I started my HA project when I finished renovating my house in early 2016.
I'm using an Elk M1G panel for security and core automation. Magnetic reed switches on all of the interior and exterior doors, windows, Bosch PIR's for motion, glass break detectors, GRI leak sensors, a couple of $2 chinese float sensors, and the thermostats, are all hardwired.
Thermostats are OmniStat 2's, attached to a common dual zone heat pump, one on each floor in the primary space, they work fine, we rarely touch them. If I had to do it over, I might go with RCS or Aprilaire thermostats mounted in the basement near the HA equipment and distribute wired temperature probes throughout the house.
I went with Simply Automated UPB gear for lighting as it is a standalone system for all intents and purposes, it does not require a hub, or the internet. The Elk simply sends on/off/dim commands via a serial UPB module.
I have the M1 Touch app for android on my phone which lets me connect to my panel, I can arm/disarm, adjust thermostats, lighting, etc.
I added Homeseer about a year ago so that I could play with Amazon Alexa and Google home. The UltraM1G3 plugin basically exposes the Elk panel and everything attached to it to Homeseer and thus I can use Elk components when writing events and expose lighting and thermostats to Alexa and Google.
I do mean everything, security switches, thermostats, UPB lighting, etc. And you don't actually have to attach a UPB PIM to the Homeseer box to control the UPB lighting because you have access to it via the Elk plugin. ($$) I will note that Elk's support for UPB is limited, it doesn't receive updates, like the usb UPB PIM attached to Homeseer does. i.e. If I touch a switch, Homeseer will see state change, Elk wont.
I tried a few different mobile apps for Homeseer, I think I've settled on the recently released Homeseer official Mobile App, decent UI and it works well enough.
I didn't wire for external motion sensors when I wired the house, because I was ignorant, so after running across the Homeseer Zwave Floodlight Sensors, I added the Homeseer Zwave Plus S2 usb module to my Homeseer server. I can now get motion events, light status, and lux readings from my 120v floodlights.
Also picked up a Homeseer Zwave Water Leak Sensor because the kids dump water all over the bathroom floor on a regular basis.
I have a heavy duty relay that I'm planning to install on the water heater, and an electronic ball valve for the main water line coming into the house. These will both be connected to the Elk. I also ordered some $12 IR beam sensors off Amazon that I want to play with, I figured they might work well on the basement stairs to kick the light on before I get to the bottom of the stairs and trip the motion sensor.
If I ever sell the house, all of the hardwired stuff (contacts, sensors) can be reused with another panel. Or they can buy the Elk panel. As UPB doesn't require a controller, they could use it with or without the Elk, for a fee, otherwise I'll just take the switches with me for the next place.
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