Smart bulbs are a common way of bringing enhanced control to any area in the home without breaking the bank. By including a small circuit board within the base of the bulb, they are able to wirelessly communicate with a controller such as a phone or a hub. They report their state back to the controller and accept commands, such as increasing the brightness or turning off. The convenience of simply screwing in the device makes it immensely popular and a common question is: do smart bulbs work in lamps? The answer is mostly yes.
Z-Wave is one of the most popular protocols used for home automation. Despite that, it seems there is still a lot of confusion over the different standards that devices can be certified with and still be "compatible with Z-Wave". Indeed there is Z-Wave, Z-Wave Plus, and Z-Wave Long Range, just to name the bigger ones. What's the difference? What should you buy? In reality, there isn't much for you as a consumer to do as manufacturers will almost certainly be certifying their devices with the latest standard. There are significant improvements in each newer one though, so it's worth upgrading older equipment if you have any!
Building a smart home is exciting, so it isn't surprising that many will want to jump straight into the fun of purchasing devices and setting up automations. However, spending a bit of time planning how things will come together can save a lot of time and money in the long run. The issue is often the same, what works at first doesn't always scale up to larger configurations involving many more devices. Let's take a look at some of the problems with only using WiFi in a smart home.
Historically, Z-Wave has been one of the major players in the smart home industry, but with the rise of WiFi products, many may wonder: is Z-Wave is dead? The short answer is no. A longer answer is that there are many contributing factors to the stability of Z-Wave in the smart market, most of them have to do with power consumption, certification, and network configuration. What the surge in protocol options means for you is that it is more important than ever to carefully analyze each technology to select the best one for your smart home.
The idea behind smart buttons is pretty cool, you have a button that you can place anywhere, and pushing it will communicate with a controller that can make anything happen within your home. The problem is that many of these smart buttons also cost an absolute fortune. So today we're going to build a smart internet button ourselves that will cost less than 10$ to build per unit, and possibly even less if you buy all the required materials in bulk to build a few of them!