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Z-Wave Technology

Posted by Asad Munir on

What is Z-Wave:

Z-Wave is a popular wireless technology in internet of things(IoT). It is a wireless protocol for communication among devices used for "Home Automation". It uses Radio Frequency for signaling and controlling. It is developed for low bandwidth data communication applications such as security sensors, home automation, alarms etc. It was released in 2003.

How it works:

Z-wave operates at 908.42 MHz in the US and 868.42 MHz in the Europe. UAE follows the Europe standards. i.e 868.42 MHz. Z wave works on " Mesh Networking Topology". A Z- wave network can contain up to 232 nodes.

In a Z-Wave network there  is a main controller to control the whole Network which has a unique identification number or Network ID and each Z-Wave device is assigned a unique "Node ID", to distinguish it from other Z-Wave devices.  So even if you have ten of the same type of light switches installed, each one will have its own node ID. In Z-Wave every node is not just a node but repeater also.

Z-Wave Controller:

Controllers can send and receive Z-Wave commands. Z-Wave is a "Mesh Network" - that is, all devices can communicate with other devices. There is a hierarchy for some types of functions such as adding or removing nodes from the network, optimizing the network, etc. and those functions must be done by the Primary Controller.

This Primary Controller is master controller in the network and there will be only one in each Z-Wave Network. Primary Controller will have capability to include and exclude the nodes in the network. Hence Primary Controller always keeps latest topology of the network. Primary controller also takes care of managing allocation of node IDs.

The controllers which are added to the Z-Wave network using the Primary Controller are known as "Secondary Controllers. They do not have capability to Include or Exclude any nodes. They will get copies of the hierarchy from Primary Controller.

 
Secondary Controller Z-Wave Main Controller

Nodes: 

As mentioned before, nodes are added or removed from the network using the primary controller. When a node is added, it must not already be a part of another network.  This is why you cannot have two primary controllers - each primary controller has a unique network ID number, and when a node is added to the network it is imprinted with that network ID, and so the node cannot communicate with devices on the other network. 

The slave nodes in Z-Wave Network receive the commands and performs action based on the commands. These slave nodes are unable to transmit information directly to the other slave nodes or controllers unless they are instructed to do so in the commands. The slave nodes do not compute tables. They can store routing tables. They will act as a repeater.

Door Sensor as a node RGBW controller as a node TKB dimmer as a node

 

Hardware Devices:

In a Z-Wave network there are 3 type of hardware devices.

Controller: USB stick and IP gateway allow PC software to access network.

Sensors: Those devices who report information by sending a digital or analogue signal to controller. There are two type of sensors.

Digital Sensors: Measure analogue parameters like temperature, pressure, flow, level, humidity etc.

Analogue Sensors: Measure digital parameters like door/glass breaking, motion detector and flood warning etc.

Actuators: Devices that switch digital or analogue signals. They can be only switch( ON/OFF) or dimmer (0% to 100%). Some Examples of actuators are: Electrical switches, electrical dimmers, thermostat control, electrical motors etc.

 
Z-Wave Motion Sensor   Z-Wave Thermostat Z-Wave Dimmer

Network and Node ID:

Z-Wave protocol uses Network ID field to separate the Network from each other. Network ID is a 32 bit unique identifier which will be pre-programmed in all the controllers. All the nodes need Network ID value in order to communicate in the Z-Wave Network. 

Node ID is 8 bit value just like the Network ID. Node ID's are used in order to address individual nodes in the Z-Wave Network.

Biggest Edge:

Z-Wave is user friendly and provides a simple system that customers can set up themselves. If you prefer, you can also hire a professional to install the system in your home. Once you purchase your Z-Wave controller, you only need to decide which devices you want to connect.

Z-Wave is ideal for someone with a basic understanding of technology who wants to keep their home automation secure, efficient, simple to use, and easy to maintain. Z-Wave works with the most popular brands and smart home devices, so customers shouldn’t experience limitations.

Disadvantage:

Although Z-Wave is probably best wireless protocol but Z-Wave devices are little bit of expensive. If anyone wants most reliable system then they should go with Z-Wave products.

Security:

Z-Wave security layer provides secured communication between nodes as well as between controllers and nodes. Every Z-Wave network, and the devices within each network, are assigned unique IDs that communicate with controller of same network only. This makes Z-Wave network more secured because any other controller can never control your network.

Applications in Home Automation:

Z-Wave has played a vital role in Home Automation.

What you can do with Z-Wave?

Monitoring and control of Home resources from anywhere in the world.

It provides solutions regarding Smart lighting, thermal comfort using smart thermostat, security, energy saving, multimedia, smart irrigation, blinds control, comfort and luxury.

For Example:

Create lighting, blinds, security and thermostat scenes for morning, evening and  night.

Make your home look occupied when you are away, control lights, thermostat, curtains when you are on vacation.

Make alerts when you are away and something went wrong in your home.

Never come back home with a dark house, turn on lights from outside or through motion/door sensors.

Activate scenes like Good Night, Good Morning, Good Bye, I'm Back with only single touch.

Make your home "A Smart Home" with Z-Wave Technology 

 

Z-Wave Alliance:


Z-Wave alliance was established in 2005. It offers a wide range of services for manufacturers, developers, service providers and integrators who are interested in being part of the Z-Wave control revolution. Over 450 companies containing 1700 Z-Wave products has joined this alliance.

 Z-Wave Specifications: 

Frequencies: 868.42 MHz( UAE, France, EU, India, Pakistan, Russia.)
908.4 MHz (USA, Maxico, Hong kong, Australia, Japan)
Maximum Data Speed: 100 Kbit/sec
Average Data Speed: 40 Kbit/sec
Network Topology: Mesh Topology
Indoor Range: 40 meters
Outdoor Range: 100 meters
Maximum Nodes: 232
Founded- Union: Z-Wave Alliance
Main Application: Home Automation
Power Consumption: Idle: 1 μA , Tx:  20 mA, Rx:  40 mA

 


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2 comments

  • Thanks for showing interest in Home Automation and devices. Kindly send us your email on info@spectrum.co.ae. We will contact you for providing support and services.
    You can download product catalog by visiting our page " About us".

    Asad Munir on
  • Thank you for these information.

    And would like to have more about the prices with simple examples if it’s possible.
    Thanks

    Ahmed on

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