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#1 Skier76

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:24 AM

Hello,
Looks like some good info here!

I'm looking into setting up some really basic automation functions. First order of business is a wifi t-stat. I'm pretty sure I'm set with the wiring...just need to buy the unit.

I'm looking into doing some automated lighting; nothing to crazy, just some lamps that can be controled/or put on a set schedule. What's the best and most cost effective way to go about that? x-10? Z-wave? I'm looking into controling a few lamps via plugs; basic on/off functions.

#2 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:39 AM

That question is like Ford vs Chevy. Most members here use UPB and Z-Wave. Some have had good luck with Insteon and others have not (mostly older units). I do know UPB and Z-Wave have plug in modules.

Best to ask what do you plan on using to control these t-stats and other plugin devices and then choose the technology that matches it. Do you want to use just a controller (no PC) or a home automation software system (or both)? What control features do you want (IPhone, look in from work, etc...)? What about future expandability?

#3 Skier76

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:38 AM

Thanks for the quick reply!

I'm looking at one of those Wifi-T-Stats from Home Depot. I'd just use the free app they have for the iphone/ipad to control it.

As for the lamps, again, just a basic app that allows you to set on/off times and override those times if needed.

We do a lot of skiing, so the ability to warm up the house before we come home would be nice. We don't always have a set time that we're back home.

Again, with skiing, we come home to a dark house or go away for the weekend. I'd like the ability to have control over some of the lighting vs just leaving them on timers. Here again, a simple app would be nice. I'm not looking into setting up another PC/or leaving the PC on just for automation.

#4 Work2Play

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 12:21 PM

Offhand, I'd probably look at a Vera - it's Z-Wave and I'd go with a Z-Wave thermostat just so you have everything in one place (I've seen those wifi ones at home depot though - good price); then use a few Z-Wave lamp modules; maybe a light switch or two (automated exterior lights are great). The controller costs a couple hundred bucks, but it can take care of the remote access to your network as well as the z-wave connection and the timers - all in a very low power device that's basically just a home router.

#5 Skier76

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:53 PM

That Vera controller is pretty slick! I like the idea of controlling everything off one unit. And the switches would be slick. I've got some outside lights on intermatic timers right now. But that's a bit more than I want to spend. And I'd still have to buy all the lamp stuff. Is there something out there I can plug into my router and use that to control the lamps?

#6 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:30 PM

What is your price range for a controller, lamp modules, and T-Stat setup? It sounds like you could really use control from your phone as well.

#7 Rupp

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:17 PM

If you are considering the Vera unit, then I would recommend HomeSeer. We have several users that gave up on Vera and moved over and are quite happy. HomeSeer can integrate with just about anything you have. It's web based so connection to your hardware is a simple web interface. It works with all major protocols seamlessly (UPB, Z-Wave, Insteon, X10, etc) all at once which allows you to choose the best hardware that each protocol offers. I use a mixture of X10, Insteon, Z-Wave, and UPB and this allows you to do more if one protocol offers hardware that others do not. For Example, I love my Z-Wave door locks but prefer my serial based RCS thermostat. You can download a free 30 day trial and load it on your PC/laptop and see if it's for you. http://www.homeseer.com

#8 Skier76

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:21 AM

Thanks guys! Is there anything that plugs into a router that can be used to control lights? An app to control it would be nice, but a web portal could work as well. For now, I have no problem with separate controls for the HVAC and lighting. I'm trying to keep the price on this pretty low....say under $100.

#9 gatchel

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:35 AM

Thanks guys! Is there anything that plugs into a router that can be used to control lights? An app to control it would be nice, but a web portal could work as well. For now, I have no problem with separate controls for the HVAC and lighting. I'm trying to keep the price on this pretty low....say under $100.


ISY99i

http://universal-devices.com/

It's not under $100 though...

#10 Desert_AIP

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:10 PM

Thanks guys! Is there anything that plugs into a router that can be used to control lights? An app to control it would be nice, but a web portal could work as well. For now, I have no problem with separate controls for the HVAC and lighting. I'm trying to keep the price on this pretty low....say under $100.


WMT's RUC-01 for UPB.
But again, not under $100.

#11 Skier76

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:22 PM

Thanks everyone. So x-10 or smarthome don't offer anything that can control the lamps? Would I have to purchase an entire setup? (I'm such a newb...I know.)

#12 Rupp

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 04:12 PM

Thanks everyone. So x-10 or smarthome don't offer anything that can control the lamps? Would I have to purchase an entire setup? (I'm such a newb...I know.)

Sounds like you need to look into Active Home (free) and some inexpensive X10 lamp modules as X10.com.

#13 Work2Play

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:35 PM

WMT's RUC-01 for UPB.
But again, not under $100.

I bought one of these because in concept it looks great; but at the moment, I don't care for it at all. It doesn't keep status; the iphone app doesn't work - crashes constantly and rarely actually controls a light; and the timers and things are way too much work to figure out the command to program into it.

I'm going to by a MiLightStyle soon and hope that's less of a disappointment.

#14 Skier76

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 06:44 AM

Rupp...that looks like it should fit the bill. The $99 package has the software and the modules. Not sure I'd have use for the remote, but I won't complain. Thanks for posting the info.

#15 InToZ-Wave

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:05 AM

Welcome to Cocoontech - another option you might want to look at is a Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt Lock Kit comes with Lock, Lamp module and bridge and you can add devices as you need to. Cost is $8.98 a month with no contract. If you want to upgrade down the road everything the only item you would lose is the bridge and the $8.98 a month bill B)




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