Tech

Best Z Wave Controller Reviews (Full Guide)

As we become ever more reliant on technology, we are bringing an increased number of devices into our homes. We refer to them as ‘Smart Devices’, as we rely more on technology to remember the things we simply cannot, and for it to do the things we simply do not wish to do.

A ZWave controller is a piece of hardware that you plug into your wi-fi router. This then allows you to add ZWave devices to a mesh-like web of a system, which in turn gives you the ability to make many of the mundane tasks in the home, completely autonomous. This can even include tasks such as turning on the lights. There can be over 230 devices on the mesh network which is likely to be more than enough to fully equip even the most lavish home with sufficient smart-device-ness.


Samsung SmartThings Hub – 3rd Generation – Z Wave

 

Samsung SmartThings


Wirelessly connecting and controlling a wide range of smart devices from over forty brands, this device connects, protects, and monitors your home. Even linking with voice assistants, speaker systems and cameras, the home automation facility allows the hub to literally be taught your own routine, maximizing efficiency as it grows to understand when you are likely to leave the house and when you will return.

When you download the app, you will receive alerts from the devices connected to the network and notifications of any unusual activity. Compatible with Google, Alexa, SmartThings and ZigBee, the easy set up allows for the hub to be connected to your wi-fi without the need of Ethernet cables.


Vera Control VeraPlus – Z Wave Controller Hub

 

Vera Control VeraPlus ZWave


Branded one of the ‘Top Smart Home Hub’ devices, this product has beenbranded the ‘brain’ of your home. Compatible with most home security systems including Nestand Yale, you can lock your doors and turn off your lights even once you are on your way. That’s right, with Vera Control you will not have to turn back once you are halfway down the street to check you locked your front door. You will no longer be worrying if you switched off the bathroom light on those dark winter mornings.

Easy to operate and setup from any smartphone, tablet or computer, you get more memory and processing power than with VeraEdge. With a strong community of global users, there are no monthly subscription fees to pay and you can even set it to unlock your doors, switch on your lights and adjust your thermostat, making for the perfect welcome home after a long day
out.


Aeotec Z-Stick Generation 5, ZWave Plus

Aeotec Z Stick Gen5


Working with Windows, Mac, Linux to create a ZWave gateway for control, this zwave controller is small but mighty. With the capacity to handle over 230 devices, it is compatible with ZWave enabled, home automation software such as Google Home Assistant, Indigo 7 and OpenHab.

With a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery, you get 15 days worth of battery life from this device and it even remains functioning during power cuts. This Zwave controller can further be counted upon for its reliability in that it will not jump offline in moments where cloud hosting would.


GE Enbrighten Plus Heavy Duty Smart Switch

GE Enbrighten Plus


In a nifty metal case, this device comes protected from the elements, making it suitable for use indoors and out, unlike many of its competitors. Giving you the capacity to wirelessly control large systems in your home, including functions such as heating systems, lighting, and pool pumps, this device is compatible with SmartThings, Honeywell, Vera, Figaro and many more.

With an external antenna for increased wireless range, this device features a ZWave signal booster to enhance the ZWave network in your home to the best it can be. The energy monitoring facility allows for remote control of the energy your home is consuming as well. This means that you will be able to adjust your home to exactly what you want, as well as taking steps to care for the environment.


IR-PRO Universal Devices Home Automation Controller – Z Wave

Universal Devices Home


Compatible with Alexa, this smart hub gives you the ability to remotely monitor and alter your home automated devices, all at the touch of an app. You are also able to create schedules based on activity in the home and can manage over 1000 pieces with this controller.

Optional modules can be utilized with this device to allow for connections with Amazon Echo. A fully, stand-alone, home automation device, this hub comes with an array of tutorials and excellent customer support, to help you get accustomed to your device and get the most from it in your home. You are able to adjust lights, thermostats, locks and a number of devices in the home with this controller.


