Product Review: Zooz Smart Plug

When it comes to home automation ‘things’ it would not be a far stretch to call me an Aeotec fan. I love their products. However, I still like to try out similar products from other vendors. I recently have tried two products from a company called Zooz. One product was their 4-n-1 motion sensor which I am still testing out. The other is the Zooz Smart Plug (ZEN06). I assume it is a relatively new product as it is not listed on their website Zooz Products.

Nonetheless, it seemed like a good product to try out and see how it works in Home Assistant. First, let’s see what it looks like:

The Box

Back view:

Plugged in and turned off:

Plugged in and turned on:

Compared to the Aeotec SmartSwitch6

The switch LED ring is lit red when off and a deeper blue when on than the pictures indicate. It is hard to not look at it and come to the conclusion that Zooz took some design queues from the Aeotec switch and tried to one up them. In visual design, I don’t think they did such a great job, but then again, who really pays attentions to electrical outlets when visiting a house. It’s not a deal breaker to me though I would be more apt to use the Aeotec switch in places that were more visible or where it would more likely be seen.

What Zooz did do, in my opinion, is make a Z-Wave switch that would find its calling in places where you would need USB ports to recharge portable devices. The Aeotec switch also has a USB charging port, but only one. As with the Aeotec switch, both of the Zooz USB ports do work whether the switch is on or off. So my thoughts were this would be perfect in the bedroom where you would want wireless control of something like a lamp, but also add some mobile device charging without needing an extra plug-in. One of the Zooz ports is low current (for devices that may not support fast charging) and the other is high current for devices that do support fast charging.

The button at the very bottom of the Zooz switch is the manual on/off/Z-Wave pairing button.

The BIG difference between the Aeotec SmarSwitch6 and the Zooz Smart Plug is how they sit when plugged in. And unfortunately, I did not capture this well in the pictures. If you place the Zooz Smart Plug in the bottom receptacle, you can still use three-prong power cable in the top receptacle. This is NOT the case with the Aeotec switch. You would be able to use a two-prong power cable, but not a three-prong. This is not a deal breaker for most and it is not for me either but it is something to be aware of.

Pairing the device is pretty straight forward. I thought about pairing it within Home Assistant but decided against it since I was going to start OZWCP anyway to look at the configuration from that perspective. So I grabbed the Aeotec Z-Stick, paired the Zooz Smart Plug and then launched OZWCP.

Open ZWave Control Panel View

There are not a lot of configuration options for the switch. Well, okay, virtually none. However, like the Aeotec SmartSwitch6, this device does send out consistent updates:

2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, 
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Refreshed Value: old value=false, new value=false, type=bool
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Changes to this value are not verified
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Info, Node080, Received Meter report from node 80: Power=0.000W
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Refreshed Value: old value=0.000, new value=0.000, type=decimal
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Changes to this value are not verified
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Notification: ValueChanged
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Info, Notification: Value Changed Home 0xe294d54e Node 80 Genre user Class METER Instance 1 Index 32 Type bool

2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Detail, Node080, Notification: ValueChanged
2017-03-30 23:56:21.154 Info, Notification: Value Changed Home 0xe294d54e Node 80 Genre user Class METER Instance 1 Index 8 Type decimal
node = 80 id = 1 value = 0.002 precision = 3
node = 80 id = 2 value = 0.002 precision = 3
node = 80 id = 4 value = 0.000 precision = 3
node = 80 id = 5 value = 125.286 precision = 3
node = 80 id = 6 value = 0.000 precision = 3

I have come to the conclusion, after watching the traffic generated by this switch and the Aeotec Smart Switches I have, that you probably cannot have many of these on your network without some kind of impact to responsiveness. The frequency of updates these things send out is bordering on insane. You can especially see this in the OZW_Log.txt file in the Home Assistant configuration directory. The switch seems to send out an update, whether needed or not, about every 30 seconds or so. The Aeotec switches seemed to be no better in that regard.

That all said, once Home Assistant was fired back up, the Zooz switch showed up in the entities list with the following items:

switch.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_switch_80_0
sensor.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_current_80_20
sensor.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_energy_80_0
sensor.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_power_80_8
sensor.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_previous_reading_80_1
sensor.zooz_unknown_type0101_id000a_voltage_80_16

I took all of those and put them together and tossed them in the testing section I have within Home Assistant for such devices that I try out or are not yet ready for prime time:

Again, this is pretty much a no-frills device. However, in homes where a neutral wire is not present at every switch or electrical outlet, switches like these can give you options. I still prefer the hard-wired light switches and electrical outlets, but sometimes it’s just not practical and smart switches like the Zooz can give you that capability where you need it and the extra functionality of USB charging ports. Furthermore, since this device is powered by commercial power rather than batteries, it also serves as a repeater for your Z-Wave network. So if you have a weak spot somewhere, you could use a device such as this to boost connectivity. Though I think you would have to weigh that against the updates and thus network traffic such switches generate. It could come to a point of a trade-off between fixing a dead spot and network responsiveness (i.e. how long that light takes to turn on after the command is sent) if you have enough such switches present.

Overall I like the Zooz Smart Plug. It has its place and as I mentioned earlier, it seems well suited for places such as the bedroom. I ended up paying right at $40 for this switch with shipping which is cheaper than what I can get the Aeotec SmartSwitch6 for.