June 24, 2016 2 Comments
Zooz is a relatively new name in the home automation industry, but their competitive prices and good-quality products have given them a fast following. Along with their Indoor Siren and 4-in-1 Sensor, the ZSE02 Motion Sensor is just one of their answers to smart home security.
As far as specs go, the ZSE02 has a detection radius of up to 23 feet in all directions. I think this a suitable range for most homes, especially considering the motion sensor in Aeotec’s MultiSensor 6 can only claim 16 feet (the trade off is that the 6-in-1 is smaller and senses more things — this is a good lesson in custom home automation: go with the products that best suit your goals, priorities, and lifestyle). It also has a wireless range of 100 feet, line of sight, so it should have no problem communicating with your other Z-Wave devices — a super important aspect of home security.
Below I’ve gone into some depth about the practical ins-and-outs of the ZSE02, what I liked most and what qualities could stand some improvement. Hopefully this will make the motion sensor marketplace easier to navigate!
Lock-unlock — The most interesting feature of this sensor is that you can disable it manually by unlocking the Z-Wave button. This enables the tamper switch so if an intruder (or a kid) is trying to remove the sensor, it sends an alert. When the Z-Wave button is unlocked, the sensor will no longer report motion. So if you have a scene set up when the sensor triggers your lights and you want to disable it for a movie night, there is no need for additional automation scripts. You can simply unlock the button manually to temporarily disable motion sensing.
Z-Wave Plus — I couldn’t find a simpler motion Z-Wave Plus solution. With all the boosted wireless range and communication speed of the 500 chip, it’s a straightforward device that will detect motion up to 23 feet away and will automatically re-trigger after 30 seconds. You don’t have to adjust sensitivity or trigger interval – it’s already set to fit the most common security and automation scenario.
Reliability in simplicity — Sure, there are more complex devices, like multisensors, but they’re more difficult to integrate into Z-Wave systems and more expensive. Speaking of value, check out this exclusive deal for 2-pack of motion sensors which has the product at just $30.95 a piece.
Battery life — Unlike multisensors, if a sensor reports one type of activity it will save on battery life. And if you want to drop batteries altogether, you can use this sensor with the provided micro USB connection and not worry about changing batteries at all.
Easy mounting process — It takes just 2 screws to install the bracket. Simply slide the sensor onto the bracket and you’re done. You can then position the device anyway you’d like.
Stylish design — No more boring looks from standard security motion sensors. This is a cool-looking gadget that embodies the modern smart home.
No Encryption — Could stand to have AES signal encryption as an extra layer of security.
Size — At 3 x 2 inches, this sensor could be smaller and more discreet (motion detection could potentially get affected by this change though).
No LED Control — Would be nice to be able to control LED notifications (but that’s one of those features too often overlooked by Z-Wave manufacturers) — the green light will always stay on when the sensor is connected to the USB and I can imagine this will bother some.
Indoor use only — I'm waiting for an outdoor motion sensor that will last, just as much as you are!
For most of us, it's usually a choice between the Ecolink motion sensor or any of the multisensors out there when it comes to Z-Wave motion detection. I like the Zooz sensor because it's simple and reliable. It doesn't feel cheap but it's the most affordable Z-Wave Plus option for remote motion monitoring I could find.
Do you have any experience with this product? Please share below!
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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.
November 05, 2018
Winterizing your home used to mean lots of physical labor - caulking windows, installing heavier drapes, maybe even changing out older windows and doors that were too efficient at releasing insulated air. Winter prep can still mean all of the above, but new Z-Wave technology has made certain aspects of winterization easier while adding another level of protection as those temperatures drop.
Here’s what we’re using to stay cozy and make sure our energy bills don’t make us freeze in our tracks:
This is one of our winter must-haves. It’s the first Z-Wave line voltage thermostat in North America (but be careful, it won’t work with forced air systems!). Use it to control electric baseboards and convector heaters all from your Z-Wave hub’s app interface. Reduce your energy consumption by 30% with custom heating schedules, or just switch to the thermostat’s built-in Economy mode to keep things efficient.