Woohoo! My first, ever, commissioned Feng Shui Drawing – modelled after the one Li Ka Shing has in his office, albeit a little more cartoonish…
Finally, I got to put aside some time to write an overview of my full-blown smart home. By a full-blown Smart Home, I literally mean everything top-down.. even the toilet bowls! (.. and not just one room or merely an area or space in the apartment).
Also, this is probably, the only 3-room HDB apartment you’ll find that is totally pimped-out with smart home devices at this point. Everything was designed from scratch, down to the electrical cabling and wall-hacking placements.
I’m still adding in stuff at various parts of the apartment, but there’re simply way too many people are asking about various components and features – so I figured why not start with the overview of what I have now! 😊
Here’s what this series of posts will be broken into;
✓ Smart Stuff: Gadgets, Devices, Fixtures & Setup
✓ Carpentry: You don’t need an ID if you know what you want.
✓ Internet & Security: Planning connectivity for a huge number of smart devices
✓ Taobao: Yes! Everything from small things like decorative pieces, to a 3-seater sofa, to even flooring for the entire house (..and a $6000 washing machine!?)
Ok, let’s get started, then:
Our mini collection of BE@RBRICKS posing atop 2 Google Home Max devices. Because, the “Mini” doesn’t sound good enough.
Let me say this first:
I bet you’ve never seen these many smart devices installed in a single HDB apartment before.
1. For Voice Control, Multi-room Audio, and basically, Assistance
8 Google Home devices in total, consisting of:
3 x Google Home, 3 x Google Home Mini, 2 x Google Home Max
This basically means the entire apartment is blanketed with Google Home devices, even in each washroom!
I mean, there’s absolutely a need for you to control your home while you’re doing your…. you know… right?
2. Every Switch is a Smart Switch
At last count, there are about 16 Smart Power Switches which we painstakingly got the electrician to re-wire to introduce a neutral wire. This was done so that every switch in the house would be remotely controllable via Z-wave.
It’s a mix of both single and double switches, all with tactile feedback so that when you press the button, you actually know it is being pressed. The models we actually used eventually was TKBHome‘s TZ36S and TZ37.
I’ll go into a bit more detail about the selection criteria for this part in a later post, too.
3. Sensors Overkill
Well, this wasn’t as overkill as the rest of the stuff above, but there’s a total of 12 sensors installed.
4 x Z-wave Motion (+ Temperature/Light/Movement) Sensors
1 x Water Sensor
4 x Door Open/Close Sensors
2 x Human Arrival Sensor Tags
1 x Smoke Sensor
The sensors came from a variety of vendors as we wanted to test out the feedback and response time from each device to determine which to get more of, but it seems the choice turned out pretty clear cut after a while…
The hub I eventually used was the Samsung SmartThings Hub v2. This hub supports Z-wave and Zigbee, and has a wide variety of integration points as well. Oh, and remember to get the UK-version, not the US one.
4. (Almost) Everything is Controllable via Mobile Phone & Voice
Almost all plug sockets, TV’s, water dispenser, aircon, heater, washing machine, robot vacuum, blinds, etc – everything is essentially able to be controlled via my mobile phone, or by voice.
I’ve actually intentionally provisioned a separate system for the door locking system of the house, for security reasons, but let’s discuss that in a later post.
..and all these are squeezed into a
67 sqm, 3-room HDB apartment
with all walls (legally-possible) torn down.