Hi All, first post…
Have used different products in the past – X10 which I found a bit slow and needed too many filters, now homeeasy which is responsive, but range is fairly short, and the inability to raise / lower brightness (only cycle through and stop when it’s right) are frustrating. Am hoping that this product will address some of the issues of the other products I’ve tried, but there are a few questions I’d like to clear up first:
1- RF range.
What’s the range really like in a house? Will the signal reliably transfer from one room to another, or are lots of repeaters required? As an example, I have some homeeasy sockets and a wall switch which are in the same room, but don’t work that reliably (no line of sight due to furniture etc) – what can I expect from the lightwafeRF products?
2 – Advanced programming.
We are about to get some solar panels installed. In order to make the most of the "free" electricity if the sun ever shines, I’d like to automate some electric heating (thinking of immersion heater for hot water tank). To do this I figure I’d need to use a energy monitor to see how much power is being generated (perhaps it will show negative power) and then a wifi link to switch based on the amount of power being used – something like:
* If net energy usage is minus 2kw (energy going back to the grid) - switch on the heater.
* If net energy usage is positive - switch off the heater.
Is it possible to do this sort of thing (even if a bit of coding is required) ?
3 – Status monitoring.
Does the wifi link allow for monitoring / reporting on the status of all devices?
Hope these are easy questions to answer!
My answers are by no means definitive, but I can offer some insights based on my experiences:
1) The RF in these gizmos is effectively the same technology as the homeeasy stuff, so you ought to have a similar experience, although I’m surprised at your single-room woes (unless your furniture is some kind of funky designer solid lead range) – I’ve found that LightwaveRF transmitters will work as far as I can go in the garden (about 100 metres or so) and halfway down the street (up to the point where I can no longer visually verify the results!)
2) There is currently no way to trigger on any information from the ecometer. However, I have seen in a different thread that more triggering options are coming soon to allow triggering from the PIR sensor, so perhaps Eco monitor triggering will be part of that – and if it isn’t, you should petition for it in the product ideas forum, the lightwaverf guys are very responsive.
3) the good news is, the wifilink does allow for monitoring and reporting of status on devices! The less good news is, none of the devices currently available support this (because that would mean they need to be transmitters and receivers, not just receivers as they are now, which pushes the cost up) – however, new devices with this functionality are promised next year.
Thanks for the info.
Sounds like the remotes should work better than the ones I currently have, but perhaps they just come with better batteries.
Sequences will be useful, but they might not be powerful enough to cope with some of the problems of monitoring and not being able to tell whether power is being used or exported.
I’ve been looking at something a bit more complicated for automating immersion heater control – search for open energy monitor to find out more. I am hopeful that the lightwaverf products will end up being a step above the homeeasy stuff, without the cost of the higher end products – they appear to have the potential.
Hope that products with transmit status become available soon.
Just to add to what has already been said
The range and reliability of the Lightwave should be superior to the home easy as the chipset has been upgraded and we use a specially written dedicated protocol. A lot of work has gone into refining the technology. You definitely should not incur problems within the same room and a wifilink should be good for a whole house (and garden in many cases).
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