Z-Wave home automation and monitoring?


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HoFo Member
Jul 20, 2002
Gulf Coast
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Can anyone point me to a good resource on the use of Z-Wave technology for home monitoring and automation? I'm interested in a system that permits both control of thermostats, lights, etc and monitoring of doors, smoke, motion, etc with potential to tie into a monitoring service.

Right now, I just know that Z-Wave is a standard that would allow all this to happen but I don't know how to put it together.
You're on the right track. Z-Wave is the frequency all the devices use to talk to each other and back to your controller or hub. So, what you need first is to determine what kind of Z-Wave devices you want. I have some Z-wave bulbs, some door/window sensors, some temp/humidity sensors, some leak sensors and an RGBW controller as a part of my larger home automation solution.

You can get Z-Wave thermostats, but you need a really robust controller for that. I gave up and traded in my Z-Wave thermostat for an Ecobee which has better sensors and finer control.

In any case, you need a controller or hub that can handle all of it. For a while, I was using a Raspberry Pi running Home-Assistant and a Z-Stick. The hub software (Home-Assistant) would talk to my Z-Wave devices using the Z-Stick and act accordingly.

It gets to be a BIG undertaking and not something I recommend for beginners.

Based on what you're asking for, "a system that permits both control of thermostats...", I'd recommend buying the SmartThings Hub 3rd Gen and a few of the Monoprice Door/Window sensors. Install them and see what kinds of automation you would even want before diving in further.

The SmartThings hub requires an internet connection to work but can be wired or wireless. Home-Assistant does not need an internet connection (neither, technically, does Z-Wave) but is WAY more complicated for a beginner in automation.

The best resources out there are homeautomation.reddit.com and either the SmartThings or Home-Assistant forums. There's all kinds of ideas there along with tips and tricks to get the most out of it.