Z-Wave has long been the best technological standard to use for automating a home. But beyond the home it hasn’t been great. And we’re not talking about smart city automation when we write that, but even in a home’s backyard. With most Z-Wave devices presently only communicating over a range between 328 to 492 feet in an open-plan home, having it automate an outdoors garage or annex has been difficult for most.
Z-Wave long range (Z-Wave LR) fixes that. A competitor to long-range focussed automation standards, such as LoRA, Z-Wave long range expands the range and capabilities of Z-Wave connectivity with a powerful transmission range of over a mile and the elimination of the need for Z-Wave repeaters to be used in an installation.
Calling it Long Range, however, doesn’t really touch on the full range of upgrades which are:
Compatibility with 700 series and 800 series Z-Wave
A direct, line-of-sight wireless range of as great as 1 mile in 700 series implementations and 1.5 miles in 800 series implementations
Direct, non-relayed communication not requiring the use of repeaters or middle devices
Larger network sizes with a Long Range Z-Wave hub able to manage as many as 4,000 devices
An improved battery performance with some devices offering operation of 10 years prior to needing their batteries to be changed
The ability for hubs to support both standard Z-Wave and Z-Wave Long Range at the same time
Security 2 implementations only forcing makers to offer best-in-class security in all their devices
Frequently asked questions
What is the maximum wireless range of Z-Wave?
The maximum wireless range of a Z-Wave Long Range device is 1.5 miles while those using standard Z-Wave typically offer a communication range no greater than 328 feet.
Which versions of Z-Wave is Z-Wave Long Range compatible with?
It's possible for manufacturers to enable Long Range on both 700 series and 800 series Z-Wave devices. However, not all manufacturers are implementing the standard, so be sure to check a device's specifications prior to purchasing.
Does Z-Wave Long Range work with all controllers and hubs?
No, it will only work with controllers operating on 700 series or 800 series Z-Wave. The only gateway software we know to presently support Long Range is Home Assistant when used with a compatible Z-Wave stick. If you're looking to use Z-Wave Long Range, we recommend Atrim Stick.
Do Z-Wave Long Range devices support both Long Range and standard Z-Wave?
Yes. If your Z-Wave controller doesn't yet support Z-Wave Long Range you can still use any Z-Wave device which supports it. That's because Z-Wave devices with Long Range mode are actually 2-in-1: they support both standard and Z-Wave Long Range modes of operation. When you install a compatible device with a controller that doesn't support Long Range, it will install in standard mode.
Which countries does Z-Wave Long Range work in?
Presently, Z-Wave Long Range is only available for Z-Wave devices engineered for North America. While you can theoretically use North American devices outside of the region, it is typically illegal to do so. We expect Z-Wave Long Range to be available in other regions in the future.
How does Z-Wave Long Range compare to standard Z-Wave?
You can best compare Z-Wave vs Z-Wave Long Range at that link. Note that that guide compares the version of Z-Wave Long Range found in 800 series devices and not the older standard found in 700 series devices which have a maximum communication range of 1 mile versus 800 series' greater range of 1.5 miles.
Which Z-Wave hubs support Z-Wave Long Range?
If you're looking to take advantage of the long distance version of Z-Wave in North America, you'll need to use an Atrim Stick with
open-source, Home Assistant software.
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