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Topic Title: Smart homes
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Created On: 10 February 2013 09:17 PM
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 10 February 2013 09:17 PM
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Approvedspark

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There is a lot of competition in the domestic & commercial sectors where I am and I can't and won't compete with some of the prices I know others are charging. So looking to broaden my horizons and get into more of a niche market. Any body involved in the smart homes sector? Custom installs ect. Been looking at some cedia courses, quite pricey but may well be worth it. Is cedia certification a must or is it more of a badge. Any advice or info from those already doing it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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 10 February 2013 09:21 PM
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DOUGIE1000

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Tried it 2 years ago, wish I used the cash and took the family and extended family on holiday instead. The market is tiny for smart homes and unless its new build or complete renovation it can be messy.

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Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 10 February 2013 09:56 PM
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sparkingchip

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I went to some shows where there was "smart homes" exhibitors, I couldn't work ot where I'd find the clientèle.

One local guy set himself up as the "garden lighting" expert and exhibited himself at the Malvern Spring Garden show and the like, I don't think he has made it big.

Andy
 10 February 2013 10:22 PM
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Martynduerden

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I do the smart home stuff, not everyone is interested, its never really about the cost as the labour saved makes up for the additional product, if you are looking at the likes of AMX and Crestron then you are going to need CEDIA, as the clients will expect it but then you will be on the very very high end of HA/ Commercial automation.

Look at some of the middle market applications such as HAI (American) or Loxone (Austrian) both have significant UK links and are CE approved systems.

I suppose your market will depend on your location here in south bucks Its not an issue if sold correctly, there are supply issues in terms of products which are compatible but do your research and build you supply chain. things like light switches can be an issue depending on you choices.

None of the systems I have come across offer anything like a compliant EN50131 security alarm but you can integrate the likes of texecom premier with RS232 and a spot of programming.

-------------------------
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Martyn.

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 10 February 2013 11:28 PM
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sparkingchip

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Regards Loxone, I have ended up on their email contact list, having looked through the training courses they offer, you have to pay for the course, buy or hire the equipment you need to use on the training course, then you only get a certificate if they like you!

Andy
 10 February 2013 11:47 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: sparkingchip

Regards Loxone, I have ended up on their email contact list, having looked through the training courses they offer, you have to pay for the course, buy or hire the equipment you need to use on the training course, then you only get a certificate if they like you!

Andy


You may have the wrong end of the stick there Andy, you do pay for the training which is fair enough, you don't need to buy or hire anything for the course, though you will need your own laptop.

I don't follow you on the certificate ... You become a partner

-------------------------
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Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



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 11 February 2013 12:53 PM
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Approvedspark

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Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I do the smart home stuff, not everyone is interested, its never really about the cost as the labour saved makes up for the additional product, if you are looking at the likes of AMX and Crestron then you are going to need CEDIA, as the clients will expect it but then you will be on the very very high end of HA/ Commercial automation.



Look at some of the middle market applications such as HAI (American) or Loxone (Austrian) both have significant UK links and are CE approved systems.



I suppose your market will depend on your location here in south bucks Its not an issue if sold correctly, there are supply issues in terms of products which are compatible but do your research and build you supply chain. things like light switches can be an issue depending on you choices.



None of the systems I have come across offer anything like a compliant EN50131 security alarm but you can integrate the likes of texecom premier with RS232 and a spot of programming.


Thanks for the replies, so it would seem its not worth spending the thousands on the cedia courses. Might look into the other courses as you've mentioned. They may be worth a punt as an additional service I can offer alongside my other services.

Cheers

-------------------------
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 11 February 2013 01:31 PM
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sparkingchip

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Read it for yourself Loxone Training

I read it as they want to make a couple of grand for running a days training, make you pay for using the training kit, then might be iffy about giving you a certificate.

Perhaps you read it differently, but to me the expression "wanting the cake and eating it" springs to mind, either that or they don't seem keen to get new independent installers on the team.

Andy
 11 February 2013 01:34 PM
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sparkingchip

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How about the Samsung academy?

Is there one near you?

Andy
 11 February 2013 08:28 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: sparkingchip

Read it for yourself Loxone Training

I read it as they want to make a couple of grand for running a days training, make you pay for using the training kit, then might be iffy about giving you a certificate.

