Home automation is primarily supported by the interconnection of many different devices, all talking to each other to make your life easier. Each connected device needs to be able to talk to other nodes on around it, but how? This is where protocols come in, they specify how to communicate and ensure compatibility. One decision that every smart homeowner needs to make is which protocols will be used, which can be pretty difficult as there are so many. Here we are going to list every smart home protocol available and provide some insight about why you might pick each one.
If you were to ask a smart home enthusiast whether you should use a smart switch or a smart bulb, the answer is almost certain to be different with each person you ask. The debate is as old as the smart home industry its self, so why is it so difficult to get a straight answer? The short answer is that there is no one size fits all answer and that each specific situation needs to be assessed to determine which option is the best. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, here we will discuss each one to guide you towards a sound decision.
Automation is great. It can help save precious time in your day by making repetitive, mundane tasks automatic. Going from having no smart functionality in your home to fully equipping every area can be intimidating. If you've ever done this or are trying to, you may have wondered why home automation is so expensive. There is, unfortunately, no simple answer, but there are a few factors that will come into play to make your particular situation more expensive.
Smart home servers are perhaps one of the most important aspects of any given smart home. Despite that, they are often ignored or disguised using other terms such as "smart hub" or "controller". Understandably, this can cause quite a bit of confusion leading to many users simply purchasing whatever the most convenient option is. Depending on what you are doing, this can be a bad thing as there are many options to choose from, and it is easy to pick something underpowered or too expensive.
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!