Author Topic: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie  (Read 956 times)

lonaman

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Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« on: April 20, 2011, 12:41:11 am »
If you were starting from scratch, what light switches would you install in your house to work with a LinuxMCE box?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

twodogs

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 01:48:02 am »
As it happens, I am starting from scratch. I asked myself a similar question and came up with the following.

- The main living room and upstairs loft where media centers are located. It's cool to start a movie and have the lighting automatically dim.
- Exterior landscape and porch lighting that turns on or off at certain times of day, or in response to a garage door opening.
- Outlets at front windows or other places where I will plug in holiday lighting.
- Outlet for my coffee maker

For the remaining commonly occupied areas of the house I don't have a problem with manually flipping light switches. In less frequented areas like the basement, I sometimes forget and leave them on all night. I think the solution to this is to install a switch with an occupancy sensor - a better, simpler, and less expensive solution than using LinuxMCE to do the job.

John
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 01:50:04 am by twodogs »
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lonaman

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 03:21:05 am »
Thanks for the response.  What I was really asking, I guess, is what hardware people recommend?  The automation page of the LinuxMCE wiki lists several different types of home automation protocols, like X10, ZWave and Insteon.  I have no experience with any of these and wanted advice as to which people recommended.  I want ease of use without breaking the bank.  I, too, have a media room with dimming switches already installed.  I was going to start there.  I want to replace these dimming switches with ones that work with LinuxMCE.  Insteon makes a switch that looks just like my existing switches, but I'm not sure if I should go this route.  Any recommendations?

huh

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 03:51:46 am »
I think the insteon developer (jdecker iirc) has sort of disappeared...  I, two years or so back, was torn between zwvae and insteon.  I'm not sure what was the tipping point, but I went with zwave and never looked back.   With a risk of sounding like I'm kissing ass- the zwave developer (Hari) has done a kick ass, top notch, job of integration.  With a few minor issues with the zwave t-stat (eg no F or scheduling) the rest has been amazing and on top of that Hari has been very willing IMHO to integrate new devices for little more than gifting him a device...

You may see in other posts that for new buildings, KNX is the crem-della-creme, but in the States I've found installers had to find...  FWIW I highly recommend zwave for the reliability, selection of devices and simplicity of integration into LMCE.

twodogs

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 03:57:01 am »
I did a lot of research and chose Insteon. You might find this comparison worthwhile.

http://www.smarthome.com/INSTEON_comparison.html

I have yet to get Insteon to work with LinuxMCE, but I think I'll eventually figure it out. I don't yet regret my decision, but there is not an abundance of info on how to make it work. Bottom line is I think the system is better, but the LMCE support is not as good.
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Gyration GYR3101
Cisco SPA3102 analog telephone adapter
Cisco 7971G IP phone/orbiter

klovell

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 07:47:25 pm »
If you were starting from scratch, what light switches would you install in your house to work with a LinuxMCE box?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

I only have experience with Z-wave but I highly recommend it.  The first time out the gate, everything just worked like magic.  I re-did my core and ran into difficulty but eventually got it sorted out... wish I remembered what I did.  I was going to go with X10 but after a conversation with a local home automation installer I changed my mind.  Apparently unless you use a filter, if a neighbor close enough has x10 it can interfare with yours and you can interfare with them, and certain appliances can disrupt the communication between x10 devices.  Basically he called it unreliable but he wasn't nice about it.  He actually laughed when I brought it up.  He suggested Insteon but I chose z-wave because it's plug and play with Lmce.

tommyg

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 10:13:35 pm »
Newbie myself, but what I found is a lack of door locks for Insteon. So if you are looking for that down the road, may want to consider Z-Wave.

bwhitson

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Re: Light Switch Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 05:57:14 am »
Smarthome does have an RF adapter for Morning Star dead bolts.  Same basic price for the lock itself. I think the bridge will set you back 70US or so.  Nice thing is one adapter will trigger all of the locks..... I guess that would be a bonus to some?
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