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Loxone - can I DIY it?


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I am looking at home automation for a new build and really like the Loxone stuff.  Question is though, to save cost, can me and my spark give it a go on a DIY basis?  I see they sell all the components online, but how hard is the system to design and configure for a complete novice?  My spark doesn't have the time to research it or go on a training course, so I would have to steer him myself.  I have no IT or electrical background but I am pretty good at picking things up.  

 

Or are there any other alternatives we should be looking at?  I was quoted near £30k for a whole house system of another brand and I nearly fainted..

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Hi, I’m not familiar with the control logic/programming for Loxone. It would be worth heading over to the automated home https://www.automatedhome.co.uk website and having a read there. The guy that runs the site is currently doing a self build and is specifying Loxone.

 

https://www.automatedhome.co.uk/automated-home-2-0/automated-home-2-0-12-loxone-will-power-our-new-smart-home.html

 

As for alternatives then Clipsal Cbus is the route I took (and have installed in 2 previous houses ) and certainly is capable of DIY. The programming is relative simple at a basic level but more complex logic requires the use of the logic engine which is based on Pascal but the software does have wizards for creating basic logic. 
 

As you have discovered it gets expensive quickly and understanding what functionality you want now (and potentially in the future) is key. If your main aim is lighting control then there are lower cost solutions. 

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17 minutes ago, Triassic said:

Such as?


Again it’s very much a question of what functionality you want. Single room? Whole house? Logic control?
 

Philips Hue has now become really quite robust and provides a good level of functionality at a relatively low cost. As it uses the Zigbee protocol you can also connect (with limited functionality in some cases) other brands of light. The new IKEA smart lighting system is compatible with Hue as one example. 
 

If you’re looking simple remote lighting in a main room or outside then the Quinetic system is functional: https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Quinetic/index.html

 

Wide ID have a good range too and will give you scene control etc etc http://www.wisecontrols.com

 

Going up a level then there are the Grafik Eye and Rania products from Lutron. 

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9 hours ago, Rob55 said:

I am looking at home automation for a new build and really like the Loxone stuff.  Question is though, to save cost, can me and my spark give it a go on a DIY basis?  I see they sell all the components online, but how hard is the system to design and configure for a complete novice?  My spark doesn't have the time to research it or go on a training course, so I would have to steer him myself.  I have no IT or electrical background but I am pretty good at picking things up.  

 

Or are there any other alternatives we should be looking at?  I was quoted near £30k for a whole house system of another brand and I nearly fainted..

Yes you can ! :)
Loxone have a comprehensive knowledge base  so if you are tech savvy you can do it yourself. 
According to their website, in general 50% of the cost is labour, and 40% wiring and equipment.    If its just lighting, heating stuff you would like to automate, it shouldn't be that high but if there are some high tech multimedia, home cinema gadgets then it add ups quickly. If you have the detailed quote have a look and see what the breakdown of the 30K quote.

There was a ebay sellers, offering loxone design, installation and programming. Maybe worth to talk a couple of experienced technicians and even direct to loxone to see how you can split the work and the cost.

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On 20/10/2019 at 09:13, Triassic said:

Such as

I'm testing out a z wave based lighting automation using fibaro product and seems stable. Works with any retractivw switch so aesthetics are many. Though coat may add up for many switches, not compared to others though

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  • 5 months later...

To the original question (can I DIY Loxone), the answer now appears to be a clear "No".

sigh.

 

At some point since I last looked at their webshop, they've locked it down so now only their Installer Partner network can order direct, and the rest of us have to purchase everything through a partner.

At least they still have component prices listed on the website, but that surely can't last very long: next thing will be a hidden pricelist, installers refusing to supply kit unless they're also installing it, and being able to charge whatever markup they fill the local market or your specific project can bear. And then once installed, you're completely locked in with no way to DIY upgrades or maintenance etc.

 

I'd already been paring back the functionality I was looking to use Loxone for, to just the most critical building services like lighting and heating, and was getting familiar with Home Asssitant for less mission critical stuff. But now they've pushed me away completely. Given the current situation, when work resumes I anticipate we'll just want to get the electrics done ASAP so I'll probably scale right back my ambition: make a future proofed wiring plan and come back to it another year with some kind of retrofit.

 

 

 

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I've been keen on Loxone for our upcoming build for years, following them since around 2014 when it was much more 'open'. I recently got an eye watering quote from a local installer and I've decided not to bother.

 

After reviewing a lot of products, I'm now looking at Lutron RA2 Select for lighting, possibly blinds. My thinking is that this will have much lower initial cost and I could potentially add a basic Control4 setup for AV, cinema room and more advanced logic control on lighting etc at a later date when funds allow. Control4 can talk to and function Lutron systems amongst many others.

 

The Lutron system is radio controlled, and can work with traditional wiring. The switches are battery powered (which I initially was trying to avoid) but have a 10 year battery life which is more than acceptable. From what I've read, Lutron products are very high quality and reliable.

