Homey Community Forum

Homey and Rako Lights

Hi there, I’m about to embark of a fairly significant home renovation and I’m looking get into home automation. After a few months of research I fell like I’m just scratching the surface… However it seems like the right place to start when doing a home renovation is with the lighting and blinds… and then build on that.

I’ve looked a few lighting (and blinds) options and it seems like Rako is a pretty good option… However I’d like to then add a Homey so as I add other smart devices, driveway gate intercom/opener, heating, CCTV and then sensors where needed.

Has anyone here integrated a Rako lighting solution with Homey so you can start to drive automation?

  • When back door is opened and it is after sunset, switch on outdoor lights
  • When motion detected eg. in hall way and it is after 11pm and before 7am switch on lights to 10% (walking to the kitchen/toilet at night)
  • When someone presses the driveway gate door bell, and it’s after sunset, switch on driveway lights for 20 mins
  • When driveway gates opens from geo fence trigger and it’s after sunset, switch on driveway lights for 20 mins
  • If it’s sunny and no one is home, lower blinds.
  • If person is detected via CCTV at the back of the house, switch on certain lights.

Keen to hear ideas :slight_smile:

Hi Cameron,
Rako seems like a stand-alone SmartHome system, right? So why do you want to use Rako with Homey?

There doesn’t seem to be a Homey app for Rako either, so I guess Rako isn’t compatible with Homey.
https://apps.athom.com/

A comparable but also expensive alternative might be KNX.

Hi Fantross, thanks for the reply. I’m not wedded to Rako I just wanted to find a lighting system that just works. I would ideally love a lighting solution that works both analogue and digit. It needs to work with light switches for ‘granny’ and then I want to run automation where it makes sense.

The key thing is it can’t stop working when I’m travelling and my wife can’t switch lights on.

I liked that Rako can build a full system. I’ll check KNX out now.

That is also my understanding of SmartHome. Automate if it makes sense, but still have the possibility to switch manually (e.g. lamps or shutters), even if the gateway fails.

You write that you want to do a major house renovation or reconstruction. Then the first thing you should consider is whether you want a wired system with a control cabinet (so you’d almost have to install a completely new wiring), or you want to use the existing power cable and install a radio system.

In the first case I would like to name KNX, Loxone or Grenton. But these systems are relatively expensive. Personally, I don’t know anything about such systems.

If you want to build a radio system, the Homey is a good choice, because it can handle several radio standards (Z-Wave, ZigBee, 433 MHz and others) and therefore the number of possible SmartHome components increases.
For radio based SmartHome systems there are modules (switches, dimmers) which are installed on the existing cables behind the original switches (ATTENTION: There must be enough space!). These switches can then be operated manually or by radio (e.g. remote control, smartphone, automated scene/flow). If Homey should fail, the lamps or shutters can still be operated manually. Well-known manufacturers of such modules are e.g. Fibaro, Qubino, Aeotec. You can get cheaper versions e.g. from Shelly, but I have no experience with them.

Currently, Fibaro has launched its own switch program (called “Walli”), in which the radio module and the switch are one unit. In my opinion they look quite good and you don’t need so much space during installation. However, not all switch variants are fully supported by Homey yet.
https://apps.athom.com/app/com.fibaro

Both systems (cable and radio) can be combined with many sensors (e.g. motion sensor, door/window sensor, light sensor, weather station, etc.). This can be used, for example, to create an automatic scene that closes the roller shutters when the sun is shining strongly and a certain temperature has been reached.
Most of your wishes should be realized.

There are numerous possibilities that can be realized with such systems. You only have to know what you want, if the necessary modules and sensors are supported by the system and how you want to realize it.

Hi Fantross

Thanks again for your reply.

I think if I can I’m going to go a wired lighting system, feels a little more reliable to me and if I’m renovating hopefully not too much incremental cost. I’ll go wireless where it does be come cost prohibitive. Loxone seems pretty good but I just don’t like their very contemporary switches. Our house is in the country and are going for more of a country, art deco look so really modern switches look out of place.

And this is where I get stuck. If I want to use my own switches I have to go wireless so maybe Fibaro, then I’m building my own system. That makes me nervous when it goes down, when I bet I’ll be travelling for work. That’s what attracted me to Rako but their switches are also quite modern looking.

Anyway I’m going to keep looking. Thanks again for your help

Hi Cameron,

I see what you mean. That you want to pay attention to the design is understandable.

Your fears that there might be problems when you are on holiday I can’t quite understand.
I don’t know the functionality of Loxone, but if the internet connection is interrupted, Loxone won’t work remotely either.
What you should pay attention to when using Z-Wave Devices is that you have installed enough wired devices, because these devices act as repeaters and build up a mesh which even “heals” itself. So there shouldn’t be any problems if a device breaks down. I haven’t had any problems in this respect so far.
A problem could be, of course, if the Homey breaks down. However, this could probably also happen with Loxone.

I don’t want to convince you, I just share my experiences with you.
If I had to renovate my house, I might decide for a wired system. :+1:t3:

Many thanks! I should have explained myself more clearly. What I meant was when I’m travelling for work and my wife and kids are home and something goes wrong with the lights. Like a power cut or something that resets switches or just simply stops thinks from working. I just want to make sure I have a system that works as reliably as ‘old school’ switches.

I like Luxone and I’ll have to see how they work with other switches but it looks like they only work with other manufacturers switches with their wireless system.

Luxone’s own switch also is very modern.

Thanks again.

With any home automation a power cut or WiFi/internet problems can lead to issues.

However, when you use e.g. Fibaro modules, the regular wall switch will still function regardless the state of your connectivity… So you will still be able to switch lights by hand, only the things you have programmed / automated will stop working.

As @PascalB wrote. If you use Fibaro dimmers, switches, RollerShutter (behind your original switches), you don’t have to worry, they will work even if the Gateaway fails. I don’t know if that’s the case with Loxone.
Which, of course, can always happen that a device breaks down. I haven’t heard anything about it in the forum (Homey and Fibaro), unless the device is connected wrongly.
But with Loxone the hardware can also break down.

Apologies for the delayed reply.

Thanks for your help and thoughts. I decided to go with a full Loxone system for lights, heating & blinds. I might add some other items on from Loxone as I get into the design phase, however I also don’t mind having more than one ecosystem, is cameras, smoke Detectors.

Cheers.

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What’s your experience so far with Loxone? I was wandering if someone else maybe has other experiences with other wired systems like knx or Digitalstrom for example.

So far very good, although that is more a reflection of the installer than than Loxone’s products as they have not been installed yet. So far the installer has just down all the down stairs wiring as I had all the ceilings down as part of my renovation… Cheers