WiFi thermostats seem to have taken over the smart climate control market completely, with every listing for "smart thermostat" involving a WiFi connection. There's a good reason for that: they have a lower barrier to entry as they use the existing wireless connection most people already have installed. Since WiFi is typically used primarily to provide a connection to the internet to connected devices, it's logical that they would need the internet to function. In reality, it's actually a bit more complicated than that - some do, and some don't.
It's no secret: everyone makes mistakes. Smart homes are not the exception as many beginners find themselves making the same mistakes before eventually learning why they are mistakes. Even those who are experts in smart technology still make mistakes, and many of them are quite common. Here is my list of 17 mistakes commonly made by smart home owners of every skill level, from complete beginner to expert!
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.