For my automation projects I'm using X10
X10 is an industry standard for communication among devices used for automation. It primarily uses powerline wiring for signalling and control, where signals involve short radio frequency bursts representing digital information. A radio-based transport is also defined.
Misterhouse (Free) - http://www.misterhouse.net
* All 256 house/unit code addresses
* All regular X10 RF commands (on, off, dim, brighten, etc.)
* Extended 32 bit RF commands, such as those transmitted by X10's “Entertainment Anywhere” remotes and X10 security modules such as the DS10.
Activehome Pro ($49.99) - http://www.activehomepro.com/
I've wired most of the jacks in my house for telephone, ethernet, and cable tv. This was accomplished by using what is called bundled cable or speedwrap. In a 1" diameter cable contains 2 coax cables and 2 cat5e networking cables. I'm only using one of the coax cable connections but I was only going to wire the entire house once so why not prepare for the future. One of the cat5e cables is used for data and the other is used for telephone. All the cable collect at a structured wiring media cabinet. The Leviton company makes these neat telephone and ethernet connectors where you just lie the exposed ends of the cable, punch them in and insert them into the wall outlet.
I can't get into all of them but I have modules that turn on an off and dim lights. Make my thermostat think that it's hotter than it is in winter or summer to turn on and off based on certain conditions. Say in the winter.. fool it to think that it's hotter than it is during the day and stay off for energy savings while I'm away and then turn off 30 minutes to an hour before I get home and the heat will turn on. In the summer it makes the thermostat think that it's hotter than it is to make sure it's cool inside when I come home.
Other modules turn on/off the my ceiling fan motors and dim the lights. That rocks and I can use them year round. I just have to flip the switch on the fan to reverse the spin. And motion detectors to turn off lights that I've left on after I leave the room.
I want a relay switch connected to my hot water heater to turn off while I'm sleeping and at work and an override for days I'm working for home or have guests over.
I use a simple central video distribution panel where all my inputs and outputs are in one place. One neat thing that I have in place is a channel modulator. I have security and recorder and live tv from my PVR broadcasted on two unused cable channels. Ring the doorbell and I turn the channel to see who's at the door.
Cat5e wiring to a 110 Punchdown going to a 100Mb Switch. Crossover cable from 100Mb Switch to a Gigabit Switch that's 1000Mb. From Gigabit switch Cat6 server that has a Gigabit Ethernet card inside. Technically Cat5e is rated at gigabit speeds but I just wanted to max it out while I could afford it.
- Cheap Whole House FM transmitter broadcasts music and announcements from the server to FM radios on my own radio frequency. It solved a $1000 speaker nightmare.
- Logitech Squeezebox Duet This was my first foray into the world of Networked Streamed Music Players. So far so good.
- JVC UX-N1W Micro Component Audio System I have 3 of these playing music and speech announcements sent over the audio output on my server via a fm transmitter.
- MPD or the Music Player Daemon. Not only does mpd allow me to play music controlled via my home automation, but It's also streams the output as well to my icecast server so I can listen to my music that is at home.. while I'm at work. The output is also networked via Pulse Audio so I now have multi-sourced, multi-roomed whole house audio
Can't tell you everything, but there are cameras, motion detectors, and other sensors and they all integrate with my security system and home automation system.
Biometric Door Locks
Complete X10 HVAC
Individual Room Temp Monitoring.. to turn fans and/or heat based on occupancy and season with iButtons
More Security Stuff