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  • New House - Need Recommendations!

    Hey folks!

    We just bought a new house and before we move in I plan on getting all my automation dreams done. Last house I never got around to doing "everything" and then eventually we realized we were going to move and it seemed pointless.

    Since I'm doing so many things all at once I was really hoping for some feedback from the community to help me pick hardware that will work with Homeseer.

    My setup HS:
    • Hometroller S6 Pro - Bought last year
    • Insteon USB PLM
    • Homeseer znet z wave interface



    Interfaces:
    • HSTouch on iPhones/iPads
    • Several Alexa devices
    • Siri from the phones and watches courtesy of homebridge





    The challenge! Here's the list of things I plan on getting done before we move in to the house. Thoughts, feedback, comments welcome!
    1. Light switches and outlets - I've used Insteon in the past and been really happy with the results. There was a sale on Black Friday so I bought a bunch of switches in preparation for the move. I think I'm good there.
    2. Blinds - I recently read here on the forums that the new Bali Autoview blinds from Lowes/Home Depot have z-wave per blind by default. If that is true then I think I'll go down that route.
    3. Door Locks - I used the Yale Touchscreen z-wave locks at my last place and I loved them. Actual key as a failsafe, remote access via phone/HS, and I could assign PINs to family. Unless there is something substantially better I'll probably use these again.

      HERE IS WHERE THINGS GET TRICKY. PLEASE HELP.
    4. Smart Vents - I've been looking at both Ecovent and Keen. They both have zigbee support. There was a thread about both of them here.
      I don't think anyone ever mentioned if they could get either of them to work with Homeseer though. I would like to be able to read status and change temp per room from HS. Voice control through Alexa/Siri nice to have. Any advice or experience here would be appreciated.
    5. Main Thermostat - The vents above both seem to work with Nest or the Zen thermostat which is zigbee. I like the Honeywell thermostats as well. Mainly it needs to work with HS and whatever vent above.
    6. Heated Floor Thermostat - There are heated floors in the master bedroom/bathroom. I need two of these thermostats that I would like to be able to read/change from HS. This is the thermostat they recommend with the floors. I can't find much information on it though. I've also looked at the Nu Heat wifi thermostat. I see a few requests for them to be supported by homeseer, but don't know if anyone ever accomplished this.
    7. Window and door sensors - In my last house I installed a few Insteon door plungers and some of the older motion detectors. They were maybe 80% reliable, which as a security feature seems not good enough. I also had voice alerts set up for doors that were left open. We did not appreciate being constantly woken up for doors that were actually closed anyway. If anyone has recommendations for door/window/motion sensors that are EXTREMELY RELIABLE I would be all ears. Hardwired is fine in some cases, but will also need to be some wireless.
    8. Cameras - I have a few Insteon IP cameras. They work alright. I don't know if there are benefits to doing the CCTV hardwired cameras. If so, what are they and do you have recommendations? I'd like to set up cameras both indoors and outdoors and have them record video when motion is detected. WAF is important too. Should be able to keep them out of sight and out of mind. Seems like it should be pretty easy, but I could never get it to work well with HS at my last place.
    9. Landscape Lighting - I'm looking for landscaping lighting that I can control through HS. Multiple zones and dimmable. Bonus points if it also supports color changing LEDs. I found a crazy expensive system called FX Luminaire. Then I found this z-wave rgb controller and some cheapish RGB landscape lights. Anyone have experience here that can lend me a hand?
    10. Holiday Lights - We are hardcore holiday people. I'd like to install permanent Holiday lights that work with HS and are dimmable/color changing. There are commercial solutions like Everlights. I have no idea how well they work or if I can get them to talk to HS.



    That's my project list so far. If you have strong recommendations please let me know. Bonus points for sharing how you're using them in your current system. Any projects that I'm missing that you can't live without? Let me know!

    I'll be sure to update this thread with progress and share some finished photos/videos once I get everything done. It's going to be a ton of work, but so worth it!

    Blackbeard

  • #2
    Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
    Hey folks!

    We just bought a new house and before we move in I plan on getting all my automation dreams done. Last house I never got around to doing "everything" and then eventually we realized we were going to move and it seemed pointless.

