Home automation is the ultimate way for you to control the devices inside your home. It works by connecting compatible devices with your security system and then using your security panel as a central hub for operating these devices. Once your security system is able to access the network using an IP or a cellular connection, you will be able to control these devices using an app on your smartphone. Please note that you will need to have a monitoring plan that includes home automation in order to do this.
Most home automation devices connect with a security system using Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave is a communications protocol that allows various devices to interact with a security panel wirelessly. In order to use Z-Wave, your system will need to have a Z-Wave module installed. Some panels come included with a built-in Z-Wave module, while others will need to have one added separately. These modules are easy to install for most end users, making them great for a DIY setup. Some systems that will need to have an external Z-Wave module installed include Honeywell VISTA panels and Honeywell Lynx Touch panels. Other systems such as the Honeywell Lyric Controller and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 come pre-included with a Z-Wave module right out of the box.
Any device that uses Z-Wave technology can be controlled using a home automation setup. Some common Z-Wave devices include thermostats, light switches, garage door openers and more. These devices can be instructed to function automatically by using rules and scenes. A scene represents a series of actions that will be performed. For example, a scene might be to unlock your door, turn on the lights and turn down the thermostat. A rule is an instruction for your panel to perform a scene when a certain event occurs. For instance, you might have a rule to cause a scene to activate when you arm your security panel or when a motion sensor is activated.
By setting up rules and scenes together, you can instruct Z-Wave devices to perform specific actions when certain events occur. In other words, a rule will tell your panel to activate a scene when a specific action is performed. For instance, you might have the lights inside of your house turn on and your thermostat activate when you open your garage door. This convenience is one of the best features of Z-Wave devices. You will be able to create new rules and scenes and apply them right from your security panel.
It is also possible to control your Z-Wave devices remotely. This is done using an interactive platform with your security system, such as Total Connect or Alarm.com. The interactive service you use will generally depend on what type of security system you have. These interactive platforms generally offer mobile apps that can be downloaded on most smartphones. Using these apps, you can check the status of your system, arm and disarm your panel and control Z-Wave devices from anywhere in the world.