This is my first post on here after spending a long time reading various topics and gathering ideas. I’m going to start with a brain dump of my thoughts so far. Unfortunately this is going to be a long one so please stay with me till the end!
Myself and my partner are currently in the process of building our own house in Germany and we are getting to the stage where the Electrician will be coming soon to discuss our plans for the electrics. I would like the house to be reasonably smart (more than my partner it seems) with lots of things automated but am starting to get overwhelmed with the possibilities. I have been trying to wrap my ahead around what we need to plan for and I dont want to miss something which will be easy to implement at this point but harder once the house is finished.
Just to give you some background, I have already dabbled with a few smart devices and currently run a small setup in our flat based around the ST v2 UK hub. We have about 4 power adapters which turn lamps on and off and I have just added 2 z-wave door sensors and a siren alarm for home security via ST SHM. All this is cheap chinese stuff made by Coolcam which I bought off Aliexpress but it’s all z-wave and has worked without problems so far. We also have an Amazon Echo which we are using for voice activation. I like the Echo as a way to control the automations so would like to use this in our new house as well and maybe expand with Dots in a few rooms. I have also just bought an RGBW LED strip and a H801 Wifi Controller to play around with following the great guide by erocm1231. If this works out then I plan to use this system to control LED strips built into walls for mood lighting in the new house.
So now onto the new house. I already found a thread on here (new-build-what-should-i-get-uk) which is filled with particularly useful planning information, especially the post by redball listing all the stuff he wished he had done. I was going to just reply on that thread directly with all my questions, but as it is almost 2 years old and possibly outdated I thought it better to start my own thread instead.
So here’s what I have so far:
Power Outlets - Plan for double the amount than we think we will need. Are there any EU outlets with z-wave already integrated or is it better just to fit standard outlets and use z-wave adapters like the ones I have where we want them? Also are integrated USB outlets a good idea? Our electrician already mentioned that he wouldn’t recommend them as the USB requirements for smartphones and tablets are always changing so they might be outdated in a few years.
** Interior Lighting** - I think we will be mainly using spotlights throughout the house with LED strips under kitchen cabinets and in certain walls plus lamps for mood lighting. Maybe just 1 or 2 hanging lights in a few places. Not too bothered about smart bulbs like Hue or whatever as we don’t want coloured lights except maybe the LED strips. Would like smart z-wave dimmer switches everywhere though so all the lighting can be automated as well as overridden manually if needed. I understand I need to ask that each switch location has a neutral wire running to it for dimming is that correct? Also any suggestions for the switches? In another thread I read about GE z-wave smart motion switches which also have motion sensors built in. This seams like a good idea but by the looks of it they are only available for the US market. Are there any EU alternatives?** Also the LED strips run on DC current. Does this mean each strip needs it’'s own DC converter or is it possible to have a central DC power supply which runs to all the LED’s?
Motion Sensors - As above, sensors built into wall switches would be great if possible. Otherwise would idealy like z-wave mains powered sensors as opposed to battery operated ones as to keep having to change batteries would get annoying, even if it is only every few years. So far I have read about the Aeotec Multisensor 6 which can be plugged in and then act as a z-wave repeater as well. Seems a bit overkill and rather expensive to have these all over the house though. Any better options?
Door/Window Sensors - This is an odd one and requires explaination. We have already had all our windows delivered and are in the process of installing them. My partners stepdad is our project manager and is also a window fitter by trade as well as other things. When he ordered the windows he got them with open/close sensors built in which he says are smart home ready. I don’t know much about them but assume they are magnetic contact sensors, they each have 4 wires running from them and are built into the frame of each window/door. I guess they are designed to connnect to an alarm system. Not sure if it’s useful but here is the link to the page on the manufacturers website (door/window sensors). So the question is, can I use them with ST? I have read about the konnected system which is designed to integrate legacy alarm systems with ST. Do you think I could use this with these sensors? If konnected would work then I guess I could also get things like standard wired motion sensors etc and integrate these aswell, this would save money on smart sensors…
Roller Shutters - In Germany it is standard practice to have roller shutters built into the window frames of every window for shade as well as security and this is what we are doing. They will all be motorised and have their own wall switches but I would also like to have them all be controlled and automated from ST. Is it just a case of wiring a Fibaro Roller Shutter 2 relay in behind each switch? Or are there any integrated smart switches for roller shutters? Anything else I need to consider? Also can these also be used to control the garage door?
Heating - The house will be very well isulated and we have a modern underfloor heating system being installed. We have been told that every room can be individually controlled and the heating system comes with it’s own smart control system which can be controlled via a smart app. I haven’t had a look at this sytem yet so don’t know if it works with ST but I assume not. I don’t know how smart thermostats work but is it likely an ST compatible thermostat would still work with this system? Do they work with all heating systems?
CCTV - TBH haven’t looked at this yet. Any suggestions on where to start with ST compatible systems?
Exterior Lighting - Also haven’t looked at this yet but I assume the same rules apply as the interior i.e z-wave dimmer switches with neutral connections.
A/V - Would like multi-room audio but really have not much idea about it. At the moment I have a standard 5.1 setup with a/v reciever and 50" Plasma. Does multi-room need a seperate amp/splitter? I assume we just run sets of speaker cable from our main audio system location to each room where we want speakers right? The new lounge is pretty big so planning a retractable screen and projector on the ceiling and a new Dolby Atmos system. Are there any motorized screens that integrate with ST? Or maybe it’s a better option to get a screen with a standard IR remote and then go the Harmony route for controlling all the AV stuff? I have never used this however. At the moment I have a raspi set up as a network drive and plex media server which I control via chromecast. Would like to keep the media server but is it possible to integrate it with ST and Alexa for automation? Would switching to FireTV help with this?
Networking - run cat6 cable all over the house from a central location with multiple outlets in each room. Does each device need its own outlet or can the outlets be split again between multiple devices? For example, do I need 1 outlet for the ps4, 1 for the tv, 1 for the amp etc?
I think that’s it for now, probably fogot some things but this post is already too long! Hope I didn’t loose everybody!