Been doing a lot of research lately into this and arduino seems to be the cheapest and most open way of achieving this.
I have a few questions though about feasibility etc
How do I connect all my sensors together? I don't want to be running wires everywhere.
Is there any way of using it with zwave devices?
Is there a way of making more complex actions? I've checked the android app out and its really basic. The main thing I want to achieve is I want some ir beams across my drive which when activated I want it to check if its light or dark then activate my living room light if its dark and also notify me by text/ notification on my phone even if I'm out. Is this possible?
I'm sure there's plenty more questions but they are the main ones for now andaprreciate the help
Maybe look at mesh networking.
Please explain further what you want to do.
It could be as simple as "I have 1 sensor and I want 1 actor to react to it"
It could be as sophisticated as "I want to develop an open, expandable smart home ecosystem from scratch, which is able to cope with devices I don't even know yet and do what I want before I know what I want it to do"
a driveway sensor is not hard. as you said, some IR beams. look at garage door sesnors for pre-made deivces.
the Ardunino can sense day time, day of the week, day of the year (if you use a real time clock chip) and then anything you can think of. on Fridays, turn on the upstairs lights.
on the 5th of the month, turn on the basement lights.
if you did the kitchen lights last time, then do the hall this time.....
if you have internet, then you can post to a web site, or signal your phone.
you can have the garden lights slowly fade up
or maybe do a little flash routine.
if you have a motion sensor and you are in the back yard, you can have the garden lights 'chase' to the garage
like this :
I bought a few RFM-22B radios, and downloaded a library for them from RadioHead. They are cheap, tiny, and very reliable, as well as capable of 0.1 watt output. So then I designed a board with the radio and a Nano, with the radio using pins 2, 10, 11, 12, 13. The rest of the Nano pins are brought out to one edge of the board, where I can easily access them for other circuitry. I am designing a home sentry/control system, and each unit uses one of these as its base. The cost of the unit, since I make my own boards, is under $10, and they are very versatile.
The transmit power is more than adequate to transmit across an entire house, and then some, so it is an excellent approach to setting up wireless sensor platforms communicating with a master station.
Message me if you would like a schematic and PCB diagram foe the board.