Home Automation - Choosing a Z-Wave Sensor

Z-Wave Sensors are the 'eyes and ears' of your smart home automation system. You can use them to detect motion, door openings, changes in temperature, humidity or even UV levels. This enables them to trigger all manner of things in your home automation system from turning lights on, to sounding an alarm, to opening/closing blinds... the list is endless. Sensor enable things to happen automatically - which is one of the main goals of home automation.

As there are so many types Z-Wave sensors, from so many alternative vendors it can be difficult to decide on which one to choose for your task. This short guide shows what sensors can do in common scenarios and explains what the different types of sensor do and the ones that we suggest as being 'best in class'.

What Sensors can do in your Smart Home

Here are just a few ideas what sensors can do in various areas of a smart home - it's not an exhaustive list, its just a few ideas to get you thinking.


Adding sensors can really bring your smart lighting system to life. You can use Motion Sensors to turn the lights one when you walk in a room, and they automatically turn off when you leave. Door/Window sensors can turn the lights on/off as you open an entrance door, Light sensors can control lights at dusk/dawn - ideal for yards, and Smoke sensors can turn the lights on if an emergency is detected to help people get out of the building.


Using Temperature sensors in different rooms allows you to create a zoned heating system which provides heat when and where you need it. They can also play a more passive role in alerting you if the temperature drops to freezing and at the same time turning on the heating to prevent frozen pipes. Motion sensors can be used to turn on heating only in the rooms that are actually being used. Other sensors such as Carbon Monoxide (CO) sensors could turn off the boiler if the it detects dangerous levels of CO which could be a faulty boiler. Also, a Window Sensor can detect a window being opened and turn off the heating in that room to save wasting heat.


Smart security systems make use of Z-Wave sensors all over the house. The obvious ones are Motion and Door/Window sensors, that trigger alerts if motion is detected. Other sensors can extend the capabilities to protect your home including Water sensors to protect against leaks, Freeze sensors to protect against freezing pipes, Smoke sensors to protect against fire and CO sensors to protect against poisonous gases.

Blinds and Curtains

Sensors can play an active role in controlling blinds and curtains. Temperature and Humidity sensors can detect if the room is getting too hot due to direct sunlight, and close the blinds, they could even open windows. Light sensors can detect dusk and automatically close the blinds for you (and open them in the morning).

Sensors shared

And remember, you can share the same Z-Wave sensor between these tasks. So a motion sensor in the lounge can control the lights, protect the room when you're away, and monitor if you're in the room to turn the heating on. Creating full house automation will use fewer sensors than you may think.

Z-Wave Sensors from Vesternet

We have a huge range of Z-Wave Sensors available. Below we have split the range into the broad categories and shown the most popular ones used by our customers and staff. We have also highlight whether they are the latest version supporting Z-Wave Plus. You can also take a look at our full range of Z-Wave Sensors.


Multi-Sensors, as the name implies, combine several different sensors in a single device - saving space and cost. These are the most popular sensor product - it makes sense to use them where ever you can as they can be used in all of your home automation areas and keep flexibility of the future.

  • Fibaro 3-in-1 Motion Sensor
    Tiny Motion sensor that also monitors temperature and light levels - ideal for lighting, heating and blind control, as well as security. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Aeotec 6-in-1 MultiSensor
    Versatile 6-in-1 sensor for motion, temperature, light, humidity, seismic vibration and UV levels - the best around Z-Wave sensor available. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Philio Multisensor Range
    The Philio Multisensors have various combinations of Motion, Door, Light, Temp, Flood, and Humidity in with 2, 3, or 4 sensors in a single device. Z-Wave Plus Certified.

Door / Window Sensors

These send an alert to the system when a door or window is opened. They work by having a magnet close to the main sensor body, when the magnet is moved too far away (window opening), the sensor is triggered. These are the most popular sensors next to the multi-sensors.

