How to do the Home Automation Legally in Australia?


#1

Dear all, I am a DIYer from Hong Kong.

I did have some experience on Home Automation using ESP8266 (DIY PCB with 3 virtual programmable touch buttons switch panel, programme it using Arduino IDE), link up all the pieces with Node-Red and Pi and HomeKit, the system runs smoothly for ~2-3 years, I am very happy with it.

I am moving to Australia (Adelaide) next month and dreaming of building another superhouse too. I would try my best to do it legally but I don’t know how. Can anyone give me some direction?

  1. I know I need to hire a licensed electrician to do all the wiring, that’s okay, but how about all other add-ons like connecting the relays to switch devices on / off? Will any licensed electrician install those things for me?

  2. Sonoff has FCC & CE & RoHS, but seem still not approved to use in Australia, anything way I can use it for home automation? is that a licensed electrician allowed to use this device?

  3. The most important part, any electrician able to do this kind of HA project? Can introduce someone to me?

Sorry for many questions at a time, I am still new to this land.


#2

My approach to this is different from many I read about, I am doing my best to actually keep all house wiring standard - therfore each room has its own 230V ac light and a switch, but here’s the answer to trying to get a sparky to understanding PWM and constant current LED modules - Get them to install GPO 230V ac sockets for every light fitting in the roof. This is way good as you can then legally add lights as they are plug style and no wiring needed. So now the everyday user is happy and insurance (even maintenance) is good as lights and switchs are normal. Now you simply insert a low voltage powersupply into the chain with a sonoff device in a nice box - (The sonoff will need powering from a continuous supply). The power supply is a simple way to detect when the switch is flicked and no more. This signal can be detected by the Sonoff or HA system and voila you have manual and automated control. What I ultimately will be doing is adding rules into the Sonoff so its self healing if the HA goes down. Crucially if there is a problem with the mains or you move house and need to remove the system its so easy to do. I also use DMX constant voltage and DMX constant current for dimming but in these areas I find it is restricted by the bulbs that are readily available in Bunnings thats the real big issue as that market is driven by sales to average punter making the 12V bulb or const I bulb now a specialty bulb. Most cheap ones run of const current but at voltages above elv so you need to be qual sparky to deal with them.


#3

lawleo 你好,好開心係呢度見到香港人!

I’m not an expert, but the general rule I stick to is, get an electrician (we call them a “sparky”) to wire anything which is AC (230V in Australia, like Hong Kong) and do DC yourself. Generally, you can plug most things into the general purpose outlet (GPO) but those power supplies should meet Australian standards.

There are two main certifications in Australia, “C-tick” (EMC compliance mark) and “A-Tick” (telecommunication compliance mark) but they have recently been replaced by RCM (Regulatory Compliance Mark). These regulations are maintained by Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) at https://www.acma.gov.au/

Things which you plug into the GPO should be C-tick/RCM approved. The labelling should be on the power supply.

https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Suppliers/Product-supply-and-compliance/Steps-to-compliance/product-labelling

You can get any qualified sparky to do work for you (I don’t know any in Adelaide, but there is Google or YellowPages https://www.yellowpages.com.au/search/listings?clue=electrician&locationClue=adelaide&lat=&lon=

Electricians are not allowed to install devices which do not meet Australian standards, so although devices might comply with international certifications like CE, they don’t mean anything here.

I agree with ChrisH and get a sparky to wire in GPO sockets in your ceiling space so then you can plug in certified power packs for your LED downlights or whatever you want to plug in there. I did that for my place. In theory you can then plug suitable certified devices like zigbee/zwave modules in-line yourself.

For my house, following Jon’s example I had an electrician run individual light circuits for each bank of lights. The electrician connected these up into my banks of relays and then into a terminal block. I could then do the DC input side of the terminal block myself.

See my blog about it here, including some pictures:

https://blog.christophersmart.com/2016/10/22/my-custom-open-source-home-automation-project-part-3/

Hope that helps!

-c