If you're one of the roughly 50 percent 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, after all, if the smart locks you buy today are compatible with the smart thermostat you're thinking of buying tomorrow, or the light switches and dimmers already installed in your home. There is one simple way to avoid this conundrum, though: look for the Z-Wave logo.
Z-Wave is actually two things. Firstly, it's a wireless technology designed for the home that allows devices in and around your home to talk to one another. Secondly, it's an alliance made up of hundreds of companies—names you know, like ADT, LG, Honeywell, Kwikset, Verizon, Yale, Panasonic, and many more—all dedicated to creating useful connected products. So even if your doors locks, thermostat, lighting controls, and security system are all made by different manufacturers, if they have Z-Wave inside, they're compatible with one another. It's as simple as that.
In addition to giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all of your connected devices will work together, Z-Wave is all about convenience and ease of use. Z-Wave devices are super simple to install—requiring no new wires—and it's easy to add new devices as your needs and budget grow.
Of course, you may be wondering why you should care if the smart devices in your home work together at all. What's the benefit, for example, of having a garage door opener that can hold a conversation with your lights, for example? Or a thermostat that knows when your front door is unlocked? Simply put, allowing your smart devices to communicate with one another allows you to create useful shortcuts that make your life easier and safer. Shutting down the house for the night can be just as simple with the creation of a "Good Night" macro that turns off all of your interior lights, makes sure that all of the doors are locked, and dials your thermostat to a more energy-conscious temperature while you're sleeping—all with the simple touch of a single button.
Z-Wave devices not only communicate with each other, but they can also communicate with you. For example, you can receive an alert if your garage door is still open when it's time to go to bed or be reminded that the thermostat is set to "heat" on a weekday when you may be out of the house. Better yet, you can shut your garage door right from your phone using your smart home app, or adjust the heat only to turn on when you are on you way home.
Z-Wave, Home Control, Smart Home, ADT, LG, Honeywell, Kwikset, Verizon, Yale, Panasonic, Z-Wave logo
Z-Wave alarm sirens are incredibly versatile – the sky is the limit for what you can do with them. Standard alarms have one sound setting: loud and annoying. So what can you do with your siren in the meantime? Try hooking it up with Z-Wave sensors!
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.
GE Z-Wave Plug-in Outdoor Smart Switch
Linear - Z-Wave Wall Mount Switch
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "If you want to experience all four seasons in one day, come to Alabama." Mind you, that's true of many other places beside the Yellowhammer State, especially this time of year. With the seasons changing, chances are you need the heat in the morning, AC at lunch, and heat again by bedtime.
Have questions about getting started with smart home technology and feeling a little overwhelmed? You came to the right place, because we have answers.
GE Z-Wave - On/Off Switch
FIBARO Home Automation System
Smart homes are slowly making their way into the mainstream, with more and more people wanting to raise the IQ of their house. But what about those already in the know? Are there any benefits to being an early adopter beyond those bragging rights? We break down 5 reasons why you should be amongst those getting a head start on their smart homes
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!
For while this diary is going to be all about the latest and greatest smart home tech – an area I consider myself at least mildly authoritative on – getting that tech connected and playing nicely is a different beast entirely.
I have Somfy motorized blinds, and I ended up buying a Z-wave controller that translates Somfy's proprietary protocol to Z-wave so I could control it with the Echo, $179.99 at Amazon using a hub like SmartThings or Wink, $60.28 at Amazon for voice control.
The Fibaro Smart Z-Wave detects temperature, light, and more. It alerts you on your smart device when it detects activity.
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.
Home automation is what it sounds like: automating the ability to control items around the house—from window shades to pet feeders—with a simple push of a button (or a voice command). Some activities, like setting up a lamp to turn on and off at your whim, are simple and relatively inexpensive.
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.
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.
Smart home technology is still shiny and new, and people are adapting to it more and more every day.