 

One benefit I see from going this way, is it can be gradually scaled up. Even the lighting could be wired normally and gradually added to the Lutron system. The Lutron app is used to add lighting circuits etc and looks easy to use. The Loxone approach with proprietary Tree wiring needs a larger minimum cost to begin (albeit, it is a much more powerful system).

 

I'd also be interested in any alternatives people have used, or any feedback on the Lutron or also Control4.

 

Ps, this is my first post so hello, I'll add some plans for our build in the introduction section

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27 minutes ago, gc86 said:

I've been keen on Loxone for our upcoming build for years, following them since around 2014 when it was much more 'open'. I recently got an eye watering quote from a local installer and I've decided not to bother.

 

After reviewing a lot of products, I'm now looking at Lutron RA2 Select for lighting, possibly blinds. My thinking is that this will have much lower initial cost and I could potentially add a basic Control4 setup for AV, cinema room and more advanced logic control on lighting etc at a later date when funds allow. Control4 can talk to and function Lutron systems amongst many others.

 

The Lutron system is radio controlled, and can work with traditional wiring. The switches are battery powered (which I initially was trying to avoid) but have a 10 year battery life which is more than acceptable. From what I've read, Lutron products are very high quality and reliable.

 

One benefit I see from going this way, is it can be gradually scaled up. Even the lighting could be wired normally and gradually added to the Lutron system. The Lutron app is used to add lighting circuits etc and looks easy to use. The Loxone approach with proprietary Tree wiring needs a larger minimum cost to begin (albeit, it is a much more powerful system).

 

I'd also be interested in any alternatives people have used, or any feedback on the Lutron or also Control4.

 

Ps, this is my first post so hello, I'll add some plans for our build in the introduction section

 

Hi and welcome! I'm a newbie here too. ?

 

I have previously looked at Control 4 but it seems it's not that prevalent on here as a search for it really does not yield any posts. On an aborted project a number of years ago I had a couple of quotes for home automation using Control 4. one of them specified Lutron lighting and the other Control 4 lighting and the prices were dramatically better in favour of the Control 4 lighting. I have also recently had a demo at a store for Control 4 and it seems that their lighting controller looks very good and so maybe you should consider control 4 lighting instead of Lutron if going for a control 4 system anyway.

 

oh, also I believe the lighting systems for these products uses Cat 6 cabling rather than normal lighting cable. so if you're going to put normal lights in to start with it might be worth checking with Lutron/Control 4 installers and running cat 6 cable along side the normal lighting cable for future upgrades.

 

just a thought.

Edited by Thorfun
added cat 6 cabling bit
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  • 2 months later...

In answer to the original question, yes you can still do a DIY installation.

 

Loxone have closed their website to retail buyers but, as a Partner myself, I'm very happy to source any of the items you would want through my Loxone business, including a full VAT invoice for those of you who want to reclaim the VAT at the end of your build.

 

I too looked at Loxone several years ago and loved it so much I started a small Loxone business. We now have heating, lighting, ventilation and security nicely controlled. If we had done a new build rather than extend then I'd have also included blinds, multiroom audio and probably home cinema, all nicely integrated.

 

As a DIY install it can be relatively straightforward, providing you plan carefully. Programming and configuring is fairly straightforward too if you have a reasonable grasp of IT stuff. You certainly don't need to be a software developer! There's also plenty of community support and, if you get stuck I'm happy to provide some advice. It's also a question of whether you want individual things to be controllable, e.g. using an app, or whether you want an integrated system where things just "happen" without you having to find your phone or tablet to turn the lights on or regulate the heating. I was very surprised at how quickly we all became used to lights coming on when we entered a room!

 

Clearly some businesses need the mark up on installs etc, hence the eye watering £30k plus quotes for simple systems (I've even seen an install quote of over £150k in one case!) but they all have to support employees etc. I'm not profit motivated, so can keep things sensible, especially for people who are competent at DIY, and really like the kit, but can't justify the price from a full partner installation.

 

Happy to help.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi there are multiple DIY solutions on the market such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomePod and Google Nest. 

As for my experience I have to say that DIY solutions are very simple, you can integrate them pretty quickly with the home system but they can control barely lights and audio. 

There are some great companies that do professional smart home automation installations. Read this guide which contains lots of useful info on how to automate your own home https://www.intellicasa.co.uk/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-smart-home 

 

Let me know if it helps. 

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20 hours ago, AndrewIoannou said:

 

There are some great companies that do professional smart home automation installations. Read this guide which contains lots of useful info on how to automate your own

 

Andrew, I assume you're not connected to this company, since you gave them a glowing review here; https://london.cylex-uk.co.uk/company/intellicasa-27663150.html

 

Can you share more details on what sort of setup you went with, and what it cost?

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