Category Archives: Product Reviews

Detailed reviews of popular products.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Review: Braumm Smart Wi-Fi Switch and Wi-Fi Plug

Smart Wi-Fi Switch and Plug – Braumm is a USA based company designing and selling Wi-Fi IoT devices.There’s a lot to like with the Braumm gear.

The Braumm switches can be used with both Amazon Echo (Alexa) and the Google Home Assistant.Braumm provides their own app, but the smart plug and smart switch are also compatible with the Smart Life app, since they both work on the Tuya platform. Continue reading Review: Braumm Smart Wi-Fi Switch and Wi-Fi Plug