    Since I'm doing so many things all at once I was really hoping for some feedback from the community to help me pick hardware that will work with Homeseer.

    My setup HS:
    • Hometroller S6 Pro - Bought last year
    • Insteon USB PLM
    • Homeseer znet z wave interface



    Interfaces:
    • HSTouch on iPhones/iPads
    • Several Alexa devices
    • Siri from the phones and watches courtesy of homebridge





    The challenge! Here's the list of things I plan on getting done before we move in to the house. Thoughts, feedback, comments welcome!
    1. Light switches and outlets - I've used Insteon in the past and been really happy with the results. There was a sale on Black Friday so I bought a bunch of switches in preparation for the move. I think I'm good there.
    2. Blinds - I recently read here on the forums that the new Bali Autoview blinds from Lowes/Home Depot have z-wave per blind by default. If that is true then I think I'll go down that route.
    3. Door Locks - I used the Yale Touchscreen z-wave locks at my last place and I loved them. Actual key as a failsafe, remote access via phone/HS, and I could assign PINs to family. Unless there is something substantially better I'll probably use these again.

      HERE IS WHERE THINGS GET TRICKY. PLEASE HELP.
    4. Smart Vents - I've been looking at both Ecovent and Keen. They both have zigbee support. There was a thread about both of them here.
      I don't think anyone ever mentioned if they could get either of them to work with Homeseer though. I would like to be able to read status and change temp per room from HS. Voice control through Alexa/Siri nice to have. Any advice or experience here would be appreciated.
    5. Main Thermostat - The vents above both seem to work with Nest or the Zen thermostat which is zigbee. I like the Honeywell thermostats as well. Mainly it needs to work with HS and whatever vent above.
    6. Heated Floor Thermostat - There are heated floors in the master bedroom/bathroom. I need two of these thermostats that I would like to be able to read/change from HS. This is the thermostat they recommend with the floors. I can't find much information on it though. I've also looked at the Nu Heat wifi thermostat. I see a few requests for them to be supported by homeseer, but don't know if anyone ever accomplished this.
    7. Window and door sensors - In my last house I installed a few Insteon door plungers and some of the older motion detectors. They were maybe 80% reliable, which as a security feature seems not good enough. I also had voice alerts set up for doors that were left open. We did not appreciate being constantly woken up for doors that were actually closed anyway. If anyone has recommendations for door/window/motion sensors that are EXTREMELY RELIABLE I would be all ears. Hardwired is fine in some cases, but will also need to be some wireless.
    8. Cameras - I have a few Insteon IP cameras. They work alright. I don't know if there are benefits to doing the CCTV hardwired cameras. If so, what are they and do you have recommendations? I'd like to set up cameras both indoors and outdoors and have them record video when motion is detected. WAF is important too. Should be able to keep them out of sight and out of mind. Seems like it should be pretty easy, but I could never get it to work well with HS at my last place.
    9. Landscape Lighting - I'm looking for landscaping lighting that I can control through HS. Multiple zones and dimmable. Bonus points if it also supports color changing LEDs. I found a crazy expensive system called FX Luminaire. Then I found this z-wave rgb controller and some cheapish RGB landscape lights. Anyone have experience here that can lend me a hand?
    10. Holiday Lights - We are hardcore holiday people. I'd like to install permanent Holiday lights that work with HS and are dimmable/color changing. There are commercial solutions like Everlights. I have no idea how well they work or if I can get them to talk to HS.



    That's my project list so far. If you have strong recommendations please let me know. Bonus points for sharing how you're using them in your current system. Any projects that I'm missing that you can't live without? Let me know!

    I'll be sure to update this thread with progress and share some finished photos/videos once I get everything done. It's going to be a ton of work, but so worth it!

    Blackbeard
    Vents: Be very careful how you utilize these vent registers. Just make certain you don't have more then a 3rd closed at any one time ever (that is a rule of thumb, MAX). There could be serious consequences if there isn't adequate air moving through the heating/cooling system.

