Building a new house, help me plan

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Hello, I am building new house and would like to get some suggestions from you guys.

I am using Node-Red for automations and have done some MQTT+ESP for custom stuff.

Current experience

Light switches:

  1. Xiaomi Aqara (zigbee) - acceptable
  2. Sonoff socket (tuya wifi) - very good
  3. Light switch (tuya wifi) - good

I like quality of Xiaomi Aquara build quality but zigbee has stability/speed issues (maybe bad adapter, using CC2531 USB stick and zigbee2mqtt)
Everything wifi based works perfectly stable and has quick response time

PLANS

Windows

Blinds: Zemismart (tuya wifi) - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000201855781.html
Curtains: Aqara (zigbee) - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000266457220.html << Seems high quality and expensive
Sensors: Tap into magnetic alarm sensor

Lights

LED strips: ??? - 24V warm white 3014 ??
Any suggestions on high quality strips?
LED power: ??? - 24V

Light switches:

  1. (tuya wifi) - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000289352430.html
    I want main light switches to function as dumb switches if there are issues with home assistant.

Wiring

  • Now I am wiring every window to have AC and UTP cables, every corner to have 2/3 UTP cables for cameras, misc and 1 AC cable (lights).
  • Putting wiring tubes in several places.
  • Everything comes into a small room at the center of a house.

HVAC

Heating and cooling is going thru pipes in floors, using Daikin Altherma 3:
Will try to connect using HA
Fresh air is provided using recuperation system via ceiling vents:
Will try to connect using HA + 1 automated vent valve between 1st & 2nd floors.

House thermal efficiency is going to be A+.
We will try to live without using AC, but have prepped wiring and piping locations.

House Security

  • I am planning to have a separate security system from home assistant.
  • I will try to tap into PIR and Tamper sensors for rooms and windows/doors.
  • Add custom ability to control arming process via HA.
  • LAN cameras around house and gates.

Misc

  1. Pressure sensors in beds
  2. Some temperature & humidity sensors in several places

That’s not what I see, my ZigBee mesh is solid for years. Do you have enough powered zigbee devices that act as a repeater? What do you mean with speed issues?

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If you are building a new house I would recommend you to hardwire as much as you can.

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Just added that, thanks!

Speed: there is a 2 second delay when i turn light on/off from home assistant
Mesh: now I have only one zigbee light switch and one usb adapter, link quality is very good.
But I am not discarding of it if smart device is using that tech.

That doesn’t sound normal mine respond immediately, no delay at all, how do you integrate them in home assistant?

Using CC2531 USB stick and zigbee2mqtt. for now this is not very important and can be resolved after house is built :slight_smile:

If you’re building from scratch some things to think about for home automation.

  1. How much can you hard wire. Power and CAT6 is going to go along way to create a stable system vs battery and WIFI.
  2. If your investing in HA then what about looking at windows that have an electric crank to open them combine that with a whole house fan and some temp sensors and you can automate your climate control.
  3. Auto water shut of in case of a leak and consumption detection. This is huge in my opinion, there are a few off the shelf solutions or build your own with home assistant and leak sensors.
  4. Blinds and curtains are fantastic, I had a set up like that in my previous town home and the only thing I would do is hard wire them in rather then use a battery. This was a retrofit for me so no hardwired option.
  5. Window and Door sensors hard wire a sensor in and run it off a ESP8266 then either ESP home or MQTT to home assistant.
  6. Obsolescence at some point light switches, sensors, etc will stop being supported by the manufactures take a hard look at what you’re going to install and where how easy will it be to swap out.
  7. LED lighting everywhere!!! Save some electricity don’t let the builder install any CF any where.
  8. Energy monitoring there are some zwave components to do energy monitoring either at the appliance level or total consumption from the electrical panel. There are also a few companies that have an off the shelf solution but watch out for fees and obsolescence (see #6)
  9. Instantaneous hot water heater instead of a tank heater.
  10. Solar, because - Screw the energy providers
  11. Make sure your electrical panel can support additional breakers think about a 200 amp service panel instead of a 100 amp.
  12. Make sure you curtains and blinds come with a remote, you will have a guest over at some point and they are going to want to play with the blinds and curtains. Having a remote or hardwired switch will take care of a lot of explanation and operating instructions.
  13. Generator or battery back up for the house.
  14. Fresh air heat exchanger this on is not home automation but its to make sure you have a healthy house and can prevent mold and mildew by exhausting stale air and bring in fresh air.
  15. You will probably want a combination of WIFI, zwave, and zigbee rather then just rely on one protocol. My house had a combination of all three and worked well.
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I switched from pi 3 to 4 and my lag was gone away.

