A device can only be smart if it is connected and it can only be connected if it has home automation software that allows it to connect. So choosing the best home automation software is just as important as choosing the best home automation products.
Since your products need to all use the same software in order to connect with each other, it’s important to make the decision about which software you will stick with before you start investing in a lot of different smart products.
Here are the top 4 software options available today.
Z wave boasts a lot of advantages. It’s a wireless home automation software that uses a mesh network. That means it has fewer transmission failures, a much wider transmission range, and it takes very little power to operate. This is the ideal combination.
As the market leader, it also has more than 1,000 different smart devices which are compatible with it. This means you won’t have to sacrifice diversity and choice just for the sake of good software.
Zigbee is probably the biggest competitor for Z-wave. It uses a similar mesh network making it equally reliable and energy efficient. And while it is growing fast, it doesn’t have quite the range of compatible products that Z-wave has.
However, more and more home automation controllers are starting to add compatibility with both Z wave and Zigbee so if you get the right hub, you may not have to restrict yourself to just one or the other.
What makes WiFi stand out is that it is so universal. This and Bluetooth are probably the two on this list you are most familiar with. Most connected devices (not just smart home automation devices) are WiFi enabled.
That you means you have a lot of versatility in terms of the products you can choose. And it means you probably already have a home automation controller at home if you have a WiFi router.
But you want to be careful about investing in a lot of WiFi products. The more devices in your home that are using WiFi, the more competition you will have for the limited bandwith. The advantage of Zigbee and Z-wave are that they achieve connectivity without interfering with your internet connection. WiFi also eats up a lot of power.
There are a lot of devices that are Bluetooth enabled and it uses very low energy, especially compared to WiFi. You also have a fairly diverse variety of products that can connect using Bluetooth.
However, of all the options on this list, Bluetooth has the shortest signal range so it’s not great for devices that need to stay connected all of the time.
Choose your software based on the products you already own and what your key priorities are when it comes to connecting them.