More on How To Use a Z-Wave LED Bulb in your smart home

Adding Z-Wave to your smart house or apartment can be as simple as changing a light bulb. What could be easier?
No wiring, no mess; unscrew a dumb bulb and install a Z-Wave LED. Nothing more, right?

Not so fast.

Z-Wave LED Bulbs are a simple and inexpensive way to add Z-Wave to your home, but there are a few things you should know:

1. Z-Wave bulbs, like all Z-Wave devices*, need to be powered all the time.
Z-Wave devices have a network of neighboring devices that help distribute commands throughout your smart home.
This network is called the ‘mesh,’ and it’s one of the reasons why Z-Wave is so solid. However, if you power down
a device in the network, the others will get confused, and the communication may suffer.

This doesn't mean that your light bulb has to be on all the time. It just means that you need to electronically control the LED.

Don’t put a Z-Wave LED where someone could flip a switch and turn off the light.
* Battery-operated devices don’t participate in repeating so are excluded from this example.

What to do instead:
A. Since you can't turn the bulb off manually, Use Amazon Alexa or Google Home to voice control the LED bulbs.
Your smart home assistant, along with a compatible Z-Wave gateway or hub, is an easy way to control your home with no wiring or fuss.
Pair the Z-Wave LED with your Z-Wave hub, have your SA find your smart devices, and you’re good to go.

B. Include one or several Z-Wave devices in a scene.
Use the smart app on your smartphone to set the scene; literally. Full brightness for homework or utility work.
Soft or colored for romantic vacations at home. Somewhere in the middle for meals or watching TV. It’s all up to you and the combinations are limitless.

C. Use a trigger to automate the LED.
Use a motion or door/window sensor to trigger the bulb by setting up a scene on your Z-Wave hub. Similar to B,
this idea is great for when you need light as you pass through a hallway or open a closet door. Create another scene to turn off the LED after a few minutes of inactivity.

2. Z-Wave bulbs like to be indoors.
While the benefits of putting a smart bulb in an exterior fixture are obvious, most Z-Wave LEDs are made for indoor use. They are not waterproof, and Smart LEDs can generate
some heat. Not from the bulb, but from the electronics at the bottom, so consider the type of enclosure or fixture you use with your smart bulb.

3. Z-Wave LED Bulbs require a Z-Wave Controller.
Since there is no Z-Wave chip in your smartphone, Z-Wave LEDs, like all Z-Wave devices, require some type of Z-Wave Controller (hub, gateway, etc).
Be sure your Z-Wave Controller is compatible with any smart home assistant you plan to use (Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit, etc).

Lamps plugged into dumb outlets usually are the best for smart Z-Wave bulbs. The porcelain lamp holders in garages, closets, and basements are also good, if you can hide the pull chain or stop yourself from reaching for it. Some Z-Wave LED bulbs come with small covers that help prevent you from flipping a toggle switch off and breaking your Z-Wave mesh network

Using a motion sensor to trigger a smart Z-Wave LED bulb

Cost = $55       Time = 25 minutes:

(assuming you have a Z-Wave Controller)

Having a smart home shouldn’t require pulling out the phone for every task. It’s fairly easy to install a PIR motion sensor and have it trigger a smart LED bulb.
In this example, we chose the EcoLink PIRZWAVE2.5 and the Go Control LB60Z-1 Dimmable LED Light Bulb

First, the PIR motion sensor:

1. Consider traffic patterns and how you’d like pedestrian motion to trigger the PIR sensor.
A sharper angle for hallways and above stairs, and a longer reach for living rooms or offices.
Be wary of places where triggering the motion sensor (from another room, for example) would
turn on lights needlessly.

2. Place your Z-Wave Controller (gateway, hub) into inclusion mode.

3. Immediately insert the battery into the PIRZWAVE2.5 and wait for the LED to light for 10 seconds and then go out.
Name the sensor on your Z-Wave Controller.

4. Temporarily mount the sensor and test the operation. Leave the room for over 4 minutes then walk back towards the sensor.
If the red LED lights at the correct place, you’re ready to move on. If it doesn’t respond expectedly, move the sensor accordingly and try again.

5. Once you are satisfied with the placement, permanently mount the sensor.

Add the Z-Wave LED Bulb

1. With the power off, screw in the LED to a lamp or fixture.

2. Place your Z-Wave Controller (gateway, hub) into inclusion mode.

3. Turn the power on. After the operation completes, name the bulb (multi-level light switch) on your Z-Wave Controller.

Putting it all together.

1. Use your Z-Wave controller to set up a scene that says, ‘if motion sensor detects motion in any state (arm/disarm) turn on LED to 100%.

2. Use your Z-Wave controller to set up a scene that says, ‘if motion sensor does not detect motion in any state (arm/disarm) for over 5 minutes, turn LED OFF.

You can also have this scene run only at certain times, to eliminate a LED coming on during the day. You can also override the scene by using Amazon Alexa or Google Home to turn the LED on/off immediately.

Have questions? Please feel free to send me a message using the link in the bottom right corner, or ask our team at Ask An Expert.


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