This series focuses on which wireless home automation platform may make more sense for your requirement. In part 2, we tackle Z-Wave
Z-wave is wireless communication protocol used primarily for home automation. Z-Wave is mesh network topology. Z-wave automation can be controlled via internet from a wireless key fob, a wall mounted keypad or through smartphones, tablets or computers. Z-wave is considered as mesh topology. Mesh network covers greatest distance even around obstacles. This technology supports four hops between the controller and the destination device. A z-wave network is limited to 232 total devices. It operated at 908MHz frequency band. A z-wave signal can travel up to 330 feet between two nodes in an outdoor, unobstructed setting. However, it gets significantly reduce in the home. Walls and other obstructed combine with various sources of electrical interference to reduce the effective distance. A more accurate guideline for home installation is 100 feet for no obstruction and 50 feet with wall in between. Z-wave has more range hence it tends to be more reliable.
Z-Wave is a proprietary technology. That means it is owned and maintained by a private organization. The Z-Wave technology is owned and licensed by Sigma Designs. It also runs the Z-Wave Alliance which controls the certification of all Z-Wave devices. The Z-Wave Alliance make sure that every Z-Wave device complies to strict set of standards. The Z-Wave certified controller will work with all Z-wave certified devices. Z-Wave certified products are produced by over 600 manufacture. Each one will be able to plug right into your existing Z-Wave network of devices. If the Door Locks, thermostat, lighting controls and security system are made by different manufactures and if they have Z-Wave inside, they are compatible with one another, it is as simple as that. Z-Wave devices not only communicate with the devices but also communicate with you.