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Why Z-Wave?

We all have at some point thought about how we can make certain things in our home automated, this goes back many years with the early and simple plug in timer. Mainly used for holidays to make others think the home is occupied, or for that hallway table lamp in winter.

In some cases it was more laziness driven where we wanted to make something plugged in switch of and on with a remote control of some sort, perhaps more a semi-critical item for people with disabilities or age derived restrictions.

Now we want so much more, whether it be a combination of reasons from security, safety, laziness, disabilities, energy efficiency or just to plain show off to others. There are many reasons, but once you know that you want things to be a little smarter, the choice then turns to ‘How can we do that’.

Having been through a few carnations of home automation from X10, Insteon to now Zwave there are still others out there and from my research, would categorise as follows:

Wi-Fi

Something we all live with every day, the base standard for mobile device communication. This has a low entry cost as components are plentiful and cheap to make, however not ideal for low power consumption. Given its wide use, this is an area that could become congested and of course at constant threat from hackers. 

ZigBee

This is a stable standard and low entry cost as components are low cost, however not yet interoperable.

Thread

Thread is another low cost integrated circuit, has some money behind it now with Google showing a little interest. This as a product has not seen development to mass market, with only a few end user items available

EnOcean

This is the premier league cost items, good quality, however not suitable for battery devices and still has some major failings in security.

Z-Wave

Stable and reliable, Multiple manufacturers and support, easy starting product, however not the cheapest technology and not (yet) available in mobile phones / lap-tops.

For me, I feel Z-wave has the best support and manufacturing base, not to mention not sharing bandwidth with anything else in my property.

As this will likely be a long term, growing investment, you need to make sure you are well advised on products, spend the time to make sure the products fit with not only your lifestyle, but for future when you market your home. Any person looking to buy your house needs to a simple operating system, not something they have to work out how you were thinking…

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