In home automation, most of the smart devices like smart hubs support the use of Z-Wave as the communication medium. So if you really want to start creating a smart home, make sure that all of your smart devices will work with each other. Fortunately, all smart devices supporting Z-Wave will work with each other even with different brands. So, we recommend that you look for the best Z-Wave devices for every home operation you want to automate.
More importantly, it is also worth to note that these devices should be certified by the Z-Wave Alliance. These devices includes smart home controllers (or smart hub) and other specific products like smart switches, smart locks, smart thermostats and among others. In all, these devices are essential in building an intelligent home for a secure, comfortable and safety living.
Z-Wave has become a common and widely used wireless communication protocol for different smart devices. In fact, a Z-Wave Alliance is already created consisting of the different brands. A short history to note, Z-Wave is a communication protocol developed by Zensys, Inc in Denmark which was released in 2004. Primarily, Z-Wave was created and used for home automation. Now, it has become a widely used technology for smart devices.
At the center of a smart home, there is device we call a smart hub. This powerful and smart device is the brain which drives the automation of home operations. Smart hubs allows communication for all smart devices and facilitates the automation process. No matter how you look at it, you will need a smart hub if you are serious about home automation. So, if you are planning to build a smart home, you should considering buying a smart hub or smart controller.
You can easily find a smart hubs which supports Z-Wave technology. They are all in the market. You just have to pick. These days, the top brands of smart hubs includes Samsung SmartThings Hub, VeraEdge Controller and Wink Connected Home Hub.
For a lot of people, the Samsung SmartThings Hub is still one of the best smart home controllers in the market. If you wanted to get started with home automation, we recommend you check out for this device. What’s good, it can connect to more than 200 other smart devices such smart light switches and thermostat. Another good thing, this device is easy to install and use. Like most of the smart home controllers, this comes in with a free mobile app which lets you control and manage operations in your home through SmartThings hub. Lastly, if you want to find the best Z-Wave devices out there, you need to find first the best Z-Wave hub or controller.
Smart lighting is still one of the easiest things you can start with in home automation. When we talk about smart lighting, it includes the following smart devices – smart light bulbs, smart light switches and smart light dimmers. Oftentimes, smart light bulbs is already has a dimmer feature. These smart devices can help make your home lighting management and experience become easier more than you ever thought possible.
You can replace normal light bulbs inside the house with this smart light bulb. Mostly, these are already dimmable bulbs which means you can control the brightness of these bulbs. Currently, the GoControl Z-Wave Dimmable LED Light Bulb holds the top spot for the best and recommended Z-Wave smart LED bulb. A 9 watt smart LED light bulb which shines like its 60W equivalent. Right, huge energy and money savings.
If you don’t want to replace your current light bulb, you can instead replace your normal light switches. You can use a Smart Light Switch to achieve a smart lighting while still using your existing lights at home. Right now, at the top of the best smart light switches is GE In-Wall Smart Light Switch.
With the advent of smart thermostats, you can now better manage your HVAC system. The best thing with smart thermostats is that these devices know when to regulate temperature by sensing movements inside the room or house. Accordingly, these smart thermostats can sense people within an area and so it can adjust the room temperature. You also control your thermostats through your mobile phone and control heating and cooling scenarios so that temperature is just right for you.
The Radio Thermostat CT100 and GoControl Thermostat are two of the best Z-Wave enabled smart thermostats available in the market.
A product of Radio Thermostat Company of America, Radio Thermostat CT100 is a seven-day programmable thermostat with touchscreen display interface. With Z-Wave module, this smart device has a ultra slim form factor with height, width and thickness of 4.5″, 5.9″ and 7″ respectively. As a battery powered device, it helps you ease from doing some wiring connections. Through Z-Wave, you can connect this device to a smart hub so you can control this thermostat remotely.
GoControl Smart Thermostat is another good thermostat which allows you to control and monitor remotely your heating and cooling system. With Z-Wave, you can connect this thermostat to a Z-Wave supporting smart hub and its integrated app so you can manage your HVAC system from anywhere you are. This can also be easily installed and is also battery powered.
With all of your appliances running together, it is hard for you to keep track of the energy consumption at home. But fortunately, smart devices are now available to help you monitor energy consumption for each appliance at home. Such devices include, a smart plug with built-in energy monitoring module, a smart control switch, an energy consumption meter, a smart power strip and a plug-in appliance module. These devices give you real-time energy consumption status so you can take full control of your energy usage. It’s biggest benefit, an efficient use of energy and savings for your electric bills.