Perhaps you read it differently, but to me the expression "wanting the cake and eating it" springs to mind, either that or they don't seem keen to get new independent installers on the team.

Andy


I think that seems to be either outdated or badly written, I have done all the training.

I did not need to supply or hire a display case.

The certification thing is genuine, If you are a private individual building your own house then you would not be eligible for their Partner program, But as you are an electrician you would and you would.

They don't want selfbuilders advertising as Installers because they have don their own so they don't allow them certification or partner benefits - seems fair enough.

For the record, I was dubious about paying for the training but it was actually worth it - I even met a forum member

-------------------------
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Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 11 February 2013 09:17 PM
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Zs

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Whilst I won't be training for the installation of this I can see why Mart is moving in this direction. Everyone is asking for it round here. What I will do is train enough to understand and specify it. I've already spent a day on a KNX course just to keep abreast of it.

I spent a good deal of time on the train and tube in and out of central London recently. I barely saw a paperback book or a real newspaper. I saw kindles and iPads with downloaded daily papers or books. People watching X factor or House (seems popular) on their iPhone or Pad, emailing, reading and tagging reports, and so on. Three of the networks have just combined to offer free wifi from the underground so those people will be able to contact home and put the heating on on close the curtains.

With the current exception of the fact that networks go down from time to time, so you would need manual back-up for a while, i.e both wiring systems to a degree, I can see this smart home stuff coming up and biting us on the bum very quickly if we are not prepared.

I don't think it is to be ignored. Go for it approvedspark.

Zs
 11 February 2013 09:32 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Zs

With the current exception of the fact that networks go down from time to time, so you would need manual back-up for a while, i.e both wiring systems to a degree, I can see this smart home stuff coming up and biting us on the bum very quickly if we are not prepared.

Zs



Yes the internet or more accurately your ISP may go down, BUT and its a big but everything in the home will still work, you would still have a link to the wireless router just no network access, most HA systems operate locally.

The issues might be things like loss of comms with an outbuilding if you have no cabled link.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 11 February 2013 09:55 PM
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Approvedspark

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Originally posted by: Zs

Whilst I won't be training for the installation of this I can see why Mart is moving in this direction. Everyone is asking for it round here. What I will do is train enough to understand and specify it. I've already spent a day on a KNX course just to keep abreast of it.



I spent a good deal of time on the train and tube in and out of central London recently. I barely saw a paperback book or a real newspaper. I saw kindles and iPads with downloaded daily papers or books. People watching X factor or House (seems popular) on their iPhone or Pad, emailing, reading and tagging reports, and so on. Three of the networks have just combined to offer free wifi from the underground so those people will be able to contact home and put the heating on on close the curtains.



With the current exception of the fact that networks go down from time to time, so you would need manual back-up for a while, i.e both wiring systems to a degree, I can see this smart home stuff coming up and biting us on the bum very quickly if we are not prepared.



I don't think it is to be ignored. Go for it approvedspark.



Zs



Again thanks for the responses, I agree Zs.. I think with the way technology is going that it will start to pick up in the not to distant future.

Now then.. What are people's views on renewable technology? Lol

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 11 February 2013 09:59 PM
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dickllewellyn

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You did indeed meet a forum member Martyn, and it was a pleasure to meet you. I think we were both a bit surprised I had been at school with some names from your past!

I can definitely agree that loxone is worth a look. They also seem to be geared more to making sure their partners and installers do a top notch job rather than just trying to sell as much kit as they can. I'm booked on with Niko in a couple of weeks, so it'll be interesting to see how they compare. From what I can gather so far, loxone is streets ahead. Sure you could probably achieve much the same with a £30 raspberry pi and some contractors, but unless you're adept at programming it could be a very long winded job!

Personally I think that homes will be going this way sooner rather than later. Technology is gathering remarkable pace, and our humble homes are struggling to keep up. I predict a huge surge over the next couple of years, probably not a bad idea to get a bit of awareness of some of the technologies, even if you don't intend on fitting it, you may have to work in a house with it.

-------------------------
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Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 11 February 2013 10:18 PM
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jamieblatant

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I did this for 2 years as a specialised subcontractor

My background is I am a sparky in industrial controls and I have a big interest in dj ,ing sound and light and general tec so I picked it up quickly

I enjoyed it and it filled the gap whilst I built up a good client base in industrial controls as that is my main love and I do that all the time now

So I feel I can now give you this titbits of infomation

" you will spend most of our time working for true audiophiles who will spend there time looking over your sholder upset at you lack of knowlage of last weeks big improvement in speaker cable or jumped up rich bellends who have no idea about bugger all but wnt it because nex door have it and will treat you like ***** and make you use a chemical toilet in there garden as heaven forbid that a contractor should use there toilet in there house even thoug on this day your in smart clothing programming the software on a laptop "

At this point I gave up and got in to industrial work so I could mix with fellow scum like myself

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 12 February 2013 01:33 PM
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OMS

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Now then.. What are people's views on renewable technology? Lol


It will become a significant workstream in the domestic market place - and it's an arena where a good ability with HA will be important. Simple issues like sizing say solar tharmal storage - it will differ depending on whether you have a client that likes to use plenty of hot water in the morning or the evening - the store temperature is critical to the rate of heat input from the solar. So if you can engineer basic controls that are reconfigurable in conjunction with the hydraulkic engineering aspects then you'll be way ahead of the game.

HA is plenty gimmicky - but the underlying aspects have plenty of market - if you are prepared to stop thinking like a spark and start thinking like a ....................... what's the word I'm looking for here ? - "system integrator" perhaps ?

RnR and I have been banging the drum on here for a while now - get into multi dis "Building Services" - it's where the money will be - wiring up houses will be an installers job in years to come - and that won't pay well, trust me.

Regards

OMS

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 12 February 2013 03:42 PM
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AJJewsbury

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what's the word I'm looking for here ? - "system integrator" perhaps ?

I agree - the future is certainly "multi-skilled" compared to what we have now. if you were to look at my new "airing cupboard" you'd see solar thermal going into a thermal store, along with an accelerated gravity circuit from the wood burning stove and conventional gas boiler input, with outputs to radiators, UFH and DHW - all electrically controlled of course. This is where it doesn't really fit in with the traditional skills or qualifications. If I wasn't doing it "DIY" I'd need someone with a part-P registration for the electrics, HETAS for the WBS, Water Supply By-Laws (or whatever they're called this week) qualified for the potable water side, GasSafe for the gas boiler, RHI for the solar and so on. Just try finding someone with all those qualifications - never mind the where-with-all to subscribe to all the different schemes. You could try six different people, but then you're back to the 'getting it all to work together' problem.

- Andy.
 12 February 2013 03:47 PM
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Approvedspark

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Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I do the smart home stuff, not everyone is interested, its never really about the cost as the labour saved makes up for the additional product, if you are looking at the likes of AMX and Crestron then you are going to need CEDIA, as the clients will expect it but then you will be on the very very high end of HA/ Commercial automation.



Look at some of the middle market applications such as HAI (American) or Loxone (Austrian) both have significant UK links and are CE approved systems.



I suppose your market will depend on your location here in south bucks Its not an issue if sold correctly, there are supply issues in terms of products which are compatible but do your research and build you supply chain. things like light switches can be an issue depending on you choices.



None of the systems I have come across offer anything like a compliant EN50131 security alarm but you can integrate the likes of texecom premier with RS232 and a spot of programming.


Been looking into the loxone courses.. 3 for £400, seems like good value. My question is this.. Will these courses be suitable for me bearing in mind I have no experience or knowledge of electronics or programming? I am computer literate and believe I am a fast learner.

Cheers

-------------------------
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 12 February 2013 03:51 PM
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dickllewellyn

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You'll have no problem aprovedspark. They've done all the hard work, you just have to pick the right kit, install it well, and use their computer software. I managed to unferstand it, and I struggle with central heating programmers!

-------------------------
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Richard (Dick)

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 12 February 2013 03:54 PM
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Approvedspark

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Originally posted by: dickllewellyn

You'll have no problem aprovedspark. They've done all the hard work, you just have to pick the right kit, install it well, and use their computer software. I managed to unferstand it, and I struggle with central heating programmers!


Brilliant. Thanks for everyone's advice and input. Gonna go for it.

-------------------------
If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Smart homes

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