So we moved, again, back to Versailles. I had the bad idea to start looking into home automation before we even moved, and started wondering what I wanted to have or to do.
Defining the need
The thing I was interested in at first was simply controlling the lights, I wanted to be LED based and dimmable. I like LED strips, but 12 or 24v things means you need a converter, and the dimming should be done at this level, which kind of make the controlling remotely in software harder to achieve.
Wandering online I discovered there now are 220v LED strips, you can't cut them anywhere like most 12v, but that was fine by me, so I got a 10m of it, and a few connectors and stuff to go with it.
I then looked at the various protocol used, and pretty quickly found that there currently is more devices available for z-wave and decided I'd go with it.
At first I was about to buy an already made box, and realized there were pretty amazing open source software available and could be installed on a computer or a raspberrypi with an usb dongle.
Looking online, I then realized all the things you could do with the so called Home Automation, and ended up with a kinda crazy goal:
- light control
- temperature and humidity monitoring
- heaters control
- power consumption monitoring
- door and windows opening monitoring
- smoke detector
The biggest drawback on z-wave is its price, every module is expensive, when you sum up all the thing I listed before, the bill was fairly high and I decided to start small instead of getting everything right away.
So I ordered 4 things:
- Sigma designs UZB, a usb dongle to add z-wave capabilities to your computer of choice
- Fibaro FDG-212 Dimmer 2, a micro module you can put behind a switch
- Fibaro FGB-002 Bypass a module to add to your setup to avoid LED flickering.
- Everspring AD147-6 Plug a dimmer plug
Once I received this and the LED strip, I started playing with it, simply with the plug as we didn't move yet.
It does flicker (the bypass was for the fibaro module, not the plug), but it works, first test was encouraging, first step completed.
Continue to Part 2