Turn old into smart

Townhouse, Cologne

Lyn and Frithjof have modernized a mid-terrace house built in the late 1960s. To turn the existing building into a smart home, the only option for the couple was to use and integrate a wireless building automation system. In doing so, they fulfilled their big dream of owning their own home. They bought a 185 square-meter mid-terrace house in Cologne, built in 1969, which also meant that modernization was inevitable. "We bought an old house and wanted to upgrade it in a directional way for the future. And thus create the living comfort we imagined," explains the owner of the house.

Simple and straightforward installation and configuration


The wireless devices communicate via a proprietary radio protocol in the 2.4 Ghz frequency range. The devices used in the installation set up a so-called mesh network. This extends the range of the devices within a building. This is because every Busch-free@home® device with a network connection can forward the radio signal of another device and thus also acts as a repeater. The signals from the low-radiation devices are sent to the System Access Point. This creates a virtual map based on the information received from the participants. The system always chooses the shortest and most efficient path.

Once set up by the electrical installer - in Lyn and Frithjof's case, it was Elektro Wolfgarten from Cologne - users can access the user interface themselves on a computer or tablet and change the settings. The Busch-free@home® app makes things even more convenient: It optimizes all displays for the screens of mobile devices. The operation of Busch-free@home® is intuitive. Without much effort, residents can set effective light scenes and enter individual time programs to control heating and blinds. "The installation and configuration of Busch-free@home® is very simple and straightforward," confirms Frithjof. Another aspect has convinced the homeowner: "A great advantage of Busch-free@home® is its flexibility. I don't have to decide today how I want to assign my switches in the future. For example, I can currently assign light to a switch, but if I want to use it to control the blinds in one or two years, that's also possible."

Favorite function of the smart home system

In the three-story gallery house, existing substance was complemented by modern contemporary materials and technology. Jura marble is combined with country house floorboards of smoked oak and high-pile carpeting. Unplastered brick is accentuated by white walls, turquoise tiles are set off by ornamental wallpaper. The open gallery over three floors creates a light-filled living space connected by a black spiral staircase. The adjoining bedrooms and bathrooms are in the side wing of the house.

When Lyn and Frithjof get comfortable, their favorite home control function comes into play: "That's the light control. When we're sitting on the sofa in the evening and dusk is slowly coming into the living room, it's a really cool feeling when you can just stay seated and then use your smartphone to turn on the lights and dim them accordingly." Lyn adds another benefit: "Because of the size and openness of the house, it's very convenient that all the functions can be controlled from the smartphone and you don't have to keep running from upstairs to downstairs." For example, the open gallery area can also be completely lit or dimmed at the touch of a button via the scene function, depending on how the room is currently being used.

In addition to smartphone and tablet, Lyn and Frithjof also operate the various building control functions via switches and the permanently installed Busch-free@homePanel 7". This can be freely configured for a total of 16 functions - switching and dimming lights, motion detection, controlling blinds, scenes, heating, air conditioning, time functions and door communication. The panel serves as a link between Busch-free@home® and Busch-Welcome®. The door communication system welcomes visitors at the front door.

Energy control according to demand

The installation of a new heating system, new windows, blinds and electrics creates an absolutely contemporary living comfort that adapts to the individual requirements of the residents. All bedrooms and bathrooms are heated via wall-mounted heaters, which are integrated into Busch-free@home® system through radiator thermostats. Underfloor heating with room temperature controllers is installed in the living rooms and kitchen. Quite conveniently, the room temperature controllers ensure energy efficiency in the house. Thanks to Busch-free@home® the optimum room temperature can be controlled individually and according to actual need as well as depending on the time of day and function of the room. In ECO mode, the temperature is automatically lowered at night or in case of absence. When the window is open, the heating switches off automatically. This improves the energy balance. Optimum lighting control is also part of the package. Dimmers and movement detectors can be easily integrated into the overall scenario, as can a weather station, for example.

The weather station that Lyn and Frithjof have installed outside on the house facade enables weather-dependent control of blinds and awnings. This records and transmits the status of brightness, temperature, wind speed and rain. The data from the weather station can then be visualized in the Busch-free@home® web interface and the Busch-free@home® app.

Integration of Alexa and Sonos

Life and living are becoming increasingly intelligent and can easily be brought into your own four walls, as Lyn and Frithjof show. The innovative, wireless smart home system from Busch-Jaeger provides uncomplicated access to connected living and is becoming smarter as well as more versatile through the integration of other products. "We recently got an Alexa," says Frithjof. "It helps us operate the different systems. We can integrate door communication and also our Sonos system."

Amazon's Alexa digital voice service can be integrated with Busch-free@home®. This allows the homeowners to control lights, blinds, heating and complete scenes in their smart home using simple commands such as "Alexa, turn on the kitchen light" or "Alexa, set the living room temperature to 21 degrees." By pairing the Sonos Home Sound System with Busch-free@home®, the Sonos speakers can now also be controlled directly via a switch permanently installed in the wall, a panel or the Busch-free@home® app.

Modern and flexible, comfortable and cozy, energy-efficient and future-proof - making old smart. These aspects play a major role in the modernization of existing buildings. "For us, Busch-Jaeger is an innovative brand with many options in the smart home sector and was therefore the first choice for us," the builder explains his decision. Lyn and Frithjof have thus created their own smart home.