The Z wave home automation system introduced here is a DIY-able Home Automation system. We share these installation photos (with the consensus of our clients) to those who are keen to DIY their home automation system. All illustrations here are not simulated, beautified illustration.
For those who are not resided in Singapore, this page is not intended to be a step by step guide for DIY home automation installation. However, it will surely give you a very good idea on how you could DIY the home automation system. It may also gives ideas for what kind of equipment may be needed and how it could be done. Or at least, it helps you to explain to your local electrician and installer what are needed.
If you are resided in Singapore, you could also engage us to do the installation for you at a very affordable price. Our qualify electricians have experienced in all kind of installation environments in residential, office or even school This including pulling (fishing) a neutral wire, dealing with 3-phase connection, etc.
Yale Z-Wave European frequency door lock installation
If you are currently using a deadbolt door lock, replacing it with Yale Z Wave EU frequency door lock takes less than 10 minutes. The only tools that you need is a screw drive. If you are installing it on a new door, you may need an additional power drill, chisel and a pen knife. The following links show you how this could be easily done.
If you are living in Singapore, you could also let our L3 installation team do it for you at only S$60. This cost including on installation and inclusion of your Yale Z-wave EU digital lock into your Z-Wave home network.
This is one of our installation on a HDB flat replacing an existing deadbolt door lock.
When space does matter.
Although Fibaro and Aeon micro switch are tiny module designed to put behind the switch, you may be facing limited space when too many wires are in the box.
L3 Homeation’s installing team has faced with all kind of situations and we are willing to share our experience with you. We hope this could make your home automation DIY project much smoother and enjoyable.
Aeon lab smart micro switch is design to be place behind the switch in a standard switch box. It has a advantage of real time power consumption measurement. You get a fairly accurate consumption measurement as compare to Fibaro, which the controller can “estimate” the consumption when its turn on or dimmed.
Check the amount of space you have before you decide which you should purchase. If space is limited due the amount of wire inside the box, Fibaro may be a better choice. The size of the fibaro is 1mm less in thickness, 12mm less in width and 6mm less in height. It is current the smaller module which you could find in the market.
Standard surface mounted pattress box in Singapore has depth of 27mm. It is impossible for you to put a Z-wave micro module into the pattress box.
You may use a 47mm depth patrees box at those location if it is not unpleasant to the eye. A 47mm depth patress box is possible to contain a module with a 2-gang switch. One of the gang could even be a 2-ways connection. (A 2 way switch could contain up to 4 wires in the box)
The following are other examples on how L3 install the Z-Wave in-wall modules when there is space constraint.
When more than one module need to put in a same in-wall switch box, deepen the existing box is one of the options. A skillful electrician could get it done in 10 minutes.You need the following tools;
1. Power drill: 750W with hammer action preferred
2. Masonry drill bits: 13mm-15mm.
3. Masonry chisel.
To put 2 modules into a same in wall switch box, you should have a depth of 65mm from the surface of the wall. Usual depth for condominium is about 50mm. It means, you need to deepen it by approximately 20mm.
When there is constrain of space behind the switch, it is also possible to put the module close to the light fixture and use the S2 (Fibaro module) of the other module at another nearby location to control it. Or simply use a battery operated switch to control it.This connection is also applicable when you can’t get a neutral wire at the switch point.
Replacing a Legrand PLC system with Z-Wave Home Automation System
Legrand PLC home automation system is a SCS bus technology. It implementing CSMA/CD to improve its data reliability. The control signal (data) is frequency modulated and transmitted though power line cable. It does not use wireless transmission.
A client lives in a condominium in Singapore has part of his unit pre-installed with this system. After comparing the price to complete the other part of his unit with a full Z-Wave system installation, he decided to replace it with Z-wave home automation system by us.
Z-wave is an open system and there are plenty of ready products which can reliably work together. This creates a free market competition and hence driving down the price. Z Wave has been in the market since 2004 and its product range continue to evolve with time to meet today's needs.
X10 is one of the widely used Home Automation protocol before the introduction of Z-Wave and Zigbee home automation system. X10 began from 1975 but due to the limitation of the protocol specification, it does not evolve with time. We knew a number of houses in Singapore are still having X10 system now.
X10 is a power line communication system (PLC). The control signal is sent through the power line (similar to today’s power line Ethernet adaptor). We have clients installed X10 home automation system by us few years ago. Most of them are still working fine till now. One of the drawback about PLC system is the interference exist on the power line. This may be due to badly design electronic products which fail to control the amount of EMC leakage through power line. For example, one of the client could not control the system when his newly acquired microwave oven is in operation. As a results, he decided to replace his old X10 to Z-Wave home automation system.
If you are still using your X10, we are more than happy to know you and would share our Z-Wave system know how to you.
A client wanted a 2-way switch, one by his bedside and the other at the bed room entrance to turn off the ceiling light. However, it’s a "no-no" option to hack that particular wall to lay the wire. It is not even an option to put a surface trunking on that wall as advice by the Feng Shui master. Finally, master approved our proposal, using a Z-wave.me battery operate switch, now our client can enjoy the 2 way switching facility without any additional wiring.
