So you have got your Raspberry Pi setup and ready with a Home Assistant install, you might have also added some components to it like Philips Hue, and you might have even customised the Home Assistant UI with groups, views, and even some more UI components.
Now it’s time to expand this further.
There are a lot of ways that you can do this, with a range of different options ahead of you but for now, we are going to get started on getting you started with some more components that support the Z-Wave format.
Z-Wave is pretty awesome tech because it allows you to make pretty much anything smart from your kettle all the way up to your door sensor, with a far reaching and expansive technology.
We aren’t going to go through setting up that tech just yet as we are going to save that for future guides. For now we are just going to get you started with Z-Wave and introduce you to other options later.
So here’s how to add Z-Wave to Home Assistant:
Pick your controller
So there is a range of Z-Wave controllers that you can use for the purpose of adding Z-Wave to your Home Assistant install on a Raspberry Pi. You can use a hub or you can use a USB stick or a Raspberry Pi module. For this tutorial, we are going to be using a USB stick as that keeps our smart home setup contained if you are going to use a hub then that’s a different setup process to what we will be going through.
We definitely prefer a USB stick install as it is configurable, removable and upgradable.
Here are some of your options for a USB stick.
- Aeon ZStick S2 – No Z-Wave Plus – £16.99
- Aeon Z-Stick Gen5 – Z-Wave Plus – £51.99
- Z-Wave.Me Z-Stick – Z-Wave Plus – £29.50
You can also get a component, for which there’s really only one great option in our opinion and that is the Z-Wave.me Razberry, you can pick it up from Amazon for £59.99.
For our install, we went with the Z-Wave.Me Z-Stick.
There are a number of reasons why we choose this over the other USB options, the ZSTick S2 was off the table straight away because it doesn’t have Z-Wave Plus and we wanted this system to be the latest available, so already we only had two options.
We choose the Z-Wave.Me over the Z-Stick Gen5 for a number of obvious reasons, for starters it’s a lot, lot smaller than the Aeon stick. It’s also a lot, lot cheaper with comparable functions. One guy on eBay is even selling some for just £17.49.
Of course, the Gen5 does have an inbuilt battery and a button for mobile pairing, however, the guys over at Home Assistant advise that you don’t use that function (on top of that, how often are you really going to add devices?), so it’s really just a size increase for nothing in return, and it’s also more expensive. We did contact the guys over at Aeon Labs for a sample, however, they weren’t willing to supply us with one and since it’s just under £40 more expensive, we went with the Z-Wave.me device (we also already had one), as we would advise you do.
So let’s get started with the smallest and cheapest Z-Wave adapter.
Setup your stick with Home Assistant
So now that you have your shiny new Z-Wave.me stick be sure to put it in a safe place, it’s pretty small and we wouldn’t advise losing it.
Where can I find a safe place you ask? Why the USB port of your Raspberry Pi of course!
Once that’s plugged in, it’s time to add some code.
But don’t worry about the word “code”, this will be extremely easy, especially if you followed our original Home Assistant setup guide or installed with the HASS.IO method.
Just add this code to your config.yaml (make sure the stick is plugged into port 1, we had issues in other ports):
Yup, it’s that it’s that easy.
If you installed via any other method then we would advise that you follow Home Assistant’s guide on the Z-Wave install.
Restart and hope for the best.
Now you just need to restart your Home Assistant install and hope for the best.
We ran into some issues with the controller not being fully recognised right away in Home Assistant, however, turning the Pi off and on again worked for us, try that if you have an issue.
If all went well, you should see the controller in your interface like it is in the image below.
And that’s it… For now.
And that’s Z-Wave fully installed.
We have many more guides to go through though, so be sure to keep it locked to TechNutty.
Here are the guides that we have posted so far for the ultimate open smart home:
- Starting your own Smart Home with a Raspberry Pi and Home Assistant
- Set up Philips Hue with Home Assistant
- Optimising Home Assistant with groups, views, and a customised UI
- Adding Z-Wave capabilities to your Home Assistant install
- Integrating Sensative Strips with Home Assistant
- Add Xiaomi’s Yeelight LED strips to Home Assistant
- Add BroadLink RM Pro to Home Assistant