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switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:22 pm
by vincenttor
Well i just bought a new house and it comes with some "green" options.
The house has a few solar panels on the roof, i am not sure how many but coming Friday or Saturday i get the key so i can check. ... erend.html

Also using a solar water heater thats build on the roof and i am using heat from the earth to warm up the house and water.
So far i got this fairly cheap since it came with the house, now i do like gadgets allot and have allot of them collected in the years but to keep in a bit in the green energy saving style i thought would it not be great to be able to switch everything in the house.
All the power sockets , lights , that i am able to turn everything off except the equipment like a fridge or something that needs to stay on of course.

My question is to you guys, what do you think is the best solution or is a better solution of what am i not thinking of.

First idea was to use SSR , easy to use and i want to use Homeseer with an Arduino to control everything.

The advantage of these "relays" is
-its easy to connect on the arduino since most of them are usable from 3-30 Volts.
-Will not fail fast if used normally
-smaller size then a mechanical relay
-SSR itself uses low power to switch
-No sound when switching

But the disadvantages are
-always "leaking" power and the higher Amps it can handle , more it lets trough when it should be closed so giving problems with LED lights and still leaking power so resulting in a higher billing the end of the year.
-needs a heatsink when using some load on them
-if being used with a heavy load lets say a 1000w light it can peak/draw up to 60Amp i have been told, even just for a few mili seconds, not sure what the result is in this in the end.


Using Mechanical relays, i am not sure what the correct name is

things i have found an can think of are

-doesn't have leaking power
-doesn't need a heat sink

-using more power then SSR
-Wears off faster contacts burning in
-using higher voltage
-Sound when switching.
-when using the arduino to trigger the relay you have use with most bigger relays 12 or 24 Volt so i use the arduino to trigger a small relay that uses 5Volt to trigger the big relay 12/24 Volt that is being build in the power socket or next to it.


Then comes the other part when installing one of these options, i need to put cables to all of the sockets and light switches in the house and need to find a solution to hide the relays as best as possible.
Hiding the cables will be some work, thinking of a bigger in dutch called Plint to put the cables behind but then there are still the relays with there sockets or ssr with heat sink.
I am aware how much work it is, since in the house of my parents and in the garden is placed about 2200M wire roughly but these are things that if all works ok makes it more satisfying and my experience is with wireless equipment that it is much more stable.

In France at my parents house its much more easy to get things like this sorted since all sockets have there own separate power line to the fusebox...


I have read into this system and it looks very promising but after founding some other websites with reviews i see many bad messages about the system.
Especially about the software restrictions they suddenly are putting in the updates.
Also that they send your information to there servers is a thing that actually they do not have to know if you ask me (gaat ze gewoon niks aan !)
but i have read that if you block the outgoing port and program you can stop it with most firewalls.

A big advantage and fun to have also informative is that it logs the power usage of that plug.
I am running homeseer and i read about the new plugin not using the software anymore that comes with plugwise but now being read straight by the plugin.
What are the advantages about this system except the power usage loggin.

So the advantage i can see here is:
-works out of the box
-using a mesh network that should be covering the whole house without problems
-measuring the usage of that plug

Disadvantages i can think of are:
-its a big plug in the socket ( has anyone opened it yet and build in there power socket ?)
-price is rather high compared to a relay and some wire (not counting the installation time of the wires)

So guys, what is wise to do , any more advantages or ideas about the above solutions ?
I'd like to hear your opinion about it.

Maybe its a bit overkill for some people but its something i like to have , since i am away from home for some weeks for my work its satisfying to know that i am using less power then is necessary.
And because its just fun if all this works and to make it in the house.


Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:54 pm
by vincenttor
So i guess nobody has such a project at home ?

