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Z-Wave Light Switches Infuse Ordinary Objects with Smart Capabilities

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Z-Wave Light Switches Infuse Ordinary Objects with Smart Capabilities
February 26, 2020
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Z-Wave Light Switches Infuse Ordinary Objects with Smart Capabilities

Z-Wave devices illuminate

the path to safety and convenience

Smart lights are a simple way to dive into smart technology, making it easy to brighten and darken your home from anywhere. Or, even better, enable your home to anticipate your needs and change the lighting automatically. Z-Wave light switches—offered through Frontpoint Security as Wireless Light Controls—allow people to turn any existing light or small appliance into a smart device, bringing your home into the 21st century without a heavier investment in new equipment.

Let’s examine the many ways this simple, affordable device can provide homeowners and renters with major convenience and home security benefits.

Smart plug 101

Frontpoint’s Wireless Light Controls essentially function as smart plugs or switches. By plugging one into an electrical outlet and then plugging any of your existing lights or small appliances into it, you instantly infuse an ordinary device with smart capabilities.

Many smart light switches rely on Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity, but Frontpoint’s device has a built-in ability to receive and transmit Z-Waves—a low-energy wireless-communication protocol that is more reliable and consumes less energy than Wi-Fi. Z-Wave devices use secure radiofrequency waves to “speak” to each other.

In a Frontpoint system, Z-Wave also enables people to communicate with smart devices in their homes via a Hub connected to the system’s Touchscreen, the My.Frontpointsecurity.com online portal, and the Frontpoint app that’s available for any smartphone or mobile device.

Armed with this advanced technology, light switches suddenly become more than a way to turn lights on and off. Wireless Light Controls allow users to manage formerly “dumb” lights or small appliances in their homes from anywhere. You can:

  • Operate lights and appliances via a timer
  • Preprogram settings to create unique “scenes”
  • Have certain equipment respond to cues from other devices
  • Tie operation to specific events

Z-Wave light switches offer

unique opportunities for automation and control

Manually flipping a light switch is pretty easy. But this simple activity can also involve annoying inconveniences and home security risks.

How many times have you crawled into bed half-asleep and realized that you left the downstairs lights on? Or worried about the safety of family members arriving home to a dark house? Or wondered if your unlit home is a target for burglars while you’re on vacation?

Z-Wave light switches allow you to operate lights and small appliances from anywhere, and they enhance safety using remote control and automation linked to schedules and events.

Let’s dig into what that means:

  • Remote control. Users can manually turn lights and small appliances on and off by tapping a button on the Frontpoint app, the My.Frontpointsecurity.com online portal, the Keychain Remote, or the Touchscreen.
  • Scheduled automation. Wireless Light Controls can be scheduled to function as modern light timers; turning lights or appliances on and off at specific times, on specific days, or in a seemingly random sequence that mimics the behavior of people in the house.
  • Event-triggered automation. Other smart devices can trigger Wireless Light Controls to power lights or appliances on and off when certain actions are performed.
Picture of Burglar Entering HousePicture of Burglar Entering House
A dark house can be a signal to burglars that no one is home. Z-Wave light switches enable homeowners to turn lights on and off as if someone is moving throughout the house.

Z-Wave devices work

together to automatically sense your needs

Tapping a button to remotely control Z-Wave light switches is undeniably convenient, ensuring you never have to drag yourself out of bed again to turn off forgotten lights. Frontpoint’s Wireless Light Controls can even trigger mobile alerts reminding you to remotely shut off lights if Motion Sensors detect that you’ve left the house, saving energy and money off your electric bill.

But for even more convenience, Frontpoint enables users to automatically brighten or darken the house by preprogramming seemingly endless customizations.

Here’s how it works:

Incorporate Z-Wave light switches into scenes that adjust

multiple devices with a single tap

Scenes make multitasking simple. They give users the ability to control multiple devices connected to Frontpoint’s security system with a single command. By tapping a button or issuing a voice command to a connected Siri, Amazon Echo, or Google Home device, equipment included in the scene will perform preprogrammed actions automatically.

For instance, instead of running all over the house to close up at night, you can create a “bedtime” scene that arms intrusion sensors, triggers Wireless Light Controls to turn off downstairs lights, and locks the Smart Door Locks. A “vacation” scene could raise the thermostat, lock the doors, and convincingly mimic human activity by using Wireless Light Controls to turn lights on and off as if someone were home.

A “movie night” scene lets you stay snuggled under blankets with your family while Wireless Light Controls automatically click on the TV and dim the lights to the perfect ambiance.

