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.
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.
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.
home automation, smart home, Z-Wave, smart hubs, smart plugs, smart locks, smart home scenes, how-to
With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, you're no doubt starting to look at your house with a mind toward some basic repairs or home improvement. Which makes it the perfect time to start adding some smart home enhancements to your abode, as well. Not to worry – upgrading your home with some smart Z-Wave technology is easy.
How much does smart home technology cost? It's not an easy question to answer. It's not as if you can walk into your local big box store and ask for a medium-sized lighting system with a side order of climate control.
FIBARO Home Automation System
Complete Home Energy Efficiency - Vivint
Garages, along with the cars inside them, used to be a status symbol, but these days, if all you've got are 3 walls, a door and a place to house your car, it's not that impressive. To make it more than merely an Airbnb for your Prius—it needs to be smart! Of course, adding smart home control to your garage can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want it to be.
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.
Linear - Z-Wave Wall Mount Switch
GE Z-Wave Quick Overview by Jasco
A smart home can protect you from an unwanted intrusion, but how else can it protect your home? According to the most recent full-year statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, 365,000 home fires caused 12,875 injuries and 2,380 casualties in 2012, leading to $5.7 billion in damages.
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.
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.
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.
It is good to realize that a smart home is not just mere product of a person whims and caprices. Like your smart phones and watches, a smart home may also serve you beyond convenience. And here below are some of the benefits of turning your home into a smart home.
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.
So if you have a Z-Wave bridging smart hub, and want to monitor water levels in your sump pump, then the Aeotec Sensor is a great option.
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.
Smart home technology is still shiny and new, and people are adapting to it more and more every day.
One benefit of a connected home is that it should (asuming the system is working) let you know when there's a problem, even if you're not there. It's one reason those with vacation homes are installing smart leak detectors, Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, and so on. And just because your second home is on wheels, it doesn't mean having devices that keep an eye on things is any less helpful.