Smart Desk For Home Automation

Written by: techguru

Picture of Smart Desk For Home Automation

This project was a multi-purpose.

I wanted to clean up the top of my desk, as well as use my computer as a home automation server.

Home automation was always something that i thought was pretty cool. It used to be a system reserved for the rich and elite, but with current technologies it has never been more affordable for the hobbyist or homeowner to dig in.

Step 1: Under The Desk

Picture of Under The Desk2014, 10:01 AM.jpg

Under my desk I mounted my Mac mini- I just unscrewed the black bottom access panel and drilled screws right through it. The Mac mini then screws right back on for an under desk suspended mount. So far this has worked awesome as far as computer cooling an performance.
I made sure the ports on the back of the Mac were pointing in the direction I wanted.
I than mounted a power strip under the desk to help con seal wiring

Zip ties and cable mounts helped with this

Step 2: Automation Controller

Picture of Automation Controller

I have worked with many automation controllers including control4, elan g!, Russound,, 2gig and more- all of these are way over priced in my opinion and the same level if functionality can be gained with a way more simple setup.

The technology I settled on is z-wave, it's got lots of client products, and it's range works perfect for home automation.

The controller:
Aeon labs z-stick 2, USB controller is small, and can be plugged into any computer.

The control software:
I use indigo for Mac- there are many options out there, this one works well for me.

The clients:
Light switches
Power outlets
Door locks
Security keypads
Door contacts

Step 3: Install Clients In Your Home

Picture of Install Clients In Your Home2014, 10:01 AM.jpg

Clients are the parts that the controller talks to, the actual automated pieces.

Common clients are light switches, thermostats, security, ect.

I bought all of mine off amazon

Step 4: Finishings

Picture of Finishings

Download the app on your phone,
Program and tweak the software,
And your off to the races