    Thermostat: Why does the thermostat need to interact with the vent registers? They just need to interact with HS. I think any of the Honeywell thermostats that supports a Total Connect Comfort account can be controlled via the Honeywell HS Plug-in.

    Window/Door Sensors: Invest in a dedicated security system that can talk to HS. IMO this is the most reliable means to providing home security for your family.

    Camera's: I would take a look at POE IP Network Cams (so you can power them with the network cable.) If you are serious about using/monitoring them you'll want to invest in hard wiring them. WiFi cams are not nearly as reliable.

    I have 5 cam's controlled via BlueIris, with the HS BI Plugin. The system works quite well, however you will need a fairly strong computer (an Intel CPU with QSV should work well)
    RJ_Make On YouTube

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. The reason the thermostat has to talk to the vents is so they can control each room independently. If a room is too hot, it turns on the heat and closes other vents to direct heat to that particular room. They also have built in pressure sensors to ensure they don't overload the HVAC system. At least that is the CLAIM from Ecovent.

      I have no problem installing POE cams. Do you have recommendations? I'll have to check out Blue Iris. I have one of the top of the line QNAP servers that might work.

      What "dedicated" security system do you recommend and why would that be better than z-wave sensors?


      11. Appliances - We are also getting all new appliances. I want one of those cool new induction cooktops and smart ovens. Samsung has some pretty great options that supposedly work with SmartThings and GE has some cool stuff too. I actually prefer the stuff Samsung has, but it looks like GE has better integration so the chances of making it work with HS are probably higher. Anyone have experience with either of these appliance lines?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
        Thanks for the reply. The reason the thermostat has to talk to the vents is so they can control each room independently. If a room is too hot, it turns on the heat and closes other vents to direct heat to that particular room. They also have built in pressure sensors to ensure they don't overload the HVAC system. At least that is the CLAIM from Ecovent.

        I have no problem installing POE cams. Do you have recommendations? I'll have to check out Blue Iris. I have one of the top of the line QNAP servers that might work.

        What "dedicated" security system do you recommend and why would that be better than z-wave sensors?


        11. Appliances - We are also getting all new appliances. I want one of those cool new induction cooktops and smart ovens. Samsung has some pretty great options that supposedly work with SmartThings and GE has some cool stuff too. I actually prefer the stuff Samsung has, but it looks like GE has better integration so the chances of making it work with HS are probably higher. Anyone have experience with either of these appliance lines?
        Depending on your budget, Dahua and Hikvision cameras are both popular choices. I have a mix of both. Blue Iris comes highly recommended if you don't mind a PC running 24/7, you'll also need a pretty decent PC. I run an i7 6700 with 32gb of ram, you should only need 16gb. I'd stay away from NVR unless you're absolutely sure you'd stick with one brand. BI also has the benefit from integrating into other HA technologies.

        A word of suggestion is to run ethernet, CAT6A rather than your standard CAT6 cable EVERYWHERE even if you think you don't need it. This will mean you're future proof for 10Gbe. I'd go as far as doing 2 drops per room in the house, this double cable cost but shouldn't double the labor. Don't forget to run one to where your TV/Media equipment is.

        Also plan your wifi network out. Add a couple Ethernet runs on the ceiling strategically for your wireless AP. One upstairs one downstairs somewhere in the center of each floors.

        I use Ubiquiti AP's at work and at home and they work flawlessly.


        I know you didn't ask but planning your entertainment system out now is a good time. Have speaker wires, HDMI cables and even an SPDIF cable routed to your AVR should be planned now.

        you touched a sensitive subject for me, We bought an old house and had to pull down walls and me creeping around attic and crawlspace for all the above to happen. I hated it and it was a PITA to do with walls already up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dannieboiz View Post
          Depending on your budget, Dahua and Hikvision cameras are both popular choices. I have a mix of both. Blue Iris comes highly recommended if you don't mind a PC running 24/7, you'll also need a pretty decent PC. I run an i7 6700 with 32gb of ram, you should only need 16gb. I'd stay away from NVR unless you're absolutely sure you'd stick with one brand. BI also has the benefit from integrating into other HA technologies.

