June 08, 2017 14 Comments
You often ask us for recommendations: what are the best, most reliable Z-Wave motion sensors out there? The choice seems endless with new devices coming out every day. While we have our favorites, choosing the right sensor for YOU will depend on YOUR needs, lifestyle, and ideas on how to apply the product to your Z-Wave network and collection of devices. So we thought we should ask one of you to test and compare our best-selling smart home security sensors.
We wanted feedback from someone who has tested and programmed lots of Z-Wave devices but most importantly, from someone who has used them in real-life scenarios at home. The comments detailed below and the invaluable side-by-side comparison chart are by Kevin LaFramboise, an expert SmartThings user and the creator of some of the most advanced and stable custom device handlers for the popular platform.
If you're a SmartThings user, definitely check out this super informative video from DIY Smart Home Guy comparing all the options out there!
We're pretty sure you have plenty to add from your own experience so feel free to use the Comments section below and share!
|Motion Re-trigger Wait Time||15-60 Seconds||5 Seconds or 3 Minutes||5 Seconds – 1 Hour||5 Seconds – 10 Minutes||1 Second – 9 Hours||10 Seconds – 1 Hour|
|Motion Sensitivity Levels||7||3||10||247||247||5|
|Motion Range||40'||6' – 39'||9' – 27'||21'||23'||15'|
|Temp Threshold||0.1°F – 5.0°F||N/A||N/A||N/A||0.1°C – 25.5°C||0.1°F – 50°F|
|Temp Interval||3 Minutes||N/A||N/A||N/A||Disabled – 9 Hours||USB (10 Seconds) or Battery (4 Minutes – 8 Hours)|
|Light Interval||3 Minutes||N/A||N/A||1 Minute – 10 Hours||Disabled – 9 Hours||USB (10 Seconds) or Battery (4 Minutes – 8 Hourrs)|
|Max Light Level||100%||N/A||N/A||60,000 lux||32,000 lux||30,000 lux|
|Humidity Interval||3 Minutes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||USB (10 Seconds) or Battery (4 Minutes – 8 Hourrs)|
|LED Indicator||Large Multicolor||Medium Green||Medium Red Test Mode/Battery Low Only||Large Red||Large Multicolor||Small Multicolor|
|LED Options||Disable/Motion/Temp (4 options)||None||None||Enable/Disable||Disabled, tamper options, temperature, motion, brightness||Enable/Disable|
|Tamper Alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (Earthquake Magnitude or x,y,z position)||Yes (Earthquake)|
|Battery||2 AAA||CR123A||CR2||CR123A||CR123A||USB or CR123A (1 or 2)|
|Price||$30 - $40||$25 - $35||$25 - $35||$45 - $60||$55 - $65||$55 - $65|
|Dimensions||2.25 x 2.25 x 1 in||4.4 x 3.5 x 2.5 in||2.5 x 3.4 x 1.7 in||1.75" diameter||1.75" diameter||1.7” x 1.7”|
|Mounting Height||At least 7' or ceiling||6.5' – 7.5'||5'4” - 6'||As high as possible or on Table Top||7.9'||7.5', ceiling, or table top|
|Operating Temperature||5°F – 104°F||32°F – 120°F||32°F – 104°F||32°F – 104°F||32°F – 104°F||32°F – 104°F|
Comments will be approved before showing up.
May 05, 2022
Insteon just became another smart home company to shut down their services. Overnight, the platform’s servers were disconnected, leaving their customers without a functional smart home. SmartLabs, Insteon’s mother company, claims to have sold over 5 million connected devices; that’s a lot of sensors, switches, and controllers that became orphaned. Does it mean that all of this hardware is now completely useless?
It turns out that there are ways to salvage your Insteon products and continue using them, at least to some extent, on other platforms who stepped up and provided integration for this protocol. However, these workarounds are less than user-friendly and will require more time and possible frustration around a system that’s no longer backed by any official support. What’s the alternative and is it even worth it to have a connected house these days?
August 06, 2020
If you already have Amazon Echo set up, you know how convenient it can be. There’s nothing like walking out the front door with full hands and telling Alexa to turn off your lights last minute. But these smart lights and plugs can be slow to react as you keep adding more smart home devices and clogging your network.
Alexa only “speaks” WiFi (and ZigBee if you have the EchoPlus). It currently doesn’t support Z-Wave, the protocol of choice for home automation thanks to its high speed and low interference with other connected devices in your home. That means you can’t have a Z-Wave switch or plug speak directly to your Echo. BUT you can use a smart home hub as a bridge between your Z-Wave devices and Amazon Alexa. Now that’s a whole other level of functionality to unlock!
And if you already have a Z-Wave hub but no smart speaker, you might be thinking how cool it would be to have voice control for your automations and smart home devices. It’s a step towards a more integrated, easy-to-use smart home with improved security, comfort, and convenience.
May 10, 2020 12 Comments
Starting May 13, 2020, Wink will be charging its users a $4.99 monthly subscription fee. If you don’t pay, you’ll lose your automations, smart rules, and access to voice control. [Update 5/30/20: Wink has since backed out of the decision, at least for now. Update 7/27/20: The subscription service for Wink is finally in effect.]
So is it worth paying $5 a month for Wink’s service? The platform hasn’t been adding new features or expanding its list of supported devices for a while now. The announcement introducing the subscription model didn’t include any details on when and how the system would start updating again. They also failed to give users at least 30 days notice to consider how to move forward. If you’re thinking about switching to another platform, we can’t blame you.
Here are a few alternatives for reliable smart home solutions that are most popular among our customers and the team here at The Smartest House. They’re all one-time investments without monthly fees. You’ll find a list of benefits and limitations with each platform, but if you have any questions about specific features we didn’t cover here, get in touch or post in the comment section below.