Z-Wave® is a mesh networking technology that was developed in 1999 to make for a standard for wireless radio frequency (RF) communication for devices used in the home. The “stand out” feature that this technology possesses is that Z-Wave products are designed using a family of low-cost, low-power RF transceiver chips embedded with Z-Wave. All Z-Wave enabled devices communicate using a common communication protocol because they all use the same chip family. TechAccess Solution uses Z-wave technology for smart home automation in Kenya.
Z-Wave communication is made in the semblance of computer network protocols and is designed for utmost reliability. Z-Wave devices also act as signal repeaters, they re-broadcast signals to additional devices on the network.
How Z-Wave Operates
Z-Wave devices do not use the same frequency as other devices used in the home like wireless phones, which typically operate at 2.4 GHz. The frequency used by Z-Wave varies depending on the country; What this implies is that Z-Wave devices won’t interfere with other household devices.
It also implies that Z-Wave devices have a greater signal range. A number of factors influence the range of a Z-Wave device, the first is the presence of walls in the vicinity. Typical reported ranges are around 30 meters (90 feet) indoors and 100 meters (300 feet) in the open air.
Extending the normal range of these products is possible just by adding more Z-Wave devices to the network.
As earlier mentioned, all Z-Wave devices are repeaters, so signal is passed along from one to the next and for every time it is repeated, another 30 meters (approximately) of range is gained. Up to three additional devices can be used to extend the signal before the protocol terminates the signal (called a Hop Kill).
About Z-Wave Products
Z-Wave products allow a wide range of devices to communicate, including those related to access and security control, building automation, energy management, entertainment centres, HVAC and lighting appliances.
Any manufacturer that wishes to create a Z-Wave enabled product must use authentic Z-Wave chips in their product. That enables their device to properly join Z-Wave networks and communicate with other Z-Wave devices. In order for a manufacturer to label their product as Z-Wave certified, the product must also pass a stringent conformance test to assure it meets standards for operation and is interoperable with other Z-Wave certified devices.
When buying any device for your Z-Wave wireless mesh network, ensure the product is Z-Wave certified. Numerous manufacturers across virtually all home product categories currently make these products.