Friday, 8 June 2012

Electrical Selection

Our Electrical Plans

If you want to just get straight to the plans/costs scroll to the bottom.

Smart Home Background Objectives

So, I've had a few ideas and plans around our Electricals for our House. One of them is that we do as much Electricals after handover as possible in order to reduce the house costs and it is also one of the reasons we chose as single storey over double as it makes this option possible.

C-Bus Automation

One of the main items that I want to include in the house is C-Bus home automation but this is not something that Porter Davis will do and I can understand why when there are so many options to chose from and the complexities around programming functions for users.

For those of you that don't know what C-Bus is, effectively moves the switching function for a light switch to a central location. These central switches are then controlled using low voltage light switches in the desired locations. This provides great flexibility of being able to re program light switches and change their function should the need arise, rather than re-wiring the house. A big benefit is when multiple switches might be required to control a single light, this can become costly and difficult when over 3 switches are required. With C-bus there is no limitations to the number of switches a single light can have or the number of lights a switch can control. This is further automated through the use of light sensors, movement sensors, timers, thermometers and remote controls.

For more information on C-Bus visit:

I will get PD to cable all the lights back to the Garage in order to make it easier for an Electrician to install a C-Bus after handover, I'll probably purchase all the C-Bus gear, program it myself, and run the low voltage cabling and leave the High Voltage 240v stuff to the Electricians.

Here are just a few things I am hoping to achieve:
  • Automation of lighting to reduce energy costs and take advantage of lighting scenes
  • Automation of window coverings internal/external to reduce the amount of heating/cooling required based on internal/external temperatures and time of year
  • Automation of Scenes and timers for bathroom fans based on when the light was turned off/on/time of day etc
  • Automation of Scenes to dim lights after 10PM
  • Control of Irrigation Systems 
  • Control of Blinds, Lighting, Dimmers, and mufti-room audio using C-bus DLT/eDLTs
  • Control of lighting, watering systems, blinds all via central LCD screens,
  • Control of Lighting and Appliance via the use of IPads through the Clipsal Wiser Interface
  • C-Bus integrated alarm system to enable alarming of the system remotely or via single buttons.
  • Monitoring of Energy usage
  • Feature 1 Button all lights off and all standby devices off
  • Feature 1 Button all external lights on for security

Home Theatre

The next item that I wanted to include with the house is a dedicated theatre room. I've always wanted to build one, and I'll further justify my reason as it is even harder to relax and watch movies with out waking little people around the house so having a room that I can close the doors on and turn up the volume is important to me.

I have some high level plans for my theatre room, including a minimum 2.5meter diagonal screen lit by a nice Panasonic projector, acoustically treated room, built for 11.2 surround sound and yes I know a decent 5.1 system will do but its my house ;), theatre recliners, IB sufwoofers and a dedicated equipment rack outside of the theatre room.

I have done some initial layouts of where I want my seating/speakers/screen etc, but I will go alot more detailed on this once I am in the house. I expect this to be a half year to year long project until I'm happy with my theatre room.

Theatre AV Rack

The theatre equipment rack will be housed just outside the theatre room. It will be built into the wall of the store room and will look like part of the house once finished. The rack will also be used to distribute AV around the house using HDMI over Cat6 extenders so that I don't have to run a multitude of cables that are soon to be out dated. This way I don't have to have DVD players, set top boxes, PlayStation's, WII's etc in each room. I can simply mount the TV on the wall and access the sources from the central cabinet. This will require alot of cat6 down the road.

The rack will also house all Data Points  network equipment from the rear. Free space in the rack will be utilised for DVD shelfs or remote controller draws. Having all the data points and AV in the same rack will make it much more easier to distribute AV.

Misc Electrical Plans

I also have plans to add the following items post handover so I'll ensure that non of these items are added or at least supported.
  • Acton Air conditioning to zone the house into 8 zones to reduce heating and cooling usage down to as little as 1.3KW on a 20KW system. Rather than heating or cooling the entire house we heat and cool areas and not rooms that are not in use
  • Network IP Security Cameras displayed on TV screen located in kitchen, but accessible via PC's, IPADs locally or via the Internet. Cameras to support low light conditions and facial identification when person is on the property record to network storage and also local SD cards.
  • Intercom system to reduce having to open the door to hawkers.
Once all these steps to reduce energy usage have been done, the power usage will be monitored and then reduced to zero by installing the correct amount of solar panels. I'm expecting 3-4.5kw depending.

The Electrical Appointment.

This went pretty quickly and easily which is probably due to the fact that I didn't really want to add anything. Again Porter Davis Disappointed us buy not having our correct plans so indicating locations where we wanted points was made harder by the fact that the ensuite, lounge, and study were all different to what was on the plans provided! We added a few more data points and TV points around the house, which after the appointment I kind of wished I hadn't as I'll just be adding more later. Oh well what's done is done. The other item that I was not really happy with was the $1600 for NBN connection, which is 3 data points, some conduit, a pull line, a box and a power point effectively... seriously come on...

Anyway our plans!

Electrical Plan

Electrical Plan Icons

Electrical Selection Pricing1

Electrical Selection Pricing2

Electrical Selection Pricing3

NBN Plan

NBN Pricing - 1

NBN Pricing - 2

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