Frequently Asked Questions

What is a “smart home”?

A smart home is a home outfitted with devices that can be controlled over an internet connection on one’s desktop, tablet, or smartphone. These connected devices can be appliances, lights, security systems, cameras, audio and video systems, televisions, thermostats, and even sprinklers.

Generally speaking, if your home has devices that connect to each other and to a network, it’s a smart home. The complexity of smart systems may differ somewhat from home to home, but the basic foundations are the same.

When should I call for home automation services?

The best time to contact a home automation system installer is always as soon as possible. Home automation systems typically work alongside of your electrical system so it’s important that proper system design and implementation be performed prior to installation of drywall.

When is the best time to install home automation?

The best time to install a home automation system is just prior to electricians finishing. Home Automation cabling installs are usually the last trade to perform cable runs just prior to the install of drywall. Typical installs times are between 1-3 days depending on size of system.

How long does it take to install a home automation system?

Wireless – Typically a wireless home automation installation can range from a few hours to 2 days depending on size of system being implemented.
Wired – Typical install of a wired smart home system ranges between 2-5 days depending on size of system being implanted.

Is it possible to upgrade an existing or older home with home automation?

Yes, upgrading an existing or older home is always possible. Wireless and z-wave automation technology is tailored for this type of upgrade. For wired systems if the essential wiring is already present upgrades are always available. New wiring can always be run but requires a more costly and invasive approach to the automation system install (i.e fishing wire through walls, opening walls, etc.).

What wiring do I need for a smart home?

The required wiring is always dependent on what type of devices you require in your system. Typical wiring used in wired home automation systems are but are not limited to the following:

Cat5, Cat5E, Cat6, Cat6A, etc.

HDMI cables

In wall speaker cable

3 way 14 AWG cable

14/2 AWG electrical cable

Do I need a hub for my smart home?

Yes. The hub controller is the heart of any home automation system. It controls the automation of all connected components and compatible technologies and is the gateway for the remote access or “IoT”.

Is there a monthly fee for a smart home?

Yes and no. If you opt to monitor and control your home automation system yourself then there are no monthly fees. If you decide to have a third party monitoring of your system additional monthly fees can be expected.

Is a smart home difficult to maintain?

No. Smart home automation technologies are designed to make your life easier. Maintenance and updates are a service that we can take care of for you.

What is Z-Wave?

Z-wave is a protocol for communication among devices used for home automation. It uses RF for signaling and control.

Z-Wave is often used in locks, security systems, lighting, heating, cooling and home appliances by all major technology manufactures providing you with many options to choose from.

What is Z-Wave Plus?

Z-Wave Plus is a product certification program that assures consumers are getting the best performing Z-Wave products available today.

What is the difference between a Z-Wave and a Z-Wave Plus product?

Z-Wave Plus products make use of the latest advancements in Z-Wave technology. These advancements provide for longer battery life, faster operation, better RF coverage and easier installation. Classic Z-Wave products may take advantage of some of these newer advancements but are not required to use all the latest technology. It is important to note that there over 20 million classic Z-Wave products in use every day and these products meet the needs of most applications satisfactorily.

Will Z-Wave Plus products work with classic Z-Wave products?

Yes, Z-Wave Plus products are fully backward compatible with classic Z-Wave products.

Why Z-Wave Plus now and not from the beginning of Z-Wave?

Twelve years of market experience and continuous development of the Z-Wave technology have brought about several improvements to the underling communications technology.  Recent advancements in micro-chip performance have made applying these improvements both possible and cost-effective.

Does Z-Wave Plus cost more?

Not really. As with most technologies, performance continues to increase and cost stays about the same. There may be some slight difference in price between a Z-Wave Plus product and a classic Z-Wave product, but these differences have more to do with added features than the cost of the underlining technology.

How do I know I’m getting a Z-Wave Plus product?

Z-Wave Plus certified products are easily identified by these Marks that appear on the product and product packaging.

What devices can be controlled with home automation?

Virtually any electrical device or appliance in your home can be controlled through home automation. Audio, Video, Lighting, Security & Surveillance systems, Shades, Blinds, Climate control, Leak sensors, Sprinkler systems, Bluetooth speakers, Amplifiers, Kodi boxes, Apple TV, WiFi, Access points, Appliance and more.

Is my information secure with home automation?

Yes. Z-Wave uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which is the same security standard used by banks, ATM machines and online banking apps.

Can I achieve all the same features of a wired smart home using only wireless technology?

Yes and even more!!!