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We have talked about the use of Z-Wave ready devices and the use of bridges and gateway devices to communicate with your devices or touch panels. It is also possible to get devices that communicate directly with WiFi instead. These systems are easier to set up then the z-wave ones because they do not require any extra hardware. The reasons against doing it this way are simply wireless bandwidth. The more devices you have connected the slower your overall internet speed will be. If you have a great internet connection and service provider this really isn’t an issue at all. If however your connection is slow, or you don’t feel like paying for an extra connection I would suggest sticking with Z-wave. The low frequency system uses much much less bandwidth and won’t bog down your overall internet speed.

If however you are interested in the customization options around a WiFi system in your house you should think about what is important, or what you might want to spend your money on. Security systems get much more advanced over WiFi, cameras, switches, alarms and sensors are much more customizable.

Insteon makes pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras that communicate over wireless so you can keep complete track of your system while on the road, there are also motion sensors, door switches and smoke sensors that will also communicate with your system and trigger events, alerts and scenarios shutting down appliances, lights, triggering sirens and even locking/unlocking doors to allow emergency services to respond or trying to trap someone inside.

Smart Home select makes a leak detector and a smoke alarm that will deliver alerts to your phone or email and allow you to initiate a specific “Scene” from your phone that responds to that alarm.

GoGoGate offers a WiFi controlled garage door opener that you can control from your phone or tablet.

In addition these fun things for great energy savings you can actually get energy monitoring devices that connect over the plugs for your appliances, computers, TV, stereo and track your energy usage month to month and system to system to see where you might be able to save money by turning things you don’t use off. The best thing to go along with those energy monitoring devices is a wireless thermostat controller. Honeywell and Nest both make great thermostats that can control the temperature and keep track of your temperatures and energy usage over time as well as track your occupancy habits, your sleeping habits etc and adjust their controls accordingly. You can also use wireless occupancy sensors to detect whether or not anyone is home to turn off or turn on different temperature setpoints in the house.

Wireless systems offer a lot more versatility and ease of use, you just need to be careful that you don’t use all your bandwidth on your home automation system.

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Source by Peter Dovall