The Best And Newest Z-Wave Hubs of 2017

Z-Wave Hubs

Advancements in technology are racing into the future with home automation, and Z-Wave hubs are leading the market. With better, faster, more cost-efficient, and cheaper home automation options, the future is here while providing a fun way to control your living environment.

Home Automation and Z-Wave

For decades, most commercial buildings have used automation to control things like security, the thermostat, lighting, and locks. In today's world, you can easily control your home from anywhere with your smartphone, computer or tablet.

The hub or controller is basically the brain of the operation. Z-wave is a wireless mesh networking system that uses low-energy radio waves to communicate with your smart appliances which helps secure your home when you're not there or tell you what you have in your refrigerator.

Effective Uses For a Z-Wave Hub

With so many smart devices in homes today, Z-Wave puts you in control of how and when your appliances work for a more economic, livable environment. Home automation gives you the power, lowers your electric bill, and keeps you and your possessions safer. Home automation's wave of technology sets you free in many ways

  • Save money: By regulating the temperature in your home only when people are there instead of leaving the heat or air-conditioning running constantly, you lower your the bill by saving energy. Set your smart thermostat to lower the heat a few degrees an hour after bedtime. Turn up the air-conditioning a few degrees while nobody's home and lower it an hour before you arrive. Turn off forgotten appliances with your phone and keep them from draining electricity.

  • Email alerts: Receive an email alert if your home is damaged by weather, a pipe bursts or a fire starts.

  • Security: From windows to door locks, to lighting – Z-Wave protects your home. Gone on vacation? Set the timer to turn on the outside and inside lighting to make it look like you're home. Cameras with motion sensors can alert you when someone or something has entered your house if you're gone. Check to see if the kids have arrived home from school and see if they've brought anyone with them.

  • Convenience: Want to cook something special for dinner? Your refrigerator can tell you if you have all the ingredients and you can even start the oven preheating. From your phone, you can make the dryer tumble a few minutes longer. Don't get up to turn off the bathroom light the kids left on, do it from the comfort of the couch. You can even turn off the coffee pot from work if you forget.

  • Safety: Many in home accidents happen due to tripping and falling at night. With home automation, the light comes on with motion sensors anytime someone enters a dark space. Set an annoyingly loud alarm to scare off an intruder while turning on all the lights and sending you an email alert.

  • Going green: Home automation lowers energy usage. This saves you money on the monthly utility bills. Saving energy also lowers your carbon footprint, which is good for the planet.

  • User-friendly: Even though home automation technology is complex, Z-Wave hubs feature fast setup and their easy to use for the whole family. You can make it a fun learning experience for the whole family and prepare everyone in the house for the future.

  • No monthly fees: Most hubs have no monthly fees, but many of them do allow you to purchase real-time monitoring for first responders.

What Is A Smart Appliance?

Whether building a new home or retrofitting your existing home, many products are smart. If it carries the Z-Wave logo, the appliance is produced for home automation and will work with most Z-Wave Hubs. From door locks and heated floors to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a smart home is safer and offers more security than a standard home.

With big names like GE, Whirlpool, Samsung, Bosch and Jenn-Air, any home can be fully automated in today's world.

Which Z-Wave Hub Is Right For You?

Choosing the right home automation hub for you and your family is not as hard as it looks. Get everyone involved and choose which rooms and devices you want to automatically control. Here are 5 questions you can answer to get started on your home automation journey.

  1. Do you want to include a home security system?
  2. Which of your appliances are already smart?
  3. Take a moment inside each room, the garage, and the yard... How automated do you want them to be?
  4. Do you want a custom installation, or do you want to install the hub and set up your appliances yourself?
  5. Cost. How much do you want to invest in your home? Comparison shopping can help you find the right Z-Wave hub and Z-Wave products for the right price.

The most exciting smart home technology and one of the easiest to use is by far Z-Wave. Our top 4 Z-Wave Hub picks for 2017 come with different options for a variety of automation needs at reasonable prices.

The VeraSecure Hub

This newly (2017) released controller works well with different protocols like Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-Wave Plus, VeraLink, and Wi-Fi. VeraSecure offers control of your appliances and home security all in one. The hub interacts with hundreds of brands, such as First Alert, Alexa, Nest, and Yale. It even features a Siren Alarm loud enough to frighten intruders away and alert the neighbors.