Aeon Labs Smart Switch 6 is a smart plug. Aside giving you the ability to control remotely any appliance plugged into this device, it helps you monitor electric usage. It has a built-in energy monitoring module which reports to you the real time electric consumption of the appliance plugged into this smart switch. Yes, you read it right, it sends real time electric usage data to your smart hub. Then through your mobile phones or computers, you will know how much each appliance is costing you in your electric bill.
It doesn’t just convert your existing switch to become a Z-Wave smart switch, Aeon Labs Smart Energy Switch helps you also monitor electric usage. Like the smart plug above, this smart device sends energy consumption data to the smart hubs. Through this, you will be able to keep track of your electric usage for the appliances connected to this switch.
Aeon Labs Home Energy Meter will help you monitor the energy consumption of your entire home. Through its smart clamps, it will read the electricity usage and sends the reports in real-time to your Z-Wave smart hub. With every seconds, you can monitor how much electricity you entire home is using so you can efficiently manage power usage and save money for your electric bills.
Aeon Labs Smart Energy Power Strip multiplies the benefits of one smart plug six times. Yes, this smart device has 6 outlets. What’s even better, you can monitor the energy usage for each outlet with electricity usage data sent to your smart hub. To manage the outlets, you can control 4 of these outlets in 2 groups using other smart devices. However, the other 2 outlets are constantly turned on unless you power down the power strip.
If you truly care much on efficient use of energy and saving money, then consider any of the smart devices above as additions to your smart home devices. Especially if you have a smart hub, these devices will come in very much helpful.
Water, Rapid Temperature Change and Flood Sensors
Although there are things, which are less likely to occur and we don’t to occur, we don’t really know the circumstance. The same goes with water leakage, rapid temperature change and floods. Even if these things don’t happen often, they can do some serious damage to your house and safety when they occur. So, it’s really better to prepare and take precautionary measures. Here are the smart devices which helps you detect water leakage, rapid temperature drop or rise and possible floods.
Aeon Labs Z-Wave Water Sensor helps your automation system to know when there’s presence or absence of water. Presence of water just means there a water leakage or, worst, possible flood. With a measured accuracy, this smart water sensor can detect both presence or absence of water of as little as 0.03% of an inch. This water sensor uses battery for power and can send radio signals to up to 6 other smart devices for its readings.
EcoNet Controls Water Valve is a wireless water shutoff controller for your home automation systems. With no plumbing required, this offers an easy installation setup and configuration. This is used for water shutoff and will send alerts when leak is detected. However, you need to add water leak sensors to detect leakage and prevent water leak damage. Nevertheless, the ability to shutoff water valve remotely, with or without water leakage, using a mobile application can be really be a big saver in terms of time and money.
FortrezZ Wireless Water and Temperature Alarm Device reports to your home automation system when water is detected or when temperatures changes below or beyond the temperature limits you set. Powered by two alkaline batteries, this wireless device informs you with water and temperature threats. You can place this device in where water leakage are common or where rapid temperature change is possible.
With a futuristic design, FIBARO Z-Wave Flood Sensor can detect flood threats and rapid temperature change. Not like other water and flood sensors, this smart device has a tilt sensor which can detect tilt movements of 15 degrees. With this unique feature, you will notified if there is an attempt of moving or tampering this device. The same with other sensors, this smart flood sensor is also battery powered.
We need not to argue, security cameras provide vital role in keeping your home safe and secure. Although the usual camera still works, a new era of smart devices gives an necessary upgrade to our home’s electronic security device.
Right now, we still couldn’t find a good camera which is Z-Wave certified. We’ll update as soon as we have found a Z-Wave security camera which is good for your smart home.
Smart Plugs and Outlets
Plugs and outlets are most common seen in homes. This provides an easy interface with just a simple manual plugging system which works for so many years for us. But now, there is an even better and easier way of doing this with the use of smart plugs and smart outlets. Even if the plugging systems works really fine for us, this is still a great upgrade to the kind of system we use to have.
Although there’s some installation to do, this GE Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Outlet can greatly help you as it gives you one Z-Wave enabled outlet. Connect this smart In-Wall outlet to your smart hub, then you’re ready to go. With this setup, you have wireless on/off control on the Z-Wave controlled outlet (with the Z-Wave logo). Like a normal outlet, the other outlet is an always-on, pass-through outlet.
Without the need to install, directly plug in this GE Z-Wave Plug-In Appliance Module into a normal outlet. Then, you now have one Z-Wave controlled outlet for your lighting or small appliances. You can turn on or off one outlet through a smartphone or remote. Same with the smart outlet above, this smart module has two outlets, the other outlet is a one always-on, pass-through AC outlet.
