Z-Wave Smart Home Blog

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

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 (see also: "A Z-Wave hub, a gateway, a controller - what's the difference?"). In this case, though, there is actually a difference - although it may be pretty confusing if you're new to the tech game.

In simple terms: home automation is just one of the many things that smart homes do. If that doesn't make it any clearer, think of it like this: smart home technology is comprised of connected devices—which means that they rely on networking technology like Wi-Fi or specialized technologies like Z-Wave to connect and communicate with other devices in and outside of the home.

Examples of such devices include: light switches and dimmers that can be operated remotely; surveillance cameras that can be monitored from another room or another continent altogether; thermostats that can be programmed to follow a set schedule or adjusted on the fly from your smartphone; even energy meters that allow you to keep tabs on your total electricity consumption in real time. That's merely scratching the surface, though; really, any device in your home that you can operate, monitor, or receive information from without physically interacting with it could be considered part of the smart home.

So, what about home automation?

It's simple – all of your smart devices know how to talk to one another. And you can customize what they're saying & doing in a way that takes the stress, effort, and unpredictability out of your day-to-day routine.

Let's look at some examples.

  1. Using your smartphone to turn on the turn on the foyer light before you unlock the front door? That's the smart home at work. Programming your smart home hub so that it automatically turns on the foyer light if you unlock the front door after sunset? That's home automation!
  2. If you have a morning routine that involves both starting your favorite "wake up" station on Pandora and firing up the coffee pot, why not combine both actions into one simple button press? Or better yet, you can program your system in such a way that performing one of those actions automatically triggers the other.

Of course, for all home automation of this sort to actually work, you need to make sure that all of your smart home devices can communicate with one another and work together. And the easiest way to do that is to make sure that your new smart locks, smart lights, smart plugs, and smart home hub all carry the Z-Wave logo.

For more information on how you can get started with your smart home—or automate the smart home system you already have—check out the Z-Wave Resources Center.

Tags

home automation, smart home, Z-Wave, smart hubs, smart plugs, smart locks, smart home scenes, how-to





Deck the Halls with a Z-Wave Smart Home!

Deck the Halls with a Z-Wave Smart Home!

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 Smarter Kitchen

A Smarter Kitchen

Of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen is probably one of the most important to you. The kitchen is a gathering place where your family comes together to discuss the day, work on homework and of course, eat! Smart kitchens are gaining a lot of attention in the world of smart home with new appliances and gadgets being released

CES 2016 LG – Smart Home

ADT Makes Your Smart Home a Safe Home




5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Z-Wave

5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Z-Wave

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.

Work from Home? Make Your Home Office Work for You with Connected Tech

Work from Home? Make Your Home Office Work for You with Connected Tech

Working from home can be both challenging and rewarding, depending on your working style. Distractions around the home or loud outside noises can all stand as hurdles when you're trying to buckle down and churn out work.

FIBARO Motion Sensor

Digital Life Virtual Smart Home - AT&T




5 ways Z-Wave works with Amazon Echo

5 ways Z-Wave works with Amazon Echo

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?

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.

How A Smart Home Can Help Your Back-to-School Routine

Mountain Grove News Journal

So how can a smart home improve your everyday life? For starters, they are surprisingly easy to use, make life more efficient and add a comforting layer of security to your family's home.

7 Ways to Prepare Your Smart Home for the Winter Months

Electronic House

Here are 7 things homeowners should consider as they prepare for seasonal adjustments to optimize home performance.

Best Smart Locks of 2016

Tom's Guide

Of all the different types of smart home products — lights, thermostats and cameras, to name a few — smart door locks are among the most popular. Going beyond the simple key, these locks can be operated using your smartphone, and can be connected to a larger smart home system to make your life easier.

Three Smart Security Features for Your Front Porch

Alarm.com

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.

What's New

What's hot in new homes for 2017: Brighter, cleaner, smarter, greener

WRAL

"The Z-Wave protocol lets you turn on lights from your phone before you get home or open and close a garage door to take a delivery," says Stephanie Miller, Sales Manager for Drees Homes.

Unleash Your Front Door's Potential with these 7 smart locks

C|NET

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.

Smart home features that families want in their next home

InMan

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.

The Best Smart Home Automation Hubs of 2017

Voltimum

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.