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LouK
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2019 :  1:03:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First time for mewiring smart garage doors, lighting, ovens, etc.. House is in framing.

• What wiring do I need if any, to handle smart lighting? Is Z wave the only way to go?

• Do smart devices have hardwire ports as well? Like the garage in this house is fairly far. Can I hardwire to make the openers more reliable?

Thanks for the help.

oberkc
Moderator

USA
4073 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  03:43:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Z-wave is one option (I use some and like it). Insteon is another option that I use and like. There are wifi switches and outlets. A variety of ZigBee devices are available, sometimes sold under names like "Hue". There are also proprietary types, often requiring "certified" installers.

None require special wiring as far as I know, other than having a neutral conductor in all locations. (This should be standard wiring at this point, but it would be worth it for me to verify with electrician.)

There may still be devices that can be hardwired for communication, but I don't hear much about them anymore. Those would require additional wiring, but I have never dealt with them. Some have advocated including cat-6-type wiring at electrical boxes as a form of future-proofing, but I don't recall ever seeing any devices that could make use of such wiring.

Is your garage a separate structure? Besides those switches and outlets and devices that use wifi, I don't recall seeing any hardwired solutions to extend the range of smart devices, so I would be very tempted to add a wire run of network cable out to the garage. Having solid network coverage can give you some options.
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LouK
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  08:47:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much for the reply.
The garage is attached but this is a single story home and spreads out. Stucco, so it's encased in chicken wiere. I just figure if say, a garage door opener has an RS-232 port, run cat6 for reliability.
Kindergarten level question: Garage door opener for example. I guess I get an app from the manufacturer that controls a black box of some kind that talks to the router. What is that black box? Is that the Homekit or Google Home or Alexa interface? Where does Z wave or Insteon fit in? Or do I have it all wrong? If you know of a good link that explains this stuff, that'd be fine, too.

Thanks again for your help.
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4073 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2019 :  2:09:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The most common kit I have seen associated built in with garage door openers is "MyQ". I have also heard of garage door openers with Z-wave built in. I believe the MyQ system relies on wifi or you network (perhaps they can be wired via ethernet cable). Z-wave is a wireless system that uses radio waves to communicate, and would require a hub of some type in order to exploit. There may be some MyQ systems that works with homekit or google home, yes. I don't have this memorized, but it should be pretty easy to identify with an internet search. Some z-wave hubs are certified for google home and apple homekit as well.

Alternatively, one can purchase a separate box that interfaces with a garage door opener (my approach). This box simply connects to the button terminals on the opener and, to the opener, looks like a momentary button push.

Other than those devices that connect directly to wifi, most require a "hub" of some sort to tie them all together. Different hubs speak different languages and have varying purposes. Some hubs can speak multiple languages. Some hubs have automation capability, some provide little more than access to your devices through the internet.

Z-wave, insteon, UPB, ZigBee...all represent a communication standard between devices. Depending on what you want to achieve and what you desire in a "smart" home, your solutions could vary.

I would be less worried about wiring for lighting and more concerned about wiring for cameras and sensors. Do you want motion sensors? Door sensors? Other sensors? Cameras? If I had to start from the beginning, I would probably run cat-6 cable to my camera locations and use POE and network for these. I would also like to avoid battery operated devices, so I would run wires for sensors to provide power and signal.
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