How can home automation actually make life better for you and your family? It's a question we hear all the time. There's no denying the enhanced convenience of being able to turn on a light from the palm of your hand, or adjusting the thermostat from the comfort of your favorite spot on the sofa. But how does smart home technology actually improve the lives of you and those you love? Let's count just a few of the ways.
Let's face it: kids lose things like house keys. It's what they do. And if your children happen to get home from school before you get off work, this can be a major concern. But with smart locks—and personalized entry codes—your children can let themselves in even without a key. And you'll receive a notification on your smartphone the instant they're safely inside.
What's more, you'll never find yourself five miles down the road after a rushed morning of getting ready and find yourself panicking over whether or not you remembered to lock the front door. A simple glance at your phone will put your mind instantly at ease (or let you lock the door on those rare occasions when you actually do forget).
"Who left this light on?!" If your home is anything like ours used to be, this is probably the most-often uttered sentence on any given day. Smart lighting will give your family one less thing to argue about by making your lights more manageable. You might, for example, set lighting schedules, or put countdown timers on rooms that are only used briefly—bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.—so that the light automatically turns off five, ten, or however many minutes after being turned on. And with the addition of motion sensors tied to timers, your forgetful family members won't even have to remember to turn the lights on, much less off. Putting lights on a schedule, particularly exterior lights, can save a family member from coming home to a dark entryway as well – program your smart lights to go on at sunset and you're good to go.
If you live with elderly family members or those with physical disabilities, you know that even the most everyday tasks can sometimes be a challenge for them. But home automation can help give them a new level of independence. How so? With a smart, connected home, devices can be programmed to work together in such a way as to reduce numerous physical actions into the simple press of a button. Or even simpler if you add voice control by pairing the Amazon Echo with a smart hub like SmartThings, Wink, Nexia, or HomeSeer. Motion can turn lights on, temp on the smart thermostat up or down, even open garage doors for easy entry and exist. By connecting devices and creating scenes, life becomes a little easier for everyone.
How To, Back to School, Dignity at Home, Smart Home Scenes, Smart Hub, Smart locks, Smart lighting, smart sensors, Voice Control, SmartThings, Wink, Nexia, HomeSeer, Amazon Echo, Z-Wave, Smart Home
Though the North Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1 every year, the threat of tropical weather really starts to kick into high gear in August and September. So if you live anywhere near the coastal regions likely to be struck by a severe weather, it pays to be extra prepared this time of year.
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.
Jasco Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Switch
GE Z-Wave - On/Off Switch
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!
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?
Linear - Z-Wave Wall Mount Switch
Z-Wave Smart Home Monitoring Your Kids
Sometimes the smart home can feel pretty futuristic, but often new tech comes along that is aimed at making every day task much simpler. Can you imagine walking into your house, and quickly gesturing at your wall to turn your lights and music on?
If you're one of the roughly 50% of homeowners looking to add smart home technology to your home in the coming year, chances are good that you've either put a lot of thought and planning into your purchases, or you're absolutely daunted by the staggering number of options. It isn't always easy to know unless you look for the Z-Wave logo.
A smart, or connected, home is defined as one where the lights, heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC), security alarm and other household devices can be automated and remotely controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer. The key drivers in smart home adoption are home security, energy efficiency, entertainment, convenience/productivity, connectivity and health monitoring.
"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.
By adding a few pieces of technology to your home, you can ensure that your children, your house, and your belongings are safe, everyone gets out the door on time, and that after-school chores are handled promptly.
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.
Of the key drivers of smart homes is its ability to offer money and energy saving options. This is individually rewarding, but it is also good for the planet. As more and more benefits are offered to home and business owners that find ways to reserve the limited resources of Earth, smart home technology stands out as a green solution.
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.
You should look for accessories that not only work with your chosen DIY home automation system, but also with other types of systems. This is a good way to keep you options open in case you choose a different system in the future. Buying Z-Wave accessories, like the ones we highlight below, is a good way to accomplish this
When my son was five, I overheard him plotting with the girl next door to sneak out and meet up for a play date—after my husband and I were asleep. That was the day I decided to get a smart home security system.