This is asked quite often, and the routine answer seems to be: for new installations go with the KNX/EIB, for retrofitting the Z-wave gang. See for example http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php/topic,12141.0.html and others. For most other systems, please pay attention to the reliability. It just doesn't make any sense to play with stuff that you cannot rely on. Waveman, I have had my share of problems with that. Still in the process of getting rid of the rest modules.
Powering up/down the whole house, sound wild, and requires some high amp relays. So you don't have anything that should be left on all the time?
Thanks for the info. I'll have a look at the suggestions.
Its not so much as a requirement as a simplification of adding power control on the various appliances.
I'm planning to extend our installation out to be a fair sized one, and so it'd be really nice to be able to shut off portions of the house, eg floors or lighting (or the shed, or garage) by just switching off the ring main that supplies it. Not totally necessary, I'm sure that it could be sorted somehow.
I was looking round the other day at all the things that we leave switched on, and there really isn't that much that needs it. Eg, the microwave wants power all the time to keep its clock up to date. Well, I have a clock on the wall, I really don't need it to be a second clock. OTOH, I don't want to be manually switching it on whenever I want it. So, some kind of automation around me being near it is the ideal.
My base power draw is around 700 watts, all the time. I think that if we can selectively power down portions of the electrics, then this will be drastically reduced; so making the LMCE installation pay for itself (although this isn't the goal).
One long term goal I have in mind would be to be able to put the house into a mode where just the core, maybe lights and also the security system is active; the power to the main power circuits (or some, eg downstairs) is shut off, and is only engaged if the motion detectors trip. So you could power the main electrics down unless someone started wandering around the house, at which point things fire up (thinking my little confused children here).
Similar if we go away, I'd like to just leave the core and the security switched on. Then maybe have the lights be powered up every night or something to scare away the burglars, but have power usage be really minimal at the touch of a button.
All seems possible with the magical thing that is lmce, I just have to get the right hardware and configure it all up.