Controlling Wall Sockets with Z-Wave

Controlling Wall Sockets

This is a question we get asked a lot - what's the best way to control wall sockets with Z-Wave?

So I thought it would be worth writing a post about our recommendations.

Z-Wave Relay

One way to control a wall socket would be to install a Z-Wave relay into the mains wiring. However, this does have a number of drawbacks.

  • The relay will need to be wired into the sockets supply wires - these are usually part of a ring main, so there are 2 live, 2 neutral and 2 earth wires. The wires are typically 2.5mm2 and you will not be able to fit two of these into the relay's terminals.
  • Installing the relay into the socket's back box will be very difficult (if not impossible) due to the depth of the socket plus the relay, plus all the cables.
  • If you want to control a double (2-gang) wall socket, the relay will only give you control of the socket as a whole. You will not be able to control each gang of the socket (left or right) individually. This is because a double socket only has one live and one neutral terminal, so there is no way to control power to each gang - these sockets were designed long before anyone thought of home automation.

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  • Finally, if you do manage to do this, you may find that in the future you actually need wireless control of a different socket, especially if you've moved the room around. So then you will need to do all the wiring again.

Z-Wave Wall Plugs

A better solution, and the one we recommend, is to use a Z-Wave wall plug. These simply plug into the wall socket and you're good to go in just a few seconds.

  • No wiring or trying to squeeze them into small spaces
  • Have as many or as few as you like
  • Move them around when ever you like
  • Install and use within seconds

Make your Choice

At Vesternet we have a wide range of sockets, all perfect for controlling appliances via Z-Wave.

  • TKB On/Off Socket: Great general purpose socket, fully compatible and certified - our recommended socket
  • Popp On/Off Socket: Higher spec. socket with additional features such as auto-off timer
  • Everspring On/Off Socket: Basic socket - for the extra £1 it's worth buying the TKB for better reliability
  • Fibaro Wall Plug - fantastic plug measures power and changes colour based on the power used
  • Dimmer Sockets: remember that all these are also available in 'Dimmer' versions ideal for controlling lamps

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See you soon.

Mark.

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