Congratulations! You’re taking the first steps to creating a streamlined, efficient, easily monitored home in which your devices work smarter – not harder – for you and your family. Whichever devices you decide to add first, you’ll be enhancing the quality of your life, and likely diminishing your energy costs, too. Most smart devices work on the premise of saving energy by deactivating or lowering device output when the homeowner is gone, then turning on those systems when the homeowner returns. So you can count on not only peace of mind – whether you’re monitoring your security system or cutting down on sprinkler use – but also efficiency as soon as you install your first smart devices.
First, though, you’ll need to decide on a controller, or a “hub.” The hub functions as the heart of the smart home, passing the messages from each device on to your tablet or smart phone.
Before you take the plunge and buy a controller, first assess the devices you already own – or the ones you plan to purchase. If the majority of your devices are already Z-Wave devices, then any Z-Wave controller will probably work well in your smart home. Even if you have a large home, Z-Wave runs on a “mesh” network, which means that signals from devices run through each other on their way to a hub. The signal needn’t travel all the way from device to hub – it can hop from device to device until it reaches home base.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to combine Home Automation Protocols, or you know you’ll want the freedom to customize and enhance your Z-Wave smart home for years to come, you might consider investing in a more robust, scalable controller, like the SmartThings Hub, which consistently ranks highly in consumer reviews. Other favored controllers include the Veralite, which facilitates the creation of complicated “scenes,” and the Hometroller S6, which provides maximum strength and scalability in a sturdy, durable package.
Finally, there’s the Z-Stick, which turns any computer into a Z-Wave controller – handy if you’re looking for something highly streamlined or scalable, but perhaps not the best option if high-level security and stability are your main priorities.
Remember – the question should be, which Z-Wave devices are best for you. There’s a suitable device out there for everyone, so take the time to do your research.
If you’re looking to start simple, perhaps securing your front door with a smart lock, consider the Danalock Z-Wave Smart Lock, which can be easily fitted on any door with just a screwdriver. The Danalock comes with its own app, and can also, of course, be integrated into your existing Z-Wave app. The separate app comes in handy when you’re looking to pass on “temporary” lock privileges to a guest or neighbor, for example.
And that’s just an example. Favored Z-Wave devices of late also include the Pet Immune Motion Sensor, which makes your smart home pet-friendly. With Pet Immune, your cat won’t set off your burglar alarm, and the lights won’t come on every time your dog goes into the kitchen to drink water. Adapted to your pets’ presence, this reasonably-priced device is a great value for all smart homeowners with pets.
The point is, there’s a Z-Wave device for everyone, so decide what your priorities are – security? Comfort? Energy savings? Then, go from there.
You’ll be glad to know that Z-Wave smart devices were designed in part to save EVERYONE money, from the presidents of huge corporations to homeowners like you and me. Products like smart lighting, smart thermostats, and smart sprinklers are designed to detect environmental conditions both inside and out, and then to adjust settings and send alerts as necessary. And some Z-Wave devices can even predict disasters before they arrive, notifying homeowners of impending storms or droughts.
Consider this: the average cost of water damage runs around $20,000 when you factor in all repairs. And almost 25% of annual homeowner damage is caused by flooding. Z-Wave devices designed to minimize water damage include the FortrezZ Water Sensor and Shut-Off Valve, which allow you to monitor and control water use from afar. Best of all, a Z-Wave water damage prevention system qualifies you for insurance premium discounts, not to mention peace of mind. Contact your insurer for details.
In a 2014 Electronic Design interview with Mark Walters, Z-Wave works “because we have maintained complete backwards compatibility across 10 years market experience. We have never stranded a product.” What does this mean for the consumer? Well, Z-Wave is a “future-proof” solution in which devices will never become obsolete, because although Z-Wave products and devices feature the latest advancements and enhancements of today’s technology, they’ll always run on the Z-Wave network, and will always “talk” to other activated devices, old or new.
When you purchase a Z-Wave device, you can rest assured knowing that you’re not alone: With more than 25 million Z-Wave products sold worldwide, Z-Wave is the world market leader in automated smart home control. Z-Wave devices are designed to be simple and streamlined, elegant and user-friendly. And Z-Wave devices are highly interoperable, meaning that they’ll perform well on your Z-Wave network while communicating with potential non-Z-Wave devices.