What Is Z-Wave Technology, and Does It Work?
Z-Wave technology sounds like a mysterious invention from a sci-fi novel, but it’s a real thing, and it’s how many security systems operate.
Z-Wave (or Zwave or Z wave) has become a standard for smart home technology and security systems. It is a “mesh system” that connects devices by using low-energy radio waves (908.42 MHz in the US, if you’re curious). A central device (usually called the hub) is necessary to set up and manage your Z-Wave network, but it is not reliant on a modem or ISP (internet service provider).
Your network can hold up to 232 “nodes” (devices), but seems to function best with up to 30 nodes. This is more than enough to have an extremely effective smart home network that includes a mixture of smart devices and home security measures.
What makes Z-Wave so attractive to developers of smart technology is that it allows devices to communicate with one another, and if they are out of range, they can use an intermediary to communicate. Basically, if A wants to talk to C, but isn’t close enough to C, it can go through B (a closer node) to communicate to C.
Z-Wave technology can be a better option than WiFi connections for multiple reasons, including:
- Z-Wave is more resilient since the devices rely on one another and not a router or a provider that can go down. Also, with Z-Wave, more devices creates a stronger network (to an extent), while more devices on WiFi weakens the network.
- Because of the low-energy radio waves, Z-Wave devices use WAY less battery life, meaning you save money on replacement batteries.
- Z-Wave is much more secure because it’s a closed network. Individual Z-Wave networks have unique IDs that communicate with your hub and are encrypted for an extra layer of security.
So, how effective is Z-Wave really? The technology sounds nice, but is it as dependable as it seems?
We’re going to have to say “yes” after hearing about the demonstration that the Z-Wave Alliance (the sci-fi sounding guardians of the Z-Wave technology) put on in September 2013 to prove how well their tech works.
At the 2013 CEDIA Expo (the go-to expo for smart home tech), the Alliance sponsored climber Mariusz Malkowski where he climbed the sixth highest mountain in the world (Cho Oyu, located in the Himalayas). From 29,906 feet up, he used his satellite phone to Skype into the expo and then used his Z-Wave application and locked a Kwikset deadbolt, changed the temperature on a thermostat, and turned on lights.
In other words, you can feel confident that you can do those things (and more) from your couch.
Many of our products operate via Z-Wave technology, so if you’re as excited as we are about it, you’re in luck! Contact us with any questions about installing a system that is reliable, efficient, and (most importantly), secure.