Aeotec Z-Wave products: In this review, we look at six Z-Wave products from Aeotec, including a dimmer, a smart plug, a door sensor and a versatile multi-sensor.
If you look a little further than individual products for your smart home, you will quickly arrive at protocols with which products in your smart home can communicate with each other. One of those protocols is Z-Wave , and Aeotec is a manufacturer that focuses entirely on smart plugs, sensors and switches that use this protocol. In this review we look at various products from Aeotec, including the MultiSensor 6, the Nano Dimmer and the Wallmote Quad. All these devices can only be used with a smart home hub that supports Z-Wave. For our review we use the Homey .
The Z-Wave range from Aeotec
There is wide range of Aeotec Z-Wave products, most models of which now support the Z-Wave Plus standard. For example, the company has a doorbell, a siren, door sensors, smart plugs, dimmers, switches, energy meters, radiator buttons and LED strips in its range. So you can go in all directions, but check whether your Z-Wave hub also supports the relevant products. It can sometimes take a while for new products to be compatible with specific hubs. In our case, the smart plug was not yet supported by the Aeotec app for Homey, but just in time a beta version of the app was released that does offer support.
Which products of Aeotec Z-Wave products do we use?
In this review we focus on six products from Aeotec;
- Aeotec Nano Dimmer: a built-in dimmer that can switch and dim your lighting. It is also suitable for installations without a neutral wire. (50 euros)
- Aeotec Smart Switch 7: a smart plug that also measures energy consumption. (50 euros)
- Aeotec MultiSensor 6: a versatile sensor that measures movement, tampering, temperature, brightness, humidity and UV (ultraviolet). The sensor works on batteries, but can also be connected with the supplied USB cable. (60 euros)
- Aeotec Nano Switch: a smart built-in switch with which you can switch the lighting. A neutral wire is required. (60 euros)
- Aeotec Door Sensor 7: a smart door sensor that allows you to quickly see whether a door is open or closed. (40 euros)
- Aeotec WallMote Quad: a smart wall switch with touch control that allows you to start all kinds of scenarios or operate specific products. (65 euros)
Aeotec Z-Wave products – Design and assembly
Since we deal with different products, we also deal with different designs. However, the style of Aeotec is partly reflected in all products. The company goes for minimalism and a sleek, modern look. All products are finished in white and made entirely of plastic. That leaves them feeling a bit fragile and cheap here and there, which is especially noticeable with the MultiSensor. It is not a big downside, as long as the products do what they promise.
You don’t see the built-in dimmer and switch, so the design of these models is irrelevant. The dimensions do, however, and with a size of 42 x 39.5 x 20 mm, these models fit in the average flush-mounted box without any problems. The Nano Dimmer is the most flexible variant as it can also be connected without a neutral wire. You simply draw the current from the group on which the lamp is located, connect the phase and switch wire to the dimmer (and connect the input for the neutral wire to the phase input) and connect the physical switch to the dimmer. When properly connected, the dimmer and switch immediately switch on, after which you can add the module to your own with a few pushes of a button. Once added, you can put everything back in the flush-mounted box and screw the switch on. If you are new to electrics, there are several guides available online, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. The same principle applies to the built-in switch, although it must therefore be connected with a neutral wire. This variant can therefore not dim.
The door / window sensor can be attached with screws or the supplied adhesive strip. A small magnet (for very short distances) and a large magnet (for normal window frames) are included. The sensor is neatly finished, but it remains a sensor that you cannot easily miss on a frame. Assembly is quite easy, especially with adhesive strip. Make sure you try out the intended position first. This allows you to check whether the sensor also gives the correct message when the door is closed. If the distance between the magnet and the sensor is still too great when the door is closed, the system will obviously not work. So, before you fix everything, try it out first. Also with regard to the door sensor, it is a matter of a few presses of a button to add the sensor to the desired hub.
The Smart Switch 7 is a smart switch that will not quickly end up in sight, but it looks solid and has a sleek finish. The plug is easy to place anywhere thanks to a size of 43.4 x 43.4 x 68 mm. It is not the smallest plug on the market, but small enough for almost all applications. So you can place the smart switch anywhere you have a socket, and with a few pushes of a button, the switch is quickly added to the hub.
The Multisensor 6 is probably in plain sight, which is why it is a pity that the sensor is a bit more old-fashioned and fragile than the other products. But, on the other hand, it is a very compact and small sensor that will therefore not be noticed quickly. You can mount the sensor with adhesive strip or screws, and even provide it with power via a fixed USB connection. When you choose USB, you have to take into account that a 230v adapter is required and that you have to work it away. Unfortunately, the sensor does not come with batteries, so you still have to buy them yourself. The CR123a batteries are also not the cheapest variants and you need two pieces. Once placed it is a matter of adding the sensor to the hub, follow the steps and within a minute the sensor is added.
Finally, there is the WallMote Quad, a switch that can be fully integrated and can even replace existing switches. This switch has a fairly futuristic appearance, with LEDs that color with the actions. Vibrations and sounds provide even more confirmation of the chosen action. The switch is equipped with a plastic touch panel with four surfaces, each of which can be assigned its own function. You can hang the switch in place of an existing switch, using screws or adhesive strips. The mounting plate is magnetic, so you can still remove the switch yourself. That must also be because you charge via USB. The WallMote Quad is a very modern switch and in our view it must match your interior and switch material in order not to attract too much attention. The installation of the switch is simple. Add the switch through the hub, press the button on the back of the switch and let the hub search for the switch.
Once the various products have been added to the chosen hub, you can get started with specific settings to adjust the operation of each product to your own liking. However, for this you are completely dependent on the platform / hub you use. For example, there is an Aeotec app for Homey, but it could use an update. Not all available parameters (settings) appear with every product and here and there are bugs that cause settings to be switched. That makes the process a bit more difficult, but fortunately you can try a little and use the so-called ‘raw parameters’ to adjust all settings to your liking. In addition, as mentioned, the Smart Switch 7 is only available via the beta version of the app.
However, the Aeotec products can be added to Homey very quickly and easily. You search for the Aeotec app, select the specific product and the installation is self-explanatory. You do not have to keep the products close to the Homey for this. Once added, you can adjust various parameters of each product.
The WallMote Quad does not have many setting options. You can adjust the settings for touch sounds, vibration, LED colors and LED brightness. In principle, no more is needed. The Smart Switch 7 contains various settings to link it to your Z-Wave alarm system. For example; the Z-Wave smoke detector goes off and the plug goes on. You can do this directly via the plug’s settings, but of course also via the hub’s scenarios. The parameters for this product are not quite correct, so it is just a try and get the manual. In the manual you will find all available parameters from the manufacturer, and you can always add them to the app via the ‘raw parameters’. The Smart Switch displays the wattage and consumption (kWh) of the connected devices and can send them to the controller at a specific change or after a specific period. You can also switch the colored LED of the plug on or off.
The Door Sensor displays the contact alarm (on or off) and displays a tamper alarm when the sensor is moved. In the settings you can switch the LEDs on or off, choose the default position (open / closed), set the cancellation period (the number of seconds after an alarm that the sensor does not respond to a new alarm) and enable a wake-up interval. so that the sensor communicates with the hub every a specified number of seconds. The Nano Dimmer and Nano switch have a limited number of parameters and also some parameters that are incorrect or missing. You can select the type of switch (pulse, 2-way, 3-way) and set the wattage change to send an update to the controller. You can enter parameters yourself (max. And min. Brightness or number of seconds dimming) via the raw parameters, but hopefully the app will be updated soon with these settings. Incidentally, it is important to mention that you may need a bypass at low wattages (LED lamps of 1-4 watts). This bypass ensures that the lamps do not flicker and can dim completely. Also in our case (two 3 watt LED lamps) a bypass would be useful as the lamps start to flash at lower dimming levels. Within Homey, a slider for dimming is displayed and you get to see the real-time consumption and the total consumption of the connected lighting. Also in our case (two 3 watt LED lamps) a bypass would be useful as the lamps start to flash at lower dimming levels. Within Homey, a slider for dimming is displayed and you get to see the real-time consumption and the total consumption of the connected lighting. Also in our case (two 3 watt LED lamps) a bypass would be useful as the lamps start to flash at lower dimming levels. Within Homey, a slider for dimming is displayed and you get to see the real-time consumption and the total consumption of the connected lighting.
The MultiSensor 6 is the most comprehensive product that we have tested. With this you can register movement, sabotage (movement of the sensor itself), temperature, brightness, humidity and UV (ultraviolet). We do not see the combination of all these sensors in any other sensor, so the MultiSensor 6 is one of the most versatile sensors on the market. The number of setting options is therefore also considerable. For example, you can set whether and how often the various sensors should send updates to the controller, what the cancellation periods are and when they should wake up and therefore communicate with the hub. You can also calibrate any sensor, but you do need an oak instrument for this. If a value deviates from the sensor, you can adjust it via the settings. Unfortunately, there is no option to turn off a specific sensor to make the battery last longer. In Homey you can see all values of the different sensors in one overview, but keep in mind that after the initial installation it can take an hour before all sensors display values.
After adjusting all settings according to your own wishes and use, it is of course time to test whether the various sensors also do what they should do, and whether they do it accurately. We can be quite brief about that; no product fails in our setting. The products connect quickly to the existing Z-Wave network, communication is smooth and the range is strong almost everywhere.
The Smart Switch 7 responds quickly to input and is easy to switch in scenarios. You can attach equipment up to 2300 Watt and 10 amps, which is more than sufficient for most applications. The Door Sensor indicates quickly and accurately when a door is opened. Within one second the hub receives a signal and you can start or stop a flow. The Nano Dimmer can, for example, switch to this and also responds quickly to input from the controller. The only downside of the Nano Dimmer / Switch is that pressing the physical switch produces a small and visible delay (1 sec). This should be possible faster.
The WallMote Quad has many possibilities for use, which makes it a versatile but also difficult switch. For example, you can start flows by pressing one of the four areas, you can start flows by long pressing one of the four areas, you can start flows by releasing one of the areas and you can start flows by pressing up or swiping down on one of the surfaces. Super versatile, but you will understand that when you use all of these, chances are that you no longer know what exactly is doing what. But, plenty of choice to adjust the switch to your own liking. You can also use the swipe to dim a lamp, for example, although you have to create a flow that dims a specific lamp by 10% with every swipe. This does not go very smoothly, but it is an option.
Finally, the MultiSensor 6, which is a very handy and versatile sensor. This sensor also sends data quickly to the controller at desired times or at set changing values. However, the calibration of those values is a challenge. If it is the only sensor in a room then you could still do it without calibration (perhaps with the exception of temperature) because it mainly concerns the changes in the values, but if you want everything to be really accurate, you will have to do it. We did this for two values and the values turned out to be slightly different. For example, the temperature was 1.5 degrees too high and the brightness 40 lumens too low. However, you will always come across these deviations and can therefore adjust yourself in the settings. Furthermore, there is actually nothing that the sensor cannot or does not do well.
Battery life of Aeotec Z-Wave products
Two of the five products must be equipped with batteries. The MultiSensor 6 comes without batteries, so you have to insert two CR123a batteries. The Door Sensor does come with its own batteries. The WallMote Quad comes without batteries but with its own battery that you can charge using the included USB cable. According to Aeotec, the battery life of the MultiSensor is about 2 years and that of the Door Sensor about 3 years. The WallMote Quad should last at least a year on a full charge, but just like the sensors, it all depends on the use. We have been using all three products for about four weeks now and they are all still at 100%.
Aeotec Z-Wave products – Conclusion
Aeotec is one of the manufacturers that is fully committed to Z-Wave as a protocol for the smart home, and that results in a nice range of products. They may not have the best build quality or design, but the products all deliver what they promise, and they do it quickly and accurately. We have only tested the products in combination with Homey and as far as that hub is concerned, Aeotec may pay some extra attention to the integration. Here and there settings (parameters) are missing or mixed up, which can lead to confusion.
We have little to complain about the products themselves, although you can expect the MultiSensor 6 to be delivered including (expensive) batteries for 60 euros. However, this is offset by the fact that it is perhaps the most versatile Z-Wave sensor you can buy and the possibility to connect the sensor to a fixed power supply with USB. The Nano Dimmer is a compact and well-functioning dimmer that also works without a neutral wire, but keep in mind that you may need a bypass. The Smart Switch is a great smart plug and the Door Sensor 6 knows exactly how to keep an eye on whether a door is open or closed. Finally, the WallMote Quad is a futuristic-looking switch with many possibilities to start all flows in-house. Moreover, this product can be charged via USB.
All in all, the Aeotec Z-Wave products offer great value for money and are unlikely to let you down with erroneous values or slow communication. As far as we are concerned, these products are definitely recommended for anyone who wants to set up a smart home based on Z-Wave.
Pros of Aeotec Z-Wave products
- MultiSensor 6 comes with an option for USB power
- MultiSensor 6 is the most versatile sensor on the market
- Fast and easy installation
- Nano Dimmer can be used without a neutral wire
- Products work quickly, accurately and stable
Negatives of Aeotec Z-Wave products
- MultiSensor 6 comes without batteries
- Homey integration could be better / more complete
- Build quality can sometimes be better
- Products are not cheap
- Nano Dimmer may require bypass