15 Z-Wave Ideas for Your Home

Z-Wave ideas

Have you ever thought about creating a Z-Wave smart home or do you already have a smart home and you just want some Z-Wave ideas to implement? Either way, Z-Wave Zone is here to help!

I can personally attest to having, what I like to call, "Home Automation Burnout." This is when you've implemented every scene, every device, and ever piece of logic you can think of into your smart home. So, what do you do then?

Well, the answer is two fold...

If you've run out of device ideas, check out our extensive list of Z-Wave devices to help you spark a new idea of which devices you need in your home. You could also look at our infographic of each different type of smart home device to give you some new ideas.

Now, if you've run out of logic or scene ideas, this post is for you! Below you will find a list of 15 great Z-Wave ideas to help you make your smart home smarter! If after going through this list, you still want more ideas, I highly suggest you search your hub's forum. You'll find many different ideas and implementations there.

This list is mainly going to be ideas from Z-Wave Zone's own house. If you want to see what that looks like, check out this video:

A List of Z-Wave Ideas


1. Morning Mode

You could have your home do a number of things during a morning mode scene, however, we'll talk about how we have our morning mode set up.

Our morning mode is not automatic, because we don't wake up at the same time every day. So, to trigger it, I tell Alexa to ​turn it on.

What happens is this:

  • Our bedroom lights turn on.
  • Our bedroom fan turns off.
  • All of our lights change from "night mode" to "home mode." What this means is that they go from turning on to 5% when motion is detected (ie. night lights) to turning on to 100% when motion is detected.
  • Our main Sonos speaker tells us the weather for the day.
  • The alarm is disarmed.

2. Night Mode

On the heels of morning mode, let's talk about night mode. Again, this can be customized to your liking, but here's how our's is set up:

  • All interior lights are turned on.
  • Exterior lights are turned on to 30%.
  • The garage is closed and the doors are locked.
  • Our bedroom fan is turned on.
  • All the lights are switched to night mode, so if motion is detected, they are only turned on to 5% to act as night lights.
  • The alarm is armed.
  • Our main Sonos speaker tells us if one of the doors are opened or confirms that the alarm is armed if everything is locked/closed.

3. Party Mode

As seen in the video above, the following things happen in party mode:​

  • Our bar lights are dimmed.
  • The downstairs hue bulbs change to a blue/purple/red setup.
  • The LED accent lighting on the bar and behind the TV are switched on.
  • Sonos notifies everyone upstairs that the party in the basement has started.

4. Lockout Mode

Just in case you need to lock and close everything at once...

  • The garage is closed.
  • All the doors lock.
  • The alarm arms.

5. Stairway Motion Lighting

We have a motion sensor on our stairway along with a motion sensor in the basement. If the stairway sensor detects motion first, it turns on the stairway lights and the basement lights. If the basement motion detects first it just turns on the basement lights (or ensures they stay on).

  • Motion is detected on stairway: Stairway lights and basement lights turn on. Stairway lights turn off after one minute of not detecting motion. Basement lights stay on 30 minutes after not detecting motion.
  • Motion detected in basement then in stairway: Basement lights stay on and stairway light turns on. Both lights then turn off one minute after not detecting motion.

6. Bathroom Fan Auto On

Sometimes you just forget to turn the bathroom fan on, so your home does it for you! If the bathroom lights are on for over 5 minutes and motion has been detected in that time, then:

  • The bathroom fan kicks on and the bathroom lights stay on a minimum of 15 minutes. If motion is detected during that time, the bathroom lights extend another 15 minutes. If the fan is manually turned off or the lights are manually turned off, they both turn off.

7. Away Mode

In our home, if either myself or my wife leaves, then:

  • Sonos says that the person has left. This happens when someone's phone leaves our home's geofence.

If both people leave, then:

  • Sonos announces to the cats that both humans have left and they can now party safely knowing their parents have left.
  • All the lights turn off.
  • The thermostat is set to away mode.
  • All the TVs and devices are turned off.

8. Home Mode

After talking about away mode, home mode does basically the opposite​. If either person enters the geofence while away mode is on, then:

  • Sonos announces that the person is home - to the cats of course.
  • The garage is opened.
  • The thermostat is set to home mode and kicks on if necessary.
  • Sonos starts playing music when the door to the garage is opened.
  • The lights in the garage are turned on and the motion sensors are activated to trigger lights upon motion sensing.

9. Appliance Sensors

Knowing when your laundry is done is super useful. To set that up, you just need an appliance module that can detect energy usage. Then you just need to setup notifications when the energy usage goes to 0w and when it is in use (50w+ usually).

  • Sonos announces that the washer/dryer is done.
  • The appliances turn off when not in use for extended periods of time.
  • The appliances turn on when motion is detected in the laundry room.

10. Turn On the TV

When we want to watch TV, we just say, "Alexa turn on TV" or "Alexa turn on Xbox," etc.

  • The TV is turned on and set to the correct input.
  • The received is turned on and set to the correct input.
  • The LED accent lighting is turned on and set to the correct (green = Xbox, blue = PS4, white = Apple TV).
  • The game console is turned on or Apple TV is turned on.
  • The lights turn off and motion no longer turns them on.

11. Turn the TV Off

And when you're done, just tell Alexa to turn everything off...

  • The TV is turned off.
  • The receiver is turned off.
  • The game consoles are turned off.
  • The LED accent lighting is turned off.
  • The lights turn on and motion is now taken into account to either keep them on (motion detected) or turn them off (no motion).

12. Exterior Night Lights

At dusk...

  • Our exterior lights are turned on to 30%.
  • If motion is detected, they jump to 100% for 1 minute.

At dawn...

  • Our exterior lights are turned off.

13. Welcome

When guests walk up to our home and the door is opened...

  • The hallway lights are turned on.
  • Sonos says "Welcome."

14. Intruder Alert

If night mode is on or the alarm is armed and an exterior door is opened...

  • The cameras all start recording to the cloud.
  • Every light is turned on to 100%.
  • The alarms sound.
  • Sonos announces which door has been opened.
  • The police are called automatically.

15. Motion Activated Lights

And finally, one of the more common scenes:

  • When motion is detected in a room and the room does not have the shades or windows open and it's home mode, then the lights turn on.

Conclusion

While these Z-Wave ideas should hopefully get your brain thinking and your ideas flowing, there​ are literally hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of possibilities with home automation. It's simply a matter of thinking about what you want to do.

If you have some home automation ideas that aren't mentioned here, leave them in the comments. We'd love to hear them!​

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