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Home Automation Alliances
Do Your Homework
Z-Wave, INSTEON, and ZigBee all offer member companies three different levels of participation or investment in the alliance. Each level carries different costs and benefits.
A company can join and become an alliance member without offering any products that use the alliance technology. Homeowners should check to see how many compatible products are available within an alliance before opting for their technology over another.
Make a Smart Automation Investment
Home automation starter kits that can be added onto later can cost under $100. Many RF-enabled devices. like light switches, dimmers, and HVAC controls, can be easily installed and included in a home’s expanding automated network. Just remember that an alliance purchase means non-participating companies and products cannot be added later—alliance products only speak to fellow alliance products. Starting small is great, but homeowners must be prepared for limited expansion opportunities depending on the alliance they select.
RF-enabled devices with low price points and easy installation make for attractive home-automation solutions. Nonetheless, a homeowner would be wise to thoroughly research the options, to know just how many products and systems from an alliance can be included in the home’s automated network, and to find out what other homeowners are saying about the products.
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