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Discuss Smart tech question - electrical and home-planning in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net


New EF Member
HI Folk,

I'm looking to spark discussion and gather views on fitting wi-fi based smart technology (smart switches, lights etc) into new-builds or to retro-fit. I'm interested because I can see a whole load of consumer stuff being sold, but right now it doesn't look useful, it looks gimmicky. I think the real place that should be leading this change meaningfully are the people putting in the power! I wonder if you agree and if so, do you feel you have the stock/tools/techniques (or access to gain the aforementioned) available to successfully implement it into the homes you build?




Regular EF Member
Except for heating I've only ever had one person ask about smart lighting. It all just seems very pointless unless you want to turn your lights on for coming home as you have to walk past the switch generally to get into the room. The prices are also shocking and for very little gain


Electrician's Arms
I have implemented this technology into new builds and also retro fit jobs too..
The custom install stuff, mainly knx and lutron is currently for high end installs only but as it becomes more popular and installers reduce costs it is becoming more accessible, even more so in the commercial market..
I have recently completed a knx installation, light switches with built in room stats, ufh probes also connected to the bus wire, everything within the house can be rejigged and controlled to however the client requires..
I designed, installed and programmed the while job on my own.. if I had gone down the conventional wiring method, the installation and wiring costs would have been far more expensive..
technology is everywhere; in our cars, office, etc.. so why not in our homes.. some of it does seem gimmicky at the moment but so did everything else that has been invented over the last 50 years, items which are now part of our every day life that we couldn’t do without


Regular EF Member
Just done a loxone system,sounds real good,but in reality is it worth the cash.
All for smart media control,maybe heating too.


Electrician's Arms
Packed in sparking now, but if I was still in business, I'd definitely be getting up to speed with this type of technology, its only going to grow.

I moved into a new build, and reluctantly installed some Philips Hue lamps, cos her indoors didn't want me hacking the ceilings. Since then, I've bought some more and going to use them in my garden. Bit expensive, and possibly chosen a different make in hindsight, but the effects are great IMO, and the ability to control lights in your house when out etc. I'm gonna replace the CH controls in due course for smart stuff.


Electrician's Arms
I’ve looked at many of the consumer retrofit types. The various wholesalers offer quite a selection, even from the plumbers.

Still find it hard to find a do-it-all product on the market.
Some are only lights, some are only heating and smoke detectors...

I also think if one of these companies go bust, and their servers are shut down, will the householder lose the out of house remote control that they all advertise ?


Electrician's Arms
I was reading a particular thread on the avforum, someone asking for advice on what systems to use in his house. Somebody said to ask his electrician for advise. Another poster said don’t bother asking an electrician, they won’t know anything, about it!


EF Member
If I may jump in as a consumer, the 'gimmic' is slowly being tuned out of this stuff and whilst I started putting in IOT (Internet Of Things) just because it sounded like 'where it's at' and I could design and make it myself for peanuts, having lived with it for a while, it's honestly become indispensable.

The use-cases that deliver most utility to our family are being able to shout at Alexa at the front or back of the house to get the garage doors open without finding the fob, not having to get off the sofa to turn up the heating :)rolleyes: I know) and walk in or out of rooms with both hands full and just ask for the lights to come on. That last one comes in handy more often than you might imagine and actually becomes far more likely that family members turn off lights when leaving a room where previously they might leave them on.

Home security gets a very useful boost with camera feeds available on smart phones and the real killer-app in our case is the automatic doorbell that pings the phone with a view of who's there - wherever we are. IMO it's only when you experience how this all pans out that you really get it. It's a positive empowerment.

However, I do agree that there's a way to go for commercial offerings to mature - the biggest issues I see are the cloud services around which most commercial systems are based. Several companies have just pulled their plugs leaving customers with very dumb devices indeed. This is what got me started - when TCP Connected Lighting shut down their servers rendering remote control impossible. I snapped-up a large number of their 11W lamps from clearance sales after hacking my way into their protocol and replacing control with my own system.

I think this kind of problem may resolve eventually when the industry find sales being restricted by the accumulation of such fiasco's which can only grow with time. Local, not exclusively cloud control, is already recognised as desirable selling point.


Control System Engineer
Respected Member
Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Trainee Access
If I may jump in as a consumer, the 'gimmic' is slowly being tuned out of this stuff and whilst I started putting in IOT (Internet Of Things) just because it sounded like 'where it's at' and I could design and make it myself for peanuts, having lived with it for a while, it's honestly become indispensable.
The other negative point of this is security.

Now I deal with IOT on an industrial scale, and so security is far more important and stressed upon. I just don't know if the average consumer has the knowledge to keep their equipment secure.

Yes, a domestic house is far less likely to be targeted.

However, if it is, security will likely be pretty lax.

I was at a conference in the US last year with them showing off smart locks for doors in one of the stalls. One of the visitors had hacked and opened all on display within 30min of viewing the stall. Much to the annoyance of the company making the presentation.

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