  • Fibaro Door/Window Sensor 2 Gen 5
    Versatile door/window sensor with an integrated temperature sensor - allowing it to also monitor temperature for your heating or freeze protection. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Aeotec Door/Window Sensor 6
    Very small triangular sensor that fits in the corner of a door or window - includes a rechargeable Li-ion battery with a 6-mth time between charges. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Aeotec Recessed Door Sensor Gen 5
    Door only sensor mounts in the actual door, so that it's almost invisible. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Aeotec Door/Window Sensor Gen 5
    Standard size door/window sensor if you don't need something as small as possible. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Sensative Strips Door/Window Sensor
    Tiny sensor strip that is almost invisible when mounted on doors or windows - integrated battery gives 10-year battery life. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Neo Coolcam Door & Window Sensor
    Simple no-frills door and window sensor. Z-Wave Plus Certified.

Motion Sensors

    Stand-alone motion sensors are a good solution for specific areas such as outside where a device with an external IP rating is best used due to rain, frost, damp etc. Otherwise, for internal use, the multi-sensors are a better option.

  • Everspring Indoor/Outdoor Motion Detector
    Basic motion sensor for indoor or sheltered outdoor (IP44) installation. Includes timed delay and light level settings. Z-Wave Plus Certified and supports S2 security.
  • Philio Motion Sensor PSP05 - Gen5
    Motion sensor with 12m detection distance, ball style means it can easily be rotated into position. Suiatble for sheltered outdoor installation (IP43). Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Steinel Motion Sensor
    Great external (IP54) motion sensor ideal for targeted detection with superior 140° detection angle and up to 14m detection range. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • NEO Coolcam PIR Motion Sensor
    Basic motion sensor for internal use, with 90° angle and 7m detection distance. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Hank Motion Sensor
    Internal motion sensor powered from batteries or USB (5v) supply. Z-Wave Plus Certified and supports S2 security.

Smoke & CO Sensors

These sensors extend the Z-Wave systems capability to protect your home from fire, smoke and other poisonous gases such as Carbon Monoxide (the silent killer).

  • Fibaro Smoke Sensor Plus
    Great looking smoke and heat sensor. Sounds a built-in siren and sends alerts for smoke or rapid increases in temperature which could be a smokeless fire. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Fibaro CO Sensor
    Carbon Monoxide sensor sounds integrated siren and sends alerts to the Z-Wave system. Z-Wave Plus Certified.

Water / Flood Sensors

These sensors help protect your home from floods, leaks and freezing pipes - enables a Z-Wave system to fully protect your whole house - especially when you're away or for hard to see places like behind washing machines or under baths.

  • Fibaro Flood Sensor Gen5
    The ultimate Z-Wave combined Flood, Temperature and Tilt sensor, protects your home against floods and freezing - even floats on water. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Philio Multisensor with Flood
    Integrated Flood, Humidity and Temperature with a wired water/leak sensor so can be wall mounted. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Sensative Drip - Gen5
    Combined water leak, temperature and freeze sensor with 10-year integrated battery - suitable for outdoor use. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Aeotec Water Sensor 6
    Water/leak sensor with integrated temperature sensor and 60dB siren - alerts the system and sounds the alarm if a leak is detected. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Everspring Flood Sensor
    Basic flood sensor with wired sensor allowing wall mounting. Z-Wave only (not Z-Wave Plus).

Temperature & Humidity Sensors

These devices work well as part of a Z-Wave controlled heating system, allowing you to control the temperature of individual rooms and zones.


If most Z-Wave sensors are the 'eyes and ears', then sirens are definitely the 'mouth'. These sound the alarm when you need to know there is an emergency at home.

  • Aeotec Siren
    Indoor alarm that plugs into a wall socket (European). Includes built-in backup battery, 5 alert tones (106dB max) and 3 LED lights. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • NEO Coolcam Siren
    Battery-powered Z-Wave Siren that can also be used as a doorbell - a little quiet at 90dB. Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Everspring Siren
    Z-Wave siren (100dB) with flashing strobe light, can be battery or mains-powered. Z-Wave only (not Z-Wave Plus).
  • Vision Z-Wave Sirens - Gen5
    Indoor loud (105dB) Z-Wave siren in two versions - battery-powered or mains-powered (with battery back-up). Z-Wave Plus Certified.
  • Zipabox Indoor Siren
    Very loud indoor siren - 110dB with six different melodies. Z-Wave Plus Certified.

Getting Help and Advice

Hopefully this guide has helped clarify how Z-Wave sensors can be used and which our the best for your needs. If you need any further help or advice, contact Vesternet and we will answer all your questions.

Copyright Vesternet 2018

Updated: 07/09/2018