No wall switches

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ben123, May 6, 2010.

  1. ben123

    ben123

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    Hi All

    i have a general question re cbus design

    i'm half way though building 2 story house - i have a cbus design i did at a display centre that i have to finalise soon

    i'm thinking about changing the design to remove all the wall switches and use other devices via wiser instead i.e. mobile phones, tv media centers, ipad, motion detection, etc

    i discussed idea with a couple of installers a while back and they "thought i better have at least 1 group of switches on each floor, just in case" which i thought was soft - this was pre wiser and pre me picking cbus though

    was wondering if this is becoming a common thing to do in residential, will it work , any practical or technical issues?

    thanks
     
    ben123, May 6, 2010
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  2. ben123

    Don

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    If I were building a new house with C-Bus, I would at a minimum, install C-Bus pink cabling to at least one switch point in each room. The cable is cheap and easy to run - just leave a loop of about 300mm at each point, but no need to cut the cable. The wire can be covered with wallboard, but if you ever want to add a wall switch, the job is easy.

    I wouldn't expect any problems with your wiser solution, but when thinking of the resale value of the building - it may be wise to be prepared with a more conventional solution.

    I have C-Bus in my home, and find that my wife prefers to use the wall-mounted Saturn plate for kitchen lights, even though there is a C-Touch mounted within 1 metre of the wall switch which offers more useful control.
     
    Don, May 6, 2010
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  3. ben123

    Conformist

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    If you are the only person who will ever live in the house, then it's your call. Chances are that at some point in the future, you will want to sell the house and the new owners will want switches. At least take up Don's suggestion and prewire for switches.

    Personally having lived with C-Bus for over 15 years in my houses, I would never not have switches. On-wall devices connected to C-Bus will be where you left them, won't go flat and are designed to be robust.
     
    Conformist, May 6, 2010
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  4. ben123

    ashleigh Moderator

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    There are always the things that you do without thinking about it much.

    Look around a conventional house at the number of light switches. Each is there for a reason.

    Pick a few scenarios. Go to the loo - you could have a motion detector in there (thats a pun.... geddit?). If you are having a long squat, that might be a bad thing to do - lights going off unexpectedly. Yes, you could adjust the sensor but it's another THING to have to do.

    If going into a bathroom, do you want full brightness during normal hours, and low brightness in the dead of night? You could achieve all that with a motion sensor and some clever programming. What if you want to override it? Getting out (or finding) an iPhone, iPad, futzing about with wiser leads to the obvious question: "Why can't I just have a button / switch to stop all the clever crap and give me light!?"

    Think about kitchens, when you want to turn on an over-bench light and your hands are covered in olive oil and marinated chicken guts - bumping a plain switch with your elbow works really well. Doing pretty much ANYTHING else just sucks.

    So... think through how you, or anyone else lives and goes about everyday tasks, and then have devices to make those everyday tasks as easy as possible. When you have to stop and think, or stop and do something out of the ordinary, then you messed up.
     
    ashleigh, May 6, 2010
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  5. ben123

    ben123

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    hi thanks for the replies - i understand practical risks meantioned and resale issues

    i'll go for running cables to where i planned switches but no switches

    re the motion detection - i had non cbus clipsal motion detection installed when i rewired house in a hall way, 2 bathrooms and landry and thought it was excellent most of the time (had for about 3 years) - wife thought it was ok ... just ... problems were

    brightness levels in middle of night (programming fixes)
    time light stayed on - to short had to wave hand around - to long wastes power (programming fixes)
    wall switch override could force light on not off (programming fixes if you have switch)
    found myself walking into other rooms / houses and expecting the light to come on and being confused / annoyed when it didn't

    i've planned for motion detection in every room (a lot) - i was a bit disappointed when design center rang after design was done to tell me cbus motion detectors could not be used with the cbus alarm system after telling me that it could - i'd have to install alarm censors next to half the motion detectors (not doing that) or program a custom alarm system

    so i might as well just install ip cameras every where instead - use for security and motion detection and person in room detection and person going into / out of room (i.e bathroom) detection see http://www.vitamindinc.com/

    exciting stuff
     
    ben123, May 6, 2010
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  6. ben123

    ashleigh Moderator

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    The bit about motion sensors... causes a fair bit of grumpiness. Here's what its about.

    In general terms, an occupancy detector (infra-red or otherwise) needs to detect that the room is in use. It needs to detect fairly small amounts of movement so that a person at a desk, perhaps moving a head or hands when typing or similar, can be detected and the sensor knows the room is in use.

    This drives the motion detector to be fairly sensitive.

    A security / burglar sensor on the other hand is generally required to detect large objects (ie person size) making a sizeable movement. They should be immune to triggering due to spiders, pets, and air drafts - mainly due to the nuisance involved in false triggering.

    This drives the motion detector to be somewhat insensitive OR to use a method a requiring motion with a specific pattern that crosses zone lines in the sensor (a multi-trip is needed).

    The different needs for the two types of sensors means that if you try and use one sensor for both needs, you will end up doing them both badly.

    This leads to the recommendation of having two sensors, each suited to its specific purpose.

    There are people who have installed single sensors and used all manner of clever programming to try and ensure a single sensor per region will do the job. They claim it all works OK.

    I have my doubts. Now maybe that's 'cos I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I personally would not be recommending something where I have doubts about its performance.

    So... if this is what you really want, then do so. Just be aware of the possible consequences. If it all works out OK, then thats nice and I'm very pleased. If it does not work out OK, then you will understand why.
     
    ashleigh, May 6, 2010
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  7. ben123

    ben123

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    ok that explains it thanks

    i should say that i was disappointed (only a little bit - these things happen) that i was told it would work and then designed layout around this and then was told it wouldn't work - glad they called though

    not disappointed that it couldn't / shouldn't be done

    also a security system for me is just about my lowest priority - i understand / agree that if i wanted a real security system that worked all the time that a specialist system is needed - for me it's either leverage hardware (cameras) installed for other reasons to create some sort of "security" alarm system or nothing
     
    ben123, May 6, 2010
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