When many people think of smart home tech, they envision large black boxes, tangled wires and complex interfaces but the connected home has come a long way since its beginnings. Smart home technology is now more décor-friendly than ever with products in every size, shape, color or finish imaginable. If you’re interested in adding smart functionality to your home, try these Z-Wave compatible options that won’t get in the way of existing décor.
Want to add voice control to your smart home? The Amazon Echo is equal parts stylish and functional. A hands-free speaker that can also control your home, the Amazon Echo works with a large range of Z-Wave compatible hubs to add voice command functionality. Simply ask Alexa to turn on living room lights or to set the temperature – the possibilities are endless and the streamlined Echo looks right at home with any décor.
You can’t have a smart home without a hub, so why not choose one that can easily slip behind a TV or look equally great on a bookshelf? At just over 7” tall and 1” wide, the Wink Hub 2 is a slim but powerful choice for managing your smart home with style. Features like auto-discovery of smart home devices and a simple setup process ensures that you can easily get your system setup and continue to add to it quickly and efficiently.
This new door/window sensor from Dome fits in perfectly with any homes décor and budget. Its slick, modern design and two-color options help it blend in with in your homes environment. It also comes matte finished allowing you to paint it any color. Temperature sensor, long range, and 10 year battery life make this sensor both functional and great to look at.
There are a lot of Z-Wave compatible smart door lock options out there, so choosing one that perfectly suits your home style is easy. This deadbolt from Kwikset looks perfect on the front door of a home with modern architecture with its industrial look-and-feel. Its motor-driven deadbolt latch allows for remote locking and unlocking, and requires no hardwiring so it can be installed quickly.
Fibaro is known for their range of color choices and unique product design. The Fibaro Z-Wave Door/Window sensors can be mounted to doors or windows in your home so you can monitor potential unwanted activity in your home. They can also be used in conjunction with smart scenes to activate lighting throughout the home. These sensors come in six finishes to blend in with a variety of door and window panes, offering sensor functionality that is also design-friendly.
Chances are the dad in your life has had his share of standard, run of the mill Father’s Day presents like ties, power tools and shaving kits. A poll from Ebates found that electronics are the most wished-for purchase by fathers
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GoControl Z Wave AD NSC
FIBARO Motion Sensor
Anyone who's ever lived with a pet knows that they're creatures of habit. And really, smart home technology is really just way of teaching your own house a few good habits of its own.
Have questions about getting started with smart home technology and feeling a little overwhelmed? You came to the right place, because we have answers.
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FIBARO Smoke Sensor
How much does smart home technology cost? It's not an easy question to answer. It's not as if you can walk into your local big box store and ask for a medium-sized lighting system with a side order of climate control.
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?
One benefit of a connected home is that it should (asuming the system is working) let you know when there's a problem, even if you're not there. It's one reason those with vacation homes are installing smart leak detectors, Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, and so on. And just because your second home is on wheels, it doesn't mean having devices that keep an eye on things is any less helpful.
Z-Wave and ZigBee are both radio protocols that require a hub of some sort to translate the language of the device to a language your phone can understand. These plugs are often more affordable if you already use a platform like SmartThings or Wink.
Home automation is what it sounds like: automating the ability to control items around the house—from window shades to pet feeders—with a simple push of a button (or a voice command). Some activities, like setting up a lamp to turn on and off at your whim, are simple and relatively inexpensive.
By adding a few pieces of technology to your home, you can ensure that your children, your house, and your belongings are safe, everyone gets out the door on time, and that after-school chores are handled promptly.
Smart homes filled with connected products are loaded with possibilities to make our lives easier, more convenient, and more comfortable.
Smart home devices can be connected using the Wi-Fi network, but Almond 3 also works with ZigBee and with Z-Wave and Bluetooth through the use of Bluetooth dongles. As a result, Almond 3 works directly with most major smart home products on the market — including Amazon Echo.
But you could also do Z-Wave. I recommend you steer clear of ZigBee for this because I haven't yet found a ZigBee switch I love. Aeontec and Fibaro offer these $40 modules that fit inside your electrical box that will allow you to keep your switch, if you happen to like your switches.
The smart home revolution is only just beginning, and technology companies are still working out how it is all going to work together — but if you want to, you can make your home 'smart' today