What to pick for new house--advice needed! What would your ideal smart house have?

(Pavlos) #1

Dear Friends,

I have been trying to educate myself on these forums and so far many of the posts have been very valuable.

My problem is that I have run into a bottle neck in my house building and we can not move forward until I decide what devices I will install in my house and consequently to inform the electrician of what he needs to do. So I am asking you know if you could help me once again with your knowledge and experience, because I do not have enough time to educate myself properly in order to decide now what to do. Also I dont have the luxury to do this slowly and/or experiment with things and/or change things later. I need to do it now and I need to do it right.

So, can you please tell me, if you were building your house today in Europe, and you already own a ST UK edition as well as an arlo pro cameras, what other things would you buy in order to make the perfect ST compatible house? If need be, I can buy a new ST from the US and buy all my things from the US as well as long as they work with 110V - 220V but this is not preferred.

Thinks I will definitely need:
Dimmers / light switches
2 door garage opener
blind/roller controllers
outdoor cameras
smart locks
any other cool device/system that you like

dont worry about budget or how I will get the things to Greece.

This is your chance to build your dream house (on paper at least)!!! :smiley:

I know for sure that you are in a much better position to make this decision now compared to me, so any advise you give me will be EXTREMELY APPRECIATED!

Thank you

(Andy - United Kingdom) #2

The very first thing I would do is make sure that all lights switches have neutral wires.
In the UK (where I live) this is not very common and stops us using all sorts of relays/dimmers etc. So that would be my first requirement
I would also put 240v ac next to every window (to power blinds or curtains)

Btw… as the US uses different frequencies to europe, in the UK certainly, it is illegal to use US equipment… This may not be an issue for you but worth checking

(Pavlos) #3

I will definitely have neutral wires in all plugs.

Meantime, I am having a hard time to choose between FIBARO and AOTECH. Any advise?

(Andy - United Kingdom) #4

I only have experience with Fibaro…
I find them to extreemly reliable and they appear to be well built.
The only issue I have is that the connections are quite close together and need extra care to ensure they don’t have any stray cable strands touching other terminals (if connecting with stranded cable)


Tagging @RobinWinbourne

(Robin) #6

I can’t speak for Aeotec modules as I’ve never tried them but I can’t recommend the Fibaro modules enough, they always work flawlessly for me!

My entire home (which I now rent out to tenants) is rigged with Fibaros on every light and they are great!

Few things to consider on a new build when using any type of micro-module and that’s where to put them… You can fit a single module (for a single gang switch) in a 32mm back box (behind the switch), and you can just about squeeze two modules (for a two gang switch) inside a 47mm back box, but it’s not ideal.

I am in the process of helping my mother with a new build using Fibaros and we have opted to place the modules in various wiring hubs throughout the home, this involves a non-traditional wiring layout i.e. star wiring everything to the hubs rather than the regular wiring loops with live/switch live going to the switches. You need a pair of wires (plus earth) going to every switch gang and the same going to each light (or set of lights).

We chose to use multiple wiring hub locations over a single wiring hub to strengthen the signal mesh throughout the home for connectivity of battery devices.

Bear in mind that the Fibaro dimmer modules have the ability to connect to an additional switch (two in total), only S1 controls the physical load and the bonus S2 can send Scene ID’s to the hub which apps like webCoRE can respond to any way you can imagine… when designing your wiring layout, take this into account as these second switches are great for controlling table lamps and triggering routines… just add a couple of extra pairs of wires between wiring hub and switch positions so you can add extra gangs as desired.

We were going to use the older Fibaro door/window sensors for contacts (star wired in parallel to regular reed switches using the dry contact inputs to save on the quantity of Fibaro sensors), but we are now looking to use the Konnected modules (looks like a great system and the KickStarter is way over target)… the developer @heythisisnate is active on this forum which is always great to see:


Plugs always have neutral wires or they won’t work. The question is whether you will have neutral wires at the light switch boxes. Light switch boxes often do not have neutrals because the neutral could be run from the ceiling rose instead.

(Robin) #8

Just to add, Fibaro’s cannot be used for wall sockets as they cannot handle the load… neither can any other module that I’ve seen.

I haven’t ever had a need to automate plugs however, bar the odd table lamp that can be done with a wall wart or the neat (but fairly expensive) cord switches from Swiidinter.


Fibaro Dimmer 2’s for the lights don’t need a neutral but if you’re wiring from scratch is worth including a neutral as it often avoids the need to buy bypass modules when running LED’s.

(Pavlos) #9

Thank you for the reply. I will definitely have neutral at the light switch box as well.

(Pavlos) #10

Thank you VERY much for your detailed reply.

just a few questions:

  1. what is star wired in parallel?

  2. Have you had any problems with too many hubs and the maximim 4 hops issue of Zwave?

thank you

(Robin) #11


Imagine in the above diagram, the switches are reed switches and the dimmer module is a door / window sensor… they are wired in parallel back to the single module.

This is instead of having 5 seperate circuits requiring 5 seperate sensors.

Downside is you’ll only know if one of many windows are open, not exactly which one.

(Robin) #12

You can only have one hub… I’ve never had a problem with having too many Zwave modules, but my home isn’t huge and everything I have is within 2 hops at worst.

If you can describe the size of your home, max distances between hub and outermost devices and makeup of the structures, I’m sure @JDRoberts could attempt to advise if you could expect mesh issues… the only way to be sure though is to buy a few devices and physically test things.

(Pavlos) #13

Dear Friends,

So I have been spending hours on these forums and on others and I am getting closer to the finish line.
I am inclined to go with the below choices but your opinions are always appreciated:

Dimmers / light switches = FIBARO, (second choice Aeotech)
2 door garage opener = FIBARO, (second choice Aeotech)
blind/roller controllers = FIBARO, (second choice Aeotech)
outdoor cameras - RING FLOOD LIGHT CAM
indoor cameras = ARLO PRO
smart locks = UNDECIDED, PLS HELP
smart thermostat = NEST or ECOBEE, please help

let me know your thoughts/comments :slight_smile:

(Aris Charvalias) #14

Καλησπέρα. Να ρωτήσω εάν τελικά μετά από όλη αυτή την έρευνα υλοποιήθηκε η εγκατάσταση και με ποιες οι εντυπωσεις; Βρίσκομαι στο στάδιο προετοιμασίας εγκατάστασης ηλεκτρολογικών και διαβάζοντας την έρευνα σου θα εκτιμούσα την οποία βοήθεια. Ευχαριστώ

(Robin) #15

I’m afraid this is an English Language forum so you’re not going to get much help asking in Greek…

(Aris Charvalias) #16

Sorry about that dear friend. I was asking the Greek fellow of your forum to provide some feedback about his final setup and carried over with the Greek language.

I would really appreciate it however if you could help me on another matter if you have a moment to spare.
Do you know if I could use modules bought from US in Greece? They do support 220v but I am a little concerned about their operating frequency.


(Robin) #17

Zigbee devices from the US will work (universal frequency), but not Zwave.

(Pavlos) #18

Hi Nableman

Sorry for taking so long to reply.

Send me a PM, I can gladly walk you through to what I have done so far.