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Old 23.06.2014, 13:57
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Home Automation in Switzerland

Has anyone managed to successfully set any systems up here? I see a lot of interesting products, Nest, Honeywell Lyric to name but some components.

I am really looking to set up the following things, ideally all in one system, controlled by one app remote or on local wi-fi network, or at least on just 1 phone or tablet:
  • Temperature (Underfloor heating, so not sure how compatible that is with Next, Lyric, etc).
  • Control of motorised blinds.
  • Lighting in certain rooms (dimming / on / off).
  • Power to certain sockets in the house.
  • *maybe* front door lock, but this is uncertain and there are other solutions that don't need to be part of this home automation network, like Lockitron etc.
Has anyone implemented any of these, how easy was it over here? What app / device do you control everything from?

Thanks for any advice before I press ahead and speak to electrical engineers / installers (if that's even necessary).

StirB
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:06
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

I would assume everything electrical would have to conform to the swiss standards / your local electricity company standard, we recently had our house inspected by the electricity company and they made us remove a shaver plug socket from the bathroom as they didn't know how to test it (was a uk one) sure you can remove them then put them back again, just worth baring in mind when you're looking at much cheaper systems outside of switzerland
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:19
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

Thanks BB2.

I'm not so worried about saving money on it, I don't know any Swiss company that does all of this though. If you do, I'd be glad to know!
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:26
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

Fraid not as the electrical rules seem to differ canton to canton etc etc I'd assume its quite hard for a company to offer a swiss wide system, and having external systems would drive me nuts (eg the ones you plug into a socket)
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:36
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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  • Temperature (Underfloor heating, so not sure how compatible that is with Next, Lyric, etc).
Has anyone implemented any of these, how easy was it over here? What app / device do you control everything from?
Surely, once you've set up underfloor heating, you don't ever need to touch the thermostats again?
We haven't changed our settings for three years.

I'm not criticising, but just wondered what benefit you were hoping to achieve?
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:38
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How much actual change to the wiring system would there have to be though.

To my mind, I just assumed that these devices would be wired up more or less the same as current lightswitches / blind controls.

So you currently have say a standard push button that controls your lights, the plastic fascia of that would be removed and the 'smart' switch would take its place. You would do this for all the switches you wanted replaced.

I also thought the thermostat would be similar - instead of the cheap plasticky surround you get normally, you'd swap it out for one of the more slick ones i mentioned before, and just attach the old wires to the fancy new (say Lyric or Nest) fascia?

Finally, you'd need some box somewhere attached to your router, then it would receive signals from your phone / tablet and broadcast them to the relevant switches?

I might have the setup idea wrong though

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Surely, once you've set up underfloor heating, you don't ever need to touch the thermostats again?
We haven't changed our settings for three years.

I'm not criticising, but just wondered what benefit you were hoping to achieve?
Hi Tom,

Fair point. I would say though that in summer I would turn the underfloor heating off entirely and at various times throughout the rest of the year, I'd change with the seasons.

I would say the main benefit would be that you could maintain a comfortable temperature all year round, as most of the thermostats will have an onboard (or connect to a seperate module) thermometer / hygrometer and so if I say I like the temp at 18 degrees, I won't need to keep fiddling with a manual thermostat to achieve this, the system will do it for me, whether it is baking or freezing outside.

Also, as a small added benefit, I suppose if you go on holiday for a fortnight, you can turn it all off for 13 days and then set it via your hotel wi-fi on the last day so you can come home to a comfortable house and save on 13 days of heating bills.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.06.2014 at 22:05. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:53
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

There is a German company that does this - http://www.rwe-smarthome.de/web/cms/...330/smarthome/

A more DIY solution - http://www.instructables.com/id/Ardu...me-automation/
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Old 23.06.2014, 14:53
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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Also, as a small added benefit, I suppose if you go on holiday for a fortnight, you can turn it all off for 13 days and then set it via your hotel wi-fi on the last day so you can come home to a comfortable house and save on 13 days of heating bills.
I'd want mine left on if I was away for a fortnight in the winter - burst pipes and all that!

