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If you're a Vera user and have not yet tried Reactor (the excellent FREE Vera plugin for advanced home automation), do yourself a favour! To get yourself started, checkout this excellent YouTube tutorial channel.
Here's one of our favourite videos from the channel, to show you how simple it is to create a motion controlled lighting routine...
As many of you will know, Z-Wave is currently a proprietary standard owned by Silicon Labs. Yesterday it was announced that the company and the Z-Wave Alliance plan to open the Z-Wave Specification as a ratified, multi-source wireless standard available to all silicon vendors for development.
Starting in the second half of 2020, this change will allow competitors to develop and manufacture their own radios which will encourage further adoption of the technology and will likely bring down prices on Z-Wave hardware. Great news for consumers and the entire Z-Wave community in general!
Read the full press release.
Vera has released a brand new, fully customisable dashboard for their mobile apps. The changes are still in the beta stages of testing but you can become an early adopter if you want to give the new dashboard a spin right now (see links below).
Some of the key features include;
Everything on the new dashboard is now more neatly presented and takes up less space, making things more easily accessible at a glance.
We've been running with the new version since its beta release about two months ago and we’re very pleased to announce that this is the most stable and performant UI7 ever! The list of bug fixes and enhancements is vast and you can get full details here. A worthy upgrade for sure.
From our perspective though, the most exciting Vera news in recent memory hasn’t been about company acquisitions or UI7 improvements, it’s been about the amazing contributions made to the platform by Patrick H. Rigney; a.k.a. rigpapa (as he’s known in the Vera community).
Patrick has single-handedly redefined the way we use Vera through a collection of ingenious software addons (plugins) which will transform your humble controller into a home automation beast! All of his excellent plugins are available via the Vera app store and directly from this github repo. However, without a doubt, the one plugin every Vera user needs to know about is, Reactor.
Reactor is the most essential plugin Vera has ever known. It can help you build powerful smart home logic effortlessly and without needing to write a single line of code. After setting up your first Reactor device, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
The kinds of things possible with Reactor are limitless and we are yet to encounter a home automation scenario it couldn’t handle. You can read more about its capabilities in this wiki and there’s now also a dedicated YouTube channel of instructional “how-to” videos to help get you started (with more promised in time).
We can’t oversell this. If you’ve never tried Reactor or any of rigpapa’s plugins, please, do yourself a favour! Here's a few others we rely on:-
We should also mention that all these plugins are free (unbelievable) but please, if you find them helpful, consider making a donation to help support his fantastic efforts.
Until next time, happy automating!
Home security is something all home owners worry about, especially when we’re away and unfortunately, a vacant home can often spell opportunity for burglars. However, with a Z-Wave home security and safety system, you can dissuade potential intruders through the automatic control of lights and window coverings at random times, creating the appearance that there’s always someone at home even when there isn’t. You can also monitor your home remotely through surveillance cameras and receive an alert on your phone automatically whenever something unexpected happens.
Smoke and carbon monoxide sensors form an important part of any home safety system but when connected to a smart home, they can deliver several important benefits. For example, if you have elderly relatives you worry about living alone, they can simultaneously trigger other Z-Wave devices in an emergency and flash room lights, unlock doors or send an alert to family and friends.
Automated lighting offers many benefits in and around the home but perhaps one not so obvious use case is that it allows its occupants to be guided safely between rooms at night without ever needing to fumble for a light switch. This can reduce the risk of falls and other injuries caused by poor lighting conditions.
With a Z-Wave keyless door lock, you can centrally manage unique access codes for every member of the household and trigger an event whenever someone gains entry to your home. You can also remotely lock and unlock your doors from anywhere in world and provide temporary access for house guests or tradesmen.
These are just a few of the many security and safety features of a Z-Wave smart home system and if you have any questions about how to best make use of this exciting technology, feel free to contact us anytime.
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