Arriving home in the dark? A quick Siri voice command to your CarPlay-enabled dashboard can enable a “home” scene that unlocks the front door, adjusts the thermostat, and uses your Wireless Light Controls to brighten certain lights in the house.

The Frontpoint app includes four ready-made scenes: Home, Away, Sleep, and Wake Up. Each one can be easily customized to fit a user’s preferences; perhaps adding a porch light when you arrive home or using the Wireless Light Control to turn on the coffee maker in the morning. You can also create your own scenes that fit your daily routines, such as a “kids’ bedtime” scene that uses Wireless Light Controls to turn off the upstairs lights, turn on noise machines in the kids’ rooms, and dimly illuminate a hall light in case anyone gets out of bed.

Preset rules can illuminate lights when certain conditions

are met

Rules are individual devices or scenes that are activated by a specific event or condition. For instance, event-triggered rules might instruct Wireless Light Controls to flood the house with light if security or smoke and heat sensors sound an alarm, scaring off potential intruders and illuminating the path to safety. Rules could also dimly light the kitchen or bathroom in the middle of the night if motion sensors detect someone is up. Or, they could trigger specific lights in the house to brighten when a Smart Door Lock unlocks or the Garage Door Tilt Sensor detects that you are home.

Use rules to lower your electric bill; for instance, instruct Wireless Light Controls to turn off if motion sensors don't detect movement in a room for a specified period. This functionality also lets you predetermine how long lights will stay lit and what time of day a rule is active.

Frontpoint’s geo-services feature offers a simple way to program multiple rules at once. Geo-services can instruct your home to automatically perform certain smart actions based on your location.

Here’s how this works: Activate geo-services on the Frontpoint app and share your smartphone’s location. You can then set rules that will automatically take effect any time your phone crosses a geo-fence—the invisible boundary you create around a location. Users can create multiple geofences that each maintains its own set of rules, and every user on the account can customize their own fences as well.

For instance, you can set your geo-services to arm intrusion sensors, adjust the thermostat, and trigger Wireless Light Controls to turn off the lights if you leave your home’s geo-fence. Then, you can program a geo-fence outside of your office that turns the lights back on and readjusts the thermostat when you leave at the end of the day.

Picture of the Frontpoint Wireless Light ControlPicture of the Frontpoint Wireless Light Control
Wireless Light Controls can be incorporated into scenes that control multiple Z-Wave devices at once, making it easy to multitask.

Schedules can transform Z-Wave light switches into

high-tech light timers

Leaving for vacation? If you’re setting an old-fashioned light timer that turns on and off at the same time every day, you probably aren’t fooling anyone. In fact, you may be attracting attention from burglars, who can easily tell that the lights are mechanically controlled.

But automated lighting can work. Burglars generally avoid targets with obstacles that make it easy to get caught, such as obvious home security systems and people who can call authorities. A survey of 86 convicted burglars backs up the assumption that lighting is an effective crime deterrent—but only if it seems like there is a real human hand behind it.

Frontpoint schedules can incorporate Wireless Light Controls into recurring scenes that run on a timer. But unlike traditional light timers, they may be set to as many varying schedules as you decide to program. A program can automatically turn different lights on and off in different rooms in a seemingly random sequence, so it looks like someone is moving throughout the house.

You can vary the times when the lights go on and off throughout the week, so no day repeats and no predictable pattern emerges. For example, you might set a bathroom or bedroom light to occasionally turn on in the middle of the night, so it looks like someone woke up. You can even use Z-Wave light switches to add small appliances like radios or TVs to the ruse, with a television clicking on in the living room for a few hours and then shutting off when it’s “time for bed.”

Schedules can also be used to enhance security in other ways. For instance, as the days grow shorter in the fall, your “Home” scene can be set to activate Wireless Light Controls 15 minutes before your kids usually arrive home from school.

And, of course, schedules can be used to enhance convenience. Like to fall asleep with the TV and fan on? Simply connect those devices to a Wireless Light Control and set a time for them to turn off, enabling you to comfortably drift off to sleep without wasting energy or money.

With Z-Wave light switches,

convenience is only limited by your imagination

The customizations that you can create with Z-Wave switches connected to a smart security system are endless. Whether you want to take control of your home’s energy usage or never come home to a dark house, the automation and remote control offered by this simple device are astounding.

Looking for even more ways to enhance your home with smart lighting? Frontpoint also offers Z-Wave light bulbs that have an embedded transmitter. These dimmable, LED Light Bulbs are energy-efficient and long-lasting—using just 9 watts to achieve the brightness of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. Installation is simple; they may be smart, but they look like your average light bulb and screw into any existing socket.


Frontpoint keeps families safer and more connected in their everyday lives. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.

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