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 you already have a home security system or any existing smart home products. 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 already have the foundation to start building a robust, interoperable smart home control system powered by Z-Wave.
In addition to keeping your home safe and secure, many of these alarm systems serve double duty as smart home hubs. You can think of the smart home hub as the conductor that keeps tabs on all of the signals coming from and going to your Z-Wave devices, and the magic box that allows all of those devices to communicate with one another.
Once you have a smart hub and a few devices in place, it's simple to add more over time. You can add new lighting control dimmers to additional rooms of the house, or even expand outdoors with lights and motion sensors and a garage door opener. And unlike some other wireless technologies (we're looking at you, Wi-Fi), adding additional devices to your Z-Wave system doesn't make the signal weaker; in fact, it makes it stronger.
As for the devices themselves, if you have smart locks from Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Westinghouse, Danalock or Monoprice; a thermostat from Honeywell, Internatic, GoControl, Radio Thermostat Company or HAI; smart light switches or dimmers made by GE, Jasco, Monster Cable, or FIBARO, again, chances are good that you've already started on the path to building a complete Z-Wave smart home. Your best bet is to check the box (and sometimes the product itself) for the Z-Wave certified logo to see if it will work in the Z-Wave ecosystem.
To get the devices that work best for you, think about what you'd like to be able to do. If you fumble with your keys every time you come home from work with your kids and bags in tow, you might think about adding a smart lock and some connected lights to your hub to make entering your home a snap. If you live in an area where the winter winds keep the temps below freezing, maybe a connected thermostat can help. Before you even get home you can have your house heating up, creating a welcoming environment for the evening ahead.
If you're starting a new smart home project from scratch, worry not. Taking your first steps to a connected home is easier than ever thanks to the wealth of customizable starter kits available to first-time buyers. Simply visit the Smart Solutions tab on Z-Wave.com, select the type of smart home application you're most interested in, dial in your level of technical expertise, and the site will help you build a complete package with everything you need to get started. You'll be able to select from starter kits ranging from simple solutions including plug in-modules, up to more intermediate kits that might require replacing wall switches and outlets, up to advanced offerings that should only be tackled by the most experienced DIYers.
From there, it's a simple matter of picking the Z-Wave devices that make the most sense for the way you want to interact with your smart home. Connected lighting products like dimmers, outlets and light bulbs are a great way to save energy, enhance security, and take a bit of hassle out of your everyday life. A Z-Wave thermostat is an excellent way to conserve energy and adapt the cooling and heating of your home to your personal schedule, rather than relying on rigid day-and-time programming.
Of course, you may not want to install anything yourself. That's okay, too. Simply click over to the Do It for Me tab and you'll find links to a number of service providers who can hook you up with your choice of professionally installed security and home control solutions.
Your smart home is yours and yours alone, and the path to upgrading your home with Z-Wave technology is just as uniquely yours. No matter what path you take, Z-Wave is here to help.
Z-Wave, Home Control, Smart Home, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Westinghouse, Danalock, Monoprice, thermostat, Honeywell, Internatic, GoControl, Radio Thermostat Company, HAI, smart switches, dimmers, GE, Jasco, Monster Cable, FIBARO
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?
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.
IFA 2015 LG - Smart Home
Z-Wave Smart Home Lighting & Security
Many times people hear the words "smart home" and imagine something super cool, but also extremely expensive! Fortunately, only the former is true.
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.
FIBARO Motion Sensor
GE Z-Wave Products Overview by Jasco
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?
With smart home technology, you can take the stress out of hosting your first (or fifteenth!) family holiday dinner, or at least remove some of the most common frustrations.
For example, if someone needs to be let into my house when I’m not there, I can let someone in, and can even join with a thermostat or some Z-Wave lights. Z-Wave is a wireless technology that lets smart devices communicate with one another. Household products are made "smart" when Z-Wave connectivity is added inside the product’s design.
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.
Americans expect homes will have at least one piece of smart home tech in them within 10 years, with smart homes being as commonplace as smartphones by 2025, according to a recent study underwritten by Intel. And that prevalence of smart tech is expected to come with some big benefits.
Instead, just use smart locks to give them a virtual key, and to give a virtual key to baby sitters, dog walkers, and temporary guests. You don't need to ask your neighbor to water your lawn while you're out of town, or to check to see if you closed the garage door and turned off the lights. You can monitor your lawn watering, and the status of your doors and lights, with your smartphone or tablet.
Thankfully, smart home technologies can help with the turning off of lights, as well as other habits that can drive up your energy bills.
Fox News KDVR takes a tour of the Z-Wave Experience Home with George from Nexia and discusses how Z-Wave allows for complete synchronization, control, and ease of use in a smart home.
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.
If you're still manually turning your lights on and off, 2016 should be the year you finally dare to embrace home automation. Smart home solutions can help you streamline your life to be more efficient and productive. Plus, with fewer home tasks to worry about, you'll end up with more time, energy, and money for the things that really matter.