Riding the Z-Wave: Everything You Need To Know About This Wireless Communication Protocol

In the world of home automation, the term “Z-Wave” is a familiar one. But to the average homeowner, such technology is an entirely foreign concept. At the very heart of home automation, there are different communication protocols. These allow your various devices to connect and communicate, creating a fully integrated smart house. While everyone is familiar with WiFi and Bluetooth, Z-Wave is a newer alternative with a few key features that will transform your smart home. 

What is Z-Wave?

Z-Wave was developed by the Danish company Zensys, in 2001. It was then acquired by Sigma Designs in the United States in 2008 and then sold once more to Silicon Labs in 2018 for $240 million. Today, there are upwards of 2,600 interoperable devices.  As a mesh network, it establishes a broad wireless communication between appliances through low-energy radio waves. Even if devices are not within range of the smart home hub, the mesh network ensures that as long as one device can connect to another device, it can share information with the whole network. Interoperability means that devices that accomplish different tasks in your smart home can be paired and can communicate, so long as they are Z-Wave compatible. Without Z-Wave, each of your smart home devices is living in its own world, speaking a different language. Z-Wave connects them and translates. 

Look for the Z-Wave logo on your devices to ensure interoperability.

What’s so special about Z-Wave?

This protocol is different from its competitors in a number of ways. When it comes to range and power consumption, alternatives like Bluetooth and WiFi are lacking. Z-Wave offers abroad, low-bandwidth solution because of its mesh network that is able to connect all devices without sending data back to a router. Zigbee, a fellow mesh network and Z-Wave’s most similar competitor, struggles with interoperability. Zigbee devices are not automatically interoperable but have to instead go through a certification process for both their hardware and software. Z-Wave is unique because every device must pass through a strict certification process by Sigma Designs, the proprietors. Therefore, any and all Z-Wave devices will be able to communicate with each other no matter what. 

What devices are compatible?

Z-Wave technology is almost essential to the home automation industry, and because of this, many manufacturers of various smart home devices will offer a compatible product. From locks to thermostats, to security systems, you name it.

Hubsai offers a number of Z-Wave compatible devices for you to choose from:

Advancements in home automation and wireless communication protocol are ever-changing. There is so much to know, and for the average homeowner, this can be an overwhelming task. Hopefully, this guide will be useful for understanding the basics of Z-Wave technology, and all the benefits of a fully integrated smart home. For more information on our compatible devices, please visit Hubsai.com or download our app on the App Store or Google Play.