My home automation trek continues. I have never been a fan of monthly fees. I dislike the idea that I have to pay a monthly fee just so I can call you 1-2 times a year. So with home automation I lean towards systems that are more of a DIY.
Enter in the Vera z-wave system. For those that are not familiar z-wave is the “system” and Vera is the company that builds the boxes and finds products that are compatible with the z-wave controller boxes. For a DIYer using z-wave means that you have compatibility to many devices and can potentially hook up a wide array of “wireless” devices to automate your home.
Once you hook up the system you “sync” you devices and begin to create scenes that suit you needs and lifestyle. A common one is a wake up or go to sleep scene that will turn on/off you lights, open/close your blinds, turn up/down the thermostat and lock/unlock your door. As you add to your system you can add speakers and music, turning on/off your TV. Scene can be fully automated or be set to go off at certain times of day. Fully automated scenes included sensor to detect movement or light. You set the parameters to “enable” you scene.
A fun one I tried out is the welcome home scene. You set the system to activate when a certain door code is entered. The scene turns on the lights, turns on the TV and checks the make sure the garage door is closed. Behind the sconce the system check the house temperature and hour ago and if it is too cold or too hot it turned on the furnace/air conditioner to bring the house to your ideal temperature. Then just for fun I set up the system to send me a text when my partners door code was entered. It goes unsaid that I removed the text message notification, it was a bit too “Big Brother”.
After playing with a few different scenarios. I found a few that I enjoyed, a good night scene that turned everything off and locked all the doors, a notification that my kids had arrived home safely. Peace of mind that a water sensor will notify me if there is water in the basement and text notification if the smoke alarm goes off are some of the few things I have really liked.
Overall I have to say I am very happy with the system. The piece of mind that you get from knowing that things will happen or that you can easily check on your smartphone is a wonderful benefit. In our busy lives knowing that we can have this type of access to securing our personal space is a wonder piece of mind.
Even if you are not a DIYer there are many managed systems out there that can create the same piece of mind. If you need a hand figuring out weather to go with a monthly supported system or a DIY system, give us a call and we can help you figure it out.