Rob55

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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15 minutes ago, Barney12 said:

If your main aim is lighting control then there are lower cost solutions.

Such as?

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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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Have you ever coded?

 

If not, have a play with https://scratch.mit.edu/ it is designed for kids but the programming basics are solid.

 

If you find it all impenetrable then you may struggle to configure more complex systems but if you find it easy enough to get your head round then you may be ok to DIY.

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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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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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