There are 3 Parts to a Z-Wave system
A Z-Wave Controller – The Brain of the System.
Sensors – These are the Eyes and Ears of the system.
Modules – These are the Arms and Legs of the system.
First step: Z-Wave Controller ( Also Called a Hub or Gateway )
In the same way a Wi-Fi router allows devices such as Phones & Laptops communicate with each other wirelessly, A Z-Wave Controller allows you, the homeowner, to wirelessly communicate and control such things as Lighting & Heating, It allows you to see if a window or door has been left open and check the temperature in rooms. You can view and control everything from your smart phone, whether your in the home or on a beach in Australlia. By having control and being able to automate simple things such as Lighting and Heating will create a more efficient, secure and convenient smart home.
Sensors & Modules
If you think of the controller as the “Brains” of the system. You then have Sensors ( Eyes & Ears ) around your home, such as Smoke Sensors, Flood sensors, Door & Window sensors, Motion and Temperature sensors. These monitor your home for activity. If a sensor detects activity ( eg. smoke in the kitchen, leak at the boiler, garage door left open, temperature drop in the sitting room ) It will report this to the controller, and the controller will in turn tell a module (Arms & Legs ) to do something ( eg A Lighting dimmer to turn on the living room lights, a Heating Boiler to turn heating On/Off )
A Simple scenario might be – A Smoke sensor detects smoke in the kitchen, it tells the controller “Hey I detect smoke”, the controller then activates a “Scene” – This might be to tell the extractor fan to turn on fully, Turn a gas mains off, Tell the oven and other electrical devices in the kitchen to all shut off and send the home owner a Text and or Email saying “There has been Smoke detected in Kitchen” – This all happens within seconds of the smoke being detected and without any interaction from the homeowner – That’s what proper home automation is.
Step 2: Add devices
From there, it’s a simple matter of picking the Z-Wave devices that make the most sense for the way you want to interact with your smart home. Connected lighting products like dimmers, outlets and light bulbs are a great way to save energy, enhance security, and take a bit of hassle out of your everyday life. A Z-Wave thermostat is an excellent way to conserve energy and adapt the cooling and heating of your home to your personal schedule, rather than relying on rigid day-and-time programming.
Your smart home is yours and yours alone, and the path to upgrading your home with Z-Wave technology is just as uniquely yours. No matter what path you take, Z-Wave is here to help.