Category Archives: Devices

Browse by device type

Yale YRD256-CBA / ZW2 / iM1 Smart Deadbolt Review

 Connected by August Connected by August Connected by August
Apple HomeKit Apple HomeKit Apple HomeKit
Z-Wave Plus Z-Wave Plus Z-Wave Plus
Zigbee Zigbee Zigbee

Overall Rating diy star 4.0

Overall I was very impressed with this lock. It has many great features that should be standard in a high-end smart lock. It was well thought out, including the aspect of using a single lock frame that can be converted from a Connected by August (CBA), Apple HomeKit (iM1), Z-Wave Plus (ZW2), and Zigbee (HA2).

The CBA model has the most functionality, which is reflected in the price, but the other versions offer more capabilities when compared to the YRD156 for example.

Continue reading Yale YRD256-CBA / ZW2 / iM1 Smart Deadbolt Review

Smart Home Lock Comparison

This page is a work in progress. As I test more locks, they will be added here. Thank you for your patience.

Make/Model  Protocol Install Complexity Proximity Unlock Motor Noise Power-fail Backup Hub Command Reliability Lock Status Report Reliability User Report to Hub Reliability
Alfred / DB1-C-BL Bluetooth Z-Wave High USB
Schlage  / BE468 & BE469 Z-Wave Med No High Key See Notes See Notes See Notes
Schlage  / BE468 & BE469  Zigbee Med No High Key High Med Low
 Yale / YRD156  Z-Wave Low No Low 9v High High High
Yale / YRD256 Z-Wave Low Yes* Med 9v High Med-High High

 

Continue reading Smart Home Lock Comparison

Yale YRD156-ZW2 Smart Deadbolt Review

 Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Overall Rating diy star 4.0

Overall I was very impressed with this lock. It is very straight forward and offers great capabilities. The commanded lock/unlock was very reliable, and always sent back status to the hub. My only complaint is that it is sold exclusively through distributors and you’ll see wild markups on the price if you’re not careful.

Continue reading Yale YRD156-ZW2 Smart Deadbolt Review

Lock Testing and Error Rates

lock-control-dashboard

When it comes to testing smart locks, I focus on two aspects: 1) does the lock do what it’s told to do when commanded by the hub; and 2) does the lock tell the hub what happened (locked, unlocked, which user, etc.).

My goal is for these tests to be as automated as possible. The more automated the tests, the more cycles can be put on the lock. The more cycles, the more the consumer can rely on the information.

Continue reading Lock Testing and Error Rates

Zooz Zen30 Double Switch

 Purchase on Amazon

~ $40.00

Overall Rating diy star 4.5

The Zooz Zen30 is a Z-Wave switch that can control 2 loads independently with one Double Switch. The upper switch is a paddle dimmer which can be configured as an on/off switch through parameters. The lower switch is a push-button switch that can control fan loads up to 15 amps. The fan switch (lower) provides no speed control.  

This is the first Z-Wave switch that I’ve seen with this capability!

Continue reading Zooz Zen30 Double Switch

2020 iBlinds Z-wave Smart Window Blinds Review

iblinds z-wave controller Purchase on MyiBlinds.com
iblinds solar panel Purchase on MyiBlinds.com

Overall Rating diy star 4.5

iBlinds are a great Z-Wave Plus retrofit for 2 – 21/2 inch horizontal blinds. The setup can be accomplished in under 20 minutes. The motor fits in the headrail. iBlinds currently support North American Z-Wave frequencies and more may be coming soon. Please see the iBlinds website for more information.

Relatively speaking, these are very affordable. I have seen other Z-Wave blind controllers for twice the price. These are normally prices around $150 each, but I have seen them on sale for under $100.

Continue reading 2020 iBlinds Z-wave Smart Window Blinds Review

Inovelli LZW31 Smart Dimmer Review

Inovelli Red Series Dimmer Inovelli Black Series Dimmer

Overall Rating diy star 5.0

The Inovelli LZW31 comes in two flavors, red and black. The Black Series dimmer is the utilitarian little brother of the Red Series dimmer. It’s nice that they decided to provide a basic version (that’s still very capable) for those customers that don’t want or care about all the extra features.

Before you go crazy and purchase a bunch of either model, it’s a good idea to understand the differences to make sure you get what you need. The price difference is under $10, so when in doubt, spend the extra money (in my opinion). What you get as a result will be sure to please.

Continue reading Inovelli LZW31 Smart Dimmer Review

Is Hubitat Elevation a Good Wink Hub 2 Alternative?

Update April 2020 – Wink employees have been active again on their Facebook and Twitter pages. I see that people are getting support. Wink also announced a mandatory firmware upgrade, which is encouraging. Unfortunately there’s not much other news available.

Wink has been silent. Very silent. According to one article, they already have. So if you’re thinking about moving from Wink to Hubitat, here’s a list of important things to keep in mind, including answers to some of the most popular questions.

Continue reading Is Hubitat Elevation a Good Wink Hub 2 Alternative?

Sylvania Lightify LED Recessed Lighting Kit Sylvania SMART+ RT5/6 RGBW Zigbee Bulbs

Overall Rating diy star 4.5

These are one of the favorite lights in my home. The family loves them. It’s not just about the color, it’s how clear the light  and vibrant the lights are.

I know everyone has heard that Osram intends to stop the production and support of their cloud service. But never fear. These are Zigbee lights that will play well with a Zigbee hub.

Continue reading Sylvania Lightify LED Recessed Lighting Kit Sylvania SMART+ RT5/6 RGBW Zigbee Bulbs