Z-Wave Smart Home Blog

You have smart home questions, we have... well, smart answers

You have smart home questions, we have... well, smart answers

Have questions about getting started with smart home technology and feeling a little overwhelmed? You came to the right place, because we have answers. We recently spent a few days asking wanna-be smart home owners what they wanted to know. Here are answers to a few of the most common questions they had for us.

I see different terms, like "smart home," "home control," and "home automation," which all seem to refer to the same thing. What’s the difference?

The answer to this could be an article in itself, but the short version is this: home control and home automation are the things that smart homes do. Home control means being able to operate your lights and locks and thermostats and so forth remotely, from a single device like your smartphone. Home automation is the process of programming those devices so that they operate automatically, in ways that best suit your lifestyle.

Can I add smart home tech to my existing house without having to tear down walls and add new wiring?

Absolutely! Technologies like Z-Wave work wirelessly, so while you may need to tap into the existing wiring in your home to replace your existing lights and thermostat with smart equivalents, you won't need to add any additional wiring.

How do I know which smart home devices work together?

The easiest way is to look for products with the Z-Wave logo. Z-Wave products are built to be interoperable. That doesn't mean that you're limited to only Z-Wave products, though. Some hubs, like SmartThings and Wink, support several different standards. So your best bet is to check the website for your hub's manufacturer and see which products it supports.

Will wireless products like Z-Wave interfere with my baby monitor?

Most likely, no. Baby monitors in North America operate on frequencies around 49 MHz, 902 MHz, or 2.4 GHz, and those in the middle could potentially overlap with Z-Wave's operating frequency of 908.42 MHz. Your best bet, if you have concerns, is to opt for a baby monitor that has selectable channels, or buy one that operates at much lower or higher frequencies.

Will smart home technology affect my internet speeds?

Not at all. While most smart home systems rely on your home network for some functions (like remote access and communications between your smartphone and smart hub), the bulk of the home control action takes place on a separate wireless network that doesn't interfere with Wi-Fi at all.

Does smart home technology make your home hackable?

Any technology that uses the internet to communicate can be susceptible to intrusion. However, with Z-Wave, it’s very unlikely. With its 128-bit encryption and advanced security framework, a Z-Wave smart home system is likely more secure than your Wi-Fi network.

This still sounds scary. Isn't this how the machines eventually take over and create Skynet?

Not a chance. While we talk a lot about "smart" home technology, a Z-Wave system isn't really intelligent. The smarts come from the very simple programming you do: for example, "If I unlock the front door, turn on the foyer light." Beyond that, the system can't make its own decisions. You can use it to freak out your friends, though.

Still have questions? We have more answers. Be sure to check out the Z-Wave FAQ to learn more about getting started with your own smart home.

Tags

Z-Wave, smart home, smart hubs, how-to, learn about, one touch living, home automation





Stay Warm, Keep Cool and Save Energy with Z-Wave

Stay Warm, Keep Cool and Save Energy with Z-Wave

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.

3 Smart Home Projects to Work on This Spring

3 Smart Home Projects to Work on This Spring

Whether it's the inside or outside of your home that could use some fine tuning, we have a smart home project using Z-Wave tech for you. Check out these 3 projects that you can do over the weekend without spending a ton of time or money.

GoControl Z Wave AD NSC

CES 2016 LG – Smart Home




How Smart Home Tech Has Changed Home Security

How Smart Home Tech Has Changed Home Security

In recent years, smart home technology has radically transformed the home security landscape, with numerous changes and developments over the years. To understand the impact of smart home on the security space, it helps to take a closer look at what security systems looked like before and after the onset of smart home tech.

Summer's here! Throw a party with ease with Z-Wave

Summer's here! Throw a party with ease with Z-Wave

Smart home gear is all about convenience. It saves you time and money and keeps you safe – but it's summer! Time to kick back and relax. So let smart home tech help you do that for all your outdoor entertaining.

GE Z-Wave Products Overview by Jasco

Complete Home Automation Package - Vivint




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.

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.

Get Smart With Stacey: How Do I Set Up Automatic Blinds?

PC Mag

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.

Will Smart Homes Become as Common as Smartphones by 2025?

Techlicious

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.

Lennar Community Goes Standard with Z-Wave-based Controls

CEPro

The homes come standard with home automation that includes locks, lights and a wireless alarm system. Among the products are: Schlage Z-Wave lock, Trane Z-Wave digital thermostat, and Nortek Z-Wave lighting control

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.

What's New

15 Gadgets To Make Your Home Smarter

CrookedBrains

The Fibaro Smart Z-Wave detects temperature, light, and more. It alerts you on your smart device when it detects activity.

7 Ways to Save Energy (and Money)

Techlicious

One of the best reasons for upgrading your home with smart devices is to conserve energy (and money spent on energy bills). And there's no better time than now

Smarthome 101: How to make your home smarter

TechnoBuffalo

We hear an awful lot about smart homes these days. We know about smartphones, smart watches, smart appliances, smart cars, and more. As these separate devices converge around the places we're in the most, the internet of things rises up around us.

Smart Homes Keep Getting Smarter

Miami Herald

As this high-tech world we live in continues to bring new advancements to the market, more and more home buyers are also searching for a home that is smart.