Newbie designing a whole system - need advice

Greetings All!!

I am experienced in IT, networking, RasPi etc, but new to Home Assistant.

I am helping a friend’s with his down to the studs remodel of a house. Hoping to set up AV, HVAC control, security cameras with motion sensing (also Unifi), lighting automation for him.

I am optimistic that Home Assistant can tie all that together. I am looking for suggestions on the following if you have time, chime in!

  1. What protocol should I use for automated dimmers/switches? Z Wave? Zigbee? Matter?

  2. Does Home Assistant provide Geo

3 What should I use for the actual alarm panel? I am familiar with Qolsys and

  1. is there a way to tie the motion sensors from the Unifi Cameras into Home Asisstant?

Probably more questions to follow up… Thanks in Advance for your help!!!

I use wifi but others successfully use the other protocols.

There is an interesting discussion about alarm systems here: Choosing a hardwired alarm system that can be "professionally" installed?.

Also, there are some good tips for searching this forum for additional information: Tips on Searching for Answers & Duplicate Topics in the Forum.

Details about what the Unifi Protect integration can be found here: UniFi Protect - Home Assistant.

Yes. I use all of the protocols. You can use just one but by spreading out the devices you have less stress on a single protocol plus you have a failsafe in case something goes out, which it will at some point. If his Zigbee dongle dies then it’s all down, but if he also has Z-Wave and Wifi then he only has part of the system down.

That being said I prefer different devices for different things:

  • Switches: Z-Wave and/or Zigbee. I use them interchangeably, the only thing to consider is if there is interference from very close neighbor wifi networks or if you plan to set up a complex mesh (as in professional mesh, not consumer mesh). I use a professional mesh and its fine but I had to fine tune the channels in wifi and Zigbee to make it solid
  • Outlet: Z-Wave and/or Zigbee and/or Shelly. I do use the plug in outlet controllers but overall prefer the clean look of wiring up a Shelly instead and Shelly has proven to be highly reliable. So if I need a quick fix or it won’t be visible then a “Z” device, otherwise it’s Shelly.
  • Battery Devices: Z-Wave. I’ve found motion sensors and other battery devices excel on Z-Wave and are so-so on Zigbee. Wifi is/can be a power hog. A coin battery can last a year under Z-Wave

The merits of Zigbee vs Z-Wave vs Matter vs Wifi vs Bluetooth are found in numerous topics on this site, you can check out those if you want to know peoples opinions on one versus another.

Geofencing can be done in HA if they use the HA app on their devices, otherwise if you use something like HomeKit then you can utilize HomeKits geofencing capabilities within HA.

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