Z-wave is a universal protocol used for communication between smart home devices including security cameras. It allows the home security devices to work in tandem as a single system. Z-wave uses RF for signalling and controlling. The best part about it is that, it can be used to bridge or sync any devices regardless of the brand. Due to this reason Z-wave technology is pretty famous amongst home security enthusiasts.
By using the Z-wave technology you can connect and control all your smart home devices with just a single app. It is affordable and easy to install.
Z-wave was developed and released by Zensys Inc., a Denmark based company, in 2004. It was then bought by Sigma Designs in 2009. Z-wave was not very common in security cameras until sometime back, but recently most manufacturers have made their devices compatible with the Z-wave technology.
We have prepared a list of Z-wave security systems that you should considering having in your homes.
Nexia Home Outdoor Camera:
The Nexia Home Outdoor camera helps you to monitor and record activities happening outside your home. This is particularly helpful to keep an eye on your front porch or backyard while you are away on a trip. The recorded videos can be saved to view at a later time.
The WCO100 NX requires a Nexia home intelligence account and needs to be connected to the Wi-Fi throughout for the Z-wave technology to be active. It can be connected to the router using wired or wireless Ethernet connection. You can view the live feed using the Nexia website or app
The build quality of the camera is pretty good and so is the video quality. The device is easy to setup and install. The product support from Nexia is excellent and worth mentioning. Along with the good picture quality, a wider camera angle would have been perfect, which it lacks.
The outdoor camera utilizes infrared technology for night-vision. It also boasts of a good quality motion sensor. It picks up and records a few seconds before the actual motion is triggered and ca easily detects motion that is almost 50 feet away.
However, there is no option to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detector and some users have complained of being fed up by false alarms. And yes, the sensor may not work through glass windows.
The latest firmware update has managed to greatly reduce the delay in video signal. However, for better performances, make sure that the camera has an uninterrupted and healthy internet connection.
If used properly the product can last long Is worth the money. It is certainly is a go to choice in the security cameras using Z-wave technology.
The FortrezZ Z wave Siren & Strobe Alarm:
The FortrezZ Z-wave Siren and Strobe alarm is a z-wave enabled device that can emit loud alarms and flash strobe lights when it is activated by an alarm or on receiving a Z-wave network command. This product requires a Z-wave smart hub to operate in tandem with other security devices.
The SSA is a strictly indoor device and can be easily integrated to your smart home security network. However, it is not compatible with all Z-wave devices and you need to visit FortrezZ’s website to get a list of compatible Z-wave controllers.
The alarm can be used by plugging into a wall power outlet or by using 9V battery that comes with the product. In case the power is disconnected, it uses the 9V backup battery to sound the alarm. The SSA can be used as primary or the auxiliary alarm.
It can be set to three modes; Siren only, Strobe only and Siren and Strobe both. The Siren is 110 dB loud and the strobe lights have a good field of view, however don’t expect them to be incredibly bright.
The build quality of the Z-wave alarm leaves a lot to be desired. The SSA feels like made from plastic and can have durability issues if not used properly. There were also reviews about the alarm having real connectivity issues.
The FortrezZ SSA is a good choice for an indoor siren cum strobe with the loud sirens acting in favour of the product. And with the z-wave connectivity you could get creative and maybe use it wake your kids on time for school while you are away.
Nexia Wireless Indoor HD camera:
The Wireless Indoor Camera from Nexia can be used to monitor and survey your house while you are on the go. The camera comes with 720p HD resolution, which can be set to 640 x 480p VGA resolution for lower bandwidth networks. It has enhanced infrared night vision sensing illumination.
Like the outdoor camera, the indoor camera too can only be used with an active Nexia Subscription. It can be connected to the network using a wireless or wired Ethernet connection. You can view the video anytime using the Nexia website and apps, thus allowing you to know what goes on in your home throughout day and night.
As claimed by Nexia, the camera looks stylish and can blend in with any type of room décor without awkwardly standing out. The build quality, though below expectations, is still decent. The HD recording of the camera delivers as promised and the image and video quality is excellent, even in the dark. The adjustable resolution is a huge plus while having to deal with speed losses in internet.
On the downside, there is a delay in the video while streaming on devices and it can certainly irk some users. And the WCW200NX too has real issues while it comes to connectivity. Without a good signal strength it frequently disconnects and displays a black screen.
The Nexia wireless indoor camera is a good choice for a smart home and normal uses, however it is not an ideal choice for robust surveillances.
Guide to buying security cameras:
There are a myriad of options when it comes to choosing a home security camera system. All these cameras have their pros and con along with a distinct set of features that may or may not be useful for you. Hence it is extremely important to understand your needs before finalizing on the right cameras or camera system as a whole.
Security cameras have come a long way and evolved a lot from the old school IP cameras. The modern day DIY smart home security cameras can be operated pretty easily online or through mobile apps.
Before deciding which camera to buy, it would be beneficial to consider the following points;
Most of the DIY smart cameras operate over Wi-Fi today. It is essential to make sure that the place you choose to install the camera has good connectivity. This also means that any interruption to your Wi-Fi signal could prevent your camera from working properly.
Z-wave enabled cameras can easily connect with other smart security devices that you already have in place. But you’ll need to check if the camera is compatible with the other devices and controllers that you currently have
Nowadays, most of the cameras are wireless, but they do come with a plug-in adapter. This is because the Lithium batteries that power these cameras can’t do so for long and the cameras will shut down.
While relying on power cables to run your cameras, you’ll need to choose a location that is close to an outlet. This way, the cameras can fall back on the lithium batteries in case of power failures, and give you an uninterrupted service.
By accessibility we mean the accessibility of the videos and pictures taken by the camera, rather than the camera itself. Most the DIY smart cameras can be accessed using web and mobile apps. If you are planning to check video footages on multiple devices, you might want to choose a camera that supports and has apps for all platforms/devices that you have.
This is pretty important because it is the only way to access the cameras while you are on the go. Make sure that the device is easy to configure and the app is user friendly in order to get the best experience.
Another important aspect which you are supposed to consider while choosing a camera. Nowadays a lot of cameras are available with HD resolution that guarantee high quality images and videos. The clearer the video quality, the higher the bandwidth required. 720p and 1080p are hence bound to experience significant amount of lags and buffering/delays while streaming.
If bandwidth is an issue you are aware of, go for cameras that offer adjustable camera resolution. In this case you can change your resolution to a lower value in case of lags. Some cameras automatically do the same depending on the speed of internet.
While some cameras offer live feed, others record videos based on motion sensing. High end cameras offer both and you can switch between the two modes from your app. If you are planning to monitor your pet for the whole day, then having a camera that only records if it senses motion won’t help.
If you are looking to move your camera, then go for the ones that have the PAN, TILT and ZOOM features, thus allowing you greater control over how the camera operates. DIY cameras that offer video recording too are common. The recorded videos can be saved either to your PC directly or to cloud storage systems.
While choosing the features, you should be careful to choose only the ones that are utterly essential for you. More the features a camera has, the more it is going to cost. And last, but not the least, make sure to read the user reviews of the product that you have in mind before purchasing them. It’ll help you form an opinion and give a better idea about its pros and cons.
Z-wave technology based smart security cameras and systems are a great way to monitor your house while you are away. While the products mentioned here are excellent in terms of operation and durability, if is essential that you check if they are compatible with the smart systems that you currently have at home.
If you are looking to install a new system or new security cameras, make sure to read the guide and purchase accordingly before jumping to any conclusions.