Zooz 700 Z-Wave Door/Window Sensors w/ Home Assistant

Zooz 700 series door/window sensor - Review
Zooz 700 series door/window sensor – Review

I’ve been upgrading all of the devices in my home to work with Home Assistant and eliminate subscriptions to proprietary services. One of the last remaining subscription services I have in my home is the Ring door and window sensors. The Ring ones have honestly been fine but the subscription is not free. Since I know these sensors will be installed in my home for 10+ years it will save me money to switch to something else that has no subscription.

That is why I was excited to see that Zooz has released a new series of Z-Wave door and window sensors that are completely self-managed by either a Z-Wave hub or Home Assistant running as a Z-Wave hub. The advantage of Z-Wave and Zigbee devices is they use much less power than WiFi so it’s a much better suited technology for devices that run on battery power (such as wireless door and window sensors).

In this review I’ll cover the Zooz 700 Z-Wave door and window sensors and cover the upsides and downsides of the system. Let’s get started!

Hardware Used

Zooz 700 Series Door/Window Sensor - Package Contents
Zooz 700 Series Door/Window Sensor

The Zooz 700 Z-Wave door/window sensors use a newer Z-wave chip that uses less power and has increased range. Works well with Home Assistant and existing Z-Wave hubs.

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Nortek Security & Control Zigbee + Z-wave USB Dongle
Nortek Security & Control Zigbee + Z-wave USB Dongle

The Nortek Security & Control USB dongle gives a device running Home Assistant Z-Wave and Zigbee capabilities allowing it to act as both a Z-Wave and Zigbee hub!

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Old System

My criteria for this upgrade is that I don’t want a worse system than I started with. This makes things a little difficult because the system I started with works pretty well and is very compact. The existing Ring system looks like this:

Ring Door Sensor
Ring Door Sensor

Here’s a closer up shot:

Ring Door Sensor - Closeup
Ring Door Sensor – Closeup

On my windows it looks like this:

Ring Window Sensor
Ring Window Sensor

As you can see these are pretty small. They’re completely battery powered and wireless. This is what I’ll be comparing the Zooz sensors against.

Specifications

Manufacturer‎Zooz
Part number‎ZSE41
Included components‎Z-Wave
Batteries Included?‎No
Batteries Required?‎No
Battery Cell Type‎Lithium
Length‎1.9 inches
Width‎1 inches
Height‎0.3 inches
Manufacturer‎Zooz
Manufacturer reference‎ZSE41
Product Dimensions‎4.83 x 2.54 x 0.76 cm; 32 Grams
ASIN‎B09JKKLRLW
Zooz 700 Series Z-wave Window Sensor Specifications

Build Quality

Let’s start with the packaging. The sensor will come in a box like this:

Zooz 700 series door/window sensor - Packaging
Zooz 700 series door/window sensor – Packaging

And the bottom:

Zooz 700 series door/window sensor - Packaging (Bottom)
Zooz 700 series door/window sensor – Packaging (Bottom)

Inside everything is packed up like this:

Zooz 700 Series Door/Window Sensor - Package Contents
Zooz 700 Series Door/Window Sensor – Package Contents

This type of packing material is really great for shipping. It gives a lot of soft protection around the device yet is firm enough to prevent the device from getting smashed if there’s too much pressure. The device should make it to you safely.

You can see that they’ve included double sided sticky tape, mounting screws as well as a plastic pick to help you open the battery compartment. The battery is also included.

Configuration

Before installing the sensor we need to configure it. To do this we need to open the sensor. It opens like this:

Zooz 700 series door/window sensor - Opening
Zooz 700 series door/window sensor – Opening

Now the important thing to know about opening this is that it’s going to open exactly the opposite of how you think it will.

It seems like the part that is lifting off from this is the lid. It’s not. The lid is actually the big part. You can see what I mean here:

Zooz 700 series door/window sensor - Completely Open
Zooz 700 series door/window sensor – Completely Open

The two little white clips at the bottom are the only thing holding it in place. I did not need the provided pick to open this device. All you need to do is provide a little pressure and then try to lift and it will come off the two retaining clips.

Now once we remove the “Pull” tab we can add the device to the Z-Wave network.

Adding to Home Assistant

Within Home Assistant go to Settings -> Devices and Integrations and then click “Add Integration” in the bottom right hand of the screen. You should see this:

Home Assistant - Add Z-wave Device
Home Assistant – Add Z-Wave Device

Now select “Add Z-Wave Device”. If you haven’t already now pull the tab on the Zooz to activate the battery.

Now press the small button next to the battery three times quickly. This will put the device in pairing mode. The light on the device should start blinking.

You should get a message shortly after that the device has been found and added to Home Assistant! You will be asked for a PIN which is on the inside of the lid.

