How to Integrate Alexa with Z-Wave Home Security System

Using Z-Wave as your primary security and alarm system makes a lot of sense since you’ll be using a single system to control your home’s lighting while keeping your family safe. The Z-wave ecosystem also features a wide range of devices that allow you to go beyond what you can expect from standard alarm systems. In addition to the traditional siren, Z-Wave allows you to receive push notifications and text messages about what’s going on in your home. It also allows you to check what’s going on no matter where you are, and it interacts with the lights in that you can turn them on and off creating the impression that you’re at home.

There is a drawback to the system, however, as it is not compatible with Alexa. Therefore, you must do most of the settings manually. This inadequacy is because the Amazon Echo (and all its variants), while great devices for personal control, don’t have a Z-Wave chip that syncs Alexa with Z-wave devices. But with a little ingenuity, you can integrate your Z-Wave home security system with Alexa, albeit with the help of third-party hubs.

Z-Wave Protocol

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this article, you better understand the Z-Wave Wave -Wave protocol. It’s one of the main specs you need to make sure a hub is compatible with Z-Wave devices.

The protocol connects z-wave devices to a central hub and to each other creating a mesh network that allows you to use low-power waves. The z protocol enables data exchange and communication over the web, as devices not only communicate with the hub, but with each other.

However, the z-wave protocol raises the requirement that all home automation centers must comply with the z-wave alliance to control Z-wave devices.

Below are the best controllers that allow you to integrate Alexa and z-wave security devices.

1. Vivint security system

Alexa works with the professionally monitored Vivint alarm security system. To add Z-wave devices to Vivint, first try moving the device closer to the control panel and then you can move it back to its original location. These are the steps for new Sky Control users; if you have an older model, see below.

SkyControl model

  • Go to the menu and tap Settings.
  • Enter the master code and then tap the ‘installer box’.
  • Enter the required code and tap ‘Z-Wave’.
  • Tap ‘Add node’ then go to your device and make sure it is plugged in. Activate it, then go back to your dashboard and make sure you are connected.
See Also:  How to. Internet without ISP?

Note: If it does not appear, try to activate it again.

To Go! Control Users

  • In your control panel, choose services.
  • Tap the wrench icon, then enter the installer code.
  • Select ‘add device’.
  • At this point, connect the device and activate it
  • Check your panel and make sure it is connected. Repeat step 4 if you are not connected.

If your z-wave devices are set up, go to the Alexa app.

  • Go to your smart home skills and search for Vivint skills.
  • Enable the skill and link your Vivint account with Alexa.
  • Go back to the Alexa app and click discover devices.

Your security devices should appear in the Alexa app and you’re all set.

Overall, Vivint is the best way to control your z-wave security devices. You can check the status of your locks, work with your cameras, and arm your security system.

2. Samsung SmartThings Hub

In addition to Vivint, you can use Samsung SmartThings, which happens to be one of the best z-wave controllers available. It offers unmatched connectivity and interoperability. It has a range of up to 130 feet with controlled devices and is therefore best for larger homes. It also happens to be affordable, and we recommend it for people on a budget.

However, you should only consider the Samsung SmartThings Hub for controlling locks and checking the status of motion and contact sensors. Alexa can also perform an action when motion is detected. Let’s say raise the alarm or turn on the lights.

To connect a device to the SmartThings hub, go to the app and “add a thing” in the “things” section. Proceed as you normally would when pairing or unpairing. Pairing the two should be a piece of cake, but there are cases where you need to exclude the device first.

There are two reasons why you should exclude the drive from the network.

  • You may have received a device that was previously associated with a z-wave network. Let’s say it was tested in a factory and is therefore still part of that network. You must first exclude it before you can connect it to the hub.
  • Another reason could be configuration errors that occur when pairing. Therefore, the device is not connected, but it is also not ready for another try.
See Also:  How to Build a Website with Drupal

To unpair:

  • Go to the SmartThings app, select menu, then devices.
  • Select the hub you are using, and then click more options.
  • Select Z-Wave exclusion and proceed as you normally would.
  • The app will indicate when the device is removed, which turns out to be an advantage of SmartThings over Wink Hub 2.

You can then proceed to pair the device. You still have to connect the devices to Alexa. Sign in to your Alexa app and do the following:

  • Tap the home menu, followed by smart home.
  • Tap enable smart home skills and search for SmartThings.
  • Click enable and fill in your details.
  • After logging in, choose the location from the FROM: menu, and then authorize.

Once authorized, you will receive a message that Alexa has successfully linked to SmartThings and then you can proceed to discover devices. Your devices should appear in the Alexa app and you’re good to go.

3. Wink Hub 2

If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend Wink Hub 2. It’s affordable, easy to use, stylish, and supports all smart home protocols. Also, unlike Wink Hub 1, which has finicky Wi-Fi, the second setup has an Ethernet cable that allows it to be positioned close to your router.

You’ll also appreciate the easy-to-use app, but even better is that it’s compatible with Amazon Echo, allowing you to control your Z-Wave security system.

Steps

First, you need to set up the hub and connect it to the Wi-Fi router. Once this is done, you should be able to add devices to the wink hub.

There are instances where your z-wave home security devices won’t pair, and it can be an adventure to get them working. You have to venture into the z-wave controls on the wink hub to unpair and then connect even though the device has never been included on the network before.

This is how you unpair your device:

  • Open the Wink app and click the gear icon.
  • Click on your hub, scroll down to settings and click on z-wave controls.
  • Click on opt-out mode and proceed as you would when unpairing or pair a device. Pay attention to the LED indicator as Wink will not confirm the exclusion. Instead, the indicator will change from flashing blue to solid green.
See Also:  Selling Products on a Website: A Helpful Guide

Then you have to include the device. Follow the same steps only now click on include mode and proceed as you would when pairing. You then need to link it to the Alexa app. The process is similar to Vivint and SmartThings, only now look for the Wink ability. Wink is currently limited to locking and checking the status of doors and should only be considered if that is the only security feature installed.

4.Vera Gateway

Finally, you can use the Vera Gateway to connect your Z-wave devices to Alexa. Previous Vera smart home controllers lacked Amazon Echo integration, but this is now a thing of the past thanks to a software update. However, the system prohibits you from controlling most security devices. The list is provided below.

You can download the app or use your browser to add devices. Connecting Z-wave devices to a Vera controller is very easy, all you need to do is follow the instructions.

If all else fails, go to settings, click z-wave settings, then repair. The idea here is to update the z-wave network by alerting it to new devices and which devices it can communicate with.

You still have to connect your Vera to Alexa. Look for Vera Control in the skills section and enable it. Again, you can’t control most security devices through Alexa while using the Vera Gateway. Prohibited devices are:

  • Door locks: You can only lock and check the status, but you cannot unlock them.
  • Security systems
  • Security sensors
  • Cameras
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Garage doors – With a bit of work though you can control the garage doors. Just change the subcategory in advanced/parameters from 5 (garage door, prohibited) to 7 (water valve, allowed)

Overall, consider Vera Gateway if you are only interested in control door locks and garages.

Conclusion

Seeing as Amazon has yet to integrate the Z-Wave chip into the Echo and its variants, integrating Alexa with the Z-Wave home security system will still be quite a company. However, we have made it easy for you with the above tips. Be sure to choose one that works for you.

You can also contact us for all your smart home and alarm requirements.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *