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“Manual” Home Automation

A little over a year ago my wife and I upgraded our townhouse to a single-family home. Our townhouse had a very basic automation system that consisted of a Schlage Z-Wave Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt and some X-10 switches giving us control of the lights from the bedroom and control of the door lock from our phones.

Well the purchase of a new home gave me the motivation to do the automation system that I always wanted. I started researching before we had even sold our townhouse and acquiring products while temporarily living with my parents. During this I would our two things…1 there was a lot of products out there and 2 there is no one stop source for information about them (both of these will be topics for future blog posts.

Eventually I ended up choosing a Wink Hub as my starting point and got products that would supposedly play well with it (again this is a topic for a future blog post).

There were a few things that I knew I wanted to control. My door locks, my climate and some lights. I knew I wanted to control access to my home and from experience knew I could not really go wrong with Schlage so I go 2 Schlage Z-Wave Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt and 1 Schlage Z-Wave Home Keypad Lever. Too this day I still have all 3 of these in-place and they have been rock solid for me. Next it was time to start working on Climate Control. Not know much about connected thermostats I decided to go with a brand I knew with the Honeywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi Thermostat. Great this gave me scheduling and control from the Honeywell App and from Wink…As long as I did not try to use both. For lighting I had a fair amount of experience with Z-Wave so I picked up a couple Leviton Z-Wave dimmers and quickly got them installed and learned that I did not have any clue how to wire a multi-way circuit which lead to research and not I can wire 3 and 4-way circuits pretty much blindfolded.

Life was good at this point I could control a few lights and my thermostat and lock from my phone what more could I want…How about Automation that is actually Automatic? Controlling this from a smartphone is not automation, I still need to flip a switch only this time it was a digital one. Here I am with these expensive “Connected” devices and I feel like a caveman, this is what I call “Manual” Home Automation and this is not what I wanted. Automation should be smart, should learn what I want and do it for me or should be intuitive to control through voice. It is this desire for real automation that truly started the journey that I will be taking you through.


Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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