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Definitions for Z-Wave Network Terms

Learn more about Z-Wave and the terms used within the home automation industry. If you still have questions, please submit a question on our "Ask an Expert" form.

Primary ControllerThis is the device that controls the other devices on your Z-Wave network. Can also be referred to as "Z-Wave Controller".
SceneThe control of multiple devices with one single command. The scene can be activated manually or via a sensor. A common scene is to turn lights on when you walk into a room. The motion sensor will detect the motion and turn the lights on. The opportunities with scenes are endless!
Radio frequency (RF)Any of the electromagnetic wave frequencies that lie in the range extending from below 3 kilohertz to about 300 gigahertz and that include the frequencies used for communications signals (as for radio and television broadcasting and cell-phone and satellite transmissions) or radar signals.
Repeater A Z-Wave device that lets you extend the range of the Z-Wave network by relaying signals in both directions. Only AC powered devices are repeaters.
Secondary ControllerA controller that has the functionality of a primary controller but with one limitation: it cannot include or exclude nodes from the Z-Wave network.
Associationreating links between two or more devices so they can communicate with one another. The communication via radio frequency allows the devices to exchange information or commands.
ExclusionThe process of removing devices from the Z-Wave network.
Home Automation KitHome automation kits allow homeowners to transform their homes into smart, automated houses in a streamlined, logical fashion. Unifying everything from door locks, cameras, and motion sensors to door and window sensors, dimmers, and switches, home automation kits facilitate comprehensive energy management and reduced energy use, as well as ensure longstanding peace of mind.
Home Automation Products“Smart” home automation products utilize wireless technology to streamline costs, enhance security, and improve comfort throughout the home. Home automation products run the gamut from smart water sensors, sprinklers, and water alarms to smart door locks, motion sensors, video cameras, and much, much more. Almost any device or appliance in the home, from the television to the lights, can be automated, facilitating remote control of every system in the house.
Home Automation SystemsHome automation systems make it easy for homeowners to implement smart technology to streamline costs and enhance security and general comfort. From lighting and dimmer switches to fans, heating and cooling units, and even door locks, smart home systems – combinations of devices and wireless technology - facilitate finely tuned energy management, intuitive comfort, and longstanding peace of mind.
Home Surveillance SystemsIn today’s troubled world, home surveillance systems are critical in preserving your family’s safety – and your home’s integrity. But with “smart” home automation technology, evolved home surveillance systems are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. Affordable, user-friendly modern automation means that your home’s surveillance systems could be linked to a wireless network, which would, in turn, deliver messages and updates about your security system straight to your smart phone or tablet.
InclusionThe process of adding new devices to the Z-Wave network.
Internet of Things (IoT)This term is used for the device(s) which are able to be controlled from your phone through any means of communication. The network of physical objects or even individual "things" are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
Kwikset Z-Wave DeadboltKwikset Z-Wave Deadbolts allow homeowners to remotely lock and unlock doors, monitor entry, and check lock status.
Lighting Control SystemsA lighting control system, one component of the automated home, is a “smart,” network-based solution to lighting. Lighting control systems make it possible for the user to monitor and adjust every light on the property – interior, exterior, security, and ambient – whether on the premises or away.
Mesh Network A network in which each device can communicate with and relay data to eachother. Within the Z-Wave mesh network, one Z-Wave product will pass the signal along to another until the final destination/product is reached. This communication system extends the Z-Wave range.
Remote Control LightRemote control lights allow you to turn lights around the home on and off without ever getting up off the couch! Because they run on a wireless network rather than an electrical connection, remote control lights render complex, wiring-related home remodeling a thing of the past. Today’s remote control lights enhance the security, safety, and energy efficiency of any home or office.
RGBWStands for Red, Green, Blue and White. RGBW bulbs and controllers enable you to select any shade in the color spectrum by mixing red, green, and blue while also giving the option of a perfect white light from a dedicated white LED.
SlaveA secondary device that is controlled by other Z-Wave devices.
Smart HomeIn a smart home, selected appliances, devices, and systems – like light switches, alarm systems, entertainment systems, and sprinklers – are controlled remotely from a single device, typically a smartphone or tablet.
Smart Home ProductsSmart home products are those which facilitate and empower the automated home system. From smart lighting, appliance and outlet control, and thermostats to security cameras, batteries, smart locks, and smart sensors, the realm of smart home products is expanding each day.
Smart ThermostatSmart thermostats, one component of the automated home, enable users to monitor and adjust heating and cooling remotely.
Trane ThermostatTrane thermostats, known for producing “comfort on demand,” are easy to program and may be designed to function wirelessly. Trane thermostats make it easy for homeowners to monitor and adjust temperature controls remotely; many Trane thermostat models also offer tailored climate updates, weather reports, and usage advisories.
Vera Home AutomationVera home automation systems and affiliated products facilitate smart home automation, from initial installation to maintenance and upgrades. With over 900 certified partner products, Vera’s controllers, cameras, and affiliated products ensure an optimal automated home experience, from security and surveillance technology to heating and cooling, dimmers and switches, entertainment technology, and much, much more.
Water AlarmWater alarms alert homeowners the instant flooding or potential water damage is detected. Designed to send an alert straight to the homeowner’s smart phone or tablet, water alarms can significantly reduce, even eradicate, costly water damage by alerting the homeowner instantly to even small threats.
