Smart home tech doesn't have to be limited to the four walls of your house - there are quite a bit of ways to enhance your outdoor experience with some connected tech.
If you have a lawn or garden that requires regular watering, for example, chances are good that you've looked into (or even installed) a programmable irrigation system with timers and a weekly schedule. While better than standing out in the yard with a water hose yourself for half an hour every day, these systems aren't terribly intelligent. But using some solenoid valves, a bit of hose, and depending on how many zones of irrigation you want, a handful of Z-Wave relays like the Fortrezz MIMOlite, you can create your own programmable irrigation system that's easier to program and that can be operated remotely.
Some Z-Wave hubs—like FIBARO, for instance—go one step further by enabling your irrigation system to intelligently adapt to weather conditions. With FIBARO in control, your sprinklers can dole out a little bit of extra water on especially hot and sunny days, and pause your regularly scheduled sprinkling when it rains, so you don't water or money.
But how do you know how much water is enough? Soil moisture sensors like PlantLink are one way to find out. PlantLink plugs directly into the soil near your plants, and lets you name and identify each one by species. With that information, it then keeps tabs on each of your green friends and lets you know exactly when they need to be watered, via text or email notification. It isn't a Z-Wave device, but it is compatible with specific Z-Wave hubs, like SmartThings, or it can be used as a standalone system with its own proprietary hub.
Not all smart garden enhancements have to be quite so involved, though. One easy way to add some intelligence to your outdoor environs is with the addition of a weatherproof smart plug like GE's Z-Wave Plug-In Outdoor Smart Switch, which transforms literally any electrical device you plug into a Z-Wave device. Outdoor fans, for example, or patio heaters. And if you plug outdoor lighting into it, you can use your Z-Wave hub to create smart lighting schedules that work with your lifestyle. Maybe you want your garden lit up all night, or maybe you just want your lights to come on at sundown and turn off at bedtime. The choice is totally yours.
And if you have your own ideas for how to smarten up your garden but you can't quite figure out the details of how to make it work, remember: the smart home experts at Z-Wave.com are here to chat with you 7am to midnight eastern time, seven days a week. Or you can always call 866.951.9812.
programmable irrigation, Fibaro, Smart Garden, Z-Wave, Home Control, Smart Home
This month we're going back to basics with Josh from ZWaveZone.com, an awesome resource for everything Z-Wave home automation related. If you're new to the world of smart home, you may be wondering where to start and how using Z-Wave can benefit you and your home. Josh offers his top tips and tricks to getting started with a Z-Wave home and products he loves.
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?"
CES 2016 LG – Smart Home
GoControl Z Wave AD NSC
Though the North Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1 every year, the threat of tropical weather really starts to kick into high gear in August and September. So if you live anywhere near the coastal regions likely to be struck by a severe weather, it pays to be extra prepared this time of year.
If you're at all familiar with smart home technology, you're probably aware of some of the benefits: the enhanced comfort and energy savings, the increased security, the undeniable convenience. But did you know that a smart home can also improve your health and help you get in shape?
Notifications & Alerts - AT&T Digital Life
ADT Makes Your Smart Home a Safe Home
Chances are good that by the time you read this, you've broken most if not all of your New Year's resolutions. Nobody's blaming you, of course. Our brains to follow through on hard promises. But what if you could program your home to help you keep those promises?
Holiday decorating – whether you have a small set up or a full blown light show in your front yard – is part of getting in the holiday spirit. But it doesn't have to be hard – some quick smart home gear can be you started!
A smart, or connected, home is defined as one where the lights, heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC), security alarm and other household devices can be automated and remotely controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer. The key drivers in smart home adoption are home security, energy efficiency, entertainment, convenience/productivity, connectivity and health monitoring.
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.
Smart technology is about learning and customization, and that's what smart thermostats are beginning to offer. Smart lighting features provide homeowners with elegance, ambience and energy efficiency.
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.
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 homes come standard with home automation that includes locks, lights and a wireless alarm system. Among the products are: Schlage Z-Wave lock, Trane Z-Wave digital thermostat, and Nortek Z-Wave lighting control
Home automation itself is the process of setting up your home appliances, entertainment, surveillance, and more so that you can control these with functions and features on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. A smart home is a home that has installed products that can be controlled with home automation.
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.