Here is my reasoning. I need security system anyway. The most important thing after that is remote HVAC control since this is not a primary residence. This is why I think Elk is a good fit. Next step would be automation where I could choose Zwave or any other protocol. You made an excellent point on the variety of the products available for Zwave, right now I am not committing to anything. But Elk is capable to do UPB or Zwave. I have bad experience with X10 reliability ever since CFL were introduced. This is why I was thinking of UPB originally. But looks like Zwave night be a better choice. It could even be a mix, I am planning to have neutrals in all my switches anyway.For all of these reasons and more...that's why I use a dedicated PC. By putting something on there like...Homeseer (which I use) or CQC or Premise or (list goes on...sorry for leaving out the other 2 that I know of...but can't think of the names of), I can blend anything I want together. I have Z-Wave locks, thermostats and some modules. I use UPB for my lighting as well as most of my modules.
I tend to think of it as Z-Wave is the "X10" of the reliable world. From the stand point of they have lots of toys and accessories.
I only know of one UPB thermostat. Then there are light switches and modules. That's about it.
I think Insteon (correct me Lou) is about the same as UPB when it comes to TYPES of modules...but might have a few more (IR comes to mind).
Z-wave has a LOT. Way more than I can mention. Things like drapery controls, lighting, modules, Remotes, IR controllers, thermostats, Locks (Schlage / Kwickset / a few more in the pipeline), water shutoff valves, power monitoring modules / switches, motion/light level/temperature all-in-one sensors, etc. etc.
I tend to hit here:
When I'm trying to see if it is worth my time to build something for my home, or just see if someone has MADE something.
After I decide I need/want something (instead of make), I tend to shop at Homeseer and Aartech's sites for Z-Wave stuff. For UPB it's Automated Outlet 100%. You just can't beat the service. I think both Aartech and AO are Cocoontech 5 star vendors. I'm not sure about Homeseer, but they are a good place to buy from.
I think the Elk has lots of offerings as well. Someone like Dan (Electron) could probably comment more, as I know he uses Elk with Homeseer.
What do you guys thinking about placing this equipment under the staircase on the first floor. There is enough room, but I dont think it is a good idea since working in that space is not that easy, plus heat from the equipment, etc.