Your Mi Casa Verde system and its components let you monitor, control and automate a great number of devices around your home. You and your smartphone (or PC or tablet) can communicate with these devices -- cameras, door locks, lighting controls, etc. -- one device at a time or in groups that work together, like a thermostat that turns itself down when it sees bright sunlight from a daylight sensor, and back up again when it gets dark.
It makes sense then, to have an idea of the kinds of things you want to do with Vera and your Mi Casa Verde system; what kinds of benefits are possible and what components will you need to get them.
Monitoring & Security Applications
One popular example is monitoring and operating electronic door locks. When your child gets home from school and unlocks the door, Vera can send you a text message or an email. You can view a still image or live footage from your computer or smartphone to be certain that your kids are home safe and didn't bring unwelcome guests. You can live footage inside your home to check in on the babysitter while you are out, and so on.
For these kinds of security and monitoring applications, you'd use a powered door lock, a video camera and perhaps a motion detector, all of which work with Vera through Z-Wave, the interoperable standard in wireless control. How many of these devices will you need to connect? It all depends on what you want to accomplish.
Energy Management Applications
With Vera, you can remotely or automatically create a household that runs at maximum energy efficiency and with minimum energy billings. You can create "scenes" that turn lights and climate to pre-determined settings that you control with one touch or that can react automatically to changing conditions. You can remotely turn appliances off or on; for example, turning off the lawn sprinkler when it starts raining or turning up the thermostat to warm up the house when you're on your way home from work.
For these kinds of energy management applications, there are a wide range of plug-in and wall-mounted lighting switches that will make any lights remotely controllable. Vera is compatible with all Z-Wave thermostats, of course. There are many plug-in modules that control indoor and outdoor appliances. And to make any device "smart," simply plug in a Mi Casa Verde SmartSwitch, which not only allows you to control whatever's plugged into it, but also to monitor that device's energy consumption over time.
Wellness Assistance Applications
Vera lets you protect your independent elderly loved ones by staying connected with them and being able to monitor and assist them remotely. For example, Vera can notify you if there is no motion in your loved ones' home, so you can check in and get help. Vera will turn on lights when motion is detected, so there's no more fumbling for the bathroom light or dangerous stairwell lights in the middle of the night.
Vital assistances like these provide security for both caretaker and caretaken, and are easily accomplished by adding Z-Wave motion detectors and Z-Wave enabled lights. You can even take Vera further to work with Z-Wave controlled window shades and daylight sensors, so you're sure that it's no longer a strain for elderly loved ones to simply let light into the room.
With Vera and a smartphone, you can simplify your morning or evening routine. You can touch one button to shut down, lock up and arm your house; no more running around to turn off every light, set the alarm and thermostat and check that the doors are locked.
Again, these kinds of tasks are simple with Vera and nearly 700 different Z-Wave products and adapters on the market. You simply add one to each device that you want to remotely monitor or control.
Before we move forward into the Mi Casa Verde Dashboard, where you'll learn how to control your Vera, take a few moments to ask yourself what kinds of monitoring and control tasks you'd like to accomplish, and what kinds of devices would help you accomplish them.
Make a conceptual checklist of things you'd like to see, or know, or activate, or de-activate remotely. What you'd like to get remote control of, if you could. What you'd like to automate or make into a one-touch "scene" to make your life easy.
You'll learn about the different kinds of Z-Wave devices and adapters that can do these things in the next section.