SmartHome - Saltcote Place
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Smart Home = Safe Home

We turned Saltcote Place into a Smart home for a
number of reasons.

Risk Mitigation
Our Security
Operating costs
Peace of mind.

Smart home technology works for us and we hope this is both useful, inspiring and above all we hope you will share your experience when you find something that works well for you.

You will want an internet connection for updates but do not purchase any device that cannot operate without an internet connection.

Your Smart Home system will require a smart hub, some are proprietary and only work with specific devices.

We selected a hub that is constantly updated, contains all of the rules and operating system and database of rules that means if the internet was unavailable the house continues to function reliably regardless.


Since 2019 Hubitat has proven to be remarkably reliable and resilient without any issues but a great many enhancements without additional cost to us.
Hubitat supports Zigbee, Wifi and Zwave protocols and works with most smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Voice.

What is a Smart Home

Simple rules ensure the environment supports you and your lifestyle without costing a fortune, in fact a smart home will save you a fortune by alerting you to non compliant events as they occur whilst also taking action to protect your home.

If a water leak is detected instantly turn off the water and alert you

If a gas leak is detected turn off the gas supply, alert you and the other keyholders

If movement is detected in the wrong place at the wrong time alert you, the key holders, neighbours or even the alarm monitoring company

At sunset and sunrise switch on and off security lights

Randomly throughout periods of non occupancy or throughout the night turn on internal lights to give the impression you are home.

Rules are flexible, Conditions you set out such as the time of day, the state of other items in your setup, temperatures in rooms, the location of key family members and movement in the property.

Our Network

The Cat 6 Network that supports the house is in two parts with a Unifi Wifi system operating two distinct networks. Devices is password protected for Smart home devices and is separate to the Saltcote network which pervades the home with Wifi.

We aligned with two protocols to keep it simple and reliable.

Wifi Devices

Wifi operates back to the WiFi access points for each device and if drawn out would resemble a spiders web with the hubs or connection points providing  internet access.

Every device is locked down on the network by the device MAC address to a specific IP address which ensures integrity and easy management of the mesh.

For properties with good WiFi reaching all areas perhaps WiFi is the only protocol you need and so could be a great place to shop.

Zigbee Protocol
With the basics in place but a larger property a MESH r will be will offer greater flexibility. A Mesh could be with Zigbee or with Zwave. We chose Zigbee because it’s easy to setup, if something goes wrong it takes minutes to repair.

Zigbee units operate as a switch or a relay to turn on the lights to open the blinds, a temperature sensor to monitor your fridges, heating or almost any other device that is not battery operated can further contribute to your MESH.

You can always add more repeaters to ensure your MESH is reliable.

Alarm Signalling
As we are thinking about our comfort and safety consider that any monitoring of your home Alarm system is only as good as the communications upon which it can notify the Alarm Receiving Centre. For this reason we use broadband (which will fail in the event your router does not have power) in addition to a WorldCom SIM for cellular signalling monitored by Secom.

Water and Gas Leaks result in Automatic Shut off

When a water sensor detects damp these can automatically turn off the water valve or multiple valves you have determined should be shut off.

The shut off valves gives you peace of mind in the event of a leak. Easily fitted on existing valves with 15 or 22mm and only require a 12v supply. The best prices are on at under £15 compared to £85 for the same product bought in the UK.

Upgrade any alarm system

If you already have a hard wired Alarm solution the heavy lifting has been done which is the cable infrastructure and control panel.

Using the Konnected system atop of your existing solution enables remote access and control, more importantly soft notifications of non compliant conditions such as movement when the property should be empty or partial setting of zones without needing to call out the alarm maintenance company.

You would benefit using someone with knowledge of your alarm panel to get this added –

Shelly Flood is a WiFi device that works with Hubitat and using the rule machine is a life saver. With a near two year battery life it notifies you when it needs changing on your mobile devices.

When the Flood detector is triggered it automatically turns off the water or gas valve shut off devices you have linked it to and then alerts the householders and key holders to the situation on their mobile devices AT THE SAME TIME.

As with other Shelly devices they work best with a fixed IP address (easily setup in your router) and also report temperatures and movement within temperature ranges so a rapid increase in temperature would cause an alert to the mobile devices, it’s like having eyes and ears all over the property in all areas 24 x 7.

Costing under £25 each from

Light Relay
These have been used in ceiling pendants and light switch wall sockets to enable the device it is connected to to be automated.

Including a new Zigbee device into your home not only gives you a new device you can automate it also strengthens your Zigbee network so that other devices can be included to further expand your “Mesh”.

Always get a qualified electrician to install anything that touches mains electrical loads. A Shelly device could have a 30A Resistive and 10A inductive load specification, if you don’t understand this make sure your electrician does.

TRV’s or Thermostatic Radiator Valves.
We have two types in the house, both had advantages over the other but if I was starting again I would buy Zigbee TRV’s from AliExpress at around £12 each.

Having rooms automatically held at the temperatures you determine based on usage, living patterns and external temperatures will save you a fortune.

Radiator TRVs
We have two different types of TRV in use, this one is a Shelly TRV, excellent controls via an app on the mobile phone but not simple to use without the App or online control via the web interface.

Excellent battery life, seriously quite and since it only costs about £50 from Shelly and does not require an additional control panel like our Honeywell TVRs.

The Shelly TRV uses WiFi and works with the Hubitat control hub

The HR92 TRV from Honeywell works on Wifi but also requires a controller. The HR92 cost around £45. We have around 30 of these with three controllers at £130 each.

This video could save you literally thousands in heating costs, turning down room temperatures when windows are left open and understanding heating schedules.

TRV’s Alternatives from China.
As technology evolves and much of it comes from China you may want to consider these inexpensive alternatives. Remember it’s your quality lock shield valve that is being operated by the TRV so there is very little risk in trying these units which are being re-branded by UK resellers all the time.