And my automation journey begins

I am sure I am probably going to have a ton of questions but in lead up to starting a Christmas project I wanted to start educating myself on HA. First question I have (well 2 questions) is if you were starting out and wishing to grow out your automation system;

  • Would you choose a automation protocol/platform for the devices as the primary go to? (Eg Zigbee, z-wave, wifi)
  • if so which would be recommended (ideally in Australia)?

I am keen to start by focus on lighting, so will be looking for

  • light strips
  • dimmer switch (or unit to sit behind existing switch)
  • motion sensors (maybe have light in the unit as well)

If I ran with a Zigbee/zwave usb would I also need repeaters to give coverage across a double story house

Sorry that was a lot more than a question. Any help would be appreciated as I am keen to get some orders in and start the journey

FYI, how you installed Home Assistant.

The choice between Z-Wave, Zigbee, and WiFi (or more probably, which first) really depends on your own goals and budget. I use both Z-Wave and Zigbee, and the main differences at a practical level are that Zigbee devices are cheaper, and Z-Wave devices are more likely to be configurable.

For example, I have both Z-Wave and Zigbee multi-sensors. With the Z-Wave sensors I can set how often they report, whether based on time (every 30 minutes whether things changed or not) or change (report when the light level changes by more than 1 lux). On the other hand, the Z-Wave sensors cost 4 times as much. The cost difference between a Zigbee multi sensor that reports illuminance separately from motion (which is relatively rare) and a Z-Wave multi sensor (which will do that by default) is pretty small.

Both Zigbee and Z-Wave use mains powered devices as routers to build the mesh. With Z-Wave that’s any mains/USB powered device, with Zigbee that usually doesn’t include light bulbs, but most other mains/USB powered devices will do that. You need to ensure that you have enough routers, placed in the right places, for a healthy mesh.

Now, based on what you’ve said, I’d probably look at Zigbee first, and Z-Wave second.


  • Build your own LED strip like this - I have a setup like this and it works well
  • Pick a dimmer switch/module that works for you - the Xiaomi ones (at least the ones that require a neutral) seem to be good
  • Hue motion sensor since it’ll report light levels independently of motion


  • Aeotec do a Z-Wave LED strip
  • A range of options here, including Fibaro and Aeotec
  • Again, a good range of options, including the Fibaro “eye of Sauron” and the Aeotec - I have both, and prefer the look of the Fibaro, but the Aeotec can be USB powered

Have a look for zigbee in wall devices in Oz…it might force your decision (like it does to me in NZ). Or mean you need to split you technology (IMO a good idea as it makes you not dependent on one gateway).

I run a mix of zwave for 240v devices and zigbee for battery. Being in this part of the world limits the range of companies and product lines (try looking for a zwave radiator TRV in this part of the planet…they are not built for our market). But for all the issues with zwave product set, they are offically certified.

Thanks appreciate the advice.

Thanks will look over those options.