If you've somehow managed to miss the news, Insteon is dead. Let's back up before getting knee-deep into this crazy story. Insteon was a smart home ecosystem that offered controllers, smart locks, smart bulbs, etc. You might wonder how Insteon could be declared "dead" since it's common to continue using hardware devices long after their manufacturer ceases to exist. As you might have guessed, this will not be possible with Insteon - at least not in any way resembling the original experience. The key is that Insteon ran a cloud software controller where all customer commands and controls were processed. Once the controller goes offline, everything stops working.
Without a doubt, having a connected home not only simplifies your life but also makes it more efficient. Thanks to advancements in technology, homeowners can use IoT (Internet of Things) to turn an ordinary house into a smart home. As of November 2020, there are more than 48 million smart homes in the U.S., with millions of others in other parts of the world. These numbers can only grow as more people adopt smart living, with an estimate of more than 77 million smart homes in the U.S. by 2025.
You may have heard about Zigbee before either from your own experience with it or from a product description that mentions its compatibility with supported smart devices. In many ways, Zigbee is quite similar to the other popular smart home mesh protocol, Z-Wave. They both use devices on the network to form a mesh for point to point communication, they are both wireless protocols that require special hardware, and they are both extremely convenient. Imagine wiring every smart device in your home to a central controller. It would be a total nightmare - which is why wireless communication shines. Despite the similarities to WiFi, these wireless protocols differ in several key areas, most notably the radio frequency they use.
It's almost a universal fact that lighting is all around houses - both inside and out. We quite like being able to see, so that's totally understandable! The process is rather simple with indoor fixtures but can quickly become complicated when dealing with the great outdoors. Water, snow, the sun, animals, and insects are just a few of the things you have to consider before putting a smart bulb outside. Should you really be using them outside at all, though? It actually depends - it's probably fine, but you need to take several precautions regardless.
If you are thinking of building a smart home or even if you already have one, you might want to consider improving its safety. In many cases, this is actually easier than it seems, as most common problems are trivial to fix. Safety really is the number one priority as making a mistake with a critical device such as a smoke detector could be fatal. We're going to take a look at 5 simple ways to make your smart home safer, ranging from checking your passwords to optimizing your device selection.