the quasi-HA related items that I have amassed thus far:
- Amazon Echo
- SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit
- Iris Home Automation Comfort and Control Kit
- 6 x GE Zwave Wireless Lighting Control Duplex Receptacle
- 2 x Aeon Labs Zwave Smart Energy Switch
- 2 x Utilitech White Flood Sensor
- 6 x First Alert Battery-Operated CO and Smoke Detector (4 on-hand, 2 on b/o)
- Amazon Fire TV (coming in Thursday)
A few things that I think I know after reading many, many messages here (and elsewhere):
- If it is a “custom device type”, it can not be run locally (i.e. cloud access is imperative).
- If you have many bulbs in an area, you are better off with a controllable switch than “smart” bulbs.
- Enclosed fixtures are NOT a good fit for LEDs (unfortunate, since ALL but a few of my fixtures are enclosed).
- The ZHA 1.2 standard is your ST friend, but vendors can go off reservation… check the compatibility list!
So, my questions are:
- Can anyone recommend a good way to increase my ZigBee mesh? I believe I am all set with the Zwave mesh based on the placement of the GE receptacles.
- Should I pick up one of the Aeon Labs DSA03202 v1 - Zwave Minimotes? Are they that useful?
- Can someone offer up a non-3-way dimmer switch (assuming I switch out my CFLs with LEDs) and an opinion on Zwave vs. ZHA?
- Now that I have the ST kit (picked it up last night), any suggestions on the best way to introduce myself to the IDE? I code for a living, so the learning curve should be pretty small.
Thank you for any helpful input!