When my husband and I decided to dive into the world of smart home tech, it was a no-brainer that we should start with our home theater—which, if we’re being honest, is where we spend most of our evenings together. So of course, it only seemed fitting that we should focus our initial efforts on creating the smart home theater of our dreams.

How to Create a Smart Home Theater

 

When my husband and I decided to dive into the world of smart home tech, it was a no-brainer that we should start with our home theater—which, if we’re being honest, is where we spend most of our evenings together. So of course, it only seemed fitting that we should focus our initial efforts on creating the smart home theater of our dreams.

 

At first we had a hard time envisioning the tools we’d need to implement a smart home theater, but we used the Z-Wave Solutions Guide for reference and in time were able to accomplish exactly what we wanted. Here’s what we’ve learned along the way:

 

Use the Z-Wave Protocol

In smart home tech, certain devices speak certain languages, or protocols. Before you start buying smart home products you should take time to research the various protocols and their pros and cons. My husband and I quickly identified Z-Wave as our protocol of choice, because of its user-friendliness and its compatibility with all of our favorite smart home products—which I’ll mention below.

 

Start with a Smart Hub

You won’t go far in smart home automation unless you begin with a hub. We love the Samsung SmartThings Hub for its broad compatibility, its easy install process, and its free app. All you have to do is attach the power supply to the back of the hub and plug the Ethernet cable into your Internet router, and you’ll be ready to use it to control and monitor your Z-Wave smart home gear.

 

Set the Mood with Dimmable Lights

You can’t have a home theater without theater-style lights. We opted for the GoControl Z-Wave Plus Light Bulb, which allows for both complete automation and remote control via various mobile devices. I was hesitant about paying $17.49 for a bulb until my husband pointed out that these bulbs are super energy efficient, with a lifespan of around 22 years.

 

However, if you prefer not to buy smart bulbs you could instead go with the GE Z-Wave Plug-in Smart Dimmer—allowing you to plug any lamp into the device to become dimmable. And if you are feeling confident about your electrical skills (or have the ability to hire an electrician), you could also consider a hardwired GE Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Light Switch.

 

Control Your Lights & Automations with a Remote

One of my only complaints since implementing our smart home tech is that occasionally it actually is faster to flip a light switch rather than pulling out my phone and opening an app. But my husband found a way around that issue by using a scene controller.

 

We recommend the Remotec Z-Wave Plus Scene Controller or the Aeotec Z-Wave Minimote Remote Control. Each can help you trigger events more efficiently by allowing you to set up scene automations. No one likes people who use their phones during a movie—so having a scene controller is especially useful in a home theater.

 

Cover Your Windows with Smart Shades

Do you ever try to watch a movie or TV show during daylight hours, only to get distracted by horrible glares on the screen from the sunshine streaming through your windows? The FortrezZ Z-Wave MIMOlite Motor Control is the perfect option for motorizing your window coverings. Connect it with your shades, and you’ll be able to block out the light coming in through your windows without leaving the couch.

 

Get Creative with Your Automations

Now that you’ve got the right tools, if you’re really wanting to go the extra mile, you even set up an automation that simultaneously lowers your shades, dims your lights, and sends a notification to anyone in your household that people will be watching a movie.

 

When was the last time you went to a movie theater and found your every whim already accommodated? The best part about creating your own smart home theater is the pure customizability. You can choose how simple or complex you want to keep things, and you can dictate exactly how everything should interact and function based on your personal viewing preferences.