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Best Home Automation technology brand to go with

Posted on 2013-01-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hi there,
I have had a go automating at home with x10 with reasonable success. I have my watering system controlled with solenoid valves, and some of my lights and power points controlled with it.
However the x10 technology is old and clunky and doesn't seem to be supported much any more.

Anybody had luck with more recent technology?
It is really fun to have but costs a fair bit to get into, so it would be cool to start off with something somebody else has had luck with.

I am interested in Clipsal Cbus which is pretty dear but seems good. I have never seen it working though. cbus does watering systems, lights, power points, you can run your music through it, and control it all from your phone or wireless switches programmed that fit on the wall.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:shaunwoy
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by:TunerML
TunerML earned 500 total points
ID: 38784851
Best is hard to narrow down, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. With repect to the technology used in the variuos brands yes x10 has seen it's better days. Are you looking for powerline transmitted communication or wireless RF.Insteon has been experienceing good times, as alot of the products with this technology are compatible with existing x10 products and itt also brings wireless capability to the build-out. Z-Wave is another technology worth looking at.
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by:shaunwoy
ID: 38785007
Hi TunerML,
Thanks for your thoughts.
So with Powerline transmitted vs wireless, have you had experience with reliability? With x10, when I would switch something on or off with x10 with fluoro lights they flicker, and with other things like power points they sometimes don't respond. That was also a problem with the watering system. The commands didn't seem to transmit with x10 sometimes. Have you had a better experience with wireless?
The other thing that strikes me is replacing the light switches with wireless ones.
We always had the problem with lights where if someone turned them off at the normal switch then x10 didn't work any more. You had to then convert to only turning them off with your phone or computer which wasn't all that practical.  With cbus at least I know you can get wireless switches that stick on the wall that become the manual way of controlling things like lights.
Does Z-wave or Insteon have that or a different way of looking at light switches?
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by:shaunwoy
ID: 38785014
Another thought might be even if anybody has seen reviews or sites that make comparisons of the different home automation products. Thanks Shaun
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TunerML earned 500 total points
ID: 38787449
My x10 experience was years ago, not with watering systems, but with lighting and switches, x10 likes a lot of filtering devices in order to reliably transmit commands. I don't know the technology behind cbus, I've only had a look at their website since you posted, they may use their own technology or simply create devices that use Insteon or Z-wave. If I were doing a new build-out now I would go with Z-wave wireless technology or some new ip based tech that integrates with your home network. If I had to upgrade from x10 (and was doing it in phases) Insteon  would be my choice of underlying tech.

Here is some additional information.

http://compnetworking.about.com/od/x10/a/is-X10-an-obsolete-technology.htm

http://compnetworking.about.com/od/homeautomationbuildingblocks/a/which-home-automation-technology-is-best.htm
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