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Wireless Automation

It is very nice that our readers sometimes suggest topics for news and articles themselves.

Recently, we were asked a question about how to wirelessly automate what is better than Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio, or something else. Let's try to understand


Initiated as an alternative to infrared for file transfer, Bluetooth has become increasingly practical and energy efficient. The 4th generation of Bluetooth adapters practically does not consume the energy of the device in standby mode, allowing you to have an always-on interface on your smartphone. And manage not only the transfer of files, but a huge number of devices. Many companies are developing devices with the Bluetooth protocol, these are smart sockets and household appliances (Redmond) Lamps (Philips) thermostats (EQ3), musical equipment (JBL), cameras (Net gear)

So, the main pros and cons.


  1. Prevalence.
  2. Easy to set up.
  3. Control from any smartphone
  4. Cheapness of the chip itself, ease of production.
  5. A large number of devices.
  6. The ability to turn any smartphone or tablet into a home control center and hang it on the wall (no need to buy a special device)


  1. Limited receive radius
  2. Individual application for each group of devices
  3. A large number of chip manufacturers. There are several generations on the roar.
  4. Closed code for most device developers (bad for trying to network.
  5. An additional gsm hub is required for out-of-home control.

As you can see from the description, Bluetooth is the simplest and most common way to automate your home. For an apartment, I would recommend it.


Even though the handshake protocol itself has been around for a very long time, until recently, the use of a Wi-Fi chip for automation ran into several problems. This is the high cost of the chip itself, insufficient programming capabilities for devices other than network routers, instability to interference. However, the trend has changed recently. With the advent of cheap chips, a lot of projects have appeared for development, we can say that we are seeing the emergence of a whole class of new Wi-Fi controlled devices.

Pros and cons


  1. No need for additional devices.
  2. Prevalence.
  3. Range
  4. Baud rate.
  5. Many devices support Wi-Fi (cameras, TVs, stereos)





  1. Few devices to automate
  2. Programming skills required
  3. Raw GUI writing language.

As you can see, this protocol is suitable for enthusiasts. The potential possibilities are very wide. And the "width" channel allows the transmission of large amounts of information. At the moment, only entertainment aspects (set-top boxes, etc.) and cameras are widely developed, but the market is growing rapidly and this year we will see full-fledged solutions based on this protocol.

Z-wave low frequency radio

Z-Wave is a proprietary wireless communication protocol designed for home automation, specifically residential and commercial control and management. The technology uses low-power and miniature RF modules that are embedded in consumer electronics and various devices such as lighting, heating devices access control, entertainment systems and home appliances. We have repeatedly talked about this protocol in our news and articles, here we briefly summarize what we know about it


  1. Large number of devices
  2. All devices are controlled by one application
  3. Different price segment. Ability to build a controllerbut independently.
  4. Open source.


  1. Low data rate
  2. Unstable operation
  3. You can pay extra for a normal interface (for example, iridium) or write it yourself.
  4. Compatibility issues with some devices and controllers.

This solution is optimal for everything that does not concern multimedia or security cameras. The controllers themselves are inexpensive and can be mounted almost anywhere.

As a result, we can conclude the following:

  1. Bluetooth is fine for basic automation on off-the-shelf devices, but you have to put up with a bunch of apps
  2. Wi-Fi is suitable for enthusiasts and those who appreciate multimedia capabilities and want to have a complete security system.
  3. Z-wave for those who want to have one control center, and a large number of ready-made devices without multimedia.