Home automation for fun
July 28, 2010 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Home automation I'm about to move house and would like to setup a home automation system for fun, learning and utility!

I have an iPhone and it would be pretty nice to be able to use that as a remote.

Things I'm interested in including:
-Security, for example a zoned burglar alarm.
-Maglock with keypad/biometric entry
-Music control
-Lighting control
-Remote access

What systems and or protocols are to be recommended? Are there any systems for sale that already do most of this? Might be worth checking out.

posted by dance to Technology (2 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Hi dance, there are tons of options out there, depending on your budget, needs, and skill level. Are you looking for something that you put together yourself, or do you want a company to install it? Are you looking for software that runs on Mac, Windows, or Linux?

For example, I use MisterHouse, an open-source software. If you're comfortable with scripting, this is a very robust software and I believe it meets all of your requirements. That said, it takes a fair amount of effort to set up.

There are also a lot of pay software options, including HAL, and HomeSeer that may be easier to set up and configure.

There are also a boggling number of different automation protocols for you to choose from including X10, Insteon, UPB, and Z-Wave. Not every software will work with all of these protocols.

Probably the best thing to do is just start to research and try out different approaches until you find the one that works best for you.

A good place to get started is Cocoon Tech
posted by mattybonez at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2010

Here are some ideas for cobbling a couple pieces together.

Music control is actually pretty easy if you pop a couple of Airport Expresses in the walls. (http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/)

There is a free app called iRemote that allows you to control iTunes and direct it to whatever set(s) of speakers you want.

Also, if you run your home automation system from a home computer, you can use a VNC or a service like LogMeIn to access that computer remotely.

Can't wait to see what other, more advanced, responses you get.
posted by jander03 at 7:25 AM on December 8, 2010

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