Yes, GE Z-Wave Smart Switch for Large Appliances is created for your large appliances which includes water heaters, spas, pool pumps and more. With this device, you can turn onor off these appliances wherever you are. This smart device is weather-resistant and is made for rough outdoor conditions.Not only that, this has an energy monitoring feature to help you take control of your power usage. Compatible with most common Z-Wave smart hubs. With 40 Ampere rating, this smart device is made just for your large loaded appliances.
Especially built for outdoor, GE Z-Wave Plug-in Outdoor Smart Switch is an outdoor smart outdoor outlet enables you to have wireless switching control of your outdoor lighting and appliances. The housing is weather and impact resistant to withstand damp and wet outdoor conditions. More so, a protective cover prevents this device from damage and protects it from dust and dirt. Connect this with your smart hub, now you have a wireless switch outside your smart home. This device has one Z-Wave enabled outlet.
Almost just the same with the GE Plug-In Application Module above, GE Z-Wave Plug-in Smart Dimmer has a smart dimmer function. This feature is intended to give you wireless control over the dimming of the plugged-in lamp. With this, it gives you power to customize dim settings which is perfect for any lighting ambience you want.
Smart Alarms, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
No one would ever want any of these to happen, but unexpected things at home like fire or home intrusions happens to some like we hear in the news. But with the advent of home automation technology, smart motion sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors are now readily available. With easy installation, todays alarm systems are ever more faster to add and implement in homes. Here’s some of the devices which can inform you anywhere you are as soon as there’s something unwanted happening at home.
First things first, First Alert Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm is smart alarm device for smoke and carbon monoxide detection. As soon as any of these is detected, a notification is sent to you. You can connect this to your smart hub just like any other smart device. But, always check first compatibility. It doesn’t just detect any smoke, it has a photoelectric smoke sensor which reduce false alarms due to cooking. There a test and silence button so you can check anytime if it’s working fine. There’s two version of this – one uses battery for power and the other is hardwired.
Designed to alert when intrusion of a security systems happens, GoControl Z-Wave Siren and Strobe will definitely let you know. Packed with a loud siren and strobe light, this smart device will sound a very loud 105 dB alert as well as the strobe flashes. These can be configured. This is design to be wall-mounted and has a battery backup in case AC power connection is off. If connected to a smart hub, you can remotely turn on/off the alarm. This device has also an anti-tamper feature so you’ll know when someone attempts to tamper this device.
Fan Control Smart Switch
An electric fan is one of the most common appliances in a home. Since this is almost in every household, there is lesser reason why it should not be included in creating a smart electric fan experience. Here’s some smart devices which can help you have a wireless control to your electric fans.
Replace your existing in-wall switch with GE Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Fan Control so you control through your mobile app when to turn on/off you fans. Yes, that sounds just like the other smart in-wall switch mentioned above. Partially, yes. What’s different in this device is that you can control also the speed of the fan. This has a three-speed control system you have a handy control of the speed of your electric fan.
Smart Garage Doors Openers
Making you garage door opener smart would be very beneficial to you. Anytime you need the garage door to open, you can just do it through smart home automation system with the help of smart garage door opener devices. These devices, not only helps you close and open door yourself without getting out of your car, but also adds security to your home.
GoControl/Linear Z-Wave GD00Z-4 Garage Door Opener remotely opens or closes a sectional garage door. Compatible with any automatic garage door opener connected to a sectional garage door, it offers also an easy installation setup. To install, you just need to pair this device to your smart hub, mount the unit, connect the wires and plug in this device. To meet UL 325-2010 safety requirements, this device provides both audio and visual warnings before remotely performing door movements.
FortrezZ MIMOlite Motor Control is a Z-Wave module with 1 input and 1 output. Not only can you use this device in automating your garage door opener, there are also other applications where you can use this device. To list some, you can utilize this device for motorized water valve, motorized shades, solenoid valves, doorbell sensors, drapery motor and electric door strike.
Smart Door Locks
Security is one of the most important things to consider in your house. With this, it is known that entry points of your house needs security and one of which are the doors at home. This is the very reason why door locks are invented. With the advent of the smart home era, smart door locks are also one of the best smart devices out there which you can implement at home. Not only for convenience, but most especially for monitoring and home security. Here are the smart door locks you can install and use at home.
Schlage Connect Century Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm is indeed a smart door lock. Connect with your home automation system, this device allows you to remotely lock or unlock your door through your smartphone. With BHMA/ANSI Grade 1 certification, this smart device is backed by the highest residential rating. With this, this smart device gives a high level of security at your doors. Aside from this, you can also go keyless with this device since it has a touchscreen feature for your codes.
