Home Automation , electricians
Written by Larry Cook

Connecting All at Your New Smart Home – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, convenience and energy efficiency are the chief benefits from using smart devices for your home. Part 2 will discuss home automation and several types of devices you should consider that will make home management effortless. Consult with an experienced licensed electrician to obtain the best results.

Communication Protocols

The first thing to point out is that devices will utilize a certain communication protocol for connectivity. You must take note of this for each device you purchase to ensure that it can be supported by your central hub/gateway. Below is a list of the most used protocols for home smart devices.

  • Bluetooth
  • Insteon
  • Wi-Fi
  • X10
  • Z-Wave
  • ZigBee


Typically, modern systems are comprised of sensors and switches connected to a central hub/gateway from which the system is controlled via a user interface interacting with a wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, tablet computer or a web interface, often but not always via internet cloud services. According to this article, Best Smart Home Hubs of 2017 , the following are currently the four best hubs.

Samsung SmartThings

SmartThings is building an open platform for smart homes and the consumer Internet of Things. Primary products include a free SmartThings app, a SmartThings Hub, and various sensors and smart devices.

Amazon Echo Dot

Capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic and other real time information. It can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation hub.

Google Home

Includes home automation as a feature, enabling owners to use it to control devices as a central hub. Google has partnered with Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and IFTTT for smart home device control with the Google Home device.

Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2 is the first smart home hub designed for the mainstream consumer, sporting industry-leading protocol support, a sleek design, enhanced connectivity, and security features that create a best-in-class experience.

Part 3 will discuss perhaps the top three home smart device categories.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at 410-266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.