December 08, 2017
Choosing the ultimate smart home system for your needs and lifestyle can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. Each hub comes with its own advantages and limitations; a certain feature might be a godsend for someone else but a deal breaker for you. That’s why we’ve listed our top 3 Z-Wave hub recommendations below, including what we love about these hubs but also some things to consider when choosing the right one for you. And good news! They all support Alexa, so you can count on a voice-activated smart home this holiday season.
“Excellent starting point for home integration.” – Adidas1976 (Amazon review)
“Easy Set Up: There is a lot to like about this system!
1. EASY to set up. EASY. 2. So many things (basically all the 'internet of things' type equipment) connects to it 3. Did I say it was easy to set up?” – ZenDarb (Amazon review)
“All in all a good unit with a lot of compatibility without extra fees. But the unit is not for someone expecting plug-n-play.” – AZEqualizer (Full review here)
“Easy set up, good community support. As you get comfortable with the options you can tailor it to be more robust. It offers lots of configuration options. Check out their forums for help and all the different things this controller can do.” – Travis (Full review here)
“Very easy to get to grips with. The graphic interface makes this a dream to use.” – David S. (Vesternet review)
“The Fibaro HCL is a powerful device able to manage up to 230 Z-Wave devices with impressively fast local processing.” – Big Bruin
Amazon’s recent answer to home automation has some smart home capability built-in. However, it only supports the ZigBee protocol. This means you won’t be able to directly connect any Z-Wave devices, which leaves some of the more innovative and affordable smart home options out-of-reach.
While Wink may be a good choice for basic light automation and very basic monitoring, it doesn’t offer any access to advanced settings and works with a very limited pool of Z-Wave devices. Just as you start having fun with automation, you run into a wall. Because it lives primarily in the cloud, we’ve received reports of the system being very unstable overall.
If you have input regarding your favorite smart home hub, let us know what it is and why in the comment section below! And have a very happy holiday season!
February 08, 2019
Hi Bill, We don’t carry any fan controllers at the moment but I believe that HomeSeer has a fan switch that would fit your needs, model HS-FC200+
February 05, 2019
Do you have a suggestion for a in-wall 3 speed ceiling fan switch? Z wave
November 24, 2018
You have a large customer base that is using the hubitat elevation hub. I have seen many links to your site in their community forum. It’s a very reliable, locally processed hub with many advanced features. Works with just about any z wave or zigbee device, and even wifi connected devices and lutron
November 05, 2018
Winterizing your home used to mean lots of physical labor - caulking windows, installing heavier drapes, maybe even changing out older windows and doors that were too efficient at releasing insulated air. Winter prep can still mean all of the above, but new Z-Wave technology has made certain aspects of winterization easier while adding another level of protection as those temperatures drop.
Here’s what we’re using to stay cozy and make sure our energy bills don’t make us freeze in our tracks:
This is one of our winter must-haves. It’s the first Z-Wave line voltage thermostat in North America (but be careful, it won’t work with forced air systems!). Use it to control electric baseboards and convector heaters all from your Z-Wave hub’s app interface. Reduce your energy consumption by 30% with custom heating schedules, or just switch to the thermostat’s built-in Economy mode to keep things efficient.
June 08, 2017
You often ask us for recommendations: what are the best, most reliable Z-Wave motion sensors out there? The choice seems endless with new devices coming out every day. While we have our favorites, choosing the right sensor for YOU will depend on YOUR needs, lifestyle, and ideas on how to apply the product to your Z-Wave network and collection of devices. So we thought we should ask one of you to test and compare our best-selling smart home security sensors. We wanted feedback from someone who has tested and programmed lots of Z-Wave devices but most importantly, from someone who has used them in real-life scenarios at home. The comments detailed below and the invaluable side-by-side comparison chart are by Kevin LaFramboise, an expert SmartThings user and the creator of some of the most advanced and stable custom device handlers for the popular platform.
April 09, 2017
It’s easy to be wary of claims of long-lasting battery life, as so many products out there promise reliable and worry-free battery power and then fail to deliver. So when the Sensative Strips Door/Window Sensor arrived to the market – a sensor thinner than two credit cards stacked together, and featuring a brand-new kind of battery that lasts for 10 years – some of us were skeptical.
Sensative recently turned to Sony to put their product’s power consumption to the test with the help of Otii – a new energy-optimization tool that measures and analyzes the power consumption behaviors of battery-powered devices. Of its many useful features, it allows the user to pinpoint the cause of a draining battery by syncing the software’s debug output with its power readings. Otii’s findings confirmed that the battery in Strips can last much longer than 10 years with optimal configuration and network conditions.