Setting Up Zooz Z-Wave Door and Window Sensor with SmartThings
I’ve been trying to find a good Z-Wave Door Sensor for a few months now. There are a lot of good products out there, but I really didn’t want to pay a ton of money for each sensor. I wanted to strike a balance between functional and affordable. That’s when I found the Zooz Z-Wave Door Sensor.
What I liked about this sensor was that it was only about $25, which is reasonable when you have a lot of windows and doors to add. Since it’s Z-Wave, it’ll work well with my Samsung SmartThings hub. It seemed like a no-frills sensor that will do exactly what it’s intended on doing: telling me when the door is open or closed.
Apple has done an awesome job of convincing companies to package their products well. The sensor comes in a nicely built box, with recyclable plastic on the inside. In fact, everything except the sensor itself and the mounting hardware is recyclable. It’s a minor thing, but I appreciate it because I don’t feel like I’m cluttering a landfill every time I purchase something.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find a whole bunch of stuff in addition to the sensor. The mounting hardware also comes with double-sided 3M tape. I ended up using this to postion the sensor on the door and frame. I then drilled through it to keep the sensor attached. Included is also a Setup guide and an Advanced Settings guide.
The larger, top most piece, is the actual sensor itself. It’s what contains the Z-Wave chip and will be attached to the door frame. The smaller piece below it is just the magnet. That’s what you’ll attach to your door.
Before you get this thing mounted, you’re going to want to pair it with SmartThings. It’s a lot easier to do that now since it is in your hands, as opposed to attached to the top of a door or the side of a window.
You’ll start by taking the case off the Sensor piece. This is done by pushing a clip in on the Sensor piece. I’ve made a diagram to show you where it is.
I had to use a small screwdriver to push it in. Once in, you’ll be able to slide the cover off.
You’ll find the included battery already in its holder. In between it and the metal case, though, is a plastic divider. Before pulling that out and turning on the sensor, let’s get the SmartThings app ready. Load up the app and click on Add A Thing at the bottom.
Once you’re here, go ahead and take out the plastic divider between the battery and holder. After a few seconds, you’ll find your sensor listed here. If you don’t see it, press the button on the side of the sensor to put it back in Inclusion mode.
Just like any other Z-Wave device, go ahead and add it to your system.
You can see mine listed on the bottom as Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor. I ended up changing the name to Sunroom Door once I had it installed. Since it’s not next to its magnet, it’s currently reporting status as Open.
Next, we are going to want to mount this thing on the door. If you don’t want to make screw holes in your door frame, you can use the included 3M tape. I didn’t mind, so I ended up screwing mine into the frame.
If you want to do that, continue reading. If not, skip on below to see how the interface looks like in SmartThings.
Before you mount it, you’re going to want to take the sensor out of its case. Along the edges, you’ll find 4 little tabs. Carefully, push them out a little bit. They move just enough to let you slide the sensor board out.
Here you can see the 4 tabs in the corners. It’s also important to note which side is down. This is what needs to be close to the magnet in order to trigger the sensor.
Once you’ve slid the board out, go ahead and get your sensor screwed into your door frame.
The manual states that the magnet should be no further than 3/4 of an inch away from the sensor. This shouldn’t be a problem for most doors. I didn’t grab a ruler to measure, but I’m probably a good 1/2 inch away and I’m not seeing any issues.
Once everything is screwed in, go ahead and install the magnet the same way. You’ll find that there are 2 little alignment markers in the plastic for each piece. Make sure these are lined up when all is said and done.
Now that our sensor is installed, let’s go back to SmartThings and see what is available.
Let’s first look at the screen for the Zooz Z-Wave Door Sensor itself.
Now that everything is set up, the sensor is reporting closed. I also really like that it reports battery life. The company page says that their battery will last up to 2 years. I’ve had them in my home for only a week now and the battery still says 100%. So far, so good.
Upon opening my door, the status changed to Open in about a second.
You’ll now want to go into your your Smart Home Monitor and add the sensors. You do that by clicking the little Gear icon in the top right corner of the Smart Home Monitor page. That will lead you to the following screen.
Click on Security at the top and follow through the setup. Once you finish that, you’ll have a neat new feature in your SmartThings Smart Home Monitor.
When I click on ARMED (HOME), SmartThings sends me a text and push notification if someone Opens or Closes the door during set hours. I can also configure it to alert me with lights in my house. If I had speakers connected to my SmartThings hub, it can also do audible alerts. ARMED (AWAY) will take into consideration any motion sensors that are available.
Lastly, I noticed a new option for Scout Alarm. I haven’t signed up for it, but it seems like it’s a professional monitoring service offered by Samsung. For $20 a month, they’ll do professional monitoring of all your sensors. I might consider this when I get further down the line with all my sensors.
These Zooz Z-Wave Door and Window Sensors were extremely simple to install. Integration with Samsung’s SmartThings was extremely easy. At less than $25 each, it is affordable for me to start installing these all over my home. These aren’t as pretty as something like the Sensative Strips Z-Wave Ultra Thin Sensors, but for almost half the price, I am ok with that. I haven’t had any range issues, but I also have Z-Wave Light Switches all over my home. I would be willing to bet that, since they are battery powered, you might have range issues if you don’t have other Z-Wave devices around them. That’s going to be the case for any Z-Wave device that is battery powered.
Zooz did a good job of making a simple and easy to set up z-wave door sensor. I look forward to getting more deployed throughout my home.
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