Smartthings for a big villa (Extension solutions)

harmony
hubv2
project_wholehouse

(Saeed Al Jneibi) #1

I’m on a new project to turn my Dad’s villa into a smart home.
Rough villa outlay:

  • Ground floor + 2 more floors
  • Each floor is roughly 300 sq/m (3200sq/f) except the last floor which is about 200 sq/m (2150 sq/f)
  • All walls in the villa are solid thick concrete
  • Ground floor has 3 big living rooms 1 office and a pantry
  • 1st floor has about 8 rooms
  • 2nd floor has 4 rooms
  • outside kitchen which isn’t far off the main villa
  • backyard that extends over 10 meters from the villa entrance and 10 meters from villa backdoor
  • Almost every room has an access point (all of them with the same SSID throughout the whole villa)
  • Every room has at least 2 ethernet wall output

My main concern is reach! I already installed smarthings in my own apartment which is around 2600sq/f with only 1 device not reaching the hub so with my father’s villa I don’t think a single hub will suffice.
Furthermore I want to install Logitech harmony to all rooms that have a TV (about 4 or 5). Budget isn’t a problem but I’m looking for efficiency and smoothness. If possible I’d like to have a single account for everything.

So my course of action is:
Get a smartthings hub then use extenders, but how would this work on multiple floors? (all walls are concrete)
Is it possible to get multiple hubs with the same account? Can I use extenders from Z-wave/Zigbee through ethernet cables? Are there any type of wireless access points that also extend z-wave/zigbee signals?

As for the harmony solution, what options do I have to integrate with Smartthings for over 5 media rooms?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Frankly I think you need multiple Locations under one Account because SmartThings still doesn’t support multiple Hubs under one Location (@Jim… Confirmed or not?).

The problem is that SmartApps can currently not run across Locations, so you need to do a lot of redundant SmartApp installs and configs.

Some third-party web services (next version of SmartTiles…) will support multiple Locations seamlessly, but others seem to be a ways off (Alexa? IFTTT?).

The hassles of managing multiple Locations/Hubs is still worth the trouble, in my opinion, because it is a lot easier to run Cat6 or even good WiFi extenders than fight to arrange an optimal and stable ZigBee and Z-Wave network: well, actually you want to balance both strategies; put as many devices on each hub as you can, with powered repeater devices like outlets etc., then on to the next hub radius…


(HousePanel Author) #3

Might consider putting zwave switches at the base and top of stairs to connect the mesh between floors. With a villa this big it would be worth the investment to install power where needed to stay on a single hub. just be sure to repair network each time you add a node near zone conduits. The stairs are a built in connection conduit for the mesh since the concrete isn’t there. Outside is trickier but same idea … just install outlets every so often and plug in a waterproof zwave plug. Avoid mixing in Zigbee - I haven’t had good luck with that.

I did something similar for my back yard and multistory house - works fine.

edit: keep in mind a max of 4 hops in your design.


#4

The following thread should be of interest (this is a clickable link):


(Saeed Al Jneibi) #5

Do you have any z-wave switches that you would recommend?


(HousePanel Author) #6

GE 12722 (switch), 12723 (3-way extension), and 12724 (dimmer)
actually made by Jasco but sometimes branded GE
all of the above are paddle type. non paddle types also available
and all are in stock on Amazon although the 3-way extenders are cheaper from ST directly and for some reason they do not qualify for Prime like the others

I have over 50 of these installed in my house and they work flawlessly


(HousePanel Author) #7

and yea… for villas in the 10,000+ range a pro system makes a lot of sense. If you can afford the villa you can afford the Control 4 pro system…


(Saeed Al Jneibi) #8

I tried looking for these but most of them are only 120v, in the UAE (Abu Dhabi) its 240v. Do you know any good switches that plays nicely with 240v?