Fibaro Z-Wave Plus Dimmer 2 FGD-212 Product Review

Posted on September 14, 2016 by Eric Maycock | 2 comments

Fibaro Dimmer 2 FGD-212 Product Review

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 has been available in Europe for quite some time and listed on the Fibaro US website as “coming soon” for too many months to count. Fibaro has made several of their Z-Wave devices available in the states (RGBW controller, Motion sensor, Flood sensor, etc.) and all of them have generally been well received. The company really does set a high standard for quality home automation devices. So, with that being said, does the Dimmer 2 live up to the Fibaro name and was it worth the wait? Read on to find out if this device stands out in the crowded IoT market.

The size of the Dimmer 2 quite a bit smaller than the Aeon Labs Micro Dimmer (the competing US in wall dimmer). This will make it a little easier to fit into your switch box. One thing that sets this device apart is that it has two switch ports (labeled S1 & S2). There are a couple different uses for the second switch port, so it is a great addition to have. Read more

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Posted in Fibaro, Home Automation, Installation, New, Product Review, Smart Home, Support, Tips, Z-Wave Plus

How to install Device Handlers in SmartThings

Posted on July 15, 2016 by Jan Zubko | 0 comments

How to install a custom device handler in smartthings

For those of us interested in home automation, this might be a familiar scenario: You’ve bought that new 4-in-1 sensor you’ve wanted for a while, and rush to unwrap the package like a kid on Christmas Day. Then you insert the batteries and make your way to your SmartThings hub to include it into your network. And then the disappoint descends: it’s a sensor that’s new on the market, and it’s more complicated than a simple on/off device. It will probably take a while before SmartThings provides official support for it. So how do you include a Z-Wave device to your hub if it's not on the list?

This is where custom device handlers come in: community members will often develop their own code to be able to use new devices with SmartThings. They usually publish them on development platforms like GitHub and then post a link to the code on the SmartThings forum. But they don’t always include instructions on how to install the custom device handler and assign it to the device. The average user may think it’s a complicated process, when in fact it’s quite simple! Read more

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Posted in Home Automation, Installation, IoT, Smart Home, SmartThings, Support, Tips, Z-Wave Plus, Zooz

Zooz Z-Wave Plus Motion Sensor ZSE02 Product Review

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Jan Zubko | 2 comments

Zooz Z-Wave Plus Motion Sensor ZSE02 Product Review

Zooz is a relatively new name in the home automation industry, but their competitive prices and good-quality products have given them a fast following. Along with their Indoor Siren and 4-in-1 Sensor, the ZSE02 Motion Sensor is just one of their answers to smart home security.

As far as specs go, the ZSE02 has a detection radius of up to 23 feet in all directions. I think this a suitable range for most homes, especially considering the motion sensor in Aeotec’s MultiSensor 6 can only claim 16 feet (the trade off is that the 6-in-1 is smaller and senses more things — this is a good lesson in custom home automation: go with the products that best suit your goals, priorities, and lifestyle). It also has a wireless range of 100 feet, line of sight, so it should have no problem communicating with your other Z-Wave devices — a super important aspect of home security. Read more

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Posted in Home Automation, IoT, Motion Sensors, Product Reviews, Smart Home, Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, Zooz

Protocol Pile-Up: Which Smart Home Network Is the Best?

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Jan Zubko | 3 comments

Read which smart home technology works best if you are just getting into home automation

When it comes to automating your home, your choice of protocol — the type of language your devices use to “speak” to each other — might just be the most important decision you make. It determines network speed, compatibility with other devices, length of signal range, battery life, among so many other things. And there is a lot to choose from — the market is flush with protocols that have varying strengths and weaknesses.

While the amount of information out there may seem intimidating, ultimately it comes down to choosing the set up that best fits your home and lifestyle. We prepared a breakdown of three of the most widely used protocols based on key features to help you determine your ideal smart home set up. Read more

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Posted in Home Automation, Insteon, Smart Home, Tips, Vera Control, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Zipato

Wiring Z-Wave Switches: Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on April 06, 2016 by Jan Zubko | 12 comments

Get tip on how to troubleshoot and wire Z-Wave smart lighting switches and controls

Setting up my smart devices is usually fun, but I’ve always needed a bit more patience when it comes to wiring my Z-Wave switches. They include into your network like any Z-Wave device, but they also have different specifications. For example, unlike regular switches, your Z-Wave switches should be connected exactly as indicated in the manual and require a minimum load to function properly.

It’s worth mentioning, by the way, that after this initial set-up phase, my Z-Wave switches have made all the difference when it’s come to making my home more energy-efficient and convenient for me. That’s why I’ve compiled a short list of do’s and don’ts that will help you navigate and ease your Z-Wave switch installation process.

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Posted in Aeon Labs, DIY, Evolve, GE, Home Automation, Installation, Jasco, Smart Home, Tips, Z-Wave Lighting, Z-Wave Switches, Zooz

Shop Smart, Save Smart: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Smart Home Budget

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Jan Zubko | 2 comments

Learn how to get best Z-Wave deals, without discount coupons, build a smart home on a budget

So you’re looking to create or update your smart home system. With so many brands, outlets, and types of devices to choose from, the process might seem daunting and expensive. Not to worry, you’re in the right place. I put together a list of ways to save even more on your smart home project. Here’s how to build a great Z-Wave system and stay on budget. 

Leave a Review, Take a Coupon

I learned all of what I know today about the technology from the Z-Wave community. That’s why I always read through product reviews – they’re full of troubleshooting suggestions and just really cool ideas on how to use and install smart home devices. So we want to encourage everyone to share their home automation experience by leaving product reviews and getting an instant coupon code for more Z-Wave!
There are no minimum or maximum limits, the more you review, the more discounts you get. Simply visit the page of the product you’ve purchased and scroll down to the Customer Reviews section. Click on “Write a review,” tell us what you think, and submit.
Find out more here.

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Posted in Deal, Home Automation, IoT, Sale, Savings, Smart Home, Tips, Vera Control, VeraPlus, Z-Wave


Posted on July 30, 2015 by Jan Zubko | 13 comments

As much as we love Aeon Labs micro switches, they can be a pain to install. Here are the 3 key ingredients for a quick and easy set-up of the switches:

  1. Before inserting the wire, screw the screw in a little or so it catches the thread. If you insert the wire first, the screw will probably miss the thread and get loose. It will feel as if the thread is stripped.
  2. Make sure you have the right type of load connected to the micro switch: NO transformers, at least 20W bulbs or circuits, high-quality dimmable LEDs for the DSC27103 and DSC19103.
  3. Match the in-wall switch with your micro switch correctly - regular on/off switch for DSC26103 and DSC18103 and momentary switch for DSC27103 and DSC19103 (no dimmers!).

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Posted in Aeon Labs, Aeotec, Smart Home, Tips, Troubleshooting, Z-Wave