Home automation article

There is an interesting article in this months PC Pro by one of their regular columnists Paul Ockenden in which he describes the set up he has in his house. Its not technical, in the computing sense, although he often does include code in his column. If you live in Stockport the library keeps and electronic copy so it might be worth checking your local library.


Thanks Ian! I will make sure to check that out. It is also worth mentioning a lot of libraries (including Manchester and Stockport) have an electronic subscription to PressReader which only requires you to enter your library card number to be able to read the latest version of a lot of magazines and newspapers (including PC Pro).

I haven’t had the chance to check out the article, but will make sure to have a look soon. For people who have their library card handy here is the direct link to the article:


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Ooh, I hadn’t got to that in this month’s issue; I’ll have a look. Especially as I am an occassional contributor to PC Pro :slight_smile:

Paul Ockdenen’s article in this month’s PC Pro addressed high resolution smart meter data by capturing data directly from the meter. If you can’t access it at a library let me know and I will scan it. The solution involves fitting a Hildebrand Glow IHD glowmarkt.com. The article includes links to code needed - although its probably beyond my ability.

I’ve been keeping an eye on home automation to address the major issues with windows and building performance.

Loxone are the only option I’ve seen which has the potentially be able to do this well.

Some time ago, maybe 2 years, I saw some window blinds that came with Loxone. Very, very expensive, and anyway I was really after external blinds.

You can get custom fitted internal electric blinds, which aren’t integrated into the window’s IGU, that aren’t that expensive. I couldn’t find a combination of controller and motors which could be made compatible with home automation systems. But it’s a pretty easy system for roller blinds. A bit more complicated for Venetian blinds, but in the big picture, it’s trivially easy tech and will be available soon.

If you take into account that making windows inoperable, you reduce costs by half and increase efficiency/durability etc per m2 of glazing. However, you often need solar gain control during the day at times of the year, when heat is not valuable in the thermal envelope, to do this without comfort complaints. Venetian blinds would work for this.

My thoughts are that thermal roller blinds during the dark hours of winter will help reduce the 20-30% heat loss windows represent by about half.

I’ve also thought that having roller blinds that have a graded opacity could work. Giving you both variable solar gain control and full blackout insulation on the same spool. But no one I know of is making that yet. I’d also like to see it integrated seamlessly into the window sill instead of up by the lintel. However, they don’t provide the nice effect of Venetian blinds that diffuse the light deeper into the room. So I’d prefer both roller blind and Venetian blinds.

I reckon this will all come as one integrated standalone unit soon - without having to rely on home automation software.

If you are in to DIY home automation you could have different schedules and conditions for 2 blinds per window, one blackout/thermal and the other light permeable.