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Loxone Smart Home Systems technology offers intelligent, whole home control of the energy used for heating, cooling, lighting, appliances, and electronics, as well as intelligently managing shading, solar energy, electric vehicle charging, and battery use. It ensures that a home runs in an optimal, energy-efficient manner by integrating and coordinating all the energy components into one unified system using a miniserver, a smartphone app, and an array of sensors. The miniserver controls proprietary Loxone energy-saving devices, such as lights, audio, and outlets. In addition, a variety of third-party devices are designated as “Loxone Smart Home Ready.” The miniserver resides in the home, so no personal data is exposed to the “cloud.” Because it is so comprehensive, flexible, and adaptable, components of this high-tech energy-saving system could be considered as part of the mix of energy saving measures used in zero energy and zero energy ready homes.

The Loxone system is suitable for new home construction as well as retrofitting. The installed cost for a complete system is 4 or 5% of the cost of a home. For those installing only the energy-saving components of the system (as opposed to features such as those for entertainment and safety), total cost could be reduced to 3 or 4% of the cost of the home.

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Although this may seem like a substantial upfront investment in energy efficiency, it promises significant savings in return. A detailed cost/energy analysis should be conducted to determine which components of the system should be utilized for cost-effectiveness in any specific zero energy home. Factors such as the size of the home and lifestyle of the occupants should be considered.

Lox-IG_3d-house-everything-managed@2x-5.jpg?x51888Intelligent Lighting

The Loxone lighting system is an actively managed, low voltage LED lighting system with motion sensors. According to the manufacturer, it saves about 30% on lighting compared to standard, user-managed LED lighting. A low voltage system is important because it allows the lights to be dimmed, which uses less energy. The intelligent system will automatically adjust the brightness of the lights as determined by the time of day and amount of ambient and other light sources in a room. The darker it is, the brighter the lights will be. If the room is filled with natural light, then there’s no need for the lights to turn on at all, and they will shut off.

The Loxone Smart Home automatically turns on the lights as soon as a person enters a room and then turns them off again as soon as they leave. If a room has sufficient natural light, the lights will not turn on even if there is motion in the room. The automatic shading system works in harmony with the lighting system to optimize natural lighting and further reduce energy used for artificial lighting.

 

Saving on Heating and Cooling

With the Loxone Smart Home each room is its own temperature zone with motion sensors, heat sensors, and window contacts. By monitoring the sun’s position and utilizing window sensors it controls window shades, whether they are inside or outside. According to the manufacturer, these measures can account for up to 60% savings on heating and cooling costs depending on the specifics of each situation.

This system can also be used with any type of heating by adding the appropriate control devices. For example, a forced air system would need zone dampers in the ductwork. Each room is maintained at the desired temperature, for example, the kitchen at 68°, the living room at 71°, and the bedroom at 63°. But the system knows when someone is home and learns to optimize itself accordingly. It provides warmth on cold winter days and keeps the home cool on hot summer days. The different temperatures in various rooms can be kept constant for optimal comfort and energy savings.

 

Hot Water On Demand

The Loxone system can also control hot water circulating systems with a motion detector. Only when a resident approaches the sink does the hot water start to circulate. This hot water on-demand system saves on both energy and water.

 

Appliances and Phantom Loads

More than a third of standard household energy costs now stem from a combination of lighting, household appliances, and electronics. In zero energy homes, electronics and appliances have become the number one component of energy uses for many families. The Loxone system controls and saves up to 30 to 40% of the energy used on phantom loads from TVs, electronics, and appliances – and especially from cable boxes and game controllers which have the biggest phantom loads.

While putting electronics and appliances in standby mode might seem like a solution, energy is still being pulled 24/7. The Loxone Smart Home automatically turns them completely off, taking all of the standby devices and other power guzzlers off the meter when they are not needed. This can be a big savings for families in zero energy homes that enjoy watching TV or playing video games.

 

Automated Shading: Passive Heating and Lighting                                                               

The automated shading system in a Loxone Smart Home works in conjunction with lighting, heating, and security. On a cold winter day when the sun is shining, the shades will be opened automatically to let in natural light and heat from the sun into the room. The same system keeps a home cool during the summer. On a hot and sunny summer day, the system closes all shades to keep the sun’s heat out of the house. The shading system works in coordination with the heating and cooling management system to reach the desired temperature in each room using the least energy. This weather sensitive shading system can save up to 30% on heating and cooling energy costs.

 

Vacation/Nighttime/Away Mode

When residents are on vacation, away during the day, or asleep at night, the system puts the whole house on shut-down mode, turning off all non-essential systems and switching to an energy-saving mode for temperature and other essential functions when no one is using them. When leaving a room, double-tapping a switch will turn the room off – including lights, music, and heating. A triple-tap puts the whole house into sleep mode or “Away Mode,” which turns all the lights and music off, turns appliances and devices off, and lowers the heating.

 

Solar Electricity and Battery Management

Perhaps most significant for zero energy homes, the Loxone Smart Home can be integrated with a solar electric system through the inverter. This helps manage the solar energy produced so it can be used most efficiently. By integrating solar panels into its smart home solution, the house automatically uses the solar energy to do a load of laundry, run the dryer, operate the dishwasher, or charge an electric vehicle while the sun is shining. Loxone Smart Home monitors the home’s current electricity consumption as well as its electricity production, which can be viewed directly from a smartphone. In homes with lithium storage batteries, the Loxone system can help manage the optimal use of the energy stored in the battery.  Lox-FS_bmwi-e-mobility.jpg?x51888

Managing Electric Car Charging

The Loxone system can be integrated with an electric vehicle charging system, so it can charge electric vehicles on a schedule suitable to the owner or to take advantage of lower, off-peak electric rates, where they exist. In homes with solar systems and a charging station, Loxone  intelligently factors in the amount of solar energy being produced, the current electricity tariff, and the total usage load of the house when determining the best timing to start, stop, or pause charging the car and the best level of charging current. The smart home can turn off unused appliances or devices and allocate that energy to the car charger instead. With a smartphone, the charging process can be started or stopped and the level of charging current can be set.

 

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Everything Managed on One App

Energy usage history and current energy consumption and production can be viewed, and the whole home can be managed from one app on a smartphone.

The system also provides notifications of factors affecting the home’s energy use. For example, the smartphone will send a notification if a window is left open that affects the heating of the home.

 

Energy Saving Consultation                                                                                                   

Loxone offers free energy saving consultations for homeowners, homebuyers, and contractors who are interested in cutting down on energy use by using a smart home system. The Loxone system is a “360 Degree” system with many components, options, and third-party add ons. Depending on what’s important to the homeowner, the Loxone Smart Home system can be customized to individual preferences. This consultation will help the homeowner or contractor determine the most cost-effective configuration of the system to meet the homeowner’s needs. Homeowners can also find a Loxone partner near them who is experienced in installing the system.

Do you use a smart home system like Loxone to reach net zero in your home? Share your experiences using smart home systems in the comments below.