You can do it more than 2-way easily with this z-wave battery operated switch.
Battery operated Z-Wave switch is particularly useful if you can't find a neutral wire at the switch location so that the z-wave module has to be put closed to the light fixture.
Dimmer Matching Lights
If you intended to use Fibaro FGD211 dimmer as a way to avoid laying a neutral wire. You may need to take note that it will only work with dimmable lights.
Most of the dimmable lights, including dimmable compact florescent light (CFL, energy saving bulb), dimmable LED, may work well with FGD211 without a neutral wire. These bulbs usually has a very low wattage. Therefore, A fibaro bypass is needed to avoid the light blinking at off position.
Halogen bulbs and incandescent lights give the best dimming effect except that it is not energy efficient.
Dimmable LED come with many different types of shape and brand. Check if this logo is printed on its packing case. The cost of dimmable lights has decreased drastically as compare to a year ago(2013). You could get a high quality dimmable version at a cost less than 30% higher than the non dimmable version.
If low voltage halogen bulbs is to be used (usually 12V), electronics transformer should be used instead of conventional linear coil transformer. Linear coil transformer may cause the dimmer to be overheated and malfunction.
From our experience, Fibaro dimmer also work with florescent light using standard ballast. However it will create lough buzzing sound if electronic ballast is used.
Pulling Neutral Wire
The following is our experienced electrician pulled a neutral wire through the existing conduit.
If you are interested in DIY it yourself, what you need is to purchase a roll of “fish snake” or “fiber snake”. First of all, push the fish snake carefully through the conduit until you see it at the light fixture end, tie the neutral wire on the eyelet and carefully and slowly pull it through the conduit towards the switch end. You may consider applying wire lubricant if the conduit is more than 25% full.
Can't Have Neutral Wire For Z-Wave Module?
When pulling through a neutral wire is too challenging a task, you may consider the following options.
One of our clients faced this challenging situation in his kitchen. The kitchen light is a Compact Florescent Light (CFL) using electronic ballast. To pull a neutral wire requires cutting through the fall ceiling, which he would like to avoid for some reasons.
To overcome this, we bypassed the original switch (Live and Load are permanently connected). An Aeon Lab micro-switch is installed next to the CFL. This Aeon Lab micro-switch is then controlled by S2 of another Fibaro 1x3KW, which is at the kitchen entrance, where neutral wire is available.
In case such neutral wire access is not available at a suitable location, a Z-Wave.me bty operated wall switch is another option to control the Aeon Lab module sited next to the CFL.
No Neutral Wire II
Most of the conventional ballasts for fluorescent light would be possible to control by Fibaro dimmer FGD211. Setting the minimum dimming level to 98% (parameter 13) and maximum dimming level to 99% (parameter 12), it turns the dimmer to an On/Off switch. Our client is using a low wattage fluorescent tube (22W), therefore a bypass is used to cut off the dim leakage light when the dimmer is Off.
No Neutral Wire III
This is another example of our client's installation. Using a combination of Fibrao FGD211 and dimmable LED (16.5W), it is installed without a neutral wire connection at the switch point.
This configuration saves the trouble of laying a neutral wire and it is also an environmental friendly solution. With the advance of LED light technology, dimmable LED bulbs can now be purchased at a very competitive price.
The bulb has a power rating less than 25W, therefore, a Fibaro bypass is also used.
Z-Wave System Installation Package
We encourage you to DIY your network set up and programming. Most people in USA and Europe go the DIY way on setting up their Z-Wave smart home network. This, in fact, is the fun part of your smart home project.
Step by step guide will be provided to you and there is also plenty of information on the various forums which could help you to accomplish your task. However, if you do prefer to let us do the setup for you, the following is the service package that we would provide.
|On site network setup (up to 10 modules)||3 hours||1. Set up your gateway and linking it to your home modem.|
2. Inclusion of all your Z-Wave devices into the network. 3.
3. Setting each devices preference.
4. Setting up your smart phone or tablet apps.
|On site programming and tutorial of the system||2 hours||1. Tutorial on controller basic function.|
2. Set up 2 basic scene examples.
3. Tutorial on where to download the additonal plugin.
4. Tutorial on how to get the firmware update of your controller.
5. Tutorial on set up email alert.
6. Tutorial on setting up of S2.
7. Tutorial on monitoring of power consumption
|Total||5 hours||Cost: $400|
You could continue to get our support through email. In some cases, you may also temporally allow us to remote login to your system to assist you.
Z-Wave Module Installation in Singapore
Our qualified electricians can install your Z-Wave modules at a very competitive rate. They are capable to deal with any kind of complexity. They have good experience in retrofit landed housing or new HDB/Condo installation. We are keen to find you a solution if others declared they could not do it.
- Most in-wall pattress box is deep enough to embed one module.
- The depth of the surface mounted pattress needs to be 48mm in depth. The installation cost include this pattress box.
- In some cases, the original conceal trunking had been modified or has too many cables. Pulling a neutral wire through it may not be possible.