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:26 pm
by vincenttor
Well i guess not, pity.
Topic can be closed i made up my mind.
Going for a relay solution powered by Arduino and then using 1 or 2 Greeneye monitors for power usage realtime and water /temp measuring.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:46 pm
by ThinkPad
Your post is quite long, so i didn't read it all in detail. But maybe you could have a look at Domoticz, running on a Raspberry Pi ? Can be used with a relay board connected to the GPIO pins (however you are limited to the amount of GPIO pins then), or with ZWave (Aeon USB-stick), or with RFXCOM. I use the RFXCOM with about 9 wall outlets (KlikAanKlikUit) and it works fine. Nice and affordable solution.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:07 pm
by Jeffrey
Hi Vince,

I've read your project-to-be and am intrigued by it. I myself use Plugwise and I can tell you that the system is perfect. As long as you have enough devices to cover the ranges and the devices are configured it works flawlessly and fast. The only two problems are that you cannot switch them at the socket (no physical button) and that they plug into the powersocket (no integrated solution).

That said, I'm currently experimenting with Arduino and ethernetshields to create POE LAN connected devices which can do different things. Arduino because it is flexible, because you can program them to do whatever you want and change it at any time and ethernet based so there is no problem with wireless interference. When using a Arduino Nano with a ENCJ ethernet board, you have a costeffective and (relatively) small solution (~10 euro per set --> ... 83818.html). When combining this with MQTT this is the perfect base to create various solutions for lighting, powercontrol (with a relay for example), sensing (pirs/temperature/humidity/..), etc.

The challenge is that you need wires for low power (~5-12 Volt) and normal power (230 Volt for the power and lighting) at the sockets (these may not be combined in one PVC pipe). Maybe it's an idea to take a socket (I mean a "lasdoos" which is normally put in the wall) and check is the arduino nano/ethernet/relay fits in the socket. I would love it if you post your progress and experiences on this project.

p.s. I'm currently not busy with the 230 V switching, but am in the process of developing a roomsensing board (arduino nano/enj ethernet board/pir/hum/temperature sensor/MQTT/homeseer). 230V switching would be next.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:33 pm
by vincenttor
Hi Jeffrey ,

thanks for the info about the Arduino and the example you described.
About the wiring and using the divider box or "lasdoos" that is not even a bad idea but what i like to achieve it will not work i still need some cables to 1 central point to be able to do the following.

Well, i have contact now with Brultech about the energy monitor system they sell. ... ategory=34
I got these pics from the HS forum but this is what it looks like what they use, you put small CT rings around the cables and then you get the real time usage like plugwise.

So in my case i would need 1 central point where the Green eye monitor is placed, it can accept 32 points to measure for CT rings, it has i believe 4 or 6 measuring points for pulses, like a water meter /gas and 8 contacts for 1 wire temp sensors.
I do think when i want to measure all lights and wall sockets i will exceed the 32 contacts but tomorrow i can count this since i am putting the last autograph and get the key.
I have some experience with a similar measuring system like this green eye monitor , i have a (emonTX) laying arround and that works pretty good i must say but since i do not know how to write code/program and there is no plugin ready to use for homeseer i can't use this and it also contains only 4 ports per unit that cost about 70 euro for a set i think ive paid.

For the switching relays, i have been looking what kind of solution i would use i choose the mechanical relays since they have more advantages compared to the SSR in my eyes.
I hope to be able to find something small that can switch 25A or more because when a for example machine that draws 2500W and is always on, when i switch the relay on it draws very high Amps i have read on a website just for a few milliseconds.
I do not like to replace all the relays every week because of burned contacts etc.
The smaller they are the better i can hide them , and hopefully in the boxes itself , if i can't i will have to place a small box near the contacts that looks good (as far that is possible)

Some questions i have asked to the brultech creator is , do i need to use shielded wires , or not.
i know that because when the capacitance increases it will screw up the readings, so i am not sure if this is the same with the CT data it sends back, and indeed if it is possible to lay next to lines that get 5V or 12V trough them.

That said,

the stuff i have running here at my parents house finally seem to work ok.
Well not all of them yet but the relay part is going pretty good now and it seems like the problem was in my event caused by 1 or 2 seconds to early or late with switching.
Well its a big and long story but the curtains are opening and closing same as the luxaflex.
I "hot wired" the remote control of the curtains since i could not get it learned by any of the IR devices i have bought or tested.

