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Home Automation

Home Automation

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The brain of every smart home is a smart hub, with popular models like Samsung SmartThings, in addition to other Z-wave and Zigbee products. Once equipped with a smart hub, any home can be automated with wireless devices, including sensors, buttons, actuators and more. Our smart-device reviews are for all skill levels, house sizes, and budgets.

Yale Smart Deadbolt

Top 3 Smart Z-Wave Deadbolts for Home Automation

For both standard and non-standard doors, or doors with decorative door handles, you should consider adding a deadbolt-only smart device to the door to enable remote control and access. A smart deadbolt is simply a locking mechanism that fits into the existing deadbolt cut-out in your door, and connects to the internet to allow for remote access and programming.
Zooz Appliance Outlet Switch

Zooz Heavy Duty Z-Wave Power Switch

This outlet controller from Zooz is natively compatible with SmartThings, which means no custom device handlers or coding is needed to get setup. Be sure to stand near your hub when pairing, otherwise installation is a breeze and takes less than 60 seconds!
Fibaro Big Button - White

The Ultimate Guide to Buttons for SmartThings

After reviewing over 25 smart buttons for SmartThings and other smart home hubs, we thought it'd be helpful to single-out the top 3 buttons to date. The buttons we link to below are natively compatible with SmartThings, and utilize Z-wave, Zigbee, and sometimes both.
How to Maximize Home Wifi Speeds

How to Optimize Your Home WiFi Network for Speed

In addition to router brand, home size, and internet service provider (ISP) speed caps, there are a number physical factors - inside and outside - which can affect performance and speed of the WiFi network in your home. It's important to think about these factors when placing access points, and mesh network nodes, around your house.
Party Lights with Hue disco

Party Strobe Lights with Hue Disco App

To get a true disco party going, you’ll need some strobe lights for your dance floor. If you have Hue color lights, you’re in luck! I use Hue Disco ($3.99) on my iPad to get the party going. Hue Disco for iOS is an app that...
Remotec Z-Wave Scene Master Controller

Remotec Z-Wave Scene Master Controller

Once you've built your initial home automation network, you need to be able to control it! The default (and simplest) way to control Z-Wave and Zigbee devices is with a Samsung SmartThings hub. The SmartThings mobile app offers all of the basic functionality -...
Hue Outdoor Lighting 3 Pack Image

New Philips Hue Outdoor Smart Lighting

Philips Hue is the leader in smart, colored lighting solutions for residential and DIY projects. While Hue products are on the higher end of the price spectrum, their quality and durability easily justify the price tag. Compared the cheap, LED light strips...
Google Home Voice Assisted Speaker

What is Google Home? How does it work?

After watching Iron Man, were you envious of the Artificial Intelligence "Jarvis" provided to Tony Stark? Ladies and Gentlemen, we are one step closer to all having our own "Jarvis", but this time it's called "Google home". What is Google Home? Google home is a voice assisted...
AverageTechBlog | Home Automation and Z-Wave Experts

What is Z-Wave? An introduction to smart home networking

Already got your hub set up? Add some devices: Buttons | Sensors | Switches | Security Introduction to Z-Wave Z-Wave is one of two wireless communication protocols used by the SmartThings hub, and is generally the most common home automation network used in the USA. Z-Wave is the...
airport express airplay 7.8 firmware

AirPort Express firmware update enables AirPlay 2 and Apple Home App support

AirPlay 2 is now supported on AirPort Express with firmware version 7.8+ Also includes support for Apple's Home App - native home automation on iOS The AirPort line of products, which include the AirPort Express, are no longer sold in stores and discontinued...