Once added the entity will look like this:

Home Assistant - New Zooz 700 Window Sensor Entities
Home Assistant – New Zooz 700 Window Sensor Entities

I now recommend clicking the pencil in the top right of the screen to edit the device and assigning it a name to let you know which sensor it is and assign it to a location.

Installation

Installation is easy. Put the device back together and grab the double-sided sticky tape. Place it in position like this:

Zooz 700 Series Door / Window Sensors - Installed
Zooz 700 Series Door / Window Sensors – Installed

And look at that! The Zooz sensor is ever so slightly smaller than the Ring sensor. This allowed me to get a much better mounting position for the magnet.

Note that you need to line up the grey lines like I have. This is so the magnetic sensors are aligned with the magnet. That’s pretty much all there is to it!

Pros / Cons

Pros

  • New 700 series chip gives better range and longer battery life
  • Doesn’t require a subscription or cloud services
  • Works well with Home Assistant
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • More expensive than subscription-based services

Conclusion

That’s pretty much it for Ring here. I’ve now completely eliminated all of my home’s subscription services to proprietary services. I’m now self-hosting my own home’s sensors via Home Assistant and the Zooz 700 series door and window sensors. The only thing I still need to do is create a system where it creates the sounds effects when a door/window is open/shut to have the exact same functionality. I’ll be doing that on the site and covering it before too long here.

I investigated DIY (do-it-yourself) options with door and window sensors using ESP modules. That’s a great solution I’ve used for many other parts of my home such as air quality sensors. It’s clear though that for door and window sensors that are extremely small and run off a coin cell battery that DIY would have required too many sacrifices/tradeoffs.

I’d imagine in a couple of years this will be much cheaper to do yourself as ESP modules continue to grow in capabilities. There are ESP modules that have Zigbee included now but you’d still need a board / kit to use it and there’s not a lot available that I’ve seen that would be good candidates to replace a Zigbee/Z-Wave window sensor like this.

In this current market I’d highly recommend a solution like the Zooz Z-Wave 700 series window sensors. There’s no subscription and it’s not hosted in the cloud. It integrates perfectly with Home Assistant acting as a Z-Wave hub. The unit is high quality and compact and runs off a tiny battery.

I’ll be doing more Z-wave Home Assistant coverage on the site including how to set up the USB stick that will give Home Assistant Zigbee and Z-Wave capabilities. Stay tuned!

Other Resources

I’ve also used the Kauf RGB smart lights with my Home Assistant setup here

You can also make a IoT button you can use in Home Assistant using a Adafruit QT Py

All of my Home Assistant related articles are available here

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Razor Burn
Razor Burn
22 days ago

Hi James,

Thanks for sharing yet another highly detailed guide of what looks to be a valuable upgrade to your home setup. I’ve been dismissive of home automation in the past due to the perceived costs, size of equipment and subscription services so its encouraging to see a self-servicing model available that looks fairly easy to setup and the 5 year warranty is reassuring as nobody want to be upgrading every couple of years.

You’ve given me something to think about now yet the only stumbling block I can see is finding a local supplier as the Z-wave range tends to sell out quickly and ensuring the correct version will work in Australia due to frequency restrictions resulting in sellers marking up the costs. These guides have been super helpful so thanks again and I look forward to a future instalment where you cover the USB stick as your earlier comments convinced me to do some research and judging by the applications it would be a wise investment adding one to my modest Home Assistant setup. Take care!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
21 days ago

Hi James,

Thanks for the reply as these Zigbee/Z-Wave sensors are completely new to me and it was only by chance that I saw a reference to frequency differences for the different regions and I noticed similar differences when researching LoRa boards/modules so it helps to know for your audience.

I did some searching and found the ones you linked to and AEOTEC Z-Wave seems the alternative choice in Australia as the Zooz 700 series USB is either sold out or more expensive yet judging by the specifications they both do similar functions so I will certainly look at adding one to my setup and knowing that both companies sell accessories is handy if I ever wanted to expand by adding security devices or proper CCTV.

I’ll admit my initial expectations for these Home Assistant posts was that you’d be demonstrating some sensors, microcontrollers and the odd smart gadget but you’ve covered so many different applications that I had overlooked such as door/window/garage door sensors and with energy prices sky rocketing it makes sense (pardon the pun) looking at adopting ‘smart plugs’ that monitor energy consumption as my current solar setup tracks consumption and production throughout the day but having accurate data from a single device is convenient and I like the idea of grabbing one of those usb dongles that you referred to in a comment in one of the Orange Pi 5 post that measure the output of a usb port as perfect for testing SBCs and various peripherals.

Luckily my home setup is modest compared to yours but having a reference point to different examples is greatly appreciated so thanks again for the time spent writing the complimentary guides as they’re interesting and really helpful for newbies such as myself. Keep up the outstanding work as the setup looks top notch!