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Why Z-wave?


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I bought X-10 when it was first offered at Sears (yes, back in the early seventies) and used X10 until I moved to a new house and replace all the mechanical switches with Insteon. Given my investment with Insteon, why would I add Z-Wave to the mix? Are there unique Z-wave devices that aren't available in Insteon? Is it more reliable? It's not cheaper, apparently.

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I'm doing Z-Wave for my locksets since there is no good Insteon way of accomplishing that. I have added a few Z-Wave switched outlets and a dimmer or two just to build up the Z-Wave mesh network to a reliable level. I do find Z-Wave to be slightly cheaper than Insteon and there is much more competition in the Z-Wave market which will hopefully bring the prices down further. So far, it looks like the ISY will nicely integrate Z-Wave devices with Insteon devices.



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One point I can add....since I had all Z-Wave and have migrated to some Insteon, some Z-Wave (locks will stay Z-Wave for now).


Z-Wave devices may appear cheaper, but there are some "gotchas" involved. Unlike Insteon devices, not every Z-Wave device can control other devices directly. In fact, most cannot. Another huge factor is instant status updates. Since every Insteon device (well, almost every device) can be a controller, that device can at least tell ISY that it was turned on. Many (probably a majority) of Z-Wave devices do not support instant status*. GE devices do not, but Leviton and Cooper do. However, Leviton and Cooper will definitely cost you more than a GE/Jasco device, and probably more than a comparable Insteon device.


*There can be workarounds for devices that don't support status updates, but that usually can only occur if the device is in direct RF communication with the controller. You can search for "z-wave patent instant status lutron" to read more.

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