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And in general i wanted to add my point to hardwire as much as possible - knx would be awesome

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Specially PoE (Power over Ethernet) is a good thing to have, so you can get a power and data connection with only one cable and don’t have to get a power supply for every device. There are also little adapters that can split up the PoE into ethernet and for example, micro USB again, so you can use devices that don’t support PoE out of the box. And for CAT6 cables I would use S/FTP, which stands for a metal screen around all wires (S), and a metal foil (F) around each twisted pair (TP)

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Thanks guys! Especially @PatrickHASS.io

I am trying to hardwire everything possible:

For lights: 24V 3014 SMD LED Strip would be best option?

I agree with you Syntox with everything except the part about using STP…

The problem with STP is that all the devices in the chain need to support the shielded “aspect” of the cabling. Also, there have been rare cases that some devices did not work with STP, replacing it with regular twisted pair solved the problem.

The issue with regular twisted pair is that it is more sensitive to EMI, so greater care needs to be taken when installing additional devices and wires that they are not too close (think of AC units and florescent lights) or in near/parallel to electrical wiring.

Seeing how you are building it yourself or at least are working closely with the contractors you can make sure it is done correctly.

I would suggest that you consider running conduit, often referred to Smurf Tube, to key areas to allow you to easily replace/upgrade/install new wiring as needed. For example, I have run most of my cables in conduits leading to all the key areas in the house. I have also installed an additional 8 conduits that are currently unused, they start in the basement (which I outfitted with a suspended ceiling). There is a low voltage box/plate that is accessible on the main floor and finally and terminates in the attic. So if I decide to add additional external IP camera’s and additional speakers I can do so without having to get the wife to approve making holes in the walls first.

Good luck with the new construction and let us know how it progresses.

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I’ve never heard of issues with S/FTP or S/TP. Sure, both ends of the cable have to be connected to earth/ground to let the shielding work properly, but if one device is not connected, it just should work like a normal twisted pair cable?

Just got done installing some Innovelli dimmer switches. Very SO friendly way to get some subtle notification and scene control into key areas. My wife has a hard no against displays on walls on the second floor. I use the LED on the Innovelli to let me know if things like my “forgot the laundry” boolean is on when I go upstairs at night. Also very easy scene control, like a double click down to trigger my bedtime scene. I know ideally a lot of this would be fully automated but I find that in practice a mix of automation plus manual intervention keeps the wife happier.

I can’t see exactly if there are data/low voltage cables (<50V DC) layed, but I would recommend to not lay them together with higher voltage AC cables, as the AC cables can induct a voltage into the DC cables. This induction can cause unstable data connection or let your LEDs flicker. Laying them around 10 cm in parallel away should be fine. Also crossing is okay.

I am not too worried about EMI actually i have speaker and aux wires running next to power cables now and never had an issue. I think now issues could occur only with very strong and noisy or near very sensitive low voltage equipment. Also cable gauge and length affects it.

P.S. Higher amperage devices will be connected thru floor wires, UTP cables are next to lightning, alarm and blinds/curtains motor cables.

Nice one, i am planning to have several of those + i am lucky to have garage wall next to home run closet.

Thank you!

I agree, if both ends are grounded properly they should not cause any issues, but in some cases apparently it would.

However, when I worked for a Control4/Lutron/Creston shop, we were told to avoid using shield twister pair for a specific list of devices. This included for example certain CAT6 to HDMI balun/extenders. It was also strongly suggested to avoid using patch panels for those devices as well.

Nice one, i am planning to have several of those + i am lucky to have garage wall next to home run closet.
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Sounds like you have a well-though-out plan. Good luck with the build.

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