I am concious this is a very long series of blogs with only few images. So I will try and keep it short and sweet. The OEM system is perfect for me. It gives me access to all the information, customisation and future build needs I could want. The automation side is sure to develop more and I look forward to that.
The LightwaveRF seemed like a good choice for my parents and I think it was in terms of “thinking space”. It was easy to setup, no Pi to think about and has a reasonable Android app. The individual units such as sockets, light switches and radiator thermostats are on the expensive side but I was surprised how good a range the sockets had. They feel a reasonable quality as well. Being able to purchase the parts from the Maplin’s store also helps with getting additional discounts and speed.
Both systems are expensive the LightwaveRF comes in slightly cheaper and the OEM gets bonus discount because I had already bought and setup my Pi with external drive as a NAS. I can certainly see the procurement of more ancillary items for both systems pushing up the final spend. And I was always prepared to pay a premium to support opensource/openhardware projects.
I think however I must end on a negative note and say that the shine of the LightwaveRF was significantly reduced, 1) by the amazing OEM system and 2) by the unit having such strange internet connectivity issues days after first installation. Issues which are still on going. If I was starting from scratch with no Pi then the OEM would be more expensive a choice but getting a Pi with their pre-installed image would massively reduce the work required and the final product for monitoring is significantly better than the LightwaveRF package.
With all that said for monitoring I would definitely go OEM every time for myself and perhaps the GEO would have been a better choice for my parents. For monitoring and automation the LightwaveRF still looks to be the better choice over the GEO as an off-the-shelf item. But its monitoring functionality can not hold a candle to the OEM system.