          A word of suggestion is to run ethernet, CAT6A rather than your standard CAT6 cable EVERYWHERE even if you think you don't need it. This will mean you're future proof for 10Gbe. I'd go as far as doing 2 drops per room in the house, this double cable cost but shouldn't double the labor. Don't forget to run one to where your TV/Media equipment is.

          Also plan your wifi network out. Add a couple Ethernet runs on the ceiling strategically for your wireless AP. One upstairs one downstairs somewhere in the center of each floors.

          I use Ubiquiti AP's at work and at home and they work flawlessly.


          I know you didn't ask but planning your entertainment system out now is a good time. Have speaker wires, HDMI cables and even an SPDIF cable routed to your AVR should be planned now.

          you touched a sensitive subject for me, We bought an old house and had to pull down walls and me creeping around attic and crawlspace for all the above to happen. I hated it and it was a PITA to do with walls already up.
          Thanks for the camera recommendations. I'll be looking at Dahua and Hikvision later today.

          You touched on a subject that is very near and dear to me as well! I didn't mention it above, but I am already planning on running several cat6a lines to each room (and lines for the cameras as it looks like I'm heading down that route). I am planning on taking the Ubiquiti route myself based on some recommendations from a co-worker.

          I thought about doing the APs in the ceiling, but then I saw that Ubiquiti makes these in-wall access points that also leave the jacks available. Figured I could put one in every room and have no ceiling warts. Any thoughts on those?

          AV for most rooms is a combination of Firetv, TV, and Sonos bar. I've used this combo plenty of times and am really good at hiding all the cables. In my dedicated theater we are already planning on running everything to the dedicated server room. I made the mistake in my last place of doing all this after the fact and regretted it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
            Thanks for the camera recommendations. I'll be looking at Dahua and Hikvision later today.

            You touched on a subject that is very near and dear to me as well! I didn't mention it above, but I am already planning on running several cat6a lines to each room (and lines for the cameras as it looks like I'm heading down that route). I am planning on taking the Ubiquiti route myself based on some recommendations from a co-worker.

            I thought about doing the APs in the ceiling, but then I saw that Ubiquiti makes these in-wall access points that also leave the jacks available. Figured I could put one in every room and have no ceiling warts. Any thoughts on those?

            AV for most rooms is a combination of Firetv, TV, and Sonos bar. I've used this combo plenty of times and am really good at hiding all the cables. In my dedicated theater we are already planning on running everything to the dedicated server room. I made the mistake in my last place of doing all this after the fact and regretted it.
            I have not used the inwall so I can comment on its performance but for me, I wouldn't use it in my home due to the upgradability. Technology advance exponentially. When it's time for you to do 10Gbe upgrades, the UBN inwalls you have now would need to go. You'll probably need more of it to get the same coverage as a single UFO.

            Comment


            • #7
              It makes sense to run cat 6A; but you can run 10Gbe over cat5e over distances of up to 45 meters. That will probably cover the existing infrastructure in most homes.
              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435 (Windows Server 8.1 on ESXi box)

              Plug-Ins Enabled:
              Z-Wave:,RaspberryIO:,AirplaySpeak:,Ecobee:,
              weatherXML:,JowiHue:,APCUPSD:,PHLocation:,Chromecast:,EasyTr igger:

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wpiman View Post
                It makes sense to run cat 6A; but you can run 10Gbe over cat5e over distances of up to 45 meters. That will probably cover the existing infrastructure in most homes.
                Also true, Cat6A will mean he'll probably be future proof for 100Gbe.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
                  Thanks for the camera recommendations. I'll be looking at Dahua and Hikvision later today.
                  I have several Dahua cameras and they're pretty good. Just be careful that you buy the real US version and not the cheaper graymarket ones. It can be hard to tell which you're buying. The graymarket cameras can't take a firmware upgrade. According to the note I got in the box for a couple of them upgrading the firmware "can turn the cameras Chinese or bad." Stick to purchasing from B&H or another reputable US retailer and you'll be fine.


