I have a Crestron Control system going into a 20,000 sq. ft. home. I would like to use Yale wireless hardware, which is compatible with Z-Wave. Can I control the Z-Wave system with the Crestron?
Yes in the near future. Leviton is in the process of upgrading its VRC0P-1LW Controller. When this happens it will have the right firmware to be able to communicate with Z-Wave Locks including Yale, KwikSet and Schlage.
I want to purchase a Z-Wave switch with dimmer control to be used in India on a 240-volt power supply at 50/60HZ frequency. Are there any Z-Waves devices that can serve my purpose?
Z-Wave in India is 865.22 MHz. I’m not sure how much is being manufactured with that frequency chipset, however. For testing purposes I would look at the European Z-Wave, which is 868.42 MHz. You will find the ControlThink Stick-eu there.
I want to set up my home with Z-Wave, but I use a Mac. Do I have any software options? I also plan on using my iPad 2 with the setup.
At this point there really is not a piece of software that controls Z-Wave written for the Mac. Are you familiar with Parallels Desktop 6 for the Mac? I have setup a number of systems using this and HomeSeer and it has worked very well.
Can one ZIR000 wireless sensor operate a single pole Z-Wave switch as a stand-alone circuit? It is in a small building with outside lights set a fair distance from any other structures.
Yes you can do what you are asking. Here’s what you’ll need:
Lighting control: If the building is equipped with Z-Wave receivers for controlling lighting, ZIR can turn on selected lighting if triggered. Use the ZTH100 Controller to associate the ZIR000 Motion Sensor to the ZDW120 Switch. When there is motion the light turns on when there is no motion the light turns off.
I’m interested in buying Z-Wave automation system. I have a Harmony remote 550. Is this compatible to control with the 550?
The Harmony 550 is not compatible with Z-Wave. LogiTech had a Z-Wave remote the 890 / 890Pro, but it has been discontinued. Here are the Z-Wave Handheld Controllers that could work in your setup. There are also a couple of remotes that control Z-Wave and audio/video, including the GE 45608 Home Theater Remote with Z-Wave Lighting Control or the WDHC-20 – Teleport Z-Wave A/V Remote.
We’ve built a house that is poured concrete. One of the bedrooms needs more light but re-wiring would involve a jackhammer. There is an outlet about 8 feet above the floor but no switch to turn it on and off. I want to put a center-powered halogen track light there using the power supply where the outlet is. There are two outlets on the opposite wall where I wanted to put halogen track lights in three light clusters. Is there a sensor I can use on the lights to make them work with a Z-Wave remote that doesn’t require using something that plugs in to the outlet?
With the information you have given me here, please take a look at the following items. First,HomePro ZRF113 Z-Wave Isolated Contact Fixture Module: As part of a Z-Wave network, the ZRF113 will also act as a wireless repeater to ensure that commands intended for another device in the network are received. This is useful when the device would otherwise be out of the radio range of the wireless controller. Also, you might consider the HomePro ZTH100 Wireless Controller: The ZTH100 Wireless Controller provides wireless control of Z-Wave wireless plug-in modules and wall switches. It can control all lighting and other electrical appliances From the wireless controller, lighting can be dimmed, turned on and off, in groups or individually.
We have a few older table lamps that have the “twist knob” type of switch. I know we can use a Z-Wave dimmer power outlet, but is there way we can turn on the light with the twist knob AND the Z-Wave device? Right now if the Z-wave switch is turned off, we cannot turn on the lamp using the knob. Is there a retrofit kit or other option that can make this work?
What you need to look at is load-sensing dimming modules. These devices
will turn on the light without touching the button on the module. Here are a few options:
I have been checking out Z-Wave for the last two years. It’s all very “smart,” but I still don’t understand how to get started! Where is there a guide that shows step-by-step how to get started!
First, take a look at this video. It covers the basics of the technology. As the technology has many different devices to look at — and you can grow, build, and expand your network as you want. Also, this How-to guide will show you a step-by-step plan to get started. Before that, the first question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to automate and how you want to access it? For example, do you want to be able to access the devices from the internet or your smartphone?
Here are some different options that can help you get started:
This package comes with a door lock, a dimmer module, and the bridge, which allows you to access the devices from the Internet or your smartphone. Schlage LiNK Wireless Keypad Lock can be added to a Z-wave network within your home. Installation and set up are simple. When paired with the Schlage wireless bridge, the wireless keypad lock is securely connected to the Internet. You’ll be up and running quickly! Web-based access means greater peace of mind, no matter where you travel. Confirm the status of your Wireless Keypad Lock from anywhere with any internet-enabled computer and most smart phones. The subscription price is $8.99 a month.
With Vera there is no software to install. Plug in Vera’s wireless security cameras and alarm sensors to receive alerts on your mobile phone when something happens back home, and see what’s going on with the cameras — both live and from an archive. Control all the devices in your home using your mobile phone or a web browser. Vera also turns the Apple iPhone and iPod touch into an attractive and simple universal remote control for your TVs and A/V gear. This option has no subscription fee.
