How To Find The Best Z Wave Controller To Upgrade Your Home Wit

Although not all homes today come with a Z wave controller, there are merits to having one in your home. That is true, especially if you are a fan of those automated garage, gates and CCTV cameras.

However, before all of these futuristic upgrades can happen, you have to find first the best Z wave controller or your home.

My Top 5 Picks

Picture
Best Pick
GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Appliance Module,...
Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub
Universal Devices Home Automation Controller Smart Hub ISY994i...
Wink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart Home hub, White
Best feature
Endless customization features
Efficient app control and notification system
1024 nodes and programs
Seamless signal and powerful processor
Installation
Plug-in
Horizontal placement
Horizontal placement
Stand-alone
Bonus apps/programs
Amazon Alexa
SmartThings App
Amazon Alexa
Wink App
Best Pick
Picture
GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Appliance Module,...
Product name
Best feature
Endless customization features
Installation
Plug-in
Bonus apps/programs
Amazon Alexa
Price
Picture
Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub
Product name
Best feature
Efficient app control and notification system
Installation
Horizontal placement
Bonus apps/programs
SmartThings App
Price
Picture
Universal Devices Home Automation Controller Smart Hub ISY994i...
Best feature
1024 nodes and programs
Installation
Horizontal placement
Bonus apps/programs
Amazon Alexa
Price
Picture
Wink WNKHUB-2US 2 Smart Home hub, White
Product name
Best feature
Seamless signal and powerful processor
Installation
Stand-alone
Bonus apps/programs
Wink App
Price

Last update on 2018-12-12 at 15:32 PST - Details

The GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control is my top pick for this list. The combination of affordability, reliability, and efficiency in appliance control is the reason why it’s my pick. GE Z-Wave not only transforms an ordinary home into a smart one, but it also gives you a more systematic way on how to handle your lights and appliances.

Among these remarkable functions include wireless on/off control for dimmers, table lamps, and floor lamps. However, it’s the best work is seen when it integrates your home’s lightings. It not only gives you more convenience, but it also creates a more ambient atmosphere through time customization.

The GE Z-Wave is also renowned to be used alongside other Z-wave certified appliances and gadgets. One of the best things to do here is to automate your home at the comfort of your tablet or home computer. Indeed, this Z-wave controller is something worthy to invest in!

We like

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    Covers a lot of ground inside the house
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    The GE Z-Wave specializes in creating home ambiance through multiple light automation. However, you can also use this for home appliances such as ACs, ceiling fans, table lamps, dimmers, and more.
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    Its signal covers 100 feet from the controller
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    Space efficient
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    It has a side plug-in feature that prevents it from disturbing the arrangement of your furniture.
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    It also doesn’t interfere with any socket placements at home
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    Easy to use given its brand versatility
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    It’s compatible with several Z-wave hubs, and it also works well with a tablet and computer
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    Just make sure that you’re using a Z-wave certified gateway when using a tablet or computer to handle this controller!
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    Customization is one of its best areas
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    You can change the setup of your lighting by adjusting the on/off time, adding events, or customizing sceneries!

We do not like

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    It can tend to go offline during strong storms or extreme weather conditions suddenly
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    It can be a little bigger than other Z-wave controllers

My next item on the list is the renowned Smart Home Hub of Samsung, named the SmartThings. Samsung SmartThings is a famous Z-wave controller that works best with, you guessed it, Samsung appliances.

That’s why it’s a little edged out when compared with the GE Z-Wave controller. While Samsung SmartThings still accommodate other appliances, it is always worth using when your house has Samsung gadgets all over.

The convenient part here is that you’ll just need to download the Samsung app, and your home is ready to control. Everything is accessible with just a swipe and touch! You’ll even receive notifications and updates regarding your house. Talk about high-tech!

We like

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    Convenient free in-app system control and notification
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    This free app lets you switch your lights, thermostats, appliances, and all other gadgets by just a touch on the screen
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    It also gives you warnings regarding temperature, security, energy usage, and more
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    Voice commands are available through Alexa
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    Amazon Alexa is a system compatible with Samsung SmartThings where you can control your house using voice commands
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    Easy installation and integrates Z-wave devices easily
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    You’ll get an even better effect if you use Samsung’s Z-wave gadgets

We do not like

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    Dissemination of information towards customers should be improved upon to maximize its potential
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    Many buyers tend to go to community forums to find out what they’re looking for
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    The backup battery can have battery issues

For our budget pick, AEON Labs’ Z Wave In-Wall Micro Controller might be a good option. AEON Labs offers a free smart home consultation in case there are several things you want to ask.

The product itself offers an optimized antenna range as well as an On/Off control via Z wave (language). You can also turn an existing wall switch into a Z wave switch for this controller, making it convenient. But most importantly, its size fits into most gang boxes worldwide.

We like

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    Instead of using the controllers to manage your smart home system, this product allows you to use existing switches at home
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    It delivers outstanding performance
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    It responds very quickly to Z wave commands, sends the report immediately as soon as flip the wall switch and will update you on the node status
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    You can use smartphones to control it as well

We do not like

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    You might have to be good with home electrical wiring to be able to install this easily
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    You might have to be a little mindful of the size of your outlet boxes (they have to be a little “deep”)

My upgrade pick for this list would be Universal Devices’ Controller Smart Hub. It’s my upgrade pick due to its high-quality performance, that comes at a pricey cost. Still, you’ll get a great deal since Universal Devices offer a wide range of benefits regarding home automation. Just be ready to shell out a 200 US dollars upwards!

