Z-Wave was developed for the wireless control of home appliances, such as lights, sensors, door locks, thermostats, and similar. Through the use of Z-Wave, a house or home becomes SMART. The main objective of a smart house or home is to make your living simpler and more pleasant, and to increase your security and comfort.
And this is where Z-Wave comes in. It meets all the requisites for creating the ideal smart home and smart living:
To start using an electronic Z-Wave device, such as a light switch or thermostat, just switch it on, add it to the Z-Wave network, and you can immediately start controlling it from your PC, tablet or mobile phone. Installation of most Z-Wave devices is as simple as replacing a light bulb - just about anyone can do it. Naturally, some devices, such as a switching relay (module installed under plaster), require professional installation, because it involves the modification of an electric installation.
Z-Wave is a wireless technology, so its installation doesn't require any additional cabling. It is really simple to create a smart home, plus you can make this change at any time, because no construction work is required to install Z-Wave devices. That also means that should you decide to install lighting control today, in a month's time you can continue with heating control or motion sensor installation.
An important advantage of Z-Wave in comparison to traditional smart home solutions, such as KNX, X10 and ZigBee, is its affordability. Because the installation does not require a specialist contractor or construction work, and you can choose to expand your system at any time, Z-Wave home automation solutions are suitable and available for everyone. They allow you to remotely control not only your home or flat, but also your cottage, garden house or garage.
All Z-Wave devices communicate with one-another wirelessly, it is thus of paramount importance that their communication is reliable and secure. The Z-Wave standard requires that every communication is acknowledged (ACK). That means if, for example, a PIR motion sensor detects movement in the room, it sends information to the security system, which then confirms receipt of the information.
Data transfer security is also of vital importance, especially when one of the main features of a smart home is the protection of people and property. Z-Wave uses the same information security standard (encryption) as internet banking applications. (Z-Wave is significantly more secure than e.g. EnOcean)
Wireless technologies usually suffer from short range and interference issues. The Z-Wave frequency used in Europe is 868.42 MHz. That means, unlike other wireless technologies used in your home, it does not suffer from interference from microwave ovens, phones, WiFi networks and similar.
The common range of a Z-Wave signal is 100 meters out in the open and 50 meters inside buildings (depending on the materials used, which may decrease the range indoors). Z-Wave is also a mesh technology, i.e. all Z-Wave devices can communicate with one-another and forward the signal from one Z-Wave device to another, which means the information is routed from the sender to the recipient throughout the Z-Wave network. In effect this means that the range of the Z-Wave network increases with the number of connected Z-Wave devices. Simply put, the more Z-Wave devices there are in your home, the bigger the range and size of the Z-Wave network.
Z-Wave is currently the most widely used home automation technology in the world. At present there are over 900 products offered by more than 250 manufacturers around the globe. And what's most important? All Z-Wave devices are fully interoperable. That means you are not tied to a single manufacturer when implementing a home automation solution. So your investment is better protected compared to using a proprietary solution from a single manufacturer.
The ability to save power is very important. Some Z-Wave devices, such as temperature and motion sensors or thermostats, are battery powered. Energy efficiency is thus paramount. Z-Wave devices are optimized for energy efficiency with a typical battery life of one year and more.
Equally important is the protection of human health and the issue of electromagnetic smog (emissions of wireless signal and its effect on humans). All Z-Wave devices (socket modules, sensors, thermostats, light dimmers, etc.) have very low electromagnetic emissions. To put this into perspective, the emissions are 4,000-times lower than those of a mobile phone.