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





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.

Smart Home Technology That Emphasizes The Home

Smart Home Technology That Emphasizes The Home

I'm an engineer who loves to tinker – but if you told me I'd have to swap out all my smart home products every couple of years the way I do my smartphone, I’d say that's not very smart at all.

GoControl Z Wave AD NSC

Nexia Trailer




Grow your Nexia System

Grow your Nexia System

Like most smart home systems, Nexia's backbone is a central hub that not only communicates with and coordinates all of your smart devices, but also serves as a gateway between your connected home and the outside world.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Gadgets to Green Your Spring

Eco-friendly Smart Home Gadgets to Green Your Spring

Spring is here, and that has all of us feeling a lot greener. After all, it's hard not to think at least a little bit about the environment when you've just watched nature call forth all of her bud-tipped bounty! Green devices offer plenty of ways to celebrate the springtime renewal from the safety of the porch—while cutting the Earth a break at the same time.

Complete Home Energy Efficiency - Vivint

ADT Makes Your Smart Home a Safe Home




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.

How do I get started with Z-Wave?

How do I get started with Z-Wave?

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, 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 have the foundation for a Z-Wave smart home.

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.

Smart homes ease homeowners' minds

ABQ Journal

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.

TWICE VIP Award Nominations: Wireless Door Locks

TWICE

The new motorized deadbolts utilize the Z-Wave wireless protocol to enable true remote locking and unlocking. This allows homeowners to remotely access and control the lock from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or Internet connected device.

The Frictionless Home: The Next Wave of Home Technology

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Exploring not only how a connected home can add convenience and safety to your life, but how it might add value to your home in the future.

What's New

7 Things You Can Link Together on Z-Wave in Your Home

GearBrain

A defining feature of the new technology is the way Z-Wave devices actually communicate better with one another as more devices are added to the network.

Half of Homeowners Incorporate Smart Home Tech in Renovations, Houzz Survey Finds

ElectronicHouse

The most popular area for new smart systems or devices to appear is home security or safety upgrades, the study found. One-fourth of renovating homeowners install smart products for this area.

Best home security smart cameras that work with iPhones

Recombu

The Piper NV ticks a lot of boxes and goes beyond a lot of the other offerings out there. The app also works with Z-Wave devices. That means if you have any other Z-Wave smart home devices, like plug sockets or smart lights, you can control them all through your Piper app too.

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

How-to-Geek

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.