Smart home? Security?

My purchase in France is once again moving forward and I would like to get ready to set up something simple to turn on-off lights for the lived-in look and monitor the place etc while I am not there.
Has anyone here set up something they like that works well?
At home I use Smartthings, Konnected and Blue Iris because I like to tinker but I am open to using Ring or some other cloud based option if its more reliable for a long distance setup.
For the first year or so I think I will be using 4G internet so I don’t want anything bandwidth intensive.
Any thoughts or suggestions?

Apple Homekit.

Yes I have eufy video doorbell and sonoff light controls + others I foget the name of. Dont like Ring because of the subscription.
Taking some of the spare kit to France this trip including one out door PTZ camera and smart sockets.

As a confirmed techno-twat, can anyone point me in the direction of one of these systems that’s easy to set up i.e. plug in, ignore ; & cheap to buy, please ?


That depends Bob, there are Mesh systems like Zigby which will probably work better in French homes with thick walls as each device communicates with each other whereas wifi devices just communicate with the router so range through walls could be a limiting factor.
So I havent yet setup in France with house having 60cm + walls but I would bet Zigby would be the route to go. Even Lidl feature Zigby equipment.
Setup is straight forward but doesnt always work 1st time. Some devices need to to switch them on and off 3-5 times before they link.
Early days for me, let you know.

Are you talking about ZigBee system ?

Yes but forgot the spelling :rofl:

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Just to give the rates, in case of someone [like me], thinking the system sounds good and the sub pretty reasonable, might be interested

Per device €3 p.m. Unlimited devices €10 p.m. The GBP rates show 12 months for 10 if paid annually. I presume the € rate is the same but I don’t see it on the Ring French site.

Am I likely to be confusing the sort of system you mention, with something simple that allows me to watch the house remotely on my phone ?

I am something simple hahaha. I set up a number of IP cameras indoors and out. Taking a new PTZ (pan tilt zoom ) to France to do exactly that. Will see if Lidl France has Zigbee gear in when I am over as they have in the UK. Because I want to be able to turn on and off some lights when I want.
It links to the sim card router on the other thread I will also be taking.
The cameras are generally easy to set up but some perseverance is needed as they sometimes need a lead to conect the first time before establishing the wifi connection. Also most only work on 2.4g systems but most routers are dual at 2.4 and 5g

Ok thank you.
Please let me know what you end up with.
Thus far, all I’ve understood from your post is “France”, “sim card” & “Lidl”…
The rest of the tech-speak is a foreign language to me.

Zigbee and Z-Wave are both mesh networks, just on different frequencies.
Zigbee runs on 2,4Ghz and Z-wave on 900Mhz. In theory the 900Mhz has better range and no conflict with WiFi. But I dont know if ZWave is even a thing in Europe?
Most Smarthome hubs handle both.
@Corona Are you planning to use a cloud based program for your IP cameras? I am curious how much data that will chew up since you seem to be in the same boat as me with using a SIM card modem. I read on the Smartthings forum that a Samsung hub only uses <100mb a month or so but I streamed live feeds from a few cameras once and it was in the 100s of Gb.
I currently feed all my cameras to a local server at each location and then just remote in as needed to view them.

I will let you know, with the UK doorbell busses and large vans set off false alarms and so far used 3gb in 2 weeks but I am replacing that so see how that goes.

We use SANNCE CCTV for both our houses in France. And digital time switches for lights. CCTV can be viewed on phones or PC. Doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does give great peace of mind.

Isn’t the bandwidth on Zigbee rather low at 250kbps?


I am going to take a spare Samsung Hub with me and see how it performs. I also have several spare motion detectors and a thermostat so I could keep an eye on the temperature all winter. I think for that lived-in look some outlets with lamps that I can randomly control remotely will be good. I also have a Fake TV light that can be set to come on with the sunset so it appears more random. It works good enough that my neighbors used to complain I would never answer the door when they came by in the evening, even though I hadn’t been home in weeks.
The cameras are a whole other issue. I am torn between using a local server and remoting in as needed, or just going with a cloud service for ease of use but lack of security/privacy.
I have never tried remoting in to a server with something like No-IP with a cellular connection. I don’t know if it will even work.

Probably not an issue for most readers here but upon looking closer at specs, the Zwave protocol is actually used in Europe but its on an entirely different frequency than the US. You can’t mix them or it will mess with your mesh.
The speed of their data transfer is pretty slow but typically its only a short data burst saying on-off or maybe a temperature every few minutes. That’s why a button battery can last you all year.
Zigbee is the same frequency internationally.
Because most “Things” convert the A/C to D/C for their radio control boards it appears that many work with 220v. A few manufacturers have actually come out and said as such.

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What I would mention is some cameras pick up movement to alert you but IMO the better one have some Ai tech which picks up human shapes. Far less false alarms.