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
With renting comes a lot of different considerations – you're generally restricted to what you can install or add to walls, and switching out installed items like a thermostat is usually frowned upon. So how do renters install a Z-Wave smart home with tech that they can bring with them after they move? We have a few solutions.
Oftentimes you'll see the terms "smart home" and "home automation" used interchangeably, which may lead you to wonder why there are so many terms for the same concept
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By now, you're probably familiar with the basics of what a smart home can do: unlock and lock your doors remotely, control devices like lights and thermostats from your smart app and allow these gadgets to talk to one another and create automated scenes to make life easier and comfortable.
You might already know ways that a Z-Wave smart home system can save you money: smart thermostats that only heat and cool your home when it needs it; smart dimmers that reduce the energy consumption of your lights
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Have questions about getting started with smart home technology and feeling a little overwhelmed? You came to the right place, because we have answers.
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
Smart homes come with options for a home automation controller that allows the user to control things like door locks, light switches, thermostats, cameras, security systems and energy monitoring solutions from their smartphone or tablet.
ZigBee and Z-Wave are the two wireless protocols that pretty much all hub-based smarthome products use. There are a small handful of smarthome accessory makers that use their own standard (like Insteon, for instance), but ZigBee and Z-Wave are the two biggest open protocols out there.
As this high-tech world we live in continues to bring new advancements to the market, more and more home buyers are also searching for a home that is smart.
Connection to all of your smart devices shouldn't be an issue whatsoever, given that the SmartThings hub offers many of the well-known wireless protocols, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and ZigBee.
Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt With Z-Wave ($165) - We put the Yale's touchscreen lock at the top of this list because it checks all the basic requirements for a good smart lock. It's easy to install, works with smart home systems such as SmartThings and Honeywell, and the backlit digital keypad eliminates the need to carry around house keys.
You should look for accessories that not only work with your chosen DIY home automation system, but also with other types of systems. This is a good way to keep you options open in case you choose a different system in the future. Buying Z-Wave accessories, like the ones we highlight below, is a good way to accomplish this
Thankfully, smart home technologies can help with the turning off of lights, as well as other habits that can drive up your energy bills.
Icontrol Networks Piper Nv - this multifaceted device also controls and interacts with various Z-Wave home automation devices, including smart switches and dimmers, door and window sensors, and range extenders.