In the smart home space, devices connect using various protocols. Z-Wave is a radio frequency (RF) protocol which provides connectivity and interoperability between individual gadgets. It’s similar to Wi-Fi or Zigbee. Loads of devices utilize the Z-Wave protocol, from security cameras to door locks. Z-wave components are an essential part of any smart home automation journey. We have shortlisted our choices for several types of Z-wave devices previously.
Best Z-wave Devices for Home Automation:
In this post, we are going to cover the Z-wave garage door sensor options available to today. Note that because these standalone devices communicate with the Z-Wave protocol, a Z-Wave controller is necessary as a hub. Samsung SmartThings, Wink, etc. are great options for a hub.
Table of Contents
- How does Z-Wave work?
- What is a Z-Wave garage door sensor?
- Best Z-Wave garage door sensor options in 2018
- Z-Wave Plus Garage Snesor Options: Final thoughts
How does Z-Wave work?
Z-Wave is an RF protocol for maintaining device connectivity and communication. While it’s close to Wi-Fi or Zigbee in its ultimate function, Z-Wave uses the 900MHz band rather than the 2.4GHz band. According to the Z-Wave Alliance, this delivers improved performance. Since Z-Wave operates on a lower frequency, it should limit interference. Additionally, its longer wavelength penetrates obstacles such as walls with ease. Like Zigbee and Wi-Fi signals, Z-Wave creates a communication network for compatible devices. Z-Wave allows for smart control as well as smart home automation. Moreover, Z-Wave devices create a mesh network which gains strength through an increased array of devices. Companies such as Samsung adopted Z-Wave, so Z-Wave devices remain compatible with SmartThings gadgets. [Read: 5 interesting and must-know facts about Z-Wave automation protocol]
However, there’s also Z-Wave Plus. Whereas Z-Wave yields good connectivity, Z-Wave Plus adds an improved network with roughly 300% more bandwidth, a 50% bump in battery life, and OTA updates. Still, for Z-Wave Plus devices remain backwards compatible with vanilla Z-Wave gadgets for maximum communication.
What is a Z-Wave garage door sensor?
Ok, great, so Z-Wave is a communication protocol for smart home devices. But what is a Z-Wave garage door sensor? Essentially, a Z-Wave compatible garage door sensor, or Z-Wave tilt sensor, is a device which detects angular changes such as opening a garage door. Upon receiving an input of an angular change, a sensor is triggered which transmits a wireless Z-Wave signal. Then, this performs a certain action designated by a user. This could be shutting off lights, arming and disarming a security system, sending a notification to your phone or setting off an alarm. [Read: Best SmartThings compatible devices – Top 15 choices in 2018]
Best Z-Wave garage door sensor options in 2018
It is important to note that garage door sensors sense the door position but may not control them (open or close). Garage door controllers, on the other hand, can sense as well as control open and close. Controllers, obviously, are more expensive. In this post, we will cover both types and take a brief look at the best Z-Wave garage door sensor options available today.
The Ecolink Intelligent Z-Wave Plus gold plated garage door tilt sensor is a top Z-Wave Plus garage sensor option. Equipped with Z-Wave Plus, the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus garage door sensor wields an improved wireless range, enhanced battery life, added RF channels, over-the-air (OTA) upgrades, and a slew of other benefits. Still, Z-Wave Plus-enabled devices remain backwards compatible with Z-Wave gadgets for maximum interoperability.
Comprised of gold plated components, the Ecolink Intelligent Z-Wave Plus garage door tilt sensor boasts superb reliability. Installation merely requires mounting on a flush surface with the included mounting bracket. With its five-year battery life and low power draw, this is a fantastic Z-Wave door sensor. Users appreciated its small footprint, ease of use, and simple installation. However, certain reviewers noted false alarm triggers which are easily and inexpensively remedied. Nevertheless, these potential false triggers can be a challenge. Ultimately, Ecolink Intelligent makes an affordable, reliable, intuitive Z-Wave Plus garage sensor. [Read: Samsung SmartThings vs Wink Hub – Which one is better for whom?]
