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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.

MiCasaVerde
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
Outlets
Lamps
Thermostat
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.