                  I thought about doing the APs in the ceiling, but then I saw that Ubiquiti makes these in-wall access points that also leave the jacks available. Figured I could put one in every room and have no ceiling warts. Any thoughts on those?
                  I use Ubiquiti APs here and am very happy with the performance. I wouldn't suggest the in-wall version since they're only made to cover a single smallish room (think hotel rooms). You'll get better overall coverage and probably performance with standard APs. I put mine in the attic, underneath the insulation so they're not visible. So far I haven't had any problem with them overheating, but I'll see how I do through the first 100 degree summer.
                  HS Pro 3.0 | Linux Ubuntu 16.04 x64 virtualized under Proxmox (KVM)
                  Hardware: Z-NET - W800 Serial - Digi PortServer TS/8 and TS/16 serial to Ethernet - Insteon PLM - RFXCOM - X10 Wireless
                  Plugins: HSTouch iOS and Android, RFXCOM, BlueIris, BLLock, BLDSC, BLRF, Insteon PLM (MNSandler), Device History, Ecobee, BLRing, Kodi, UltraWeatherWU3
                  Second home: Zee S2 with Z-Wave, CT101 Z-Wave Thermostat, Aeotec Z-Wave microswitches, HSM200 occupancy sensor, Ecolink Z-Wave door sensors, STI Driveway Monitor interfaced to Zee S2 GPIO pins.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One more thing about the cameras, make sure you select the right lens for the location, if you buy a telephoto lens then it doesn't matter..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @dannieboiz @reidfo

                      What is your Ubiquiti setup? I'd like to buy gear that is battle tested and recommended rather than just guessing on my own. Do either of you happen to have any of the outdoor antennas? We have a big property and I'd like to cover the whole thing in wifi if possible.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
                        @dannieboiz @reidfo

                        What is your Ubiquiti setup? I'd like to buy gear that is battle tested and recommended rather than just guessing on my own. Do either of you happen to have any of the outdoor antennas? We have a big property and I'd like to cover the whole thing in wifi if possible.
                        I would suggest getting the getting the AC Pro. There's a couple advantage to it over the lite and the LR.

                        The 2nd GB Port is good if you need to daisy chain something. It will not provide POE just a signal.

                        The biggest advantage for me is not having to buy a Ubiquiti POE switch. The Pro uses 802.3af which means any POE switch in the market can power it. This allows me to use the same POE switch I use for my cameras for the AP.

                        Although, they all come with a POE injector, the other AP's requires a passive POE switch.

                        I have more than 30 of them floating around for the past couple years, none has failed me yet. Can't comment on the outdoors ones but I have a couple of them are installed in an area that often hit 110 degrees days on and still skipping along. Not sure how big of an exterior area you're trying to cover but if you placed one towards the front of the house and one towards the back, it might even take care of your outdoors area too.


                        I have a single unit in the middle of the house at the stairway upstairs and it covers a approximate 75x75 area including outdoors area. I thought I going to need more but I didn't.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dannieboiz View Post
                          I have more than 30 of them floating around for the past couple years, none has failed me yet.
                          What in the world do you need 30 APs for? Thanks for the additional info. So you don't use one of their fancy switches or the security gateway?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            cheeryfool

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blackbeard View Post
                              What in the world do you need 30 APs for? Thanks for the additional info. So you don't use one of their fancy switches or the security gateway?

                              30 AP at various sites. I do use Ubiquiti POE Switches at work sites but not needed if you don't want to. If you already have a wireless router, that is your gateway.

                              For my work sites, I use Cradlepoint MBR1400 and MBR1600 routers. They're multi-wan GSM Wireless router, so if you're really paranoid, you can get one of those and have a backup cellular internet in case your land line fail. The MBR1400 is now obsolete but still a very capable router and can be had for cheap on fleabay. I personally use an asus AC66U that I received for free from sprint and then flashed it with Merlin firmware to remove the sprint stuff. LOL

                              If you go with the pro, get a GB POE switch to your liking which can handle the AP and Cameras as well as any hardwire device you need. For most people 24 ports is plenty, I have a 48 ports. I do IT for a living so it's there's never enough Ethernet ports for me. I hard wire where I can and wireless when I have absolutely have to.

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