Setting up a Control4 system DIY style

The control4 home automation system revolves around an assortment of available linux-based controllers, sensors and other widgets that make operating everything from light switches to your home AV gear easy and give the power to program things to happen automatically based on a schedule, human actions or other stimuli. You would contact a Control4 dealer to have this set up, but I got the hardware myself and wanted to tinker with it at my own pace. My main concern is setting up a quasi-security system without having to deal with an alarm company. My kids have proven to be expert house and yard escapists and completely incapable of turning off a TV or light switch.

I started with the cheapest controller possible: the HC200. This gives a good entry-level introduction to the capabilities of the control4 system along with the ability to run 4 A/V devices directly along with a good amount of the other Control4 goodies. The first thing that I wanted to check out was their claim to consolidate all of your remotes. My coffee table currently has 4. The remote that I got is the SR-250. It’s substantial and has lots of buttons. What makes it extra groovy is that it can also control your lights, garage music or anything else in the system.

In total I’m starting out with this:
One HC200
3 C4 Dimmers
3 Card Access Contact sensors
1 Card Access Wireless relay
1 card Access Mini remote
2 Card Access Motion Sensors

The system setup requires software called composer. dealers have a very detailed version for the initial setup, but there’s an end-user version called composer HE. You connect the controller to your router, then you can setup, program and control the controller over your network from your computer. I’ll post each step I manage to complete. I’ll be starting with just getting my controller online and consolidating my remotes.

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2 Responses to Setting up a Control4 system DIY style

  1. David says:

    I am very interested in doing the exact same thing but am finding it very difficult to source any Control4 equipment in the UK.

    I am repeatedly being told that I must use a dealer and the dealer is the only person who can set the system up.

    Where did you source your equipment and can the Home version of Composer allow complete setup?

  2. admin says:

    You will have to find a dealer to source your equipment. The HE version of composer will NOT allow you to do the initial setup yourself. The essential back-end connection assignments cannot be done (or more importantly UNdone) with the home version. The HC200 is essentially the getting-started model to get your feet wet. You can find used controllers or other equipment used or otherwise returned to dealers on eBay pretty regularly if full retail is out of your budget.