About to Break Ground...

Posted on
Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:08 pm
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

The experimentation with home automation technologies continues. Here's what I recently acquired:

  1. Three of nanoleaf's a19 essentials smart bulbs. I bought these as a way to experiment with smart lighting. I've always been an advocate of the "smart switch" but being able to set a light to different colors and color temperatures is attractive. These lights are also Thread routers, and I'm keen about getting Thread devices wherever I can.
  2. The Lilygo T-Relay. This is an ESP32 board with four relays built-in. It works great and replaces quite a bit of the home-brew ESP32 garage door controller system I posted earlier.
  3. The Lumary Smart Canless Recessed LIghting 6 inch 4 piece set. These are Wi-Fi lights that you control from your phone. They change colors and color temperatures, which I am growing to love. Wall colors can look completely different based on the color temperature of light, and being able to adjust this right from the phone is very cool, not to mention the smorgasbord of other colors these lights can do. These are also "thin" lights. They don't need a can and come with a box containing the LED driver electronics that just sits up in the ceiling.

    This foray into smart lights has gotten me rethinking switches for the new construction project. At first I thought I would go with traditional white recessed pot lights and a smart dimmer, but the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to focus on the lights themselves. What I really want are Thread-based switches, but those don't exist yet. I looked at Inovelli, but they are still out of stock. I still have a couple of months to decide, but I don't expect things will change much by then. I may just get plain dumb switches and focus on finding a better switch solution down the road.
Last edited by boisy on Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on
Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:15 pm
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

I forgot to add something to the previous post. Part of doing new construction is going to a lighting/fixture place and choosing lights. The lady we're working with at one of the local supply houses recommended Satco 7" LED lights which have adjustable color temperature, but (a) require a can, and (b) require you to take the light out to change the color. I couldn't understand why she would recommend a retrofit light for new construction. The cost of the light and the can exceeds the cost of one of the Lumary lights. Plus the wafer thin design of the Lumary just makes it a better choice.

Posted on
Mon Jun 13, 2022 1:37 am
agame offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

One point i'd make is that LEDs in the real-world do occasionally fail. At least for me.
Luminaires that allow bulb replacement are therefore not exposed to the challenges of a seeking identical replacements at some point in the future (if matching fittings is important).

[fun fact: Australian residential downlight systems don't have the distinction of with/without a 'can' - I had to Google that - downlight luminaires invariably spring-fit to a hole in the plasterboard regardless of whether they have a user-replaceable bulb. So your decision tree is quite different!]

Posted on
Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:32 am
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

That is a good point. When we had our LEDs canned lights installed in our current home, the electrician gave the same reason for going with canned lights and screw-in bulbs: if I went with all-in-one's I may find it hard to match if one goes out.

Honestly though, I hate the look of these lights, and wish I would have gone against his advice. I will do that in this instance for sure. It's easy enough to buy an additional four-pack to keep around as extras "just in case." Also, while you want the lights in the same room to match, you can certainly try different light styles in different rooms, so there's always the option of moving lights around if need be to keep sets of the same style together.

Posted on
Mon Jun 13, 2022 2:21 pm
FlyingDiver offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Do you plan to die in this house? Or will you eventually sell it?

If you ever care about selling the house, go ahead and pull the RG-6 (at least one) to every wall box for a TV. I'm assuming you're pulling ethernet to TV locations and not depending on Wifi.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
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Posted on
Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:18 pm
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Joe, I want to understand the rationale here. RG6 is not used in the new neighborhood -- it's all FTTH. I just don't see the need for RG6, especially when an HDHomeRun delivers OTA TV channels via ethernet.

Please convince me.

Posted on
Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:25 pm
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Re: About to Break Ground...

boisy wrote:
Joe, I want to understand the rationale here. RG6 is not used in the new neighborhood -- it's all FTTH. I just don't see the need for RG6, especially when an HDHomeRun delivers OTA TV channels via ethernet.


You still need it for Satellite TV, and not everyone will use something like an HDHomeRun for OTA. They might want direct antenna to the TV. I use a Tablo tuner myself, but I still have the antenna connected directly to some of the TVs in case of network or tuner box failure.

Didn't you say you're doing the wiring yourself? If so, for the cost of a couple hundred dollars for a reel or two of cable you're preventing a possibly significant deficiency at same time.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
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Posted on
Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:13 am
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Some good points. And I have several boxes of RG6 laying around from earlier projects, so the cost has already been paid for the material.

If I do run RG6, I'll keep the ends in the boxes because I really have no intention of using it myself, but at least the cable will already be there.

Posted on
Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:22 am
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Re: About to Break Ground...

boisy wrote:
Some good points. And I have several boxes of RG6 laying around from earlier projects, so the cost has already been paid for the material.

If I do run RG6, I'll keep the ends in the boxes because I really have no intention of using it myself, but at least the cable will already be there.


Boxes? Low voltage is usually done with mud rings, which aren't actually boxes. But yeah, just leave them in the wall behind the ring.

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Posted on
Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:22 am
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Yes, you are correct. I can keep them behind the cover plate and if they are ever needed, properly terminate them with connectors.

Posted on
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:54 pm
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Well, we're about 6 weeks or so away from completion and moving in. I haven't updated this thread in a while, so I figured I would. Here's what's done:

  1. All ethernet cables are run (CAT6).
  2. I decided not to run RG6.
  3. Fiber internet is installed and up and running.
  4. Outside cameras are installed and working.
  5. Unifi equipment is up and running, along with wireless access points in the attic.
  6. All door sensors are installed.
  7. I decided to go with dumb recessed lights and dumb switches, except for a few places where I'll be placing Z-Wave switches. Thread/Matter devices are still few and far between, and Indigo isn't supporting them just yet, so Z-Wave it is for now.

Questions? Ask away!

Posted on
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:56 pm
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Re: About to Break Ground...

Are you sure your WAPs are rated for attic temps? Not sure where you are, but that would be a no-go here in Florida.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
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Posted on
Mon Jan 23, 2023 4:05 pm
boisy offline
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Re: About to Break Ground...

This isn't a traditionally insulated house. The walls and attic are using foam insulation. I'm told that the attic temperature will be anywhere from 5-10 degrees different from the house due to the communication between the attic and the interior of the house.

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