Z-Wave Compatibility Guide: selecting the right house Automation gadgets

one of the advantages of selecting the Z-Wave house Automation common is the wide range of modules offered from the many manufactures that support it.

However as things get more complex, compatibility problems can sometimes begin to creep in, even with a system of gadgets that support the exact same protocol.  We asked mark Onions at Vesternet to provide us some background on the reasons behind these interoperability problems as well as what they suggest their individuals do to minimise them…

Z-Wave Compatibility

The Z-Wave wireless protocol is one of todays most commonly embraced house automation technologies. It delivers a trustworthy as well as simple to set up network appropriate for almost any type of wise home. one of its excellent benefits is that it’s supported by more than 160 vendors who’ve introduced over 700 Z-Wave-based devices. This means that whatever type of gadget you’re looking for, there will be a Z-Wave version available.  Furthermore, each of these gadgets is tested as well as licensed by the Z-Wave Alliance, so compatibility is assured.

However, this doesn’t mean that all Z-Wave gadgets will work with each other. This article looks at problems individuals requirement to be conscious of as well as exactly how they impact device compatibility.

Z-Wave Backward Compatibility

Interoperability is at the centre of Z-Wave. All recently licensed gadgets are backward compatible with existing Z-Wave products. This means today’s latest gadgets work with products from the earliest days of Z-Wave.

However, ahead compatibility is a different matter. It’s not possible for a device released today, to support future gadget types or Z-Wave commands. You can’t support things that haven’t been defined or established yet.

For instance, a remote manage released in 2007 will manage lights (On/Off/Dim); it is fully licensed as well as works well. during 2010, new command classes were introduced allowing LED colours to be managed in addition to their brightness. Our remote control from 2007 can still manage the new LED devices, however it can’t manage their colour. This could be thought about incompatibility, however this wouldn’t be fair, as these commands weren’t even invented when it was introduced. However, it does mean that a user needs to be cautious when selecting a controller for gadgets that integrate new command classes.

Certification vs full Command class Support

When a gadget is certified, it doesn’t have to support all Z-Wave command classes, it only needs to support the command classes for its meant function. It will be fully certified so long as these classes are properly supported. This makes sense for devices such as actuators where they only requirement to support the appropriate command classes for controlling lamps as well as appliances connected to them.

Problems arise when Z-Wave controllers don’t support all command classes. For example some controllers don’t support the classes utilized for locks as well as other security devices. There is nothing wrong in a controller not supporting specific classes, so long as this is documented to ensure clients understand which gadget types can be used with it. sometimes this info isn’t freely offered in vendor’s documentation, so individuals usually requirement to dig a bit deeper.

Also, it’s worth noting that controllers on a regular basis get firmware updates where new device as well as class support are added; so if a specific class of gadget isn’t supported now, it most likely will be in the near future.

Firmware Versions

It’s not just Z-Wave controllers that have routine firmware updates, some more complex gadgets such as several sensors or even wall plugs can have firmware updates. So it’s always worthwhile inspecting if a new gadget has the latest firmware before trying to set up it. If you’re not sure, inspect with your reseller, the very best ones will be able to tell you what the firmware is as well as exactly how to update it.


There is a significant variation in Z-Wave documentation high quality as well as consistency. The ZWave alliance enforces typical language for important functions such as Include, Exclude, association etc., however vendors can utilize their own terminology for other functions as well as processes. This can be confusing to the individual as different vendors may describe the exact same process in different ways. This is made worse as most documentation is likewise equated from the vendor’s regional language. Device documentation is now commonly supplemented by tutorials as well as videos showing exactly how to install as well as utilize the devices.

Old gadgets – Old Classes

As Z-Wave has matured over the last 10-years, its accreditation processes have become more strict as well as controlled. with this time, some gadgets have gained certification that wouldn’t get it today; these gadgets are now unusual however will have incompatibilities with other devices. In many situations these gadgets had support for early implementations of Z-Wave classes, or classes that quickly became
superseded. For instance the ‘Multi Instance’ class was deprecated in favour of the ‘Multi Channel’ command class.

For most users, this won’t be an problem unless you’re trying to utilize a extremely old device.

Choosing the right Devices

There has never been such a wide option of Z-Wave gadgets as well as the level of compatibility as well as interoperability has never been higher. however individuals still requirement to be careful when choosing gadgets to work in their system.

For this reason, Vesternet produced as well as preserves the only Z-Wave Compatibility guide. This assists individuals select the gadgets that work well together as well as with a variety of Z-Wave controllers. And, to make it even easier, all verified products bring the ‘Vesternet Certified’ badge, taking all the guesswork out of selecting the right devices. Vesternet likewise has a significant library of tutorials, videos as well as resources that make it simple for people to set up as well as utilize the devices.


Vesternet Resources

Vesternet Certified

Read more Z-Wave Articles on Automated Home

Share this:




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post