Many times people hear the words "smart home" and imagine something super cool, but also extremely expensive! Fortunately, only the former is true.

Don't believe me? Check this out:

With just 3 devices - a hub, a Z-Wave door sensor, and a Z-Wave bulb - you can start making your home smart. And you can get all three of those devices for under $150 at - Seriously, that's all you need!

Let's break this down piece by piece.

The Hub

What is a hub, you ask? Well, it's basically the brain of your smart home. It connects every device together and tells each one what to do and when to do it.

The Z-Wave hub we have in mind for this example is the Samsung SmartThings V2 Hub. This is a fantastic hub at an even better price. What makes this hub so appealing is the fact that it's well supported by most smart home companies out there which means it's compatible with tons of devices. And, it's easy to set up, so you won't need to spend hours reading a manual to figure out how to get started.

The Sensor

There are many types of Z-Wave sensors on the market such as motion, light, humidity, and temperature, but in this example we'll look at a standard Z-Wave door and window sensor from Everspring.

Just as the name suggests this sensor can tell you whether a door or window is open/closed. It does this via a magnet and a sensor. When the sensor senses the magnet, it tells your hub that the door or window is closed. When it doesn't sense that magnet, it tells your hub that the door or windows is open. Pretty simple right?

The Light

The bulb we're going to look at for this example is the GoControl Z-Wave Plus Light Bulb. This bulb is just like any other LED light bulb, other than the fact that it features a Z-Wave Plus chip inside to communicate with a Z-Wave hub.

Alternatively, you could use a Z-Wave switch, like the GE 12722, to control multiple LEDs via Z-Wave, instead of individual bulbs. The upside to using a switch is that it's usually cheaper than buying 4 Z-Wave bulbs, but it also requires a little bit of electrical work to install it.

How You Can Use These Three Devices Together

So, how can a single hub, sensor, and bulb be used to create a smart home? Many ways!

Example 1 - Garage Light

You can set up a geofence on your hub to know when you get home. That way, your hub could have your GoControl bulb turn on in the garage every time the door sensor senses the garage opening. (Yes, you can use a door sensor on a garage door as well!) Then, when the garage is shut, the bulb would automatically turn off.

With this exact same scene set up, you could have your hub notify you if you left the geofenced area and the garage was still open. Simple but super helpful.

Example 2 - Porch Light

If you set up your door sensor on your front door, you could have your porch light come on every time the door is opened. That way, when a friend or relative is leaving your house, they won't need to worry about stumbling in the dark.

You could also use these devices to send you a push notification whenever the door is opened past 10pm, so you'll know if one of your kids is trying to sneak in or out.

Example 3 - Night Light

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and stubbed your toe on the way to the bathroom? That's a thing of the past with Z-Wave! You can use these three devices to automatically turn on your bathroom light to 5% when the door is opened. That way, you can see where you're going and it won't be too bright.

Then during the day, you can set the bulb to turn on to 100% when you open the door!

Example 4 - Keep Tabs on Your Kids

With a Z-Wave hub, you can set up a geofence for different phones. That way, you'll always know when someone (and their phone) comes and goes from your house. This is especially useful if you are at work and want to know when your kids get home from school.


Will these three devices make your whole home smart? No, but they will definitely lay the ground work for your home's future. After all, it only takes a small taste to get you hooked on building the smart home of your dreams and, thanks to all the information on the Z-Wave resource center, that's easier than ever to do!