Honeywell ZWave Plus Smart Light Dimmer Switch

Honeywell Z Wave


With a built-in range extender to guarantee reach, this Zwave device is compatible with a range of ZWave hubs including Vera, Honeywell, SmartThings, Wink, and Alexa. Provided you have dimmable lights in your home, you will be able to customize the level of brightness to what is best for you, with this switch.

You will also be able to schedule light timing and customize it depending on the time of day, all from a compatible smartphone, tablet, computer or ZWave remote. Whilst this item cannot connect directly with Echo Plus, it can link up to voice-activated controls when Echo supported hubs are in use.


Zooz ZWave Plus S2

Zooz Z Wave Plus


Perfect for any do-it-yourself smart home in the 21st century, this stick can be used with the Google Home Assistant, Open ZWave or HomeSeer, offering all of the latest ZWaves commands. Supporting the new and super secure ZWave pairing method, you can scan the QR codes from any SmartStart ZWave Plus accessory to your home automation interface, switch them on and you are ready to go. They are so smart, they will join automatically, provided your home software system supports this feature.

The first stick of its kind to feature the new S2 security feature, you are finally able to take full advantage of the s2 sensors.


Final Thoughts

As producers get smarter, they are thinking of ways to assist us with even the most simple of domestic tasks. Undoubtedly, one of the best features of ZWave is that it will, undeniably, make the set up of your Smart Home very simple, making for that super seamless user experience.

Z-Wave devices are able to locate one another, once set up, in your home. This, in turn, creates a stronger mesh network. This unique network allows for a secure connection to hundreds of devices in your home, all contributing to an easier, stress-free life. Under this structure, every non-battery powered device added to your network strengthens the system, meaning the more you add, the stronger the infrastructure of the network becomes. It is this strength that helps to protect each connected device from hacking.

Whilst we appear to only be at the start of the ZWave journey, in terms of smart devices such as speakers that are being produced with the technology built-in, it is definitely an industry that will only grow in the years to come. For a large range, reliable connections and the greater probability that all the compatible devices will work with one another, investing in the best ZWave controller is the definitive way to make your home super smart.


What is Z-Wave?

ZWave stems from a Danish company called Zensys, that wanted to create something affordable and simple to enable people to have a super well connected smart home. Now with over 700 members and almost 3,000 certified products from these members, there are close to 100 million devices on the market with ZWave functionality and capacity.


How Does ZWave Work?

Low energy radio waves are passed from one device to another, allowing for complete wireless control of things in the home such as security systems, thermostats, lighting, and even the garage door, making the most humble abode, resemble something from the latest sci-fi movie.

Due to the increased popularity of smart assistants from the likes of Amazon and Google, you do not need to be concerned too much in regards to which protocols your smart devices are running on. If they are running on the same one, it can be useful, mainly because they can be controlled from the use of just one app. However, if they are running on different protocols, it will still be manageable.

With ZWave, the signals can hop around from one gadget to another, within the house, and each of the devices does not need to be individually connected to wi-fi. Rather, they have a central hub that connects to the internet, so all of the individual parts do not need to. ZWave allows for up to four ‘hops’ between the controller and the device.

ZWave has an approximate range of about 30 meters, or 100 feet so is a popular choice for larger houses and offices. The latest ZWave technology can connect beyond even 30 meters, more than tripling in range, to 100 meters.


Is ZWave Similar to ZigBee?

One of the most popular rival mesh networks, that you may have heard of, is ZigBee. Whilst they aim to do the same tasks in principle, they take a very different approach to how they work. ZWave is run by Silicon Labs, which have stricter security measures in place to ensure that all ZWave devices work with all necessary controllers. This also increases the level of reliability when compared to Zigbee, which is open, and potentially less secure.


ZWave Safety

An industry innovator on the smart home technology front, security is key. The encryption the system used to ensure the security of the best ZWave controlled smart home systems is of similar strength to that utilized by banks all over the world, in order to protect the online accounts of millions of customers.

You do not need to worry about being tech-savvy either, with the easy to use ZWave devices above, there is one perfect for every home. Take control today and adapt to the ZWave way of life.


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