- All light points in the house should be able to be programmed and controlled via software. And with all lights I mean all of them, no exceptions
- Some power circuits needs to be controllable
- Lights in hallway, toilet, bathroom, garage, storage space, outside side door, outside house need to be operated with motion and or presence sensors. These sensors also needs to be cat proof. I don't want to turn my house into a blinking Christmas tree if my cats decide to play at night
- Buttons need RGB LEDs. If the toilet is occupied I want to see a red light on the switch. Depending on the mode a 'sensor controlled light' is in, I want this being reflect by the LED. The brightness of the LEDs needs to be adjusted as well depending on the available light
- Light sensors with timer functionality. For example; the roof lights need to turn on when it's getting dark, but only after 1900h. If it gets dark during daytime (bad weather or something) the lights should not switch on
- Scene support: lights in the living-room/kitchen need to be dimmed to preset scenes
- Blinds for the windows need to be controlled automatically.They need to be controlled together (the default) but also individually
- Ventilation. If the unit would be to loud at some point, it must be able to be controlled remotely, preferably by a phone
- Support for programming over Ethernet
- API for controlling the entire system via software. For example an app, or a dedicated touch panel
- The interconnection of the components should be using a bus architecture with free topology
- Heating. This is a bit of a gray zone, but it at least the possibilities needs to be investigated
- Metrics for gas/electricity/water
However, the thing is that they are barebone. For example, programming is done with STL, which is very low level, comparable to assembler. On the image below you can get an idea how this looks.
Siemens Logo! is such an example
Don't get me wrong; Logo! (or PLCs) do have a place in home automation. First there is the ease of installation. You don't need cross switches or wiring switches directly to switching points as with a traditional installation. It will be well suited for basic stuff like push buttons (instead traditional toggle switches), programming panic buttons, simple motion detectors etc They are also more favorable over contactors/relays as they dynamically programmed and prices will be almost the same.
Home automation PLCs
Then there are what I call 'home automation PLCs, one of them is the Loxone Miniserver
Real home automation
To make it easy I divided them in the closed systems; such as Niko (Belgian company) home control (NHC) or BTicino (Italian) etc. These are examples of a closed standard and only the manufacturer in question produces components for it.
- A 'soft entry' into home automation system. It allows for remote access via an API and apps thanks to it's built in webserver. Since it's KNX/EIB compliant, Loxone can be used as the programmatic interface to EIB, not needing extra KNX components
- KNX/EIB gateway; using Loxone one can program KNX/EIB components using it as a gateway
- The inputs on the Loxone are not really usable when using EIB. However, the outputs are. By using them you are also saving a 8 digital output KNX actor
- Actual programming with logic circuits, controllers, smart components, you can even program in pico C if that would be required