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Home Automation Project

This one is going to take a while to complete.  I had been using a small amount of X10 for years with very disappointing results.  The technology that made it much more reliable and fun is called Z-Wave.  What follows is a description of how I found and am currently utilizing this awesome technology.

zwave home automationZ-Wave
I started with a simple lamp module and a remote.  This worked OK but occasionally it wouldn't.  You had to wave your arm around to get the right sweet spot.  Typical with any RF technology that I have used.  I added a controller that could do RF to IR but found it to be equally unreliable so I gave up.  This lead me to wait for a newer, better technology to come around.  One day I saw that I could get a Z-Wave starter kit free because I had purchased a specific model Logitech remote.  I ordered that kit and for about $30 more another lamp module.  When I got these they worked perfectly.  No unreliability at all.  I was skeptical at first, but that has since faded.

micasavera zwave controller reviewThis early success got me very excited.  I soon purchased a MiCasaVerde controller and it is an excellent product.  Soon after getting the controller I saw that Radio Shack was blowing out their Z-Wave stuff so I cleaned out my local stores.  Now I have the following devices installed:

Light switches
Outdoor lights
Bug Zapper
Motion detectors
Remote controls
Door locks and dead bolts

x10 home automation android home buddyRemote Control
There are many ways to control the Z-Wave devices.  I bought GE remotes that work OK.  There are Logitech and Monster remotes that can control them.  Any device that has a web browser can control them.  My favorite so far is the free Home Buddy Android application.  It is quick, easy and accessible from anywhere I have an Internet connection.  Never again will I have to ask myself if I turned a light off.

The Future
z-wave webcam reviewI have been using the system for about 8 months and it works very well.  In the future I would like to integrate webcams, door/window sensors, water leak detectors, and additional temperature sensors.  I will update this page as I continue to exploit this evolving technology.