The PIR's i have are still giving some problems that they sometimes do not appear in homeseer, they stay closed but after testing they all seem ok.
The strange thing is also that sometimes when i reboot homeseer or the computer the 3 test PIRS do show up and work for X time, and after a while 2 of them stop working.
Ah well, much fun to get everything working like you want and like it should,
dinner time now.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:36 pm
by Broes
Maybe also an idea to use the Arduino Ethernet board in a semi-decentralized system (instead of the Nano).
You have several digital Inputs/Outputs and Analog Inputs with an ethernet connection for a reasonable price.
Of course it has to fit in the situation but I like the idea of utilizing the existing LAN.

I have not installed this in my home yet but I did order some Arduino stuff to see if it works out for me. What I want to achieve is that also the inputs (pushbuttons) are readable in Homeseer to switch things or run events/scripts. The board has analog inputs and maybe you can use them to read the current if necessary by using a current sensor. I am also no programmer so my intention is to make use of the plugin Greig wrote for Arduino.

For the relays I would go for SS because of the advantages you mentioned. In my opinion 2A should be sufficient in most cases, only were needed I would use a 25A SS.

DomoNetwerk.png (200.32 KiB) Viewed 30410 times

Arduino Ethernet
USB 2 Serial Adapter
Screw Shield - V2 ... -shield-v2
Relay board 8x (SolidState) ... 0908894602
Relay board 1x (SolidState) ... 1496991859
Plugin Arduino For HS3 (Enigmatheatre Greig Dempster)

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:02 am
by vincenttor
Thanks peter,

Actually i am already using the arduino mega 2560 rev 3 because of the ports and the ethernet shield.
I am going to give all the sockets in the wall and light switches there own cable, bought 400m YmvkMB 3g2.5 cable.
The SSR i am not going to use because of the danger of them, since the more Amps they can handle , more power they let go trough an then the heat dissipation that has to be on them. ( also the vampire draws that are still there when its turned off is a thing i do not want)

What i am no going to do is bring all the cables to 2 central points, the garage part has his own fuse box and the house.
all the sockets from the living room and the other 3 rooms and bathroom toilets etc going to that location.
Using a wall mill then going to close them up with new cables to each socket.
I checked the fuses last night and its a mess, makes no sense what socket is powered up when fuse 1 is on or 2 for example.

It does take some time to do it but well, i rather do it good then sloppy and since its all empty now i can do what i want.
But thanks for the input :wink:

Same idea about the light switches, all i use is a momentary switch so a push will activate a program and lights switch on.
in the rooms, make programs with a PIR and let the computer sense i am home so certain programs are running.
The central fan i am also going to control by computer, actually everything that i can control i will control.

The best thing i found out is even with not suchs great weather the solar panels do deliver enough to make the meter in the closet stop spinning or very very slowly.
It is powering up the earth heat pump and the central fan
Hope that when i place some more panels on the roof this would be sufficient enough to power the server rack.

And i did a remarkable discovery, actually a friend of mine haha.
When opening the fan cover in the bubble bath or under it, there was a plastic bag with haha well allot of dildo's in it hahahah.
I guess these days when you buy a new house the welcome gifts are different :D

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:49 pm
by vincenttor
Well its not really the time of the year to start with making the holes in the wall and such but i tried a little part.
Tomorrow i am going to start and hopefully finish it so i can use clambs to put pvc pipes in the wall for the wires.

used plastic to cover up everything because it makes a big mess, very dusty

First test with the machine.

Some of the wire thats going in the house.

more to come.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:48 pm
by ThinkPad
There are slit cutters that have powerful dust suckers so you have very little dust flying around in your house:

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:00 pm
by vincenttor
Thanks, but i used my festool vacuum machine, not sure if its stil ok after this job but the dust is not as bad right now as the fist time i used it.
The old wiring is a mess, and the whole living room and kitchen are on 1 fuse......

