Controlling Wall Sockets with Z-Wave

David Bell |

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.
  • 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

See you soon.


About the Author

David Bell is the founder of Vesternet. As a contributing author on popular smart home topics including Z-Wave & Zigbee, he’s been cited in a multitude of popular websites, forums & articles over the past 10 years and continues to publish regularly on Vesternet.

With over 25 years in business, and 15 years in home automation, he also heads up all of Vesternet’s commercial initiatives throughout various online channels as an expert in sales, marketing & growth strategies.