This month we're going back to basics with Josh from, an awesome resource for everything Z-Wave home automation related. If you're new to the world of smart home, you may be wondering where to start and how using Z-Wave can benefit you and your home. Josh offers his top tips and tricks to getting started with a Z-Wave home and products he loves.

How should homeowners prepare for installing Z-Wave products in their home if they have no experience with smart home technology?

The most important thing to do when thinking about installing Z-Wave products in your home is to plan out what you want to be able to do with those devices. It's easy to see some really cool devices on the market and buy them without really knowing what you're going to use them for - trust me I've done it. That can get expensive fast, which is why planning is very important before embarking on the journey to a smarter home. Before I transformed my place into a Z-Wave smart home, I had never ever replaced a light switch - much less 30 or more. After spending some time learning how to install these devices, it I discovered that it was easier than I had anticipated. I highly suggest checking out the Resources page on and prior to starting your smart home project.

What are a few of your favorite Z-Wave devices for first time smart home product buyers?

My house is chock-full of Z-Wave devices, which means I've installed and worked with quite a few of them so it's hard to pick just one. My all-time favorite Z-Wave devices are Schlage's line of smart deadbolts. They're easy to install, easy to program, and feature an awesome warranty. They also work with virtually every Z-Wave hub out there and you can program in many different codes and many even feature a built-in alarm, which can alert you if someone is trying to get in your front door. Another device I absolutely love is the Fibaro Z-Wave Motion/Multi Sensor that also monitors light and temperature, so you can get very creative with your programming!

Any tips on setting up a Z-Wave smart home that newbies should know?

The best thing you can do is start out simple. You don't need to replace every light and device in your home right away, as that would be pretty expensive. I suggest just chipping away at it as you see more and more devices you want to control. In addition to checking out the resources on and ZWaveZone, get involved with the smart home community online and through social media like the Z-Wave Facebook page. There are a lot of hobbyists that love home automation and are willing to help should you run into any issues.

If you had to choose one room of the home to start building out a smart home, which would you choose and why?

The best room to start building your smart home in is the room you use most. I personally started in my living room, which is by far the most used room in my home. I started with smart light switches and fan control, then moved to home theater and mood lighting control. After that, I moved to my kitchen and bedroom and slowly "finished" the rest of my house. I say "finished" because once you have the itch, you're never truly done adding, removing, or modifying your devices. What I love about Z-Wave smart home products is that you only need one hub and one app to control such a wide variety of devices. Home automation should make your life easier, not more complex!