Home automation systems use a number of communications protocols to allow different accessories speak a common language. This allows products from different brands work together to make your life easier. We review the different protocols including Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, powerline, Insteon, X10, and more.
The following articles provide specific tips to help you set up your smart home.
A common wire provides a constant flow of power so your smart thermostat can maintain a Wi-Fi connection. The electricity also powers the display screen. Most smart thermostats require a C-Wire, but we'll help you with some options in case you don't have one.
Smart switches require a constant flow of power so that their radios can communicate with relays and hubs. A neutral wire connected to the switch completes the circuit and keeps electricity flowing to the switch. This article explains how to identify a neutral wire. We'll also give you some options in case your home is wired without neutral wires to your light switches.
If you are going to take our advice, then you should know what we consider to be a perfect smart home. We want to help you do-it-yourself, but we don't think you should spend every waking hour configuring, adjusting, and troubleshooting. Here is our take on what a home automation system should do for you.