Discussion Tips for new smart home renovation

Aug 10, 2019
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Hi!!

First time poster here! It looks like this is probably the best smart home forum for Australia, so I was hoping for some advise about a home we're trying to make smart. I've done quite a bit of reading and thought about what we need, so I hope this might help!!

Priorities for the smart home system are:
  • Ability to program advanced functions (that continue to work even when internet is down),
  • Controllable from 'normal' light switches, thermostat, etc and also from a central panel of some sort
  • Reliable performance once successfully programmed.
  • I don't care which communication technology(ies) the system uses as long as it works and is relatively future-proof!!
Devices/features to control include:
  • Video door locks, including a lock on garden door at the front of the property
  • Light switches: ideally look like conventional Australian switches. Clipsal Iconic look appealing. Orro could be an interesting alternative though!! The house is 1970s and I don't know if switches have a neutral wire.
  • Power outlet control (for lamps, appliances etc). Again, Clipsal Iconic look good.
  • Entertainment system. Current TV and Amp are old, so would be best to use infrared blasters until we upgrade one day in the future.
  • Play music via in-roof (or similar) speaker system, which we haven't chosen yet. House has a flat roof, so may have to be wall-mounted speakers.
  • Air conditioner and heater smart control, including add-on zoning. There's currently no zoning but we need it due to poor airflow distribution in the original design. Keen smart vents or similar seem appealing, although it's over-head piping with square outlets.
  • Smart blinds. Some are very, very large windows, some are lean-to windows, and some will need to be black-out blinds for shift workers!
  • Outdoor motion sensors and associated lights.
  • Possibly, the need for a light/temperature activated awning to shade a huge northern window.
  • Future garden devices (?water fountains... sprinklers... who knows).
Thanks for any pointers!!!!!!
 
You have a large project and the control systems that could be used to make it work aren't available for the DIY market.
The ones I know of that could handle your house would be Crestron, Savant, and Control 4. An expert programmer would be crucial as well.
I know that the Control4 system does come with end user software so you can tweek the system yourself after programming without screwing it up. Not sure of the others.
Most will require their own wall switches and outlets but will interface with a variety of thermostats and other devices. Each system and dealer will have it's own preferred equipment that they know how to install and program.
I would check for dealers for these three in Australia and consult with one or more in your area. Len Wallis in NSW comes to mind.
 
Aug 10, 2019
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Thanks. Yes, I think it's inevitable we're going to go with a pro at this point, especially as we're essentially trying to do it from out of town now. The house is in Melbourne if you have anyone in particular you'd recommend, otherwise we'll go with a group some family have used who seem fine.
 
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