What is Z Wave Plus – Overview?
Are you a smart home gadget lover? A 2020 report shows that more than 70% of respondents across all age groups in the USA used smart devices like a smart TV plug-in device or smart TV.
You may have spotted the Z Wave logo on many of the boxes of your connected gadgets if you use smart home devices. In that regard, you would’ve wondered, “What is Z Wave?”
If that’s the case, we can assist you with the answer. The demand for linked smart home gadgets is rapidly increasing as the popularity of having a smart home grows.
People are increasingly looking for ways to connect these items using wireless technology. They’re ready to pave the way towards the world of technology now that they’ve Z Wave!
Z Wave Plus is an advanced wireless communication system for home automation and remote control.
This article will explain what is Z Wave Plus, why it’s essential, and what you need to know about your smart home setup.
What Is Z Wave Plus?
Z Wave is a wireless technology that focuses on connectivity within the smart home and is found in hundreds of innovative home items.
It works by sending low-power radio waves through floors, walls, and furniture, eliminating the need to take up carpets and floors to install new wiring.
Z Wave plus or the Z wave 500 series is a low-power WiFi alternative developed by the Danish company Zensys.
It transmits radio waves between devices using low-energy wireless radio technology, allowing them to communicate.
Every day, smart gadgets, such as sensors, plugs, and switches, incorporate this technology.
The Z Wave Plus, also known as the Z Wave 500 series, improved on the technology introduced in 2004 by adding more extended battery life, enhanced range, more RF channels, and OTA upgrades. As a result, it’s most likely that any Z wave product you buy currently will be Z wave plus.
In 2013, Z Wave Plus was released based on the 500 chip series. Z Wave Plus is a low-power wireless technology.
It has extremely minimal interference due to its use of frequencies of 908.42 MHz in the USA and 868.42 MHz in Europe, as the 800 to 900 band is well free of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz used by WiFi and other devices, appliances, and protocols.
A Wireless Mesh Network
Z Wave Plus, a wireless mesh network, can accommodate 232 devices. While this is the practical maximum, you’re likely to face some congestion after 40 or 50 devices.
It’s a new certification scheme meant to assist consumers in identifying products that use the “Next Gen” Z Wave Plus hardware platform, commonly known as 500 Series, 5th Generation, Z Wave Plus for Gen5, or simply Gen5.
Z Wave certified solutions include several additional features and capabilities that improve the end-user experience and make Z Wave Plus systems even faster and easier to set up.
Z Wave plus improves on the original specs of Z Wave by incorporating the most recent improvements in this innovative technology.
With the Next-Gen, Z Wave Plus has expanded its capabilities, including more excellent range, Over The Air (OTA) upgrades, better battery life, new RF channels, and more – all of which are fully backward compatible with existing Z Wave Plus products.
Shorter and easier installations, richer device profiles, improved self-healing, and longer battery life are all advantages of these enhancements.
Enhanced Features of Z Wave Plus Include
#1. Increased range – the range has been increased significantly and is now up to 150m (clear air)
#2. Power Requirements are reduced – An increase of 50% in battery life.
#3. Greater RF Bandwidth – 250% more stability – three F channels for better noise immunity and bandwidth
#4. Device inclusion and exclusion have never been more accessible thanks to the new Plug-n-Play Network-wide Inclusion function.
#5. Explorer Frame network discovery provides more significant self-healing and fault tolerance.
#6. Firmware Updates – a defined way for updating firmware over the air (OTA)
#7. Improved product information capture for the product certification database with Device Data.
The new features of the Z Wave Plus devices are a terrific addition to the previous Z Wave.
They will assist you in creating the most reliable and secure wireless home automation system conceivable.
The best part about such technology is that you won’t have to do anything. It means that all the Z wave plus devices will find each other independently.
When you have a complete Z Wave Plus system along with devices of the new Gen5 variety, then there will be no issues.
They’d function together flawlessly (better than any other Z Wave Plus system).
In addition, you’d enjoy all of the new features’ advantages, such as excellent battery life, range, and bandwidth.
However, if you’re mixing with existing Z Wave Plus devices, sensors, and controllers based on the 300-series and 400-series Z Wave Plus chips, then it does mean that you may miss out on some of the advantages of the Gen5 devices.
How Does Z Wave Plus Work?
For a moment, let’s go technical: Z Wave Plus uses the 800-900MHz radio frequency spectrum.
So the only reason you should worry is that, unlike Zigbee, which operates on 2.4GHz (a standard WiFi frequency), Z Wave Plus doesn’t have any severe interference issues.
The frequency on which a Z Wave Plus device runs is determined by the country in which it is deployed.
The USA, for example, utilizes 908.40, 908.42, and 916MHz, while the United Kingdom and Europe use 868.40, 868.42, and 869.85MHz.
As a result, it’s critical to choose a Z Wave Plus device compatible with your region.
Devices that Use Z Wave Plus
The fact that Z Wave’s gadgets are entirely compatible is a huge plus.
In addition, because the Z Wave Plus Alliance is owned and maintained by a private company, all Z Wave Plus devices function with other Z Wave Plus devices without fail.
In 2009, Sigma Designs purchased Z Wave Plus from Zensys. Silicon Labs recently bought the company for $240 million and is in charge of approving Z Wave Plus Certified devices’ software and hardware.
The Z Wave Plus Alliance has over 700 members and over 3,300 approved products from these manufacturers worldwide.
About 100 million Z Wave Plus-enabled devices account for roughly 70% of the smart home market.
The Z Wave Plus Alliance 2022 State of the Ecosystem Report revealed that the most popular Z Wave Plus devices are:
#1. Smart water shut-off valves
#2. Flood sensors and leak detectors
#3. Smart home control systems
#4. Smart security systems
#5. Chair or bed pressure sensor
Z Wave Plus Hubs and Apps
Even though the Z Wave Plus kit communicates with each other over the network, many systems with its built-in are still highly distinct with their apps and hubs.
However, many excellent Z Wave Plus solutions are available, both hardware and software, to bring everything together under one roof.
The Aeotec and Samsung SmartThings hubs effectively bring all of your Z Wave Plus devices together on the hardware hub side.
They are, however, Zigbee compatible, allowing for some cross-platform automation options.
Z Wave Plus Devices You Can Try Out
#1. Ring Door/Window Sensor
#2. Logitech Home Harmony Hub Extender
#3. Ezlo Secure
#4. Oomi Dual In-Wall Switch
#5. Kwikset Obsidian Smart Lock
#6. August Smart Lock
#7. Zipato Bulb 2
#8. GE Lighting Control
#9. Somfy ILT Series blinds
#10. Yale Keyfree Connected
#11. Fibaro Flood Sensor
#12. Abode Gateway
#13. Aeotec SmartThings Hub
#14. D-Link mydlink sensors
#15. ADT Security Hub
Technological advancements are changing the way the world works. We are using different gadgets to enhance our convenience.
For smart homes, we need smart devices. That’s how the Z Wave plus came into existence.
In terms of different smart devices like lightbulbs, sensors, heating controls, and whatnot, Z Wave Plus enhances how these devices work by allowing better integration.
All you have to do now is double-check that the gadgets you want to buy are compatible before purchasing.
According to RF Wireless World, you’ll need some fundamental radio frequency understanding, but this isn’t necessary for practice.
So don’t worry if you’re not a scientist; we recommend Z Wave Plus as a beginner-friendly introduction to home automation.
Hope this article helps you understand all about what is Z wave plus.