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Quite Simply, Smart Home technology is a catch all term used to describe a vast array of different products and services which are available for people to buy and use at home. The central, shared principal, is that these devices are all connected.

Connected to each other and, via the internet, to an array of services such as smart assistant AI software or weather forecast data.

There are products which you can have built into your home’s electric circuitry by a qualified electrician.

There are out of the box, standalone products such as smart lawn mowers or vacuum cleaners.

There are Smart home products which you can buy and install yourself to retro fit your home, which increasingly offer fantastic functionality and value for money.

Whatever they are, they are connected.  That is what allows us to make them Smart.  By connecting lightbulbs and power sockets to the network, we can monitor their use, control from a distance, and record premade settings which you choose yourself. 

The way you want your home to behave becomes limited only by your own imagination. 

Some products can be connected to other brands’ products because they have been designed using the same design principals.  Mainly using the same frequency for the device.

These frequencies or, wireless protocols, often have different names such as Z-wave, Zigbee or Bluetooth.  They are simply different radio frequencies, but it is useful to understand this when deciding on which brand or product you want to buy for your home.






Maximum Number of Devices on a Network





Radio Frequency


2.4GHz / 915MHz



Indoor Range






very low

very low



At a basic level, products which ‘talk’ in different frequencies, do not ‘talk’ to each other.  However, there are products out there which solve that problem by being multi frequency devices.

This way you can choose products which use different frequencies and have them interact with each other.  You can have your motion sensor talking to your lightbulb, or your power sockets talking to the internet, so they know what time it is and what you want them to do about it, without needing to be from the same brand.  This way you can have your choice of your preferred brand of each smart home specialism, such as Smart Lighting, Smart Heating, Smart Security, Smart Sensors etc.  You get the idea.

What are the differences in real terms of each of these frequencies and why have differences at all? 

If you check out the table, you can see the differences, and each has a role to play.  They each have their specific pro’s and con’s.  

Power consumption is critical when you consider what we really need are mobile devices that can ideally be battery operated and last for long periods of time between charging.

Range is a factor to consider also, especially for outdoor products for the garden for example. 

Luckily, the maximum number of devices we can connect to a smart home network on any of the wireless protocols is higher than we can currently have practical use for, with perhaps, one exception.   Products which use the Z-wave protocol have a limit of 232 devices per network currently.   For comparison, Zigbee allows up to 65 536 connected products – way more than even the largest home would ever need.  Bluetooth is used as a 1 – 1 or 1 – 2 device situation in the vast majority of cases so its limitations on this are not a concern.

Again, if you do not know what you are looking for, it can be a maze.  Do not be put off. 

There is a business that has made it easy for you  to create your smart home, free of worry and knowing it is going to work beautifully together.

How easy would it be for me to update my home?

So, we have devices which transmit and receive information via radio waves.

We also need to have an internet connection to allow our smart devices to communicate via the internet.  Any UK broadband provider will do but the faster the speed of your internet connection, the less likely you are to have issues relating to bandwidth limits.

We also need to have a way of controlling and/or monitoring our smart devices.  Many of the most popular products now allow you to use either a free application download on your Android or iOS device and/or voice control using a smart speaker which has a connection to a smart assistant.

So, great news!  Most of us already have an internet connection at home and a mobile phone so, we already have 2 out of the 3 elements we need to make our home a smart home and reap the rewards that offers!

This leaves us with the 3rd and final element, the smart device itself.  Smart Lightbulbs, Smart Radiator Control Thermostats, Smart power sockets, Smart Security Cameras, Smart Doorbells.  The list goes on and on.

This is where the complexity begins.  Many smart home suppliers currently offer a complex mix of products which, without expertise, becomes daunting at best and at worst, puts people off completely.  Products which need an electrician to install sitting next to products which are plug and play.  Z-Wave products sold next to Zigbee – does everyone know the difference?  No.  There are a lot of people who would love the happiness and comfort that could be achieved using smart home technology but have been put off by the complexity on offer.

That is where the idea of iO-WE.COM began.  

iO-WE.COM is committed to showcasing the personal benefits of Smart Home technology to a wide audience and enabling every single home in the UK to create their smart home environment without complication, specialist installation, worry that it might not work or that it will be difficult to use. 

Check out the iO-WE.com website for more information and for access to the most intuitive to use, value for money smart home products from an environmentally and ethically aware, UK business. 

Business fit for the 21st Century – iO-WE.com


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