Z-Wave Smart Home Blog

Gifts for Grads

Gifts for Grads

With June right around the corner, college graduation season is finally here. College students dedicate four (or more!) years to all-night studying sessions, test taking, and staying organized so they can walk across that stage and snag their diploma. Sure, you could give students a gift card or some cash but what about a smart home gift that’s as unique as it is practical? As students move onto bigger and better, that often means moving out of shared dorms or apartments and into their own place. Help the student in your life start post-grad living with a breeze with the convenience of Z-Wave smart home gear.

Here are a few of our favorite smart home products, perfect to give as a gift for grads and anyone else who may be new to smart home!

Create a bundle

Chances are, a college grad isn’t going to be moving into their own home right away. You can skip items like smart locks that apartment complexes or rented homes won’t allow and move right to a bundle of products perfect for any living space. As the brains of any smart home system, start with a hub – with its slim, modern look the Wink Hub 2 and an accompanying smartphone app is a great choice for college-aged residents. Add smart light bulbs like the GoControl Z-Wave Plus Dimmable LED Light Bulb or the GE Jasco Enbrighten series that are easy-to-install and energy efficient. Smart bulbs will last years (the Jasco Enbrighten lasts up to 22 years, depending on use) and help save money each month on electric bills. But smart bulbs can do more than just save money or offer convenience. The Aeotec Z-Wave LED Bulb emits over 16 million color combinations, perfect for adding ambience to parties or showing off to friends.

Stay safe and secure

Since smart locks are likely out of the question, how else can help grads make their place safer? Try a Piper nv SmartHome Z-Wave Plus Security System Hub that does double duty. A combination security camera and Z-Wave enable smart home hub, the Piper nv (available in black or white) lets users monitor their home from their smartphone or tablet, and receive notifications when activity is detected. The Piper nv also features temperature/light/humidity sensors, so users can be notified of potential home disasters immediately.

Add voice control

How do you round out an already impressive gift for a college grad? Add voice control with an Amazon Echo product! The Amazon Echo is a hands-free smart speaker that can be controlled by voice and is also compatible with many Z-Wave smart hubs. Sync hub linked devices to an Amazon Echo device and use commands like “Alexa, turn on living room lights” to control smart home products. Users can also ask Alexa to turn on Pandora or Spotify, ask for the weather, or set alarms and timers. The Echo Dot is an affordable alternative that offers the same voice compatibilities without a speaker, making it a great way to round out a starter smart home bundle for grads!

Get more ideas for how to use Z-Wave smart home products on our solutions pages and check out our products page for a full list of our smart devices.



3 Ways Your Smart Home Helps You Meet Your Goals

3 Ways Your Smart Home Helps You Meet Your Goals

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?

3 Smart Home Projects to Work on This Spring

3 Smart Home Projects to Work on This Spring

Whether it's the inside or outside of your home that could use some fine tuning, we have a smart home project using Z-Wave tech for you. Check out these 3 projects that you can do over the weekend without spending a ton of time or money.

GE Z-Wave Products Overview by Jasco

FIBARO Motion Sensor

The Renter's Guide to a Z-Wave Smart Home

The Renter's Guide to a Z-Wave 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.

Adding Smarts to Your Garden

Adding Smarts to Your Garden

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.

Back-to-School Bliss - ADT Pulse

Nexia Trailer

Z-Wave to the Rescue: Prevent Water Damage

Z-Wave to the Rescue: Prevent Water Damage

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.

Top Tips to Getting Started with a Z-Wave Smart Home

Top Tips to Getting Started with a Z-Wave 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.

Three Smart Security Features for Your Front Porch


The traditional American front porch isn't just a timeless scene. It's also a functional part of your home, where safety, security and convenience are paramount. A few subtle 21st century additions can really enhance your porch, making it an even more enjoyable area to use.

15 Gadgets To Make Your Home Smarter


The Fibaro Smart Z-Wave detects temperature, light, and more. It alerts you on your smart device when it detects activity.

What Are 'ZigBee' and 'Z-Wave' Smarthome Products?


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.

Smart Homes Keep Getting Smarter

Miami Herald

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.

What's New

A Glance at Top Trends in Smart Home Technology

Security Sales & Integration

Home technology is always moving, always improving, always promising to provide ease and convenience to our lives. So what sort of innovations stand to make a big impact? Here are 10 developments you'll want to keep an eye on.

Open Sesame: Smart Locks to Keep Your Home Secure

Digital Trends

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.

Smarthome 101: How to make your home smarter


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.

Two Things to Look For When Buying a Smart Switch or Outlet: Smart Home


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.