Author: admin

Electrical Wiring Guide for Z-Wave Switches

I’ve recently guided an electrician on the wiring required for Z-Wave wall switch. Before successfully installing the Z-Wave switch, he actually used a neutral wire from some other part of the house and it caused a power trip. So, I invited him to my place to look at the wiring as reference and he eventually managed to install the switches successfully. In this short article, I’d like to take...

Planning for your Z-Wave light switches

"I'm automating 5 lights, I currently have some 2-3 gangs switches. How many Z-Wave Wall switches do I need to purchase?" I realised I've been answering this kind question a lot in email and I think I should provide a guide here.To answer this question, let us first understand what are available in the market.  For Z-Wave, the maximum number of gangs supported by a device is 2. And this device...

Z-Wave, LightwaveRF and the Neutral Wire

Whenever when someone wants to get some Z-Wave switches through me, I’d ask them this question, “Do/Will you have a neutral wire in your light switch?”  And if they are not going to do renovation or rewiring, they will ask if there is any alternative. I would tell them that Z-Wave dimmers do not require neutral wire but the kind of lights you can connect will be limited. The other...

Reviews on Belkin WeMo Home Automation

Belkin WeMo Home Automation isn't something new, it has been around in the market since mid Jan 2013. So what am I blogging about it only now? Recently I've visited Funan IT Mall and realised that Belkin had actually put in a lot of marketing effort and budget in promoting these devices. So I decided to check out the reviews so far on the Internet. For the uninformed, let me just do a quick...

Roomie : AV Home Control App for iOS

I've recently stumbled upon a new iOS Universal Controller App for your AV Home Control: Roomie. As many apps have claimed, Roomie is also be the last remote you ever need. Since the SQ Blaster Plus has gone out of stock worldwide, I've been getting a lot of enquiries on its availability and alternative. I've been a faithful advocate of SQ Blaster Plus (refer to my older post) and as far as I...

Energy Monitoring for Rental Property

I've recently received an inquiry about energy monitoring devices. Most of the time when people contact me about the Z-Wave devices, they are mostly asking for switches, neutral wires and if certain appliance can be controlled remotely. However, this person was so interested in understanding energy monitoring plugs and switches that he almost didn't mention about controlling lights or AV...

Sigma Designs Updates Z-Wave Chipset

As we know Sigma Designs is the key driver behind the development and marketing for the Z-Wave protocol. Lately they have announced the fifth generation chipset and also included a software suite and reference designs that will enable manufacturers to quickly and inexpensively bring smartphone and tablet control to their home automation. The other good news is that the cost for the new...

Siri + Raspberry Pi + Z-Wave, your DIY Voice Pod

Siri, Raspberry Pi and Z-Wave In my previous post, I've introduced consumer product, Voice Pod: a voice control device which you can place anywhere in your home to compliment your home automation. However, that is only for expensive Control4 system. Is there any hope for DIY enthusiasts? The answer is yes! In this article, I'm actually guiding you on how you can create such a device, assuming...

Voice Pod : Home automation with voice control

Before you think that voice control is here for Z-Wave, I'd like to highlight that this device is for Control4. Sorry to disappoint but I'd just find it interesting to share. I've always wished for a consumer out-of-box voice control. It is definitely a quicker method to remotely control your lights and AV systems compared to using touchscreen where you have to launch an app and tap the...

Review : Everspring Door/Window Z-Wave Sensor

  Here's a short review of the Everspring Door/Window Z-Wave sensor. In fact, this is one of the easiest devices to include into my home automation project. Let's start with the specification first Specification Technology: Z-Wave Transmitter (868.42MHz) Z-Wave Groups: Two groups and six devices (nodes) - Group 1 (1), Group 2 (5) Detection: Magnetic Push-button: Inclusion and exclusion LED:...