The majority of popular wireless doorbells on the market make use of Wi-Fi to communicate. No surprise as most of us do have Wi-Fi routers in our homes now. They do a great job and have lots of uses. However, if you want to take your smart home automation to another level you probably want to look at alternative protocols such as Z Wave or Zigbee.
Using a Z Wave compatible doorbell will open up a world of possibilities for your home automation set up. With thousands of Z wave smart devices to choose such as thermostats, smart locks, garage door openers, smoke detectors, sirens and motion detectors you can create an inter connected world.
For example, if you were to invest in Z wave controller like Samsung SmartThings, Fibaro HomeCenter 2, Vera, Zipabox or you could set up a scene where someone pressing the button on the Z wave bell sends an alert, turns on the hall lights and plays music on your Sonos speakers. The possibilities are endless and to a certain extent depend on your creativity.
Unfortunately, the choice of truly Z Wave compatible doorbells is not that great. A search of the Z Wave Alliance database for doorbells doesn’t give that many results at the time of writing. One brand sticks out and that is Aeotec.
As there is such a limited range the only option for a truly Z-Wave Compatible doorbell would be the the Aeotec AEZW162 Z-Wave Doorbell available at Amazon.
Certification Number: ZC10-19026372
SmartStart Compatible: No
This Z Wave plus compatible device comprises of a battery powered doorbell unit which can be screwed or taped to wall as long as it is not in direct sunlight. The battery life in the doorbell is anticipated to be around 2 years and a chime which is placed indoors and plugged into a power source that is again taped to the wall.
Out of the box you get 1 button, batteries and the chime. If you want to expand you are able to add up to 3 buttons so multi door monitoring is possible
The whole setup is pretty straightforward to install.
Aside from the Z Wave compatibility it is not a million miles away from a traditional doorbell in that you press a button and a chime rings inside letting someone know they have to answer the door.
Once the installation is complete you pair the Aeotec with your Z-Wave controller and make the bell part of your home automation set-up.
The general feeling for this product based on Amazon reviews is that whilst it is Z Wave compatible the product quality is not the best. It is suggested that you may have better luck with the Generation 5.
- Comes with 30-preloaded chimes and 8 ringtones
- Highlighted by 3 buttons for multi-functionality
- Offers a wireless range of up to 490 feet in an open space
- 30% louder than previous Aeotec products
- Easily synced with a smart home hub
- Power adapter isn’t USB-based
Alternatives to Aeotec
If you don’t want the Aeotec you may need to get creative. There are numerous examples on the Internet of people re-wiring traditional doorbells with Z Wave sensors to achieve something similar.
Or, you could use something like the Nexia Z-Wave doorbell sensor. This sensor connects directly to your indoor chime. As soon as it detects the bell has rung it is able to send a signal to your other Z Wave devices.
Outside of that if you have the Ring Alarm the base unit operates as a Z-Wave hub. This should allow you to integrate a Ring Video doorbell and other Z Waves devices. There is even a certification program “Works with Ring” that allows you to identify what Z Wave devices will work with the Ring Alarm.
Highlighted by a sophisticated design, it measures 2.8″ x 0.9″ x 2.8″ in size and weighs just around 2 ounces. This doorbell was awarded by CNET multiple years in a row. While it only comes in bronze color, we consider it to be one of the most attractive doorbell-based security systems out there. The first feature that we want to highlight is that it is easily synced with Alexa voice assistant and products such as Amazon Echo/Dot. Similar to the product above, it allows you to monitor real-time video and audio activity and respond via an omnidirectional microphone. Thus, you will be able to lure away the uninvited guests without having to open your door or come back to your house.
In addition to that, this is a single-purchase doorbell, meaning that you won’t be met with any hidden fees that prevent you from gaining full access to this security system. On the contrary, SkyBell offers a free cloud on which you can store recorded video and audio files for up to 7 days. Along with that comes an intuitive SkyBell app that is available for Android 4.4+ and iOS 8.1+ users and will allow you to adjust the settings, as well as monitor the activity in real-time.
One of the coolest points is that the SkyBell doorbell is sturdy and made to work in harsh weather conditions. According to our experience and the manufacturer’s description, it should be precise at a temperature range of -40 degrees Fahrenheit up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Among its innovative features, it also offers color-night vision and an infrared detector, allowing you to have clear video streaming no matter the outdoor brightness levels.
Also, this doorbell supports on-demand videos and activity history that will allow you to look at what you’ve missed. Lastly, its silent mode is perfect if you don’t want to disturb your family members and want to have the notifications sent directly to your mobile phone or tablet. Our only concern is that the sensor isn’t highlighted by an expanded field of view. Apart from that, this reasonably priced doorbell will allow you to monitor most of the activity happening at your door.
- Free-on-demand viewing, no hidden fees
- Highlighted by weather-resistant construction
- Clear image and two-way audio
- Intuitive app for iOS and Android devices
- Supports silent mode by sending notifications to a mobile device or tablet
- Doesn’t feature an expanded field of view
Last on our list is a doorbell that is manufactured by one of the leading names in the industry, Ring. Apart from the standard offer, which includes nothing but the doorbell, the manufacturer also offers a set with Chime Pro, Echo Show 5, and a Level Bolt for those of you who are on a more flexible budget. This product requires pre-installed wiring, and if you don’t have a transformer, then you should look for an independent power supply that supports the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
The main highlight of this product is the HDR camera that supports 1920x1080p resolution during both the daytime and nighttime. In addition to that, we are happy that its two-way audio works without flaw. Not only will you be able to speak through the microphone in real-time, but you can also play pre-recorded messages. On top of all that, you can send a batch of Alexa greetings to your invited or uninvited guests. Keep in mind that these are exclusive to users who purchase the Ring Protection plan.
Talking about compatibility, this product offers an intuitive iOS and Android app that you can use to monitor real-time activity, as well as send messages and adjust privacy settings. Also, you can arrange the detection zones that the 180-degree motion sensor will be focusing on.
If your budget allows, we would recommend the Ring Protection plan. The main reason, apart from enhanced privacy settings and Alexa greetings, is the fact that you will be able to record and save video and audio files for up to 60 days. It is a great feature if you are always on the go but want to find out what happened while you were gone.
The main downside is that the performance of the camera and microphone is directly affected by your internet connection (supports dual-band, 2.4 GHz, and 5.0 GHz). Other than that, there is not much to say against this reliable and secure doorbell system.
- Comes with a wide variety of security features
- Offers clear image and resolution of 1080p during daytime and nighttime
- Compatible with Alexa devices and features Alexa greetings
- Ring Protection plan allows you to save video/audio for 60 days
- Intuitive app for adjusting settings and monitoring real-time activity
- Microphone and camera performance is directly affected by internet connection
It’s fair to say that there are not many truly compatible Z-Wave doorbells aside from the Aeotec. With so little to choose from it is hard to genuinely choose a best. At the moment, you would probably be better off getting a device from another manufacturer and trying to integrate it into your setup using something like SmartThings.