Unlocking a truly smart home

To create a truly smart home for this client in the South of France Dmoti had to overcome challenges to ensure seamless integration of every installed device and deliver on the promise of comfort, convenience and efficiency.

When Enterprise Olympe, building and electrical company, were contracted to renovate a villa in the South of France contacted KNX smart building integrator Dmoti to deliver control systems for lighting and shutters it kick-started a process that would see Dmoti expand its role to encompass whole-home systems and a seamless AV set up.

The house in question was a full renovation with an extension and complete remodelling of the existing space. Romain Cabot, from Enterprise Olympe, who was also the homeowner, had taken the property back to its shell.  On the ground floor, there is an open-plan salon, kitchen, dining area which opens onto the pool area and garden, an inground wine cellar which is visible with a glass floor from the salon, a master suite with dressing room and bathroom, a home office, guest WC, double garage and workshop.  On the first floor there is a children's bedroom and guest bedroom with communicating bathroom. 

Dmoti’s journey into the project began when the homeowners visited the integrator’s showhouse 18 and were inspired to convert their traditional French electrical installation into a full KNX smart home.

Showhouse 18 is the home of Dmoti founder, Suzanne Fitzgerald, a lovingly renovated 18th century Maison du Vigneron that was covered in the Summer 2022 edition of HiddenWires. “It’s a perfect showcase of technology,” explains Fitzgerald, “because it’s a real-life working home and has everything connected so people can experience what it’s like in person rather than making choices through a brochure or website. The clients can touch and feel the pushbuttons and room controllers and see the integration in reality.”

Fitzgerald adds that, in the case, the visit was particularly useful as it encouraged the homeowners to turn to technologies the company had experience with. “We always try to use products that we have tested and can demonstrate to our clients in a real-life working environment,” she says. “We like to test everything in our showroom first so we are confident and can deliver a more efficient installation.”

The client's main focus was on comfort and Basalte Home was chosen as the central control and visualisation platform, delivering the clients insight and control into every aspect of the home. It’s powered from the Basalte Core Mini server and the platform includes an app, enabling access to the homeowners from phones and tablets. The elegant Basalte Ellie touchpanel was also installed to handle home controls and door entry.

From the single platform they can control lighting, heating, cooling, shading, audio, door entry and secure access including garage doors and entrance gate, video surveillance, fire detection and secure and fast WiFi both inside and outside.

In addition to the Basalte system, the homeowners selected Zennio touchpanels (opting for the Z35) and push button controls, deploying the Square TMD product with a range of options offering six, four, two and single buttons. The units vary from room to room and in the bathroom the clients chose a custom background colour for the push button control so it stood out against the marble surface. “The clients loved the idea that you could customise,” says Fitzgerald. From these units homeowners can select room scenarios including ‘Good Morning’, ‘Good Night’, ‘Away’, ‘Welcome’ and ‘Home’ with Dmoti handling the programming to ensure easy control to what are behind the scenes some quite complex set ups.

Dmoti delivered dimmable lighting in the salon and bedrooms, RGBW lighting was deployed in the salon and kitchen and Dmoti also handled lamp circuits including Christmas tree lighting. A wine cellar is visible through glass floor in the salon and lighting to illuminate this space is controlled by KNX.

Lighting is automated in the bathrooms, stairs and hallways with day and night modes as well as sensors that will turn lights off if no movement is detected for set period. To achieve this Dmoti opted for Jung Mini universal PIRs and Theben HTS Wall mounted PIRs for the stairs. The family also use the Basalte Home application in active view to check up on the status of areas of the house and see, for example, if the children have left the lights on upstairs.

Lighting extends to outdoor spaces too where it runs on KNX scenarios with planned schedules.

All the windows in the property have KNX controlled shading that offers open/close controls and a level of automation via preset scenarios.

To deliver the switching, dimming and shading functions required, Dmoti installed an array of Theben products as well as Zennio Lumento X4 RGBW LED dimmers.

When it came to HVAC, Dmoti opted for Airzone with KNX climate control per room using a multi-zoned reversible heating/air conditioning system. “With the Airzone unit each room is a different zone with a KNX thermostat Zennio Z35 screen that sends information to an Airzone gateway in the electrical cupboard,” explains Fitzgerald. “Heating and cooling units can often struggle to be interoperable but this was not the case for the Airzone units.”