But fair points.
Have you looked at Feller KNX systems.

They are local (Horgen) so might be the kind of thing that local electricians suggest.
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Old 23.06.2014, 15:20
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

There is also this system digitalSTROM it was very briefly discussed in this thread I was made aware of it by at a home automation showroom which unfortunately like a lot of home automation showrooms is more about high end multimedia systems and adjusting surroundings to whatever is happening with that rather than everyday useful things.

You can also look at Belkin WeMo system but that is mainly a system for remotely controlling sockets and requires a plug in module rather like X10 system.

For controlling heating you might want to look at Netatmo which gives you a home weather station and remote control thermostat, I think, but haven't looked into it you can link the two together to form a closed loop system.

Finally you might want to look into devices that link with IFTTT.
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Old 23.06.2014, 15:58
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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  • Temperature (Underfloor heating, so not sure how compatible that is with Next, Lyric, etc).
  • Control of motorised blinds.
  • Lighting in certain rooms (dimming / on / off).
  • Power to certain sockets in the house.
  • *maybe* front door lock, but this is uncertain and there are other solutions that don't need to be part of this home automation network, like Lockitron etc.
I have had the pleasure of working with the X10 product line (albeit not in Switzerland) and its components. it is a fairly simple process (installing/programming/monitoring) and different kit & components can help you achieve all your needs above.

They also exist in the UK, but the Home Automation Shop is probably your best bet in the Europe, they have almost every possible solution and they post items to Europe.

Edit: Conrad also has some items, you live in Zurich so you could easily go to their shop in Dietlikon and ask them for guidance and thoughts, they would also probably know who to contact (local companies).
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Old 23.06.2014, 16:51
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

We do. We have a control panel that controls lights, electric blinds, alarm system , heating in all rooms etc and some of the electric sockets. I can look up the details when I'm at home.

It is a new build though so everything was installed during the building process.
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Old 23.06.2014, 17:17
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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We do. We have a control panel that controls lights, electric blinds, alarm system , heating in all rooms etc and some of the electric sockets. I can look up the details when I'm at home.

It is a new build though so everything was installed during the building process.
Hi BM,

That would be great! Mine is also new build and I have to decide on Electronics ASAP.

Your system sounds great - is it also possible to control by phone / tablet etc?
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Old 23.06.2014, 17:38
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

My system is based on tebis KNX and is used to control, roof windows, blinds, heating (on,off & temperature).

The roof windows also automatically close when it rains.
The system was installed when the flat was built 7 years ago.
Each switch communication with a central control unit which then fires off commands to relays etc.

The controllers are TX100 displays or via switchs on the wall. The switch also communicate with the central command zunit and the displays can be programmed to various things such as open all roof windows, switch off all lights - nice when you leave.

For me there is no smart phone interface but the I am able to control switching the heating on or off remotly via a spare number of my ISDN installation.

The whole thing was installed by a company in Alpnach - Ettlin.
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Old 23.06.2014, 17:48
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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I'd want mine left on if I was away for a fortnight in the winter - burst pipes and all that!

.
You don't turn the heat off when you are gone - just down. We do it all the time when we go away - but just through the program on our heat pump I suppose. We then set it to come back to the regular setting a half day or so before we return...otherwise, if you cut it too close, it can be chilly Actually, I don't know the details as I let my OH take care of it

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We do. We have a control panel that controls lights, electric blinds, alarm system , heating in all rooms etc and some of the electric sockets. I can look up the details when I'm at home.

