Smart home manufacturer Fibaro recently introduced new product offerings in the U.S.  including the Home Center Lite premium smart home hub and KeyFob handheld controller. We caught up with Fibaro’s Managing Director, Rich Bira, to learn about the new solutions and what their unique line of smart home products offer consumers.        


What is Fibaro best known for, and what goes in to the product design?

Fibaro is a leading manufacturer of smart home solutions. We take pride in offering solutions that provide safety, security and convenience while being visually appealing in the home. Our team believes that design and functionality go hand-in-hand and every product we offer is polished, modern and offers consumers an exceptional experience through advanced features. Our products have multiple points of control, including voice, gesture, and touch, allowing consumers easy access and complete control of their homes.  


What sets Home Center Lite apart from other smart home hubs on the market?

Home Center Lite is a premium smart home hub that works with all Fibaro devices as well as a comprehensive list of products from other Z-Wave manufacturers. The hub is incredibly compact and contemporary, designed to fit into a modern home while featuring a user-friendly app for scene customization and push notifications. The hub can be remotely monitored and controlled from anywhere, so users can have peace of mind knowing their homes are safe while they are away.  

Unlike most other hubs on the market, Home Center Lite allows users to connect and manage up to 230 Z-Wave devices. This includes thermostats, lights, home security devices, and entertainment systems, which can be personalized and scheduled in the app. The easy-to-use interface lets customers customize scenes by simply dragging and dropping to create a desired scene, while the Fibaro app sends push notifications based on rules the user has set up. Additionally, a graphic block scene creation acts like an IFTTT solution to customizing scenes according to time, device and location (room) preference.

Geo-location also sets this hub apart from others on the market. This feature can be customized in the app and lets users turn off lights, arm the alarm, and adjust the temperature when it recognizes a user has left or entered the house. The system will send alerts if a door is opened, a light is left on, or for anything else specified and can even help prevent major disasters by instantly reporting a fire, flood or break-in. The app even has the ability to share a live feed from a security camera connected to it.

With software on board instead of in the cloud, Home Center Lite doesn’t rely on an internet connection to operate effectively. The hub also features a built-in energy management dashboard available on the iPad app or desktop version, setting it apart from many other hubs.  


What products does Home Center Lite work with?

Home Center Lite works with all Z-Wave smart home devices, including lights, locks, thermostats, entertainment systems, and anything on the Z-Wave network. The hub also works with the Z-Wave line of Fibaro products, including KeyFob handheld controller, Button home control device, Swipe gesture control pad, the motion, flood, and door/window sensors, the Dimmer 2, and the RGBW Controller.

Outside of the Z-Wave Network, Home Center Lite also works with other popular technologies like Sonos, Logitech, Russound, and Philips.


What are the benefits of KeyFob compared to other smart home managing devices?

KeyFob is a small handheld controller that allows users to remotely manage other devices via Z-Wave network to a hub and anything attached to its hub. Wireless and Z-Wave Plus certified, KeyFob has six easy-to-use buttons that communicate with connected devices. The distinct buttons can be customized to control just about any device in the network or a scene of devices.  

KeyFob’s versatile design allows it to be attached to a keychain or used as a handheld smart home control device when leaving or entering the home. Within range of the Z-Wave smart home network, KeyFob can be used to turn devices on or off or trigger programmed scenes. Setting a “goodbye” scene could set the house into away mode, or a “welcome home” scene could trigger lights to turn on and the door to unlock, for instance. KeyFob provides a convenient and easy way for customers to control their home remotely. Monitoring features allow users to track the status of battery life, as well as set a password to prevent unauthorized or accidental usage.


What are the advantages of using Z-Wave products for home automation?

All Z-Wave certified devices work together, so consumers can easily add more devices into their home. The technology allows all Fibaro devices to communicate with each other and work together in a bandwidth below the home’s Wi-Fi, so usage doesn’t interfere with or take up valuable bandwidth. The technology also works with Z-Wave products from other manufacturers. Using a Z-Wave hub like Home Center Lite allows consumers to connect all their devices on one network. It’s easy to add more Z-Wave devices into a smart home, and for consumers to control and manage scenes through their mobile device. Z-Wave is also a secure platform, and using it for our products allows us to guarantee customers that their homes are protected from hacking.


