I'm building a new house, and I'm thinking of controlling all electricity with arduino. The goal is to make it easy to install the whole thing (star-shaped installation), to offer flexibility if the house changes shape or function, to offer the possibility to control plugs with switches, to implement some simple scenarios such as "all lights off with the press of a button" or controlling ventilation. For later I'm thinking about intelligent scheduling of charging electric cars based on forecasted solar panel production, stuff like this, but for now I just want a cheap and reliable way to switch lights and plugs.
I can think of two ways of doing this, with 2 MEGA arduinos.
I have questions about:
0) Which deign would you advise. Or maybe can I do this with only 1 mega and use something to extend the number of I/Os ?
1) Which switches should I use for it to be easy to install (no soldering if possible) and cheap. Can I use any SPST-NO Off-Mom push button ? Do you know of some beautiful ones ?
2) Are ethernet-like cable adequate here? Am I going to be able to cross 15+m while still keeping noise down ?
3) How do I program Arduinos for this ? In particular for the com between the 2 arduinos ?
4) Are opto-isolated relay boards OK for connecting my loads to arduino ?
5) What do I use for connecting the PWM out to my dimmable loads ?
Thanks a lot !