As more and more people work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to create safe home offices with comfortable working environments is a must. Adding Z-Wave friendly smart devices to your home can definitely help make it more efficient and more comfortable for your work and living conditions. Most offices I’ve worked in have always provided great lighting, the right temperature, good security, and basically an office/cubicle setting that allowed me to be as productive as possible. Z-Wave can help you accomplish this at home without having to worry about disrupting your workflow, and in many cases, all you need is to provide voice commands or use your smartphone to make it happen.
We’ve put together a list of products that can make working from home easier and at the same time improve day-to-day life for the entire family. Please keep in mind that most Z-Wave devices will need to be included into a Z-Wave home network, which can easily be accomplished by installing a Z-Wave compatible home automation controller in your home and adding it to your Internet network.
The Fibaro Z-Wave Home Center Lite is a wonderful home automation controller that can manage up to 230 Z-Wave friendly devices as well as support scenes, geo-localization, voice controls, and text message alerts. This automation controller will allow you to remote control Z-Wave connected lights, security devices, appliances, HVAC, and more. And since it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, you can be sitting at your home office/workstation and literally use voice commands to control Z-Wave connected devices, such as lights in your office. I’m currently working from home and have to do this a lot since my wife is always turning off the kitchen light on the way to our bedroom (she forgets I’m working from home sometimes), which happens to be my main light for my home workstation. All I have to say is, “Alexa, turn on kitchen light,” and just like that, I’m able to see what I’m working on.
The Zipato ZipaTile2 Z-Wave Home Automation Controller is a complete home and security automation hub that is designed as an Android-powered, wall-mount tablet. It supports Z-Wave, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi devices (out of the box) and has built-in communication radios and sensors to detect motion, noise, temperature, humidity, shock, and light. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit, and has a free app for both iOS and Android mobile devices, allowing you to use voice commands and your smartphone to control your Z-Wave connected smart devices. The 8-inch touchscreen tablet (800 x 1280) has a touchscreen keypad and can easily be mounted on a wall for easy access.
The GoControl Battery-Powered Z-Wave Thermostat allows you to easily control your HVAC system with your mobile smart device. It works with most modern HVAC systems (heat pump or standard), making it ideal for retrofit or new construction installations. You can use your smartphone or tablet to adjust settings and it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Voice commands definitely come in handy in our apartment. My wife is currently working out of our bedroom (her office), which happens to get hot throughout the day. With the use of her smartphone, she can easily adjust the temperature to make the bedroom comfortable without having to get up and walk to the thermostat located in the other room. She has a lot of video meetings so being able to stay in her office is important.
The FIBARO Z-Wave Plus Wall Plug with USB is a versatile smart device that can be used in many different ways to provide Z-Wave control of simple appliances and plug-in lights. It not only provides Z-Wave control, but also monitors energy usage and has a USB charging port, built-in surge protection, and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. My wife has one of these in her office that’s connected to Amazon Alexa. Plugged into it is a key light that provides extra light on her face during her video/Zoom meetings. We even created a special lighting scene called “Zoom Lighting” so whenever she has an upcoming video meeting, all she has to say outloud is “Alexa, turn on Zoom Lighting” and the lighting in her office adjusts to provide the best lighting for her video meeting. Plus, she also uses the USB charging port to power her smartphone throughout the day.
Working from home often means being in a bedroom/home office that may be upstairs or in a location that’s not near the front door. This is where the Aeotec Z-Wave Doorbell 6 can be of use. This indoor wireless doorbell includes an indoor chime and outdoor button. When the outdoor button is pressed, the indoor chime will emit a loud alert as well as flash bright LEDs to notify you. The operating range between the chime and doorbell button is 393 feet and the doorbell button can be programmed to trigger other Z-Wave friendly devices such as lights and security cameras as well as home automation scenes. If you work from home, you might have to order lunch from time to time, depending on your busy schedule, and being able to know when exactly the delivery has arrived is important. All you have to do is install the indoor chime in your office and you’ll know instantly when your delivery is at your front door.
Having a smart door lock can also be helpful if you work from home. The Yale Z-Wave Plus Assure Touchscreen Keypad Lever Lock can unlock and lock in 3 different ways by code, turnkey, or Z-Wave control. It features an illuminated touchscreen, electronic motorized lever lock, and tamper-resistant keypad. It also supports up to 250 user codes when integrated into a Z-Wave home network and can be controlled remotely via Z-Wave technology. If your home office is away from your front door, this smart lock can notify you when it is unlocked with an alert sent via text message or email. So if you’re in your home office working, you’ll know exactly when a family member or trusted visitor uses an entry code to unlock your door. This Yale Z-Wave smart lock will help provide exceptional security at your front door and give you peace of mind so that you know who exactly accessed your door and at what time.
Even though you’re at home working, your property could still be broken into since many break-ins occur during the daytime, according to the FBI (UCR Program). The Sensative Strips Guard Door/Window Sensor provides discreet security monitoring doors, windows, and other open/close objects. Because of its ultra-thin design, this Z-Wave door/window sensor can easily be mounted between or within the frame of the door/window without being seen. The sensor is water resistant, can withstand extreme temperatures, be used indoors or outdoors, and has a battery life of 10 years. It can also communicate with other Z-Wave devices up to 131 feet. I have one installed at my front door so that once the door is opened, my Z-Wave friendly lights automatically turn on providing a sense of security and allowing me to enter my home without having to turn on the lights manually. Most of the time my hands are busy holding groceries or other things so it’s really nice not having to enter my home in the dark.
If you would like to add Z-Wave smart devices to your home, we can help. Just call us at 858-693-8887 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday) for free tech support and product advice. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.homecontrols.com.