Loxone Journey: Out with the Old Home Automation, and in with the New

John Wechsler
06/29/2017 in Case Studies

What do you get when an early adopter of home automation is left with an out of date, unreliable, and failing home automation system? Well, in this case, you get our friend, Neal. Neal lives in a zero energy home, situated on 100 acres in New Jersey. He’s always been one for technology, and actively seeks out any tech that will lead to energy efficiency. On his property, you’ll find a wood boiler, geothermal heating, instantaneous hot water, a home built with insulated concrete forms (ICF’s), radiant heat, and unfortunately, two unreliable home automation systems.

But today, you can add Loxone to the list of what makes Neal’s home great and energy efficient, as he begins to fade out his two existing home automation systems in favor of a fully integrated Loxone Home.

Unfortunately for Neal, even with his software engineering and electronics background, his old home automation systems slowly turned into an unreliable hybrid solution. He constantly tried to fix, resuscitate, and replace the failing components that made up the system, to no avail. According to Neal, both of the current systems have their own issues. The older home automation system, Stargate, consist mostly of relays to his lights and HVAC, which were constantly failing. The other system, Lutron, is reliable but in terms of cost, updates, modifiability, and extendibility, it’s just not the right system for him.

Since discovering and installing Loxone, Neal has integrated Loxone with his existing system, which he has begun to slowly phase out. Neal is still controlling his HVAC with his old system, as the summer months are not ideal for performing HVAC maintenance. Neal plans on replacing the HVAC controls with Loxone controls and Loxone zone controlled dampers once the summer ends.

Neal's Miniserver for Home Automation

Neal’s Loxone Miniserver

When asked why he’s chosen Loxone Home Automation, Neal had this to say:

“My current home automation system was and is still failing, so I needed a replacement system. After visiting the show home in Pennsylvania (Neal was actually our first visitor!) and seeing the system in action and speaking to Loxone, I knew Loxone was the right solution.

I currently have other HA systems in my home that are not reliable or supported. Loxone is a whole house solution and as far as I can tell, will be supported well into the future and supports backward compatibility.”

Neal’s venture into Loxone started for a few reasons, first off, he had already wired his home for full home automation, and second, he had to find a solution that would not only fulfil all of his needs, but offered the support, updates, and technology needed to make full home automation a reality in his home.

How has your experience with Loxone been so far?

“Well, I’ve been building out or new sunroom which has basically become a ”guinea pig room” for Loxone, and everything works perfectly. I needed something with backward capability but would also expand into the future, and now here we are.

Your support is also great; online, human, documentation, you do it all. You also have an online presence and software updates are ongoing, so I never feel left behind.

And your configuration is simple, it’s like going from DOS to Windows, the configuration is a thousand times easier. I wouldn’t even consider it programming but rather point and click.”

What’s next for your home?

“Currently I only have Loxone lighting controls. I have HVAC controls on older systems and my next immediate goal is to replace the HVAC controls with Loxone controls and electronic dampers. And then I have a  whole laundry list of things and expandability, the house was wired for complete home automation, shades, sensors, security, but that has not come to fruition. Due to lack time, technology, and cost and time. I was able to install Loxone in a very short period of time and very comfortably. So I can see doing the whole house with Loxone by myself.”

Last but not least, what are your family’s favorite features?

“Right now basically we have lighting controls but the motion sensing is a game changer. Being able to sense both motion and light, basically, the lights come on when you need them, only when you need them and more importantly they shut off when they are not being used. That was a key component for me. It could be the middle of the day and a thunderstorm could roll in and the lights would go on because they house knew that it was dark in that specific room.

The touch pure is also a very nice interaction as opposed to a physical keypad or light switch. The light at night illuminates and makes it aware, and the 5 button control makes it very functional.”

Loxone Home Automation Lighting

Even though Neal’s project is a DIY install, Loxone is intended to be installed by a certified and professional Loxone Partner. Due to Neal’s experience in software engineering and electronics, he has been successful in integrating Loxone with the help of our technical support. 

We look forward to following Neal’s Loxone journey and will be back with updates in the near future!

Interested in Installing Loxone Home Automation?

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