A recurring question I get here goes like this: I’m looking for ways to get into an entry level system. What do you recommend?
This is very open ended, so here are a handful of suggestions.
Start with this link: http://smarthome-products.com/s-15-z-wave.aspx Be sure to take a look at at the video. As the technology has many different devices to look at and you can grow / build / expand your network as you want - the first question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to automate to get started and and how you want to access it? Here are some other links to look at on your quest and a couple of different options that are available:
Option one is the Schlage Link: http://www.smarthome-products.com/p-1246-schlage-be369gr-619-z-wave-deadbolt-lock-kit-satin-nickel.aspx this comes with a door lock, a dimmer module and the bridge( which allows you to access the devices from the Internet or your smartphone) - subscription price is $ 8.99 a month currently.
SOption two is the Vera by MiCasaVerde : http://www.smarthome-products.com/p-1261-vera-z-wave-home-automation-controller.aspx if you haven’t seen the video take a look.
Option three is HomeSeer: http://www.smarthome-products.com/productspecs/HOMESEERComparasion1106.mht Option two and three have no subscription fees. Each option has its pluses and minuses. Take a look at the Hometroller-SE : http://www.smarthome-products.com/p-1501-homeseer-hometroller-se-home-automation-controller.aspx
I would review the links above and then get out a pad of paper and pencil and look at what you want to automate today and in the future – build your wish list, then go back review the options again.
Garage Door Control Options – an ADT Pulse Example
Say you have an ADT Pulse home alarm system and you want to use to open and close your garage door. What are your options? According to our resident expert, Jay Venner, you can wire an Evolve LFM20 Module in parallel around each of your garage door push-button switches. The Module is powered by 120v but has an isolated relay that can be used with HomeSeer or Vera to simulate a button push. Once you have that set up, add a Door Sensor to each of your garage doors so that the Controller can track the open/close status of the doors.
When you arrive home, just use your existing garage door opener to open the door. The door sensor will alert the Controller and you can trigger events, based on that. You’ll also be able to monitor the status of the door remotely and control the door with the Evolve devices.
Since the Pulse System doesn’t recognize the Z-Wave door sensor, you could probably use a wired sensor. Another issue is the Relay and the Pulse system. The relay is an Isolated contact; a garage door button is a momentary contact. The Momentary contact is simulated programmatically in the software for the HomeSeer or Vera systems. The ADT Pulse System doesn’t have that programming capability.