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Z-Wave Compatible Systems
Home  »  FAQ
Z-Wave. The brains behind the brilliance.

Z-Wave is a next-generation wireless "ecosystem" that lets all your home electronics talk to each other, and to you, via remote control. It uses simple, reliable, low-power radio waves that easily travel through walls, floors, and cabinets. Z-Wave functionality can be added to almost any electronic device in your house, even devices that you wouldn't ordinarily think of as "intelligent," such as appliances, window shades, thermostats, and home lighting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Z-Wave system work?
Each device on the network, such as a lamp, light switch, thermostat, garage door opener, pool control, etc. has an individual code, selected from more than 4 billion options. When you program one of the controller options, it "learns" what those codes are. Then when you press the appropriate button, the controller sends a signal to the device telling it what to do. (For more details, see Why Z-Wave?)
What kinds of devices can go on a Z-Wave network?
Nearly anything that you can control by hand can be controlled using Z-Wave technology. Some examples include indoor and outdoor lights (both on/off and lighting levels), temperature, garage doors, electronic entry systems, motion controls, motorized blinds, motorized skylights, home theater systems, and pool/spa controls.
How do I get started?
You can purchase a basic kit (devices and controller) from your home/building products retailer to satisfy your immediate need, then add more devices as your desire (and budget) allow.
How many devices can I put on my network?
A single Z-Wave network supports up to 232 devices. Multiple Z-Wave networks can be combined via gateways.
Is it difficult to install?
Not at all. Some devices, such as lamp controllers, simply plug into existing electrical outlets. You use them the same way you use a timer. Others require a little more skill. But if you can perform simple household repairs such as replacing a light switch or an electrical outlet, you can Z-Wave enable your home.
What kinds of controllers are available?
Currently, you can choose from a handheld remote control, wall panel, or Internet interface.
Does Z-Wave require a central controller?
No. Because it is a mesh network, it can be controlled from anywhere in or around the home. Each device acts independently.
How difficult is it to program the controller?
Not very. If you can program your VCR or television, you can program a Z-Wave system.
How do I know whether the desired action has occurred?
You will receive a message on the controlling device telling you that the action has been completed. This message will only appear if the device being controlled sends a completion signal.
Can I control multiple devices at once?
Yes. You can control any combination of devices with a single push of a button, and even set scenes using multiple types of devices.
What are scenes?
Scenes are a pre-set combination of actions that occur at the touch of a single button. Lighting scenes have gained in popularity in recent years. But Z-Wave goes well beyond that. For example, you can create a scene for sunset that closes the blinds, adjusts the temperature, turns on inside lights to a pre-set level, turns on the television to the evening news, activates an outdoor motion sensor, and locks the doors. (Click here to learn more about scenes.)
Can I use Z-Wave with outdoor devices?
Yes, providing they remain within range of the controllers.
I have a large, sprawling home. Will Z-Wave work there?
It is very likely. Because it is a routing technology, one Z-Wave device will pass the signal along to another until the final destination is reached. This relay system greatly extends its range. The final range, of course, depends on how many devices you have and the construction of your home. The more walls or other obstacles a signal has to pass through, the shorter the range will be.
Is Z-Wave expensive?
Although a Z-Wave light switch may cost a little more than a normal light switch, it is still far less expensive than other home control technologies. And far more flexible. A typical homeowner can outfit an entire house with a basic Z-Wave system for less than $300.
I already have X.10 in my home. Will Z-Wave work with it?
Yes, although you won't have as many capabilities as you would with a complete Z-Wave system. To make Z-Wave technology work with X.10 devices you need to purchase an X.10 bridge, which is made by Wayne Dalton.
What frequency Z-Wave should I use in my country?
North America (USA/Canada/Mexico) - 908.42 MHz
Australia / New Zealand - 921.42 MHz
Brazil - 921.4 MHz
Chile - 908.4 MHz
China - 868.4 MHz
Europe / CEPT* - 868.42 MHz
Hong Kong - 919.8 MHz
India - 865.2 MHz
Japan 950** - 951-956 MHz
Japan 920** - 922-926 MHz
Korea - 919 - 923 MHz
Malaysia - 868.1 MHz
Russia - 869.0 MHz
Singapore - 868.4 MHz
South Africa - 868.4 MHz
Taiwan - 922 - 926 MHz
UAE - 868.4 MHz

*CEPT is the European regional organization dealing with postal and telecommunications issues and presently has 45 Members: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.

**In February 2012, Japanese regulatory body ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses) released new 920 MHz frequency band for radio equipment, due to LTE rollout. The 950 MHz frequency band will be obsolete by end of 2015.

For more info, please see: Z-Wave Frequency Coverage

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