Loxone Air – Retrofitting Project Part 1

1st September 2016 in Case Studies

You don’t need to build from scratch to enjoy a Loxone Smart Home – our Loxone Air technology enables homeowners to retrofit smart home technology into their homes without any of the wiring traditionally required for a complete home control solution.

In this two-part blog, we’re taking a tour around Florian’s flat to see exactly how Loxone Air products are being used to streamline energy efficiency and enhance life at home. The first thing that Florian did was automating the lighting, heating and ventilation in the bathroom.

Smart Lighting

An important aspect of any smart home is the lighting. Upon walking into Florian’s flat, you are welcomed by the ‘everyday’ lighting scene. This means Florian never arrives home to a dark home. Not only that, when heading out the door in the mornings, the lights switch off automatically behind him.

In order to avoid the hassle of manually switching lights on and off all the time, Florian automated the lighting throughout the whole apartment. The Miniserver knows the location of the flat and so is able to make intelligent decisions about which lights to bring on and when.

If it’s a particularly bright and sunny day, the lights don’t come on automatically during the day. Of course, there are times when you need a little extra light so the option of manual control is provided via the Loxone Touch. The Touch enables you to control several features in a room from a single switch. It’s five touch points can be configured according to your needs, which makes the Loxone Touch very versatile.

In conventional installations, it can get pretty expensive to integrate a floor lamp with an existing set of lights to make a ‘scene’. To give the living room a cosy atmosphere, Florian simply used a Smart Socket Air for the floor lamp, which works in harmony with both the RGBW 24V Dimmer Air (for LED strips) and the Nano IO Air and Nano Dimmer Air, both of which are suitable for mains lighting.

When leaving the room simply double click the Touch and the whole room switches off. That nagging feeling of having forgotten something now belongs to the past.

Another highlight of the lighting is in the bedroom. Florian’s bed has in-built RGBW LED strips. If he gets up in the middle of the night, a Motion Sensor Air notices the moment his feet touch the floor and bring on a special ‘moonlight’ scene – very soft lighting that’s just enough to light his path without the harsh glare that disturbs sleep.

How it was done:

The Miniserver acts as the brain of every Loxone Smart Home – in this case the Miniserver Go was used, as it can be connected to the home network easily. The Miniserver Go offers all the usual functions of the normal Miniserver, only the communication between the individual components is not via cable but via a wireless network, the signal of which is extended by any other permanently powered Loxone Air device.

Florian used the Nano IO Air to control the mains lighting, and at the switch plate, simply added a Touch for Nano switch. Just five minute’s work was all it took to be able to automate the lighting within the room. In areas where there was no existing cabling for a switch, Florian simply added a Touch Air. He also placed Motion Sensor Airs throughout the apartment. Since the sensor is powered by a battery, you can place it anywhere; attached on a wall, on the underside of a coffee table, or simply nestled on a shelf like in Florian’s apartment.

In order to control his Smart Home manually when needed, Florian installed both the Touch for Nano and the battery-powered Touch Air. The Touch for Nano is simply a plug-in module for the Nano IO Air as it draws power from the Nano IO Air itself. The battery-operated Touch Air can be mounted anywhere since it’s battery powered and communicates wirelessly with the Smart Home.

Save with Autopilot

Another advantage in Florian’s Smart Home is the energy efficiency. In addition to the lighting, heating also plays an important role in our homes. Loxone Air technology allows for intelligent individual room control to be achieved by all. The target temperature of each room can be individually adjusted. If you’re in the kitchen and cooking, the right temperature is quite different from what you’d like in the bedroom, for example. The Miniserver ensures that the kitchen is already warm in the morning when Florian comes in for breakfast and he knows that the temperature will be lowered automatically when he goes away from home or does not use the space.

The Miniserver monitors the habits of the residents and continually adapts to their needs, therefore reaching its optimum potential. Should Florian stay late in the office, or come home later than usual, he can easily notify his smart home and this adjusts the heating times accordingly.

If Florian goes away on a longer trip, this is recognised by the Miniserver automatically and it goes into power saving mode. By doing this, it avoids unnecessary energy being wasted on heating and protects the apartment from frost damage.

A common problem in many households is windows being opened whilst the heating is on (kids are absolute champions at doing this). The problem is, you’re literally throwing heat, and therefore, money out of the window. By using a simple window contact, Florian can relax in the knowledge that should he decide to open a window, the heating system in that room will take a breather and send him a quick notification to let him know.

There are countless household appliances that spend most of their time languishing in standby mode and consuming energy. Not in a Smart Home: Unnecessary power guzzlers are automatically detected and disconnected from the mains.

How it was done:

In order to attain intelligent individual room control, the Miniserver requires the current temperature of the different rooms, and the ability to adjust the temperature in any room. With Loxone Air components, each room has several ways to measure the temperature and the ability to actively control the temperature in each room via the Valve Actuator Air on each radiator. In Florian’s apartment all of the rooms have a Touch Air installed, which have a temperature and humidity sensor built-in. In addition, there are the Smart Sockets, which also feature a temperature sensor. To avoid unnecessary heating, door and window contacts were installed, which notify the Miniserver if windows or doors are left open.

Intelligent Ventilation

Bathrooms are usually victims of high humidity levels, and without sufficient ventilation, the dreaded black mould soon creeps between the tiles. If, like in Florian’s case, your bathroom does not have a window, you can’t rely on fresh air to clear the steam. Luckily, Loxone Air provides a way to fully automate bathroom ventilation – the Temperature & Humidity Sensor Air simply monitors the humidity levels and runs the fan until the levels have dropped back to normal.

How it was done:

The Miniserver is always informed about the current temperature and humidity in the bathroom thanks to the Temperature & Humidity Sensor Air. The sensor lets the Miniserver know how long the bathroom fan needs to run for. With the addition of a Motion Sensor Air, Florian’s morning routine is completely automatic.

The Loxone Smart Home takes care of the little things for you. In a 4-person household, each year up to 50,000 tasks would be controlled in your home with the autopilot, giving you more time to focus on the important things in life.

A Loxone Smart Home enables you to come home to an autopilot lifestyle and offers many tangible benefits. It makes your home smarter, safer and more economical. Above all – a Loxone Smart Home makes you happier. Request a free magazine to find out more.

The project was achieved with the following Loxone products:

1x Miniserver Go
3x Touch for Nano
2x Touch Air
4x Nano IO Air
3x Door & Window Contact Air
1x Temperature & Humidity Sensor Air
2x Smart Socket Air
5x Valve Actuator Air
1x RGBW LED Strips
1x RGBW 24V Dimmer Air
1x Power Adapter 24V

It cost Florian less than £2,500 to upgrade his flat into a smart home and his flat serves as a great example of how simple and affordable Autopilot Living can be.