Kwikset 910 Z-Wave SmartCode Electronic Deadboltfeatures a one-button locking. As expected from every smart device, you can remotely lock and unlock the door. Aside from that, you now have the power and convenience of keyless entries. However, this needs to connect to a smart hub or controller just like most of smart devices. For backup purposes, it has a Smart-key technology so you can use the keyway to open the door. This smart door lock can have 30 custom user codes you can monitor whose getting in through your door.
Schlage Keypad Z-Wave Lever is a smart door lock which you can control remotely through Z-Wave technology and the internet. For security certification, this door lock is Grade 2 ANSI/BHMA-certified. For installation, this offers easy installation setup in minutes and doesn’t require any wiring. With up to 19 private 4-digit codes, you can give access to any member of your family and know who’s getting in to your home.
Schlage Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt Kit is a set with the same features with the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt above. In case you needed more, you can purchase this set instead of buying one deadbolt at a time. However, check first if the lock is for right-handed or left-handed so you can get the right one for your home.
Z-Wave Devices for Windows Coverings
To add convenience to you, there are smart devices which can help you automate your windows coverings and blinds. These smart devices for your windows coverings will enable to control remotely your blinds with the use of your smartphone. However, these needs some setup to do and you also need to have your smart hub get connected to this device.
Somfy ZRTSI RTS 16 Channel Z-Wave to RTS Plug-in Interface is a wall module which you can connect to your smart hub. This device will receive commands from your smart hub which then converts those command to Radio Technology Somfy (RTS) commands to control up to 16 RTS motors or group of motors. You need to integrate your RTS devices, such as RTS motors, to this RTS Interface through the help of its digital menu. This interface has one base node and 16 virtual nodes which is for the 16 RTS channels. To power this device, you need to plug this into a 110 volts AC outlet.
Smart USB Sticks
Small as they are, but these smart UBS sticks helps power its host to enable control of other Z-Wave devices. This devices are helpful in adding control over your home automation network.
Aeotec by Aeon Labs Z Stick is a Z-Wave USB dongle. So, what does this device do? When connected to a host device, it becomes a Z-Wave communication device. In short, this enables the host processor to control of up to 232 Z-Wave devices. This device has an internal battery and can be upgraded through the USB port which also serves as charging point.
Smart Accessories are smart devices which includes smart remote controls, smart USB sticks and among others. Since we already have a separate entry for smart USB sticks, we’ll just add up here as a good example a smart remote control.
Aeon Labs Z-Wave Minimote is a smart remote controller which you can use to control Z-Wave devices. Though it looks like a simple smart device, this has a full range controller capabilities. The four button easily accessible is for your scenes. Slide the cover, then it has Z-Wave network installation buttons. This device is powered by a Lithium battery which you can charge through a USB port.
Z-Wave Devices Buying Guide
Before you go in buying the set of Z-Wave devices you want to use to build your smart home, check this guide. This will help you get better direction towards the kind and model of devices you should purchase. We hope this guide will help you get the best Z-Wave devices to make your smart home.
Z-Wave Alliance Certification
Through this, you are sure that your device will work with other certified Z-Wave devices even with different brands. It may simply mean compatibility, but this is interoperability at work. It means smart devices of different brands can still communicate with each other. And more important, read manual first because there are some cases manufacturers will place that there device is not compatible with some controllers.
The Country or Territory The Device Is For
There are some smart devices which have version for United States and Canada and a different version for Europe. Most probably, this is due to different standards and certification of different countries and territories. Before you hit that buy button, check this so you are sure that it will work at your place.
Check for Smart Device Packages
There are smart devices packages and kits which already include several of these smart devices. So, instead of buying these devices one by one, you can buy them in set. Most likely, this may cost cheaper to you and save you some money.
Plan Out What Smart Devices To Buy
As a guiding start, list down all things you want to automate at home. Write all the things you need to replace and things you need to buy. Know that, you may need to include the costs of the replacement works of removing existing manual electrical devices already in your house.
You may realize, that building a smart home will take great amount of time and money. Not to say, plenty of careful planning to do. Carefully, plan out things for your home and do not hurry.
Finally, choose the best Z-Wave smart device that fits your needs
In order to achieve home automation, you need to buy and setup different smart devices. Therefore, if you’re considering Z-Wave technology as the enabler for your smart home, choose wisely. Note that, there are plenty of Z-Wave devices out there. It pays off to choose the best Z-Wave devices. And importantly, consider those which are certified by the Z-Wave Alliance. Choosing the best smart devices is extremely important, it will have a direct impact for the kind of home automation experience you will have and the money you’re going to spend.