Water Sensor AlarmZ-Wave water sensor alarms are designed to alert homeowners the second flooding is detected. Equipped to send a message straight to the homeowner’s smart phone or tablet, Z-Wave water sensor alarms mitigate water damage by altering you early to any threats, from a tiny leak to a flash flood.
Wireless Light SwitchWireless light switches make it easy to control lights using nothing more than your smart phone or tablet. Rather than depending on an electrical connection, wireless light switches utilize radio transmission signals to convey messages. Wireless light switches mitigate the need for complex wiring and expensive home remodeling, and can enhance the overall security of any home or office.
Wireless lightingWireless lighting represents a “smart,” network-based solution to lighting. With wireless lighting installed in the home or office, users are empowered to monitor and adjust every light on the property – interior, exterior, security, and ambient – whether they’re on the premises or away.
Z-WaveA protocol for communication among devices used for home automation that uses a radio frequency (RF) for signaling and control. Z-Wave is a wireless technology protocol that uses RF for signaling and control and makes regular household products, like lights, door locks and thermostats "smart". Z-Wave enabled-devices communicate to each other wirelessly and securely. Controlling and accessing the Z-Wave devices are controlled remotely via a Z-Wave Gateway.
Z-Wave AllianceEstablished in 2005, the Z-Wave Alliance is a group of industry leaders throughout the world that are dedicated to the development and extension of Z-Wave as the key enabling technology for 'smart' home and business applications.
Z-Wave CameraZ-Wave cameras, designed to monitor and record activity both inside and outside the home, facilitate secure, remote, wireless security for home and business owners.
Z-Wave DevicesZ-Wave devices range in purpose, style, price, and size, but all refer to devices which “talk” to each other within an automated “smart” home. Z-Wave energy switches, lighting control modules, motion sensors, programmable thermostats, and garage door openers all fall under the category of Z-Wave devices – those which connect to a central hub for unified, wireless functioning, monitoring, and control.
Z-Wave DimmerZ-Wave dimmer switches are affordable, streamlined lighting dimmers designed to run on the Z-Wave “smart home” network. As such, Z-Wave dimmers may be programmed remotely as well as on premises.
Z-Wave Door SensorZ-Wave door sensors alert homeowners to door activity – when the door is opened or closed, when people enter and exit, and whether or not the door is locked. Z-Wave door sensors also boast the capacity to automatically control lights and other appliances when selected doors open or close.
Z-Wave Fan ControlZ-Wave Fan Controls are designed to replace standard wall-mounted fan switches. With a smart Z-Wave fan control, homeowners can turn fans on and off, adjust fan speed levels, and control groups of fans throughout the home – all from a tablet or smartphone.
Z-Wave Garage Door SensorZ-Wave garage door sensors enable homeowners to remotely monitor the status of the garage door. These smart sensors also send wireless signals to the homeowner’s smart device should tampering or damage be detected.
Z-Wave GatewayA Z-Wave Gateway is a device that gets connected to your WiFi router. By doing so, this allows you to connect to the Z-Wave network within your home whether you're at home or while you're away.
Z-Wave Home AutomationIn a Z-Wave automated home, appliances and devices – light switches, alarm systems, and sprinklers, for example – are controlled remotely. These devices all link to a hub. The hub is the gateway to creating a network between the devices. Using a smartphone or a tablet, a user can manage their home system from anywhere in the world.
Z-Wave Light SwitchZ-Wave light switches provide an inexpensive, energy-efficient way to enhance the comfort and quality of an automated home. These “smart” light switches monitor homeowner use, activating, for example, when the user enters and then deactivating when the room has emptied.
Z-Wave LocksZ-Wave locks represent the latest in smart locking – and smart home – technology, by empowering homeowners to monitor door and lock activity, even when far from the premises.
Z-Wave Network & Device UtilitiesThe Z-Wave network and utilities constitute a reliable, long-term approach to designing an automated “smart” home. The powerful, lightweight Z-Wave wireless network and Z-Wave-enhanced utilities make for a secure, energy-efficient solution to home control.
Z-Wave Outdoor CameraZ-Wave outdoor cameras monitor the property day and night, delivering up-to-date video footage to the homeowner’s smart phone or tablet – any time, anywhere.
Z-Wave PlusZ-Wave Plus is a certification program that recognizes products that have been optimized for easy set-up and installation. These Z-Wave Plus products remain interoperable with both Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus, and represent a more sophisticated level of compatibility across the board.
Z-Wave SensorsZ-Wave sensors detect motion, temperature, humidity, and more, and are designed to function on the highly efficient, lightweight, and robust Z-Wave network.
Z-Wave SirenZ-Wave sirens are the smartest, most streamlined way to protect your home from intruders, fire damage, and more. With distinctive warning sounds and flashing LED lights, Z-Wave sirens ensure that no home invasion will go undetected, and no intruder will leave undeterred.
Z-Wave Smoke DetectorZ-Wave smoke detectors work to wirelessly detect smoke or carbon dioxide in the home (as well as a variety of particulates, depending on the model). From there, the Z-Wave smoke detector notifies homeowners of any smoke in the air, and will send alerts to the user via the hub in the event of a low battery or other malfunction.
Z-Wave TechnologyZ-Wave technology is an automated (smart) home technology that runs on a wireless communications protocol, enabling devices and appliances in the home to become “smart,” communicating with each other, the hub or controller, and the user/homeowner.
Z-Wave ThermostatA Z-Wave thermostat is a “smart,” network-based solution to temperature control and regulation. Z-Wave thermostats allow homeowners to monitor and adjust temperature controls remotely, and many Z-Wave thermostats also provide tailored climate updates, weather reports, and usage advisories.
Z-Wave Water SensorZ-Wave “smart” water sensors allow for offer automated management of water use, and are designed to detect leaks and floods, prevent water damage, and regulate water output.
Z-Wave Water ValveZ-Wave “smart” water valves run on a wireless Z-Wave network and offer automated control of water use, both in and outside. Z-Wave water valves can detect leaks and floods, prevent water damage in the event of a burst pipe, and control sprinkler activity.

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