Smart Home Help

vegasbaby100

Novice Member
Looking for help on smart home.

Background: Own an electrical company focusing on commercial projects not residential and very little knowledge with domestic smart systems. I am fairly tech savy but not a genius. The home will be used by a family of 4 ease of use is a must for us.

At the moment i am thinking of going down the google Nest route as seems to cover most of what we would like but would like any ones input/advice. the main thing is we would like to control it all through one app.

The main things that we are looking for

Music - Looking at using the Nest Spekers seem ok and then they can be used to control other items ( looking at having one in each room apart from entertainment areas where will use 2 for stereo. any reccomendations for outdoor speakers?

Lighting - There will be around 150 lights including the externals at the minute i am thinking that it is going to have to be phillips Hue and use 3 bridges. I want to be able to have them zoned and have the ability to control them from a phone but also a central point in the property ( looking at the google hub). What i am not keen on is needing to have 3 hubs for the Hue and i am still unsure over the best way with switching in the room. I was unsure if i am better off with using smart switches instead of bulbs to reduce amount of items on the network? i guess writing this, this is the biggest area of concern for me.

Temp control - Am thinking of using the Tado radiator stats.

Door bell - Looking at the Nest door bell does anyone know if i can have 2 of them on one property.

Cameras - Looking at the nest external cameras they seem ok but has anyone got any experience, how do they store without a NVR/DVR?

Alarm - does anyone have any recommendations?

Gate control - this is something i seem to be struggling with we are looking at having a gate which we would like to have linked with the system if possible instead of a standalone system
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
I love Google Home products and Phillips Hue and use these at home.
However Hue are by far from the best, but they are very expensive. 150 lights would make for an eye watering cost!

I have 4 lights in my kitchen. I only want them to turn on or off either remotely or by voice control. I have no desire for dimmer controls for them or colour changing.
They all operate from one switch so I installed a wifi light switch which works with Tuya / Smart Home.
Tuya / Smart Home works with Google Home app
So I can press the switch on the wall to turn the lights on or off, or I can use my voice and ask google to turn the kitchen light on or off or I can bring up either the Smart Life app on my phone (or use the widget) or use the Google Home app.
Same goes for power to my shed (Google Home in the shed too for music in the garden etc, garden lights, bedroom fan ran from Wifi plug sockets via SmartLife / Google Home app.

I've got two lamps in the living room which have cheap colour changing wifi bulbs in them connected to Smart Life. In the living room the main light is Phillips Hue and the TV light Strip is Hue.
I've got Hue bulbs in the bedrooms and hallway and a normal wifi one in the front door carriage light connected to Smart Life.
Kitchen has Google Nest Hub Max
Living Room has Google Home, Google TV and the Denon amp is connected to the Google Home app.
Kids bedrooms have Hue lights and google Mini's.

So all of these are controlled by voice through the google home devices and the Google Home app with the none Google and Hue being controlled by Smart Life app / widget.

I use a webcam attached to my PC for video calls in the living room and can access this via a third party standalone app called Ivideon. This doesn't work with Google so I am looking for alternatives so I can use it as an internal security camera - mostly for checking in on the dog when I'm aware form home. I also have a 14 year old and a 11 year old so...

So my advice, look in to Smartlife / Tuya, reconsider Hue alternatives (I am very unlikely to buy more Hue products) as they are not the leaders in the field by far - although their app is one of the best) and get up to speed by watching some reviews on youtube.
I watch Geek Street, Hibbert Home Tech (light entertainment but excellent reviews and heavenly biased against Philips Hue), Tech With Brett, Automate Your Life and Smart Home Solver for all my Smart Home related porn...

I'd avoid Samsung's SmartThings, Samsung have withdrawn support and are no longer pursuing this avenue.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions about what I use or how I use it, fire away!
 

netsukekoi

Active Member
Do you really need voice control? My kitchen has 3 sets of lights, the under counter ones are activated by a motion sensor in the ceiling set so that they don't come on when it is sunny but do come on at other times when someone enters the kitchen or is working in there. Then I have lights over the breakfast bar which come on when someone sits there (proximity sensor) plus another set of basically ambient lighting which come on when I get up and shut off when I finish making dinner in the early evening (controlled by IFTT). Why would I want to even think about my lights being on or off let alone talk to them?
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
Big fan of smart life here too.

Why would I want to even think about my lights being on or off let alone talk to them?
Whatever works for you I great. Most of my lighting is automatic but sometimes intervention is wanted. Example, I don't go to bed at the same time each night and so a simple phase shuts everything off. Then I may want the ambient light to change to bright white, usually when I've lost something. I'm also fickle about temperature n my from, so my fan is on and off to suit me. There are lots of examples. And if you are going to buy a ZigBee hub, it might was well be an Echo device which of course has the voice option built in.
 

netsukekoi

Active Member
Big fan of smart life here too.


Whatever works for you I great. Most of my lighting is automatic but sometimes intervention is wanted. Example, I don't go to bed at the same time each night and so a simple phase shuts everything off. Then I may want the ambient light to change to bright white, usually when I've lost something. I'm also fickle about temperature n my from, so my fan is on and off to suit me. There are lots of examples. And if you are going to buy a ZigBee hub, it might was well be an Echo device which of course has the voice option built in.
Yep - that makes sense - I just worry when I see people talking about automating lighting and then not automating it but replacing a simple switch that will last 20 years with a voice activated switch which will need upgrading or replacing every 4-5 years as technology progresses...
 

Chester

Well-known Member
@vegasbaby100 Seems like you're looking at almost everything to be smart. Have you thought about integration, perhaps using a system like Loxone? This can also control some 3rd party products as well so if you wanted to deploy a multi-room music with good integration (not sure about Nest to be honest) then you can usually make use of the full feature set via a dedicated app, but still use basic functions with integration.

For lighting especially, for that many bulbs/luminaires, I'd be looking at smart switches and dimmers rather than smart bulbs. You can then have the convenience of physical switches, and use timers or sensors to trigger scenes with zoned lighting. This will dramatically reduce cost.
 

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