Home Automation using Z-Wave

A couple months ago I wrote an article introducing current home automation technology and why I chose Z-Wave technology. Essentially my reasoning was that it will make your home “Smart”. Today, I will tell you how home automation with Z-Wave technology actually works.

The controller is the core of the Z-Wave network. It coordinates the communication between all the Z-Wave devices on your network. It is like the brain of the entire operation and all communications and events travel through it.

Within the Z-Wave network are Z-Wave devices such as the door and motion sensors, door lock, siren/alarm and other such devices. Each device has two or more states.

  • Example: The Siren can be on or silent mode, the door lock can be in locked or unlocked state.

Each device can have one or more events that can be triggered by a state change. The event will then be reported to controller.

  • Example: Opening the door will trigger the unlocked event of a lock itself. The event will then be reported to controller.

Lastly, each device can have one or more associated actions. The controller can send commands to the device to do perform one of the actions.

  • Example: The controller can send a command to a lock to lock/unlock the door.

With the controller coordinating communications, events, and actions, we can have the z-wave devices interact with each other.

  • Example: If the door is opened after midnight, the lock’s state will be changed to unlocked which will then send an unlocked event to controller. The controller can then send a command telling the siren to turn on creating an alarm. Alternatively we can have it so that when motion is detected, a command is sent to turn on a light or even multiple lights.

Above are three Z-Wave compatible devices. The first is a door lock and these are available in many different styles and finishes. There is guaranteed to be one that fits your home décor. The second image is an example of the siren and strobe light combo. This not only creates a fairly loud racket, but the bright strobe light also aids in attracting attention. The last image is an example of one of the many thermostats that are available that can also be controlled with the Z-Wave system.

There are basically an unlimited amount of automation tasks that can be created with the Z-Wave. From monitoring the entire home to controlling individual appliances, the only limit is your imagination.

In the next article, I will explain how to setup the versatile controller and several simple automations in your home.