3 minutes of reading
Proconductor: Z-Wave Alliance
Availability: na
Category: standard
Type: proradio transmission protocol
Implementation difficulties: low

Z-Wave Alliance Logo

Z-Wave it is basically one of the possible technological elements (accessories) constituents the nervous system of our home automation environment.

Specifically, it is a protocollo standard of radio communication such as to allow communications between a central element (a collector, say) and one or more home automation components (actuators, devices, sensors, etc.) present in the profirst home automation environment. It differs from the Wi-Fi (which, conceptually, has a similar role) in the fact of being conceived mainly for home automation use, making the very low electrical consumption (on average less than the direct competitor ZigBee) and of good distance covered (up to 150 meters in open field, higher than ZigBee) strength points.

Aeotec Nano Dimmer Gen5
an actuator Z-Wave.

The transmission speed it's low: about 100 kbps (still faster than ZigBee, which stops at 20 kbps), but this is not a proproblem: what is needed in this area is reliability, not so much a large transmission capacity, and in this respect Z-Wave it is a highly adequate standard. Z-Wave it also provides for the (automatic) adoption of logics of mesh network of type source-routed, therefore the coverage it is not limited only to the radio range of the primary node but "to the umbrella" of signal determined by the possible presence of more repeaters, while the routing of communications is defined by the primary node.

The ecosystem Z-Wave counts in the 2018 over two thousand four hundred procertified products. Z-Wave operates on frequencies around 900 MHz; the use of this frequency band avoids radio interference with systems Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other systems operating in the 2.4 GHz band. It also causes the signal Z-Wave cross the walls of buildings more easily than the signal Wi-Fi, ensuring more efficient and reliable message transmission.

Usually approcci in the use of accessories Z-Wave in personal home automation they are three:

  • introduces itself in domotics a line products usually composed from a central device (a BRIDGE/Gateway Z-Wave↔︎TCP/IP, or coordinator) and satellite accessories to connect to it (as happens for example with the line of products FIBARO Z-Wave): the control of the entire ecosystem will then take place via connection TCP/IP tra il gateway and l 'app mobile for smartphones / tablets that typically accompanies the line products;
  • get it the computer on which the proprio personale HUB (As Home Assistant, openHAB etc.). of an antenna Z-Wave (Eg. Aeotec Z-Stick) so as to make it serve not only as HUB but also from BRIDGE/Gateway: satellite accessories (at this point also of different brands) will connect to it and will be managed via personal domotics (see for example the integration of a WallMote Z-Wave with Home Assistant);
  • follow the road number 1 but then integrate (via TCP/IP) il gateway of the line products al proprio personale HUB (for example, the integration of gateway FIBARO a Home Assistant).

Il second and third approccio are those that, it goes without saying, allow to obtain the best results in terms of flexibility and expandability thanks to the wide degree of integration obtained thanks to the adoption of HUB personal. The second one, in particular, it is usually the most adopted for a simple question of economy: with a few euros it is possible to have a network Z-Wave footnameoperating area to which any component can be connected Z-Wave.

In 'October 2013 have been released by the Alliance Z-Wave the specifications of the proProtocol Z-Wave Quicker, proupdated (and backward compatible) protocol of the initial version Z-Wave.

There are two types of devices Z-Wave (Source Wikipedia ):

  • controller (or controller): these are specific nodes with the ability to host an addressing table for the entire network and calculate the routes based on it; these nodes have the ability to transmit the paths to the slave devices so as to enable them to transmit the routed signals. Each network Z-Wave "Part" from the presence of at least one node controller (called "primary") which defines its "Network ID" (network identifier). The controllers also act as signal repeaters;
  • slave: these are nodes that do not manage the network but are limited to being part of it and communicating through it. Typically, all battery-operated components (sensors, simple actuators) are slave nodes, while network-powered or USB components usually tend to also play the role of controller.

Each network Z-Wave can host a maximum of 232 nodes (mixed type). All the nodes of a network Z-Wave share the same Network ID, an 32bit code generated by the primary controller node when creating the network Z-Wave: only . More technical info on the functionnameIn principle, these are available on Wikipedia.

Some of the accessories based on Z-Wave tested by inDomus are the following:

inDomus telegram channel