You’ve probably heard of Z-Wave if you manage a smart home or have a deep interest in smart home technologies. It could have been written on a smart home item. Or perhaps a word that helped you choose between two smart home products. Though, What is Z-Wave device? How does it function and where does it fit in the world of smart homes? Let’s explore.
What Is Z-Wave?
A wireless mesh networking technology called Z-Wave was created by the Danish company Zensys as a communication protocol aimed primarily at smart home devices. Because it promised to make smart home items from various manufacturers interoperable so long as they complied with the Wave standard, it gained popularity in the early 2000s.
What is a network device, exactly, and why did we say that Z-Wave is one? To describe it simply, it is a network configuration where devices connect to form a web of interconnected devices rather than to a single central hub, such as a router. Since Z-Wave is a mesh network, every smart home device connected to one can function as a signal endpoint or a signal redistribution point. Alternatively, each device can act on signals it receives or act as a conduit for signals to be redistributed to nearby Wave devices in the network.
Describe Z-Wave Plus
You may be familiar with Z-Wave plus, another Wave version in addition to Z-Wave. But how does Z-Wave plus differ from Z-Wave, and what is Z-Wave plus? Z-Wave Plus has a few improved performances, but at its foundation, it is still Z-Wave. The following features are added to Z-Wave Plus:
- An important advancement in the 328 to 492 feet range
- 50% less energy is needed
- Almost double bandwidth
- Pairing and unpairing Z-Wave-compliant devices are simplified
- Improved fault tolerance and self-healing
How Does Z-Wave Perform?
Z-Wave is functionally similar to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as a smart home protocol, even though all three are separate and operate independently. Z-Wave, which uses radio frequencies between 800 and 900 MHz, is a smart home protocol that uses less energy and has lower latency than Wi-Fi. Compared to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands where Wi-Fi operates, this is much lower.
It’s crucial to comprehend how the various parts of Z-Wave interact to comprehend how it functions. Z-Wave devices can be divided into two categories: controllers and slaves. Slaves are Z-Wave devices that can be controlled by slaves but can only be controlled by controllers, which are Z-Wave devices that can control other Z-Wave devices.
Z-wave Remote Controls
One type of Z-Wave controller, which can be used as a hub, is in charge of:
- The construction and maintenance of a Z-Wave network.
- Z-Wave node device addition and removal from the network.
- Establishing a Z-Wave network so that computers and cell phones may communicate with Z-Wave devices
There can only be one primary controller in a Z-Wave network. To enable the formation of a mesh network, all devices inside a Z-Wave network are bound to one another using the primary controller’s distinctive ID as the network’s Home ID.
It can be viewed as a student ID badge. Every student with a specific ID card can enter a specific classroom, but students with other IDs cannot. No matter how close together your devices are, a Z-Wave Home ID will prevent the Z-Wave network in, for example, your neighbor’s house from interfering with it.
The Z-Wave Slaves
On the other side, Z-Wave slaves are the actual Z-Wave-compatible devices that you would utilize in your home network. They range from switches and video doorbells to smart thermostats, motion sensors, and door locks. A single Z-Wave network can support up to 232 slaves being attached.
Consequently, the device in the Z-Wave network that would be connected to the internet is typically the principal controller, which in this case would be placed as a smart home hub. Therefore, the primary controller sends the instructions to the target node devices within the Z-Wave network. When it gets a command to switch on a light or boil a kettle from, say, your smartphone or computer.
The signal can now be redistributed from one node device or slave till it reaches the destination node device thanks to the mesh technology paradigm used by Z-Wave. The Z-Wave network’s range is increased by its mesh structure, which goes beyond the conventional node-to-node range.