It is a new build though so everything was installed during the building process.
My husband would love to have a smart home with some sort of central "bus" (?) to control things! It sounds like you have gotten some good suggestions here, OP, hope you find something that fits the bill. Out of curiosity, are you doing the renovations yourself or is it just your contractor has never dealt with a "smart home" before? It can be daunting to convince contractors to try something new!
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Old 23.06.2014, 21:34
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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You don't turn the heat off when you are gone - just down. We do it all the time when we go away - but just through the program on our heat pump I suppose. We then set it to come back to the regular setting a half day or so before we return...otherwise, if you cut it too close, it can be chilly Actually, I don't know the details as I let my OH take care of it

I know that, but that's not what he wrote.
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Old 24.06.2014, 08:51
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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My husband would love to have a smart home with some sort of central "bus" (?) to control things! It sounds like you have gotten some good suggestions here, OP, hope you find something that fits the bill. Out of curiosity, are you doing the renovations yourself or is it just your contractor has never dealt with a "smart home" before? It can be daunting to convince contractors to try something new!
Hi DrMom,

I bought an apartment off-plan, which is currently being built. I think I am past the deadline to get it installed when the Electro guys are in doing their thing (unless it really is like for like switches / panel replacement), but am hoping that there may be a firm, such as one of the ones people above have suggested that will be able to do an after-build installation.

I will 99.9% need to get someone in to do it, because I am abysmal at DIY and these sort of things

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I know that, but that's not what he wrote.
I will have an apartment in a 20 story building with 100 odd other apartments, I think turning it off wouldn't be an issue, even in deepest, darkest winter, as I'm hoping the latent heat from the building and the 16 floors under me might keep it from freezing up
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Old 24.06.2014, 08:58
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

I Can only comment on my system and that is not a simple replacement of an existing light switch for a new intelegent light switch.

In simple terms the house is a network each switch is a "PC" on the network. In my case the network is not a wirless network but a special home network which communications via serial communication protocol. Each switch when pulled/pressed/turned/pressed for more than a few seconds sends a messages to the "main PC". This PC (which is housed) in a much bigger box than a fuse box contains a series of switching relaies, dimmers, receivers of outside signals (wind speed, snow rain). This PC then decides if the command is allowed, is it safe to perform and if yes executes but activating a relay of dimming a light.

There may be others out there which for via WI-FI but I don't know.

Best of luck
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Old 24.06.2014, 09:19
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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There may be others out there which for via WI-FI but I don't know.
Best of luck
Hi Neil,

There seem to be a good few systems now using the Z-Wave protocol to wirelessly communicate instructions now.

The controller boxes seem to be about the same size as your average modem/router and connect to your home wireless network, to enable you to send instructions to them from outside your home.
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Old 24.06.2014, 09:51
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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Hi BM,

That would be great! Mine is also new build and I have to decide on Electronics ASAP.

Your system sounds great - is it also possible to control by phone / tablet etc?
So the system we have is BKS homenet.

http://www.bks.ch/index_fr.php?page_...=148&proid=320

It has the possibility to be controlled by iPhone/tablet but we have never used this function.

We had the whole thing installed when we had the house built just over a year ago and I remember at the time giving my OH a fair bit if earache because of the cost but I have in fact now come to appreciate just how useful it actually is.

The heating control has a feature for holidays whereby you can programme in your return date when you leave and it will keep the place a a reduced level while you're away but bring it back up to your usual settings in time for your return. There is the option to set each room at a different temperature.

There is also a general button which can be programmed to turn on the alarm, switch off all the lights and descend the shutters as you leave the house for the evening for example.
The control panel we have in the hallway looks like this.
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Last edited by Belgianmum; 24.06.2014 at 10:25.
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Old 24.06.2014, 10:41
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Re: Home Automation in Switzerland

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So the system we have is BKS homenet.

http://www.bks.ch/index_fr.php?page_...=148&proid=320
I remember at the time giving my OH a fair bit if earache because of the cost but I have in fact now come to appreciate just how useful it actually is.
Hi BM,

Can you give an idea of the costs, just to have this system installed?

Thanks
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