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What’s better for home automation- Zigbee or Z-Wave

These technologies connect different devices wirelessly, but are quite different from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as far as their way of transmission is concerned.

Basic features of both the technologies

In order to decide which technology is better for smart home automation let’s first discuss how both technologies work.

1. Working through mesh networks

It is important to know that these technologies do not need the devices to be connected directly to either the router or the hub. Instead, they run on mesh networks, so when the signals and data are transferred from the hub to a device, the device, in turn, sends it to another device, and the process continuous further.

Ultimately, you would be successful in sending a signal to a device that is apparently out of range of the hub. This becomes possible because, in a mesh network, every device starts acting as a repeater and keeps on hopping on the “pathway”.

2. Extremely low consumption of power

A remarkable advantage of using these technologies i.e. Zigbee and Z-Wave is that they require very little power to operate. Sometimes the battery of such devices may last as long as seven years. The devices that use Zigbee and Z-Wave technologies include smart plugs, smart thermostats, door locks, switches, sensors, and certain hubs like Wink and Amazon Echo Plus.

Comparison between ZigBee and Z-Wave

What is Zigbee?

Zigbee is an open standard technology and therefore it can be integrated with any device or hub. It was basically designed for commercial establishments, but people started using it in smart homes.

What is Z-Wave?

Z-Wave is a product of Danish company Zensys. It was launched in the year 2001 and the original purpose of creating it was for your smart home.

Difference between Zigbee and Z-Wave

Difference between Zigbee and Z-Wave Chart

Difference between Zigbee and Z-Wave Chart

Both these technologies operate in a mesh network, but the real difference between the two is that Z-Wave can relay a signal only 4 times on the intended network, while there is no such limitation with Zigbee.

1. Zigbee may Interfere with Wi-Fi Devices

Both these technologies work over a mesh network, but their capabilities are entirely different.

zigbee-zwave

Verdict

If you are using many Wi-Fi devices in your home or office, you should go for Z-Wave.

2. Volumes of Data Transferred

Now, let’s discuss the volume of data transferred by these technologies.

Zigbee

The radio frequencies used by Zigbee are 915 megahertz and 2.4 gigahertz. If there is a Wi-Fi device in your home, it can cause interference because both the frequencies will overlap, and it will be difficult for them to communicate clearly.

Z-Wave

Z-Wave operates at 800 to 900 megahertz frequencies and that’s the reason, it creates no conflict with Wi-Fi frequencies.

Verdict

Zigbee wins hands down in terms of data transfer speed.

3. Number of Devices that you can Connect

Another major reason why Zigbee is superior to Z-Wave is that you can connect a far higher number of devices in the same mesh network through Zigbee.

Number of device you can connect

Zigbee

Zigbee can connect with around 65,000 devices.

Z-Wave

Z-Wave supports only 232 nodes.

Verdict

Theoretically, it is rare to find anyone working with more than 232 devices at their home, but if you are operating in a bigger home or mansion, then Zigbee would be a better option.

4. Range of Data Transfer

The difference between both these technologies is the difference in the distance each device can transmit data across.

Zigbee

Zigbee can transfer data anywhere between 30-65 feet away.

Z-Wave

Z-Wave can transmit data 100 feet away.

However, there are certainly other factors that decide the range that can be covered by each such technology.

In a smart home, most of the devices are therefore able to repeat the signal in a mesh network.

Both the technologies ensure the safety of your smart home. It is made possible through effective smart door locks and perfectly working motion sensors for alarm systems.

zigbee bluetooth lock

5. Compatible Devices

Here is a brief list of compatible devices for each of these technologies.

Devices Compatible with Zigbee

Here is a brief list of devices compatible with Zigbee (Source: Zigbee certified products)

  1. Samsung – SmartThings Hub
  2. LEEDARSON_Smoke Sensor
  3. Wink
  4. Z-Stack Home Flow Sensor
  5. Elko Push Button Dimmer
  6. Elko Rotary Dimmer
  7. Centralite Azela In-Wall Dimmer
  8. Imax Neo Smart Plug
  9. LEEDARSON-Smart Plug-NA300
  10. Centralite Pearl Thermostat
  11. Danfoss Ally Radiator Thermostat
  12. Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt

Devices Compatible with Z-Wave

Here is a brief list of devices compatible with Z-Wave (Source: Z-Wave certified products)

  1. Samsung – SmartThings Hub
  2. First Alert ZCombo Z-Wave Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  3. Wink
  4. Everspring Z-Wave Water Leak Flood Sensor
  5. HomeSeer Z-Wave WD200+ Dimmer
  6. HomeSeer WS200+ On/Off Wall Switch
  7. Zooz Zen06 Z-Wave Smart Plug
  8. Monoprice Z-Wave Plug-In Switch
  9. Trane/American Standard Z-Wave Plus Smart Thermostat ComfortLink II XL1050
  10. Nest Learning Thermostat Gen 3
  11. Aeon Labs ZW056 Z-Wave Doorbell
  12. LaView NVR POE Camera Security System
  13. Linear GD00Z Z-Wave Garage Door Opener

Verdict

If you are using different types of devices in your smart home, then you should bring a hub, which can communicate with both these technologies, such as Wink or Samsung SmartThings, which work perfectly well with both Zigbee and Z-Wave.

Conclusion

To install and operate Zigbee, you require knowledge of the system, whereas the installation of the Z-Wave network is quite easy. With Z-Wave, you can remotely control the home appliances and it is quite convenient for the users. The devices that use Z-Wave are comparatively cheaper and affordable, whereas Zigbee devices have a high replacement cost.

Read also: Tips to Build Smart Home Mobile Apps

So, both these technologies have their own merits and demerits. You should choose according to what you are looking for in your smart home.

Nisarg Mehta Nisarg Mehta

Nisarg Mehta, CEO & Chairman of Techtic Solutions, is the vision of the company. Nisarg is active in operations in his daily routine as he is one of the key decision makers in terms of technological advancements of the company. He is a friendly leader with hardworking, motivating, visionary and passionate personality.

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