Terms You'll Hear


When you’re dealing with smart, green homes, you’ll encounter these words and phrases time and again.

CFL, LED: These energy-efficient lightbulbs are replacing incandescents because of the longevity and cost savings they provide. Installing these is often the first step toward a greener home. LED stands for light-emitting diode, while CFL is an acronym for compact fluorescent light. Though initially these bulbs are more expensive, they significantly reduce energy costs over their projected life.

Compatibility: There are a number of competing communications standards used in home-automation products to communicate with each other by a connection that’s wired, wireless, or a combination. Products compatible with one standard may not work with another. The ClareHome automation system uses Z-waves to communicate throughout the house.

Z-Wave: A wireless communications protocol designed for home automation, specifically for remote control applications in residential and light commercial environments. 

Energy Star: A government-backed standard, this serves as a label for products and homes that meet the program’s energy-efficiency guidelines.

HERS: The Home Energy Rating System developed by the Residential Energy Services Network to evaluate any home in terms of its energy efficiency. This rating indicates energy costs and identifies improvements which can introduce savings. The Innovation Home Gallery has a HERS Score of -1!

LEED: A rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, to promote and identify sustainable or green design, construction, and energy usage in new buildings, including homes.

Geofencing: Geofencing allows automatic alerts to be generated based on the defined coordinates of a geographic area. A simple example might be an email or text message that is automatically triggered and sent to a user's cell phone when that user's child arrives home from school. In this example, the geofence would be a geographic virtual boundary surrounding the house. When the child's cell phone enters this area, an email is automatically sent to the child's parent by a geofence-enabled app on the phone.

Photovoltaic (Pho-to vol-ta-ic, PV) cell, is an electrical device that converts photons (light not heat) to electrons. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity occurs without any moving parts or environmental emissions during operation.

Solar Thermal collector supplies heat by absorbing sunlight, for the purpose of heating glycol which is pumped into the house, looping thru the water heater, transferring the heat to the water.  (No water is pumped thru the collector or the garage floor)