The house is also kept safe and secure with KNX smoke and heat detectors from Gira, security cameras linked to a Hikvision network video recorder (NVR) and an access system. Security was initially not part of Dmoti’s scope but the integrator was asked to deliver systems once it was on site. The client had already chosen the Hikvision NVR but it had already been configured so had to be sent off to be reset. A 2N IP Verso video phone, integrated with the Basalte and KNX system, was installed at the gate. This allows the gate to be opened without having a call in progress. 

Whole-home networking and WiFi was delivered and Dmoti opted for a Ubiquiti Dream Machine network appliance, Ubiquiti USW-24-POE switch and Ubiquiti U6 long range WiFi access points.

Sonos multiroom audio was deployed throughout the home with three Sonos amps deployed in the salon/kitchen, office and master bedroom. A Sonos One smart speaker was provided for the bedrooms. In the living room Sonos Sub were deployed to deliver an extra punchy sound. A Sonos Beam soundbar was also installed here so TVs and movies could be enjoyed with rich audio. For loudspeakers Dmoti opted for KEF, installing Ci160QR and Ci130QR ceiling speakers, ci160QS in-wall speakers to discretely fill the home with sound. Dmoti also delivered a Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker that is primarily used in the garden.

A Samsung Frame TV was installed in the Salon and Dmoti connected the homeowners to Netflix and French digital TV channels on Orange. They can also play Deezer on Sonos through the TV Sonos salon zone set up.

Dmoti faced certain challenges due to decisions that had been made before it got on site. It’s a familiar story for many installations where the technology integrator is not brought into the project early.


In this case shading had already been installed and Fitzgerald explains: “We believed, given there were six wires from the blinds going back to the electrical cupboard, that we could connect the motors to the Theben shading actuators. The surprise came that the Nice motors that had been used took in 230v but converted it to 24v inside the motor and could only communicate with Nice remote controls. No matter how we wired the blinds we couldn’t get them to work.”

Dmoti continued to chip away at the problem; the homeowners wanted to control the whole home by Basalte and KNX so having shading on a separate remote control simply wasn’t an option.

“Our clients changed all the motors to be standard wired [non-proprietary protocol] motors and we were then able to control them using KNX blind actuators. It certainly had us, the electrician and Theben scratching our heads,” says Fitzgerald.

She continues: “This issue highlights a bigger problem in the industry. Lots of manufacturers are creating products they call ‘smart’ but they aren’t smart because they can’t be integrated into anything else.”

The problem also demonstrates just how important it is to engage a KNX integrator before the other trades. “We absolutely need to make sure that the products to be connected are open protocol and interoperable,” she says. “It’s our role as integrators to liaise with all the other trades on the project.”

Dmoti is now prepared not to assume all wired blind motors can be centrally controlled just because it has sufficient wires going back to the electrical cupboard. “On all future projects we will ask for the motor specification renovation or new build!” Fitzgerald says.

A support package was set up between Dmoti and the homeowners with Dmoti on hand to remotely monitor and, if necessary control, the system. Their relationship is likely to continue as well. With the homeowners happy and enjoying their connected, smart home plans are already underway for future developments including work around the swimming pool and garden as well as voice control of the home.

Kit list

2N IP verso

Airzone Di6Flexa3 KNX gateway

Basalte Core Mini

Basalte Ellie

Cayman on wall rack

Gira smoke and heat detectors with KNX


Jung 1280mA KNX Power Supply

Jung Mini universal PIRs


KEF ci160QS


Samsung Frame TV

Sonos Amps

Sonos Beam

Sonos Sub

Sono Move

Theben Mix RMG8S Switching Actuators

Theben Fix DM8-2T dimmers

Theben Fix2 JM8 shading actuators

Theben HTS Wall mounted PIR

Theben Theronda ceiling mounted PIR

Ubiquiti Dream Machine

Ubiquiti USW-24-POE

Ubiquiti U6 Long Range Wifi Access Points

Zennio Z35 room controllers

Zennio Square TMD6, 4, 2, 1 pushbuttons

Zennio Lumento X4 RGBW

Samsung Frame TV

Photography: Romain Cabot - Enterprise Olympe

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