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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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: