Z-wave has long been celebrated for making home automation easy and accessible. So, finding Z-wave compatible button pushers should be easy, right? One Google search of “Z-wave button pusher,” and you’ll quickly find that this just isn’t the case.
So, are there Z-wave compatible automated button pushers out there? And, if not, what other options are there for turning old appliances and fixtures into smart home appliances that are compatible with Z-wave? We’ve got those answers and more below.
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What Is Z-Wave?
Here’s a quick rundown of this handy tech if you aren’t entirely familiar with Z-wave.
In 1999, Danish company Zensys created Z-wave. The tech came to America in 2002. What the company was selling was not a product but rather a means for smart home tech from various companies to communicate with one another.
Instead of relying on wifi — which requires a fair amount of power and Bluetooth —which has a very limited range, Z-wave uses low-energy radio waves to connect devices. This communication avenue allows devices all over your house to communicate with one another by creating a wireless mesh network. You can hook this network into any wifi hub device that is also Z-wave compatible.
However, if you want to connect to the network, each device should be Z-wave compatible. These products are easily identifiable by the Z-wave emblem on the packaging. There are currently over 3,500 Z-wave compatible devices on the market, including everything from home security tech to smart lighting to thermostats.
What Button Pushers Are Z-Wave Compatible?
There are more than 100 million Z-wave compatible devices in homes worldwide. But the question remains: are there any Z-wave compatible button pushers out there?
We recently posted an article about these devices and identified the three best automatic button pushers on the market. Unfortunately, not one of our picks is Z-wave compatible.
In fact, there is not a single model of easy-install automatic button pusher currently available that you can link to the Z-wave network.
Button Pusher Alternatives
But before you scrap your plan to automate your light switches and old-school appliances using a Z-wave network, there are some options that may work for you.
None of these options are quite as easy to install as a stick-on automatic button pusher, but all of them are cheaper than upgrading to a true smart system, and all include product options that are Z-wave compatible.
Smart Switch Faceplate Covers
Smart switch faceplate covers work very much like a button pusher for toggle and rocker light switches, but instead of sticking to the existing faceplate, they replace your current switch faceplate. They take a few extra steps to install but are still very simple to use and very budget-friendly.
Our favorite Z-wave compatible smart switch faceplate cover is the Ecolink Lighting Switch Control. This smart faceplate cover is available in rocker and toggle switch models to automate light and outlet switches anywhere in your home.
Smart Light Switch Replacements
The second easiest and most affordable option is to replace your current light switch with a smart switch. Installing one of these products does require basic knowledge of electrical systems and takes a little more time than replacing a faceplate. But it has the benefit of being able to turn any switch in your home into a smart switch.
Our favorite Z-wave compatible smart switch replacement is the Minoston Z-Wave Dimmer Switch. This product installs just like your typical wall switch and costs about as much as your standard smart faceplate cover. It can be used to control any fixture or outlet controlled by a wall switch.
In-Wall Hidden Smart Switch
Hidden smart switches or smart relay switches wire directly into your electrical system. They are typically installed behind light switches to give you wireless control over the fixture or appliance controlled by that power system. These require more electrical know-how to install than a smart light switch replacement and cost a little more.
There are a lot of Z-wave compatible hidden smart switches on the market, but our favorite is the Enerlites Enerwave Relay. This product can be used to control lights, fans, and plug-in devices.
Smart Switch Plug-Ins
If you are looking for a way to smartify your old appliances and connect them to a Z-wave network, your options are very limited. One thing that may work, depending on the appliance, is a smart switch plug-in.
This simple device plugs directly into a power outlet to transform it into a smart outlet. Anything you plug into that smart outlet can then be controlled wirelessly through a compatible hub. This works great for lamps, fans, and other appliances with latching or stationary power switches.
Unfortunately, these smart outlets will not work with push-button appliances and those that require additional commands to operate, such as dishwashers and coffee makers.
But, they do make a convenient solution in situations where they are usable, as they take almost no time to install and cost about as much as a smart relay switch. Our favorite Z-wave compatible product in this category is the Enbrighten Smart Plug-In.
Simple and Affordable Z-Wave Home Automation
While there aren’t currently any Z-wave compatible button pusher products on the market, there are plenty of great alternatives for smartifying your home on the cheap and easy.
The Ecolink smart faceplate cover and Minoston light switch replacement are great options for turning your old light fixtures into smart home devices. The Enerlites hidden relay will work with both light switches and outlets, while the Enbrighten smart switch plug-in is perfect for smartifying your plug-in latch-switch appliances.
All of these products are Z-wave compatible, fairly easy to install, and don’t cost nearly as much as upgrading to true smart fixtures and appliances.