WHAT IS SMART HOME
A Smart Home is a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smartphone or computer.
It is a controller (Brain) added to your existing electrical/ electronic devices to enable intelligence with them.
WHY SMART HOME
Now that you’ve gotten the keys to your new pad, time to design a home of your dreams!
While you are at it, why not design a smart home?
Ever had the problem of having to get out of bed just before bed time to switch off the lights? How about standing outside your home’s main door fishing for keys in your bag for the last 10 minutes?
HOW TO CREATE A SMART HOME
Building a smart home from scratch may seem daunting, just try searching for “smart home” on the internet and see the thousands of hits that come up.
For starters, list down the top 5 features that you would want in a smart home.
- Motion/smart phone-controlled lighting to create the perfect restful ambience
- VoIP cameras to monitor children/elderly while you are away at work
- Digital locks – say goodbye to keys, and monitor what time your child (or husband) comes home !
- Air-con controls – so that you never forget to turn off the air-con before leaving for work!
- Voice-controlled smart devices – be your own Iron Man!
Next, determine the technology that devices use to communicate with each other. Very often, smart home technology use either WIFI, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Infra-red or Z-Wave to communicate between the devices. It is advisable to stick to a single protocol, and from our experience, Z-wave technology seems to be the most widely supported protocol for smart home devices.
This means loads of compatible devices for future expansions, many different brands (Fibaro, Aeotec, GE, Somfy, Honeywell, Belkin etc), and is backed by an industry group called the Z-wave Alliance, which now has support from about 250 companies.
Z-wave enabled products create a mesh network between them, creating an optimal pathway to send data back to the smart hub. Each device on the mesh acts as a repeater for other device. Should one device fail, the mesh automatically heals, instantly creating a new path. Pretty cool huh?
Now that you have identified a protocol, it’s time to choose brands for the hub, or the brain of the smart home set up. It’s important to note the level of customer support, expansion capability, and community support provided for each brand.
Now that you have landed on a hub to purchase, the fun part begins. You can start planning the rest of your smart home. We feel that the biggest impact that is visible and gives a wow factor in any home are the lights. Automating lights and creating scenes that automatically trigger never fails to impress our guests.
It is important to choose suitable dimmable lighting fixtures to create different mood scenes, and do note that things may get a bit technical here. We will be glad to link you up with our friendly partners to showcase suitable solutions.
After choosing the lighting fixtures, sit back, relax, and let our competent electricians set up the system for you. The next time you step into your new pad, be amazed to see your lights being triggered by your presence, changing color if the main door opens and someone comes home, and most importantly, allows you to turn off the light just by saying, “Alexa, turn off light”, just before you rest for the night.
So, that concludes your little baby step into the amazing world of smart lighting and smart homes. There are tons of content on the Internet on how you can expand your smart home, do contact us for more info!
Z-WAVE VERSUS OTHER SMART HOME PROTOCOLS
In view of the different wireless smart home protocols like Wifi and Bluetooth, we take a look at how Z-wave compares to them.
Pros: Widely available and supported. Does not require a smart hub as a central control interface. Easy to use.
Cons: Not power efficient, signal tends to drop when too many devices are connected. Must be connected to the Internet. Each device usually controlled through individual mobile app. Need to access different app to control each device.
Pros: Widely available. Every (almost) mobile phone comes with it. Low energy consumption. Does not require smart hub as central control interface.
Cons: Short range of around 10m indoors. Each device usually controlled through individual mobile app. Need to access different app to control each device.
Pros: Widely available. Supported by over 200 companies in the Z-wave industy alliance. Large number of supported products, and inter-operability is a key strength as a result of this industry alliance. To be able to use the official Z-wave logo, companies are required to send their devices for certification. Through a smart hub, Z-wave devices can be controlled via a single app platform. Z-wave protocol operates on sub-1GHz, and do not interfere with Wifi and Bluetooth signals (2.4GHz). In terms of range, Z-wave devices operate on a mesh network, repeating signals via a chain to ensure your entire home is covered. Also, you can choose to disconnect your home Z-wave network from the internet, so it continues to operate even when a service disruption occurs.
Cons: May be slightly more expensive than Wifi and Bluetooth devices.
All in all, TapSmartSense believe Z-Wave is the ideal protocol to start your smart home journey. Check out our Smart Home Package offering now!