So its good that i do this because i would have had allot of problems then, and the suction hood for the gas stove i opened up .
The pipes that should let the air outside go out was not even connected so behind the stainless steel cover were the engine is it was all greasy and yellow :S


Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:32 pm
by vincenttor
Well , i have done some work again.
Big project but little time :S

Anyway, what i was planning to do, since i am going to use allot of LED lighting.
I want to use a DMX controller and some decoders to control the lights.
Also wire some of the lights in case there is a error in whatever that breaks down, so i can turn a switch and some lights turn on for emergency for example.

But, the question here is, i am reading and reading for a few days now, is there anyone that is using DMX at home to control his lighting ?
And more important, can you control it in Homeseer ? (HStouch)

Well some pictures of the progress,

You would think that in a house that is build in 2001 that they can work more precise (haaks) but its not everywhere the case.
anyway i got some tools that make it easier.

at first we used screws to make some sort of a base for the cove, but this took to much time so i grabbed the air tacker and some wood glue.

i had to work around a bit for the tube that goes outside for the cooking fumes.

Part one is finished now, only needs some small pieces more so the cove can be mounted on the frame , but the guy that is going to "stuc" the walls said its easier for him without the frame being fully installed.

My dad helping me.

taking out the carpet since its very old and dirty, putting in some wood later on.

other room on the first floor we pulled out the carpet and put some cove frames on the roof.

Thats it for now, tomorrow hopefully i can find some time to go on.
First i am going to pick up about 100 Relays with sockets that are being used for switching every socket and device.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:31 pm
by Jeffrey
Nice! Keep posting updates. Very cool project.

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:14 pm
by vincenttor
This weekend i had some time again, but the coming weekend not so much.
Luckily i got some extra work the coming Saturday because the money goes out very fast :roll:
Anyway, Saturday i went to a little electronic parts store about 35 km away from home and i did some shopping.
Got 100 relays with sockets from Omron, 8 Din boxes that can fit 11 Relays per unit.
100 relays 5V for the arduino since the coil power ? (spoelspanning) of the omron relays are 12V i need to switch them with another small relay :roll:
A pile of 16A Automatic fuses, all kinds of small electronic components.
Got allot of free stuff as well ;) 30 pvc tape rolls and some switches , small components etc :wink:
Also bought the din rail earthing connectors and some other connectors which i do not know the name.
Some very nice LED lights, and these are bright and real 3500K yellowish warm white instead of the Chinese warm white that is still pretty cold cool white.
Some very nice cable trays.
And allot more parts , the price ? 505 €



Also picked up a server rack somewhere close by where i live what is going to hold most of the equipment like amplifiers/server/modem/switches/apc/ups/ etc etc.

Finished the frames for the cove, but since the roof is not level and allot of the walls are not "haaks" either i first need a laser that i can mount on the wall to make the cove level.
This is the final step i have to do because i get problems otherwise when the L shaped parts will be mounted on the cove frame.
This process will only cost some spaces and more time ofcourse.
I did manage to put some 3x1.5 / 3x2.5 and 5x2.5 wires in the tray, i am thinking of placing between the frame a aluminum tray to place the cables in.
Not sure if this is necessary but can be done whenever i want since there is enough space.

The wood parts also arrived somewhere the last week and need some work also.

Placed some plastic/paper sheets on the floor to protect the marble since we were walking and hammering on the wall allot of concrete was pressed in the marble, and the walls/roof are going to be made smooth later on with plaster.



Some of the cables for the power sockets in the living room, going to make a gutter , and since there are 2 tile floors put in this house the doorstep is allot lower so i can place it up about 4cm.
This gives me some nice space to hide some cables beneath.

Here is the hole for the wires that are coming from the cove in the living room.

Another hole for some audio/network cables that go into the garage where the server rack will be placed, i could not find another nice location for it and the wall between the house and garage is 41 CM thick so it took some work to make this hole.

Garage side

The wiring of the kitchen, few 3x2.5 for the sockets , 5x2.5 for the induction cooker, 3x1.5 for some lights



Thats it for now ;)

Re: switching all power sockets and lights

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:06 am
by GertK
Are we starting a do it yourself building forum ? :)