If there’s one constant in the tech world, it’s that it’s always changing. And if you’re a fan of DIY smart home automation, you’ll definitely want to stay on top of the latest and greatest trends. Below, we cover the biggest topics in the world of DIY home automation today.

Virtual Assistants: the Home Automation Gateway Drug

The results are in: people love virtual assistants. Not only that, but people want to do more with it. Many homeowners buy an Amazon Echo or Google Home without understanding its full capabilities, initially using it to check the weather, call a taxi, or ask what the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is. Then, once they realize what its true capabilities are, the logical next step is to get the supporting technology that makes it possible to take advantage of both the bells and the whistles of these systems.

For some, that means upgrading to a professional home automation system like Control4. But home automation with virtual assistants isn’t limited to just professional systems. DIY brands like Wink and Logitech Harmony also support integration with virtual assistants. So the next time you want to turn off the lights or raise the window shades, all you have to do is ask your voice-controlled friend. 

Smart Home Users are Getting more Creative

There are tons of DIY smart home “starter kits” out there, usually consisting of a few smart light bulbs or sensors for motion, water leaks, etc. But as more diverse smart products become available, homeowners are ditching the kits in favor of more customizable automation experiences.

How about this Z-Wave weather station by Qubino? Not the sort of thing you’d find in a standard kit, but definitely a creative and useful addition to any smart home. Or how about the Mouser, a smart mousetrap that will let you know whenever it catches anything. With so many products out there, it makes a lot of sense to pick and choose the devices that best fit your needs.

Doors are Getting Smarter

The whole point of smart home automation is to use technology to make life easier for the homeowner, and a perfect example of a smart device that achieves that is a smart doorbell. Smart device manufacturers like Ring and DoorBird let you answer the door right from your phone! You can use the integrated camera to see who is at the door and have conversations with them—even if you’re not at home. These smart doorbells are affordable, add value to homes, and are the sort of thing that you’ll actually use on a frequent basis. You can also connect smart door sensors and locks for a next-level smart home experience.

Z-Wave is on an Upswing

When speaking of innovative and creative home automation products, no conversation is complete without mentioning Z-Wave. This communication protocol is widely supported by both professional and DIY control systems. There are more than 1,700 certified Z-Wave devices on the market today, and that number grows larger every day. With the strong security, performance, and ease-of-use that comes from Z-Wave, it’s a no-brainer that the protocol is gaining even greater popularity.  Because of these three points, it’s easy to find Z-Wave devices for any application that work with any hub.

Did we miss any big trends? Do you think Amazon Alexa or Google Home will play a big role in smart home control moving forward? Do you prefer starter kits to customized solutions? We want to hear from you! Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

If you’re ready to embrace Z-Wave home automation, check out our smart products here.