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Can someone explain Z-Wave to me?


fasttimes

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I’ve been all insteon since I got into HA.  When my ISY went tango uniform, I bought a new one with Z-Wave figuring I’d have it for the future.  I know the newer insteon switches provide some sort of network, so the more devices you have then you don’t need the wall thingies for communications.  Is Z-wave similar?  I have my ISY on the 4th floor, and just got a new August smart lock.  I kinda resent having to buy a hub.  Seems to me they should have put WiFi on these things directly.  The problem I’m having is I can’t connect the lock to my ISY.  Might it be too far away?

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13 minutes ago, fasttimes said:

I’ve been all insteon since I got into HA.  When my ISY went tango uniform, I bought a new one with Z-Wave figuring I’d have it for the future.  I know the newer insteon switches provide some sort of network, so the more devices you have then you don’t need the wall thingies for communications.  Is Z-wave similar?  I have my ISY on the 4th floor, and just got a new August smart lock.  I kinda resent having to buy a hub.  Seems to me they should have put WiFi on these things directly.  The problem I’m having is I can’t connect the lock to my ISY.  Might it be too far away?

Zwave works with a mesh network, meaning that most Zwave devices (non-battery powered) repeat the signals of other Zwave devices. Therefore the more Zwave devices you have, the better your network. A lot has been written in this forum about Zwave locks not properly connecting to the ISY. In most cases it is because people have an Insteon network with the lock being the only Zwave device that may be at a distance of the ISY.  Some recommend to use Aeotec repeaters to bridge the distance, but I personally recommend to use something like a plug-in device that also serves as a repeater such as the Inovelli. The price is very similar and it actually has a use other than just repeating the signal.

You could also use any Zwave wall switch and who knows you may actually like Zwave very much. Just make sure to buy Zwave Plus devices which have the newer chip with more features.

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Maybe I’ll relocate my ISY closer to my door, just to see if it’s reliable at close range.  The reason why ISY is #1 in my book is because the way it manages insteon devices.  My smart home calls, like Alexa, execute ISY scenes.  But the ISY will create insteon scenes, which means I can have my lights work without the ISY being on.  I suppose if I just relied on the ISY I could mix and match devices without a care in the world.

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2 minutes ago, fasttimes said:

Maybe I’ll relocate my ISY closer to my door, just to see if it’s reliable at close range.  The reason why ISY is #1 in my book is because the way it manages insteon devices.  My smart home calls, like Alexa, execute ISY scenes.  But the ISY will create insteon scenes, which means I can have my lights work without the ISY being on.  I suppose if I just relied on the ISY I could mix and match devices without a care in the world.

Yes you can mix Insteon, X10 and Zwave devices.

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I have no Zwave, but I mix Insteon, with Hue, MiLights, Venstar and ecobee stats, MagicHome, LEDenet RGBW strips, WC8 wind speed and temperature, 7 CAO Tags and a backup solar PV system.

 

ISY. The Little Engine That Could!

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Did you get the August lock that has zwave? I agree with the points that Asbril touched on. Build your zwave network out then focus on the lock itself. A weak or insufficient network will cause more headaches than you'd like. 

Utilizing wall wart type devices such as plug-in lamp modules will give you greater range than embedded devices which means it costs you less to build a strong zwave network. As Asbril mentioned dual use devices not only strengthens your network but also enhances your experience since zwave and insteon can be used in the same scenes with each other (5.0 branch). 

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