How do Home Center Lite and KeyFob make smart home control easier for consumers?

Home Center Lite is a brain for the customer’s smart home, allowing them to create and manage scenes. The hub integrates all Z-Wave devices in the home, making it easy for consumers to control them all in one interface. The user-friendly app walks users through the process of setting up scenes and including devices, and allows for in-depth customization. The Fibaro app has interactive push notifications, customized by the user, and also allows for remote control of the system from anywhere. Home Center Lite is an all-in-one solution that provides users peace of mind by knowing their home is protected and they can check on and control connected devices from any location.

KeyFob provides the ultimate level of convenience. A handy device, it provides smart home control right from the user’s keychain. All the user has to do is click a button sequence they specified and be within the Z-Wave network to control all aspects of the home. The KeyFob is especially convenient when a user is leaving or approaching their home and they want to trigger a scene such as “welcome home” to power-up specific devices in the home (i.e. open garage, turn on lights), or “goodbye” to shut down devices and lock the house.


What other home control products does Fibaro make?

Fibaro offers a wide range of smart home devices that offer consumers unique convenience, safety and security. Home control devices include KeyFob, Swipe, and the Button. Swipe is a gesture control pad that allows users to control their devices with a wave of the hand. It recognizes six simple gestures, which can be assigned and used to control any connected smart home device, and can be displayed like a picture frame or even installed behind drywall. The Button is a wireless device that can be mounted on any surface. Recognizing up to six different actions, Button triggers scenes and offers easy control of connected devices.

Fibaro also offers several sensors that monitor and protect the home. The Fibaro motion sensor is a wireless device that offers temperature and occupancy sensing along with motion detection. The device resembles a cat-eye and alerts homeowners if it is triggered by motion, if there is a temperature change, or if it is tampered with. Fibaro’s flood sensor alerts users the moment a drop of water touches its telescopic feet, warning of a potential flood or leak. The Door/Window Sensor is battery powered and monitors the opening of doors, windows, and garage doors. It alerts users of open/close status and is also helpful in keeping energy costs down by informing users when a window or door is left open and the user has left the house or room after a specified period of time.

An extended line of Fibaro products includes their Dimmer 2, Single and Double Relay Switch, and RGBW device – all which also feature the ability to monitor energy usage by device. Dimmer 2 controls a variety of different light sources like LED’s, lamps and even fans, and is compatible with both 2 and 3 wire electrical systems, giving those living in older construction the option to also use the device. Then the Relay Switches are used to turn devices on/off, and act as a smart plug in the home that also feature a built-in scene activation functionality, allowing you to create unique lighting scenes, or even a “Hello” or “Goodbye” scene. Lastly, the RGBW is the more creative and versatile lighting controller, allowing users the option of over 4 million lighting color options to explore. When controlled from the Fibaro app, users can play around with colors and change light intensity, saturation and hue combinations through designated LED diodes.


About Rich Bira
Rich Bira is the Managing Director of FIBARO USA, a premier designer, developer and manufacturer of innovative smart home systems and intelligent devices based in Poland.  Based in Chicago, Mr. Bira has been instrumental in expanding the FIBARO brand into the U.S. market, bringing the total of countries FIBARO supports to 100 in just five years time.    Mr. Bira has over 15 years’ experience in a variety of technology-related areas, including Technology Startups, Business Intelligence, Product Development & Certification, Patent Application, Data Science, and Data Analytics.  Mr. Bira also has extensive expertise in the home construction industry, which has proven valuable in his keen understanding of the smart home market and its tremendous potential.  Mr. Bira is also an avid hobbyist in this area, spending nights and weekends tinkering in his home lab, coming up with interesting new use cases and ways to incorporate technology into the home.  Mr. Bira has been quoted extensively in the trade and consumer media on various aspects of current technology, including the smart home, IoT, home security and innovation.  Mr. Bira is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago.