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I've been thinking about making my home a bit smarter so am trying to understand options, limitations etc so I start on the right foot.         


House is 4br + lounge, living/kitchen, rumpus.     Family is me, mrs + 3 boys (5,3,1 yo)     Existing stuff includes lots of apple gear (macbook, ipad, iphones,  appleTV3, airport express on each of the 3 hifi system),  dumb TV's,  xiaomi mi box (android TV), FetchTV,  Harmony 650 remote for main area.   Xiaomi robot vacuum.


Wish list of things I'd like to do . .  eventually: 


 - Lighting:   smart/dimmable in most of the house.     Kitchen, Living, Lounge, Rumpus, 3-4 bedrooms.  outside floodlights .   Mostly standard globes.   (one chandelier with 8 x E14 candle  globes, and another weird halogen thing int the kitchen which can probably be changed eventually)

 - Power:  smart plugs to switch off a few things.   eg.  Stereos,  TV,  coffee machine.    one all weather for existing garden lights

 - Multi Room Audio:    Currently use Airplay2 for this.   Source is usually itunes or spotify from phone to Airport Express/Hifi  in Lounge, Living and Rumpus.     I'd also like to pipe analogue sources (CD/turntables in lounge and rumpus) through to all zones 

 - Heater:  Add new controller to old gas ducted heater so I can program easily and switch on remotely. 

 - Ceiling Fan/s:  have one that needs replacing anyway so may as well make it smart.    

 - Blinds/curtains:   Add actuators to existing window furnishings  so I can program opening and closing of blinds to suit seasons/time of day.   eg.  auto close east facing  in the morning during summer.    Mix of big roller blinds (~2m wide),  normal curtains and venetians.

 - Garden/Indoor plants:   maybe a new controller for the irrigation system outside (not currently used).   Maybe smart monitors for indoor plant watering.    

 - TV Control:     I guess this is a thing so why not.   


Also some non-hardware related life management stuff:         

 - Shopping lists:   I recently started a shared iOS grocery list so mrs and I can bark grocery list items at Siri as we think of them.      I like it so need that functionality,  but don't care if it's Siri, Alexa, Google.        In the future I might even consider auto online shopping (eg. via amazon) for some stuff.  

 - Calendar:       Want to set up a shared calendar for family to keep track of activities etc.       

 - Timers, reminders and alarms:  Current use siri to set timers for various things  (cooking,  kids TV/ipad time).  Also general reminders  

 - TV/Internet access for kids:   Sooner or later I reckon I'll want to restrict access to certain times etc.     


One specific concern I have is the flaky power at our house and whether momentary power interruptions will wreak havoc with the smarts.       


I guess the first thing to decide is which 'system' to buy into.  ie.  Apple homekit,  Google home,  Amazon, other???.        e're somewhat immersed in apple stuff at the moment but not so much that we couldn't change if it made sense in the long run.       I'm probably leaning towards google.


Anyway,   that's all just a bit of a brain fart at this stage.    I'm not really sure what input I want from others but feel free to add any comments that may help my general understanding/direction or selection of specific components etc.       


Thanks in advance for any input
















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Hi manchu


I recently bought some smart switches from Ctec www.ctec.com.au they work great and the products themselves are in highest quality I have ever seen. So far I have achieved:

  • smart lighting - voice control, app control, timer, scene, 2 way switching, push notification sent from the switch (if someone turns lights on/off) , dimming(single gang only) by voice control and app control
  • smart fan control - 3 speeds AC fan but not able to control the light on the fan

Going to do next:

  • Get Ctec smart curtain/roller shutter switch to control my roller shutters, maybe garage door also.




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On 25/07/2019 at 10:17 AM, TSmith said:

I recently bought some smart switches

cheers for the info.   


so who are you talking to?    Alexa,  Siri,  Google???  

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My wife and I started down this path so that she could turn on the living room system! Now even my mother in law can walk into the living room and say "Alexa, turn on the TV..." and it all springs to life.


We started with a Harmony wireless remote + hub, then added an Alexa Echo dot and smart sockets. We also added a smart doorbell.


Recently when neighbours got robbed, we were able to hand over video footage of a dodgy person coming to our door, who was obviously figuring out which house would be his next target.


Smart smoke detectors can notify you if your house is burning down when you're at work.


Smart sockets are great for those things you accidentally leave on ... like a heater or that compressor in the workshop that cycles on after you've gone to bed.


We went with Amazon Echo Dot over Google as apparently it has more support for more devices.


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17 hours ago, shailesh said:

Another system to consider is Samsung SmartThings

great...more options!   the last thing I need.  hahaha



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