The concept of home lighting is pretty simple: you hit a switch, the room is illuminated. The light switch functionality hasn't changed much since its invention. But what if you could power them all of your lights down instantly at the touch of a single button? With Z-Wave smart home technology, you can. Quite easily. And that's just scratching the surface of the intelligence you can add to your home with automation called "scenes."

If you're not familiar with scenes, think of them as automatic to-do lists for the connected electronics in your home. Most people associate scenes with lighting, and that's certainly the most common application: you might have a "Good Night" scene that shuts down all of the lights in the home, a "Wake Up" scene that gently illuminates the bedroom and master bath, and a "Coming Home" scene that brightens the foyer, hallway, and kitchen with a single button press.

The beauty of a Z-Wave smart home, though, is that you're not merely limited to lights. Let's take a system like Z-Wave's standard one-touch living starter kit, for example. In addition to lighting control, this kit adds appliance control as well via smart plugs, so your "Wake Up" scene could include instructions to turn on the kitchen light and fire up your coffee maker. Again, all with the touch of a single button. Or not. Scenes can also be set to initiate at certain times of day, so your home could just as easily be the one to wake you up (with a bit of light and the eye-opening armoa of fresh brewed java) rather than the other way around.

Add smart locks to your Z-Wave system and waking up your home with lighting and appliance scenes could be as easy as walking in the front door. A signal from your lock could trigger lights to turn on (at whatever brightness level you want!), adjust your thermostat (warm in the winter, cooler in the hot summer months), or anything else your imagination can cook up. Z-Wave gives your smart things the ability to communicate with and interact with one another, opening up a world of automated possibilities. In an age where we're all feeling a little overwhelmed by the technology we interact with, what could be better than technology that alleviates the stress of constant button-pressing?