There are no monthly fees or contracts, however, this hub offers an optional cellular backup package that ensures your ability to access the internet if the connection goes down. Once you have purchased a VeraSecure, you own it and the hub moves with you. If the controller fails within the first year of purchase, they repair or replace it for free.

Pros

  • If you're a techie, you will love the ability to write code and take advantage of all the hub has to offer.
  • Communicates well with top brands in home automation.
  • If needed, tech support is helpful and included.
  • No monthly fees.

Cons

  • Need to have some tech experience to take full advantage of all the components, appliances, and how they work.
  • A bit complicated to use.

The VeraSecure is easy to install yourself and set up all of your smart appliances. The browser-based or mobile app program can be accessed to configure and control your smart appliances from anywhere in the world with an internet signal.

The SmartThings Hub

This Samsung controller works with all Samsung appliances and products along with many other brands. SmartThings offers a wide variety of components to automate your entire home for up to 200 appliances and devices, regardless of their wireless protocol (ie. Z-Wave or Zigbee).

Not at home? This hub will send you alerts if there is unanticipated activity inside your house.

SmartThings offer kits to choose from so you get just what you need. They have a home security package which allows you to monitor your home in case of an emergency. It features motion sensors, lighting outlets and more to keep you updated on what is going on in your home.

Pros

  • Easy, do it yourself installation.
  • Communicates well with all Z-Wave devices.
  • Great community board for help and questions
  • Great for beginners.

Cons

  • The hub must be directly connected to a router. It's not wireless and does not work as a router itself.

The controller has different settings or scenes you can customize for Good Morning, Good Night, or Goodbye for when you leave. Works with brands such as Ecobee, Lutron, Philips, Honeywell and more. Comes with a one year warranty.

The Wink 2 Controller

Wink hubs have come a long way with the Wink Hub 2 controller. With the use of this hub, you can set your appliances to control your home lighting with sunset and  sunrise, send you an alert when someone is home, and turn on the porch light when motion is detected.

Wink hubs have come a long way with the Wink Hub 2 controller. With the use of this hub, you can set your appliances to control your home lighting with sunset and  sunrise, send you an alert when someone is home, and turn on the porch light when motion is detected.

The Wink 2 hub is easy to install yourself with auto-discover and guided setup. They've expanded the memory capacity and it works well with more appliances and devices than most hubs. Upgrading from the Wink 1 is fast and easy, bringing all of your smart appliances together while keeping your selected "robot" tasks. 

Pros

  • No monthly fees.
  • Solid tech support
  • Great for beginners.

Cons

  • Not very customizable.
  • Interface isn't very intuitive.

Even though the manual says it only works with Wink products, Wink 2 hub works well with Z-Wave and other systems. The performance of the Wink 2 has made advancements with timing, connecting with more appliance brands, offers more robots to connect and controls more devices than ever before.

The Aeotec Z-Stick USB Adapter

The Aeotec Z-Stick is a self-powered USB adapter that works with Z-Wave Plus to control over 200 appliances and devices in your smart home. This allows you to remotely access your home from a PC, Windows, Mac, Raspberry Pi, Linux, and others.

This USB stick gives you the option to add new devices at any time from anywhere. When plugged into a USB port, the Z-Stick turns into a communication device with the ability to update itself to the latest software while recharging. This stick basically gives you the ability to make any computer a Z-Wave Hub.

Pros

  • Available in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Features a 1 year warranty.

Cons

  • Need to figure out a 3rd party software to use.
  • Requires a computer or Raspberry Pi.

Once you plug in the Z-Stick, it automatically upgrades the latest software. You can upgrade and change any settings in your home from anywhere in the world. This is powered directly via USB and works great!

Invest in Your Future With Home Automation

With more and more devices and brands hitting the home automation market, controlling your home with a push of a button from anywhere is the wave of the future. If you want to wake up to just the right temperature, be notified immediately if there is a leak, a fire, or an intruder and stop your appliances from draining electricity you can all with one easy-to-use Z-Wave hub.

Some appliances use energy even when they are turned off. With home automation, you can power them down as if they are unplugged completely shutting down any electricity being used. On average, this can save you an estimated $100 a year on your electric bill. By adding the sprinkler component, you save water and lower your water bill.

Never worry again when you're away from home. A Z-Wave controller allows you to watch your home in realtime or view the video from your cameras at your convenience. Feel safer, save money, and live like the Jetsons. Increase the value of your home with a Z-Wave hub today!

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