- Easy to install/use
- Potential to trigger false alarms (fixable)
Dome Home Automation offers an excellent Z-Wave Plus garage sensor in its DMWD1. It’s a flexible sensor which provides notifications about the status of doors, windows, or cabinets. For a Z-Wave door sensor, it functions flawlessly. Super affordable, small, and decidedly uncomplicated to install and set up, Dome Home Automation makes a solid Z-Wave garage door sensor. Yet, some users reported unreliable functionality and poor battery life. While the majority of reviews praised Dome Home Automation’s Z-Wave Plus garage sensor, it could be a gamble. Still, for the price, it’s tough to complain. [Read: Best Z-Wave Switch: 10 top Z-Wave wall switches in 2018]
- Easy to use/install
- Small footprint
- Questionable reliability
- Average battery life
While many Z-Wave door sensors only concentrate on angular changes, the Fibaro FGDW-002-1 sensor offers a temperature sensor as well. Thus, this Z-Wave garage door sensor sports a greater functionality over its tilt sensor counterparts. Because this Fibaro Z-Wave Plus garage sensor includes a temperature sensor, you may configure additional smart home automations. Since it’s equipped with Z-Wave, the Fibaro FGDW-002-1 retains Samsung SmartThings compatibility. Coupled with a steady two-year battery life, it’s a fantastic pick for garage door control and monitoring. Users even commented that Fibaro’s option functions with OpenHab. HomeKit may not work properly however according to select feedback. [Read: Z-Wave Motion Sensor – The Top 5 best choices in 2018]
- Easy to install/use
- Small footprint
- Z-Wave Plus
- Temperature sensor included
- Lots of compatibility with technology such s OpenHab and SmartThings
- HomeKit functionality may not work
Unlike many of the options on this list of best Z-Wave door sensors, the GoControl/Linear GD00Z Z-Wave garage door opener actually opens garage doors. It’s compatible with most automatic garage openers, simple to install and use. With an impressive 100-foot wireless range, the GoControl/Linear garage door sensor is a fantastic choice for a more robust piece of hardware.
Yet, with this added functionality comes a catch: price. Whereas most tilt sensors clock in under $50, the GoControl bumps the price to just under $100. For garage door control, not just monitoring, it’s a worthy deal. Still, this may be overkill for some users.
- Full garage door control
- Z-Wave connectivity
- 100-foot range
- Lots of compatibility including Samsung SmartThings
- Easy to install/use
- Includes remote
Similarly, the NuTone NGD00Z Z-Wave garage door sensor is a total door control device. Onboard, you’ll find command class encryption for a secure connection. While it’s only rocking Z-Wave, not Z-Wave Plus, the NuTone NGD00Z is an awesome choice for garage door monitoring, control, and smart home automation. Additionally, NuTone brags that the NGD00Z may be installed in less than 30 minutes. Considering that it’s a full controller, not merely a tilt sensor, that’s an impressive feat. Therefore, this NuTone Z-Wave door controller packs power and functionality into a convenient, intuitive package. [Read: Best Z-Wave thermostat: 5 top best Z-Wave compatible thermostats in 2018]
Unfortunately, NuTone’s garage door sensor does not come cheap. Clocking in just shy of $100, it’s pretty pricey. Still, that’s a decent deal for the capabilities afforded. Despite its lack of Z-Wave Plus, the NuTone NGD00Z remains one of the best Z-Wave garage door sensor options in 2018.
- Easy to install/use
- Full garage door controller
- Secure encryption
Z-Wave Plus Garage Snesor Options: Final thoughts
Ultimately, you’ll find loads of Z-Wave garage door sensor options on the market. Which device you pick depends on your needs. For basic monitoring, try an inexpensive tilt sensor such as the Ecolink Intelligent offering, or Dome Home Automation sensor. Even Monoprice has a similar tilt sensor. If you need full control and have the budget for it, you might consider a robust garage door controller such as the NuTone NGD00Z or GoControl/Linear option. Regardless, there are plenty of choices for smart home control and automation with Z-Wave technology. Since Z-Wave devices create a mesh network and operate at a lower frequency for interference-free operation, it’s an excellent smart home connectivity solution. Furthermore, with compatibility for the likes of Samsung SmartThings, Z-Wave is an awesome means to foster device interoperability.
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