As for the benefits, versatility is the key factor here. Universal Devices engineered their smart hub to support over 1000 nodes and programs. That means that regarding customization, your options are virtually endless!

We like

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    Communicates with a multitude of Z-wave certified devices and essential home appliance
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    It can reach multiple lights, thermostats, garage doors, energy monitors, sensors, and even irrigation systems!
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    Over 1000 programs to choose from
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    That gives you multiple sceneries and functions that you won’t get bored!
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    Has a free Smart Home Consultation
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    This free service gives you a chance to maximize the potential of your hub without extensively reading a manual

We do not like

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    The initial configuration upon purchase of this product can be a bit complicated for first timers
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    Its setup may not be as easy compared to other brands even with a free Smart Home consultation service

The Wink Hub 2 is another product that’s famous as a reliable controller for many Smart Home homeowners. Wink Hub 2 is known as a space-friendly hub that can make your devices speak the same wireless language smoothly and effortlessly.

Among the key advantages that this product has is that it has so many possibilities when it comes to setup and programs. Thus, I’m calling it as my niche pick because it’s the best Z-wave controller for the tinkerers. If you’re a techy person who likes to do DIY stuff, then this one’s for you!

We like

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    Seamlessly connects lighting and other appliances better than its predecessor (Wink Hub 1)
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    It has a robust Wifi and ethernet port to create this smooth wireless transmission
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    It has a Wink App which makes controlling easier
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    Powerful processor prevents lapses in signal
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    A reliable processor means more memory which makes this controller faster and more efficient
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    Can be set up as a stand-alone
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    It doesn’t need any mounting since it can stand comfortably on a coffee table
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    Perfect for those who love to tinker Smart Home hubs and controllers
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    With a little patience, you’ll discover even better applications for your home

We do not like

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    Not so simple for beginners

What is a Z wave controller?

A Z wave controller is suitable for automating the entirety of your home. Should you want to automate your lights, dimmer, garage gate, air conditioning system and the like. The Z wave controller serves for the purpose.

However, there is so much more to this fascinating piece of technology than just connecting all your devices. The Z wave controller makes use of a mesh networking topology to integrate your smart home system.

In turn, you will need several more things to set this up and manage its network.

Z Wave Controller, Hub or Gateway: Which one?

Just as mentioned earlier, there are things you have to get first to set up your Z wave controller and manage it. If you have already looked into Z wave controllers and automated smart home systems, you would know that three devices pop out the most.

Z wave controller, hub or gateway? Which of them do you have to get and why? To answer this question directly, you have to get all three of them. That is because all three refer to something similar, the same even.

These three act as a sort of central router device that will allow you to control and manage your smart home system. All while serving as a contact point for you and your smart home devices.

Things To Consider Before Buying

There are no more explanations needed as to why you have to weigh in heavily first all the things to consider before getting a particular Z wave controller. It is a given that to experience an excellent integrated smart home system; you need to find the best controller.

Here are several things you have to consider first before buying:

Your budget vs. the Price

Before everything else, it is essential that you consider first your budget and the price of the Z wave controller you mainly want to buy. It is necessary to take note that different hubs or controller brands also have various payment systems.

That, alongside with their varying prices. Some brands only require you to purchase the controller. However, there will be some that have a monthly subscription fee. See which one works best for your budget.

Features and Specifications

The features and specifications can be the most important factors when it comes to buying a Z wave controller. If you plan to use it for more complicated automations, make sure to get one that can adequately execute complex commands.

Another factor that can affect the performance of your Z wave controller, in general, would be if it uses a local network or a cloud server. The local system is usually just created within your home.

It is crucial for you to note that choosing between a local network versus a cloud server also means ensuring a stable internet connection. Once Internet in your home goes out, the cloud server might not be able to reconnect unless you have a cellular backup.

Compared to the local network where you might still be able to reconnect even without a backup.

Controller Language

That is not necessarily about language per se, but more about the language your controller uses to communicate with other devices. If you prefer that you Z wave controller be able to speak more language than just Z-wave, then this is an essential factor.

Do not be afraid to ask the seller or salesperson about the different protocols a particular hub can “speak.” That will help you round up all the other “languages” a Z wave controller can speak be it ZigBee, Wi-Fi, UPB, and others.

Although these might not be everything you need to consider, these are just some of the most important. Do not be afraid to ask other people who are already using such technology.

Do your research as you are the one who knows best the needs of your home

The Verdict

Now that we’ve discussed my top picks, factors to consider, and the essence of a Z-wave controller, you’re all set to buy one. Remember, purchasing a Z-wave controller will mean that you’ll also obtain hubs and gateways. Not to mention, you’ll need to download apps.

It might seem like a daunting task for the non-techy person, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. With that said, try to minimize the workload by getting a simpler controller instead of a complicated one. That is why I chose the GE Z-wave controller as the best product.

It’s straightforward and simple, but at the same time, it’s efficient and versatile. Of course, you can also check the others depending on your interests. If you found this article informative, don’t forget to leave a comment! Share it with your friends as well, good luck!

This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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