Ideas for arduino communication for home automation

Hey guys

First I'm concentrating on all my lights and fans. I plan on having my Mega set up to be a server so I can control the system using my phone or computer. I'm also planing on having several nanos set up throughout the house to flip relays for all the lights and fans. I'm trying to figure out home my arduinos will communicate with each. For now I just need the nanos to tell the server what lights are on or off. And for the server to be able to command the nanos to flip the lights on or off.

So i've thought about using I2C, ethernet, wireless, or rs485.

I2c is not reliable for the distances i want to run, ethernet seems expensive, ands wireless is expensive and also might not be as reliable.

So as of right now rs485 seems the be the best bet. Im sure there are other things that im not thinking about. I would like some input before i buy any more parts

jon1911: ands wireless is expensive

Depends on which wireless you are looking at and what kind of distances you need. I personally use RFM12Bs which are fairly cheap (~$5 each)

I have good results with nrf24l01's, distance is fair enough and have the possibility to build mesh network. 0.90 cent a piece incl. shipping on ebay, 5.00 for the sma version for the base station. To control the system using your android phone u can use the Arduino Controller app.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I've been trying to make a decision on my approach. I've talked to a few of my friends that are active in the home automation space, and I think I've settled on the idea of using a well-known protocol for my wireless endpoints. One thing I would really like to do is to use UL-approved endpoints that look like they are part of the house, rather than having add-on adapters. I'm exploring Z-Wave and looking at endpoints that natively use the protocol:

The challenge, however, is figuring out the best way to interface with either the endpoints themselves directly, or to integrate with a controller. There doesn't seem to be an existing Z-Wave shield for Arduino. So I'm leaning towards integrating with an off-the-shelf controller and using the Arduino as a "controller of controllers".

At any rate, as I move forward, I'll share what I end up doing on the forum.