Garages, along with the cars inside them, used to be a status symbol, but these days, if all you've got are 3 walls, a door and a place to house your car, it's not that impressive. To make it more than merely an Airbnb for your Prius—it needs to be smart! Of course, adding smart home control to your garage can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want it to be.
If you've been searching for an affordable do-it-yourself home security solution that's simple to install, simple to operate, fee-free, and can even be used in a condo or apartment, you may be starting to think that no such thing exists. It does. It's called Piper, and you'd be amazed just how much this one little device can do.
How can home automation actually make life better for you and your family? It's a question we hear all the time. There's no denying the enhanced convenience of being able to turn on a light from the palm of your hand, or adjusting the thermostat from the comfort of your favorite spot on the sofa.
Some of the most popular and sought after items for homeowners are things that protect and keep a home safe. Whether it's preventing burglaries and unwanted intruders or making sure your home is protected from the elements, these purchases are among the most important you can make for your family. But what about protecting your home from the elements?
Whether your winters are frozen over or soggy and gloomy, the end of winter means one thing for most of us: a greater risk of water damage. Whether it's frozen pipes that have burst, or spring rains that bring flooding, or drainage systems that are clogged, water in the home is a real issue in the spring. Either way, early detection can make all the difference.
The Apple Watch is already great at a lot of things. It's perfect for keeping tabs on your personal fitness goals, for quickly checking (and even replying to) text messages and phone calls, for glancing at the weather forecast, and even for paying for purchases with Apple Pay. But what about controlling your home?
If you're one of the roughly 50% of homeowners looking to add smart home technology to your home in the coming year, chances are good that you've either put a lot of thought and planning into your purchases, or you're absolutely daunted by the staggering number of options. It isn't always easy to know unless you look for the Z-Wave logo.
Vacation properties can provide a holiday oasis for families and friends while being used. But what happens during the rest of the year? Homes often sit unoccupied for long periods of time and until recently, it was hard to maintain and monitor without hiring someone local or spending money on an expensive security system.
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "If you want to experience all four seasons in one day, come to Alabama." Mind you, that's true of many other places beside the Yellowhammer State, especially this time of year. With the seasons changing, chances are you need the heat in the morning, AC at lunch, and heat again by bedtime.
Looking to save money? Before you think about cutting back on dinners out or skimping on your next family vacation, you may want to look right inside your own home to discover where you may be wasting resources—and consequently, money. For instance, electricity powers dozens of machines in our homes
If you're not one of the 3 million homes with an Amazon Echo in it, there's a good chance you're coveting one. I mean, who doesn't want to be able to tell a lovely woman named Alexa to add things to their shopping list, play a favorite song, tell you the weather forecast AND turn on the lights in the living room?
First things first, you'll want to check and see if you already have any Z-Wave devices in your home. Chances are that you might without even knowing it. If, for example, you have a home security system by ADT Pulse, AT&T Digital Life, Vivint, Alarm.com, ASG Security, Honeywell security, or Protection 1, you may have the foundation for a Z-Wave smart home.
These days, having a voice-activated digital assistant in your pocket is pretty much taken for granted. Instead of typing on tiny touchscreens, we've all become accustomed to simply whipping out our phones and saying, "Hey Cortana, call Dad," or "OK Google, dial 911," or "Hey Siri, what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
A smart home can protect you from an unwanted intrusion, but how else can it protect your home? According to the most recent full-year statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, 365,000 home fires caused 12,875 injuries and 2,380 casualties in 2012, leading to $5.7 billion in damages.
The concept of home lighting is pretty simple: you hit a switch, the room is illuminated. The light switch functionality hasn't changed much since its invention. But what if you could power them all of your lights down instantly at the touch of a single button? With Z-Wave smart home technology, you can. Quite easily. And that's just scratching the surface of the intelligence you can add to your home with automation called "scenes."
If you've been thinking about adding some smarts to your home, you may have already researched light and dimmers, door locks and thermostats—all of the various bits and pieces that go into creating a connected home experience. But how do you get all of this stuff to talk to each other and create a completely integrated smart home system? Do you need a hub, gateway, or controller?
Sometimes the smart home can feel pretty futuristic, but often new tech comes along that is aimed at making every day task much simpler. Can you imagine walking into your house, and quickly gesturing at your wall to turn your lights and music on?
Gearing up for school or summer vacation for the kids can be a source of stress for some parents. You may be worried about leaving the kids home alone during the workday – but did you know that a smart home system powered by Z-Wave is just the answer to put your mind at ease?
I have Somfy motorized blinds, and I ended up buying a Z-wave controller that translates Somfy's proprietary protocol to Z-wave so I could control it with the Echo, $179.99 at Amazon using a hub like SmartThings or Wink, $60.28 at Amazon for voice control.
With live and recorded video, instant mobile alerts, Z-Wave home automation and an extensive list of environmental sensors, Piper nv is an excellent choice for a home or office.
From industry staples like Kwikset, Schlage and Yale to startups like August and Poly-Control, the smart lock market is quickly gaining ground. What separates these brainiacs from your standard front door lock is an added layer of tech, typically Bluetooth, Z-Wave or Wi-Fi -- or some combination of the three.
So how can a smart home improve your everyday life? For starters, they are surprisingly easy to use, make life more efficient and add a comforting layer of security to your family's home.
The new motorized deadbolts utilize the Z-Wave wireless protocol to enable true remote locking and unlocking. This allows homeowners to remotely access and control the lock from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or Internet connected device.
We hear an awful lot about smart homes these days. We know about smartphones, smart watches, smart appliances, smart cars, and more. As these separate devices converge around the places we're in the most, the internet of things rises up around us.