glitch25: (Default)
So as I mentioned in my previous posts, I finally got my Z-wave starter kit (my design, not the company's) in the mail yesterday. Two controllers, and a single appliance module for use on the preferred light in question (the bedroom light).

Z-wave, unlike X10 which operates on power line signals, is a wireless mesh concept in the 900Mhz range. The controllers send out signals and listen for a response from the modules. This means that your controller gets confirmation that the module actually got the command and acted upon it. Another cool thing is that each module operates as a repeater for signals to other modules. Wireless range from a hand-help controller is usually 30 meters depending on position and wall/obstruction composition, etc, but with proper placement of modules, this can be significantly extended just via the repeater function.

Modules are paired to controllers (almost like how bluetooth pairs). This enables a certain level of security in that only paired controllers can control modules versus the old X10 idea that if you ended up on the same channel set as your neighbor, you might end up turning on and off each other's lights.

Modules are then added to "scenes" which can be controlled by the buttons on the controller. This enables you to enact multiple actions with one button, such as to turn off certain lights, but to light others, or to include dimming, and various other things.

The process to pair modules isn't particularly difficult, but it is specific and particular. It went relatively smoothly for never having worked with it before. And one of the other cool parts of Z-wave is that controllers can be replicated, so that once you have a master controller, you can "clone" the buttons to other controllers rather than having to pair them by hand. Makes adding controllers very easy.

While we're starting very small and limited, I can see this expanding significantly if we so choose provided we can continue to find deals on modules. They certainly aren't as inexpensive as X10, but the entire concept seems to be better, and the functional and technical advantages of Z-wave make it worth the price.

So far so good!
glitch25: (cook)
Boy.. I guess I'm really a cooking geek this go round.

I had an order from Amazon with both my new Z-Wave automation toys and a pair of half-sheet Silpats for baking fun, and I was more excited about the Silpats than I was the Z-Wave module. :-)
glitch25: (Default)
Anybody out there have experience with Z-wave stuff? I use X10 stuff now, but my transceiver died this weekend, and rather than spend money to perpetuate an old and not very flexible standard, I was looking into Z-wave as a nice automation alternative. Seems to be much more full featured. I ordered a small starter kit to update one circuit we really appreciate using that is currently defunct now, and if I like it, I would imagine I'll order more replacements and maybe pad out the scope of the current setup. There is something to be said for turning off lights you forgot to turn off without having to get out of the covers. :-)

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