I have a Schlage link system with about 12 lighting loads. Works great and I love it. I tried to add a GE remote as a secondary controller to have on the nightstand. It blanked my link bridge and I have idea how to get it back. Open platform of Z-Wave is great but nobody ever tells you how to make things work together and it is super easy to screw them up.
The Schlage Link will not act as a secondary controller to another remote controller and you cannot set up another remote controller as a secondary. This is one of the drawbacks of the Link today. If you have an iPhone or a Droid phone you could use it to control your environment. An iPad or Android Touchscreen would also work.
If I buy a Z-Wave switch and a Z-Wave outlet, do I have to buy a Z-Wave controller for the two to work, or can they work without a controller?
The use of some type of controller is necessary to build your network. Each Z-Wave device has a Z-Wave chip built in. The chips are not network aware until you add the device to the network with a controller. A controller can be handheld or a USB Stick with software or a serial device like theZ-Troller or the VRC0P-1LW. You might want to take a look at some basic tutorials on how Z-Wave works. Then check out the various Z-Wave modules, receptacles and switches that you can chose from.
I just purchased a Home Settings Intermatic HA07 Christmas Light kit. The controller has two problems. First, it loses significant time — approximately 40 minutes every 24 hours. It’s difficult to keep the lights coming on and off at appropriate times when the master times loses time. Do you have any suggestions? We have new batteries correctly installed. The second issue is the signal from the HA07 apparently is telling my wall clock (which receives the master daylight savings time signal from whatever network sends that out) that it should be in daylight savings time, so it is now displaying a time that is an hour off. Suggestions?
Where did you buy the Intermatic HA07C Christmas Light Set – this is not typical behavior for the HA07C Controller — I would contact the store where you the bought set and get another HA07C Controller. What kind of clock do you have? Is the clock utilizing a 900 MHz frequency? I am not aware of a Z-Wave clock on the market and the HA07C is not capable of doing what you are reporting. Even when syncing two HA07C Controllers in a network it does not send time or time zone information.
I was shopping the after Christmas sales and ran across some “Holiday Time” Wireless Remote Controls. It is a three-pack of three-prong plugins with one remote control. Each plugin has a separate channel and the remote has six buttons (on/off for each channel). It says that they are frequency of 315MHz. Can I somehow convert these and use them with my Z-wave products?
What do you have for a Z-Wave network currently? The 315 MHz Frequency is a totally different frequency from Z-Wave, which operates at a 908.42 MHz. What are you trying to accomplish with the Holiday Time Kit? I am not sure what it would cost in time and dollars to convert these kits to Z-Wave but I doubt it would be cheap.
I am attempting to replace an old X-10 system with a Z-Wave system. One of the key things the X-10 system did was to turn on three X-10 controlled lights (Hall upstairs, Hall downstairs, & Garage ceiling) in the house when the Garage door was opened. The X-10 PowerFlash controller which sent the command to turn on the three lights, was triggered by a relay contact closure. The relay was connected to the Garage door opener’s built-in 120v lights. When the built-in 120v lights turned off, the relay opened, the X-10 PowerFlash sent the command to turn off the three X-10 controlled lights.
I am looking at modifying a Z-Wave Door/Window alarm sensor so it looks at the relay contact open/close vs. the built-in magnetic reed switch. As of yet, I have not been able to test a Z-Wave alarm sensor to see what kind of Z-Wave commands it sends as to specific modules (nodes) to turn ON/OFF and how it interacts with Z-wave Dimmable Light switches vs. Z-Wave On/Off Light switches. Currently the Hall Upstairs and Garage Ceiling lights are controlled with ON/OFF switch and the Hall Downstairs is controlled with Dimmable switch.
There are couple of solutions depending on what your using for control of your environment:
Option 2 is to wire one of these in parallel around each of your garage door push-button switches: ACT ZRF113 or the Z-Wave Relay Switch. Each is powered by 120v but has an isolated relay that can be used with HomeSeer to simulate a button push.
Then you can add a Door Sensor to each of your garage doors so that the Controller can track the open/close status of the doors.
When you arrive home, just use your existing garage door opener to open the door. The door sensor will alert the Controller and you can trigger events, based on that. Also, you’ll be able to monitor the status of the door remotely and control the door with the ACT devices.
What is the range you can use a Z-Wave remote? For instance, can you control these home-based functions from your office?
The network created using Z-Wave is a mesh network which can have up to 232 devices on the network. The saying goes the more devices the better the network. Z-Wave devices act as repeaters as long as they are not battery powered. The Z-Wave signal can make four hops. Most manufacturers state between 75- and 125-foot range between devices. But there are other variables that always need to be looked at. I can control my home from my iPhone or any Internet connection.
How do I work the Xanboo dongle and a Z-Wave remote control together?
I spent a couple of minutes looking at the Xanboo site and saw where it talked about accessing and utilizing different techonolgies including Z-Wave. As I looked further into the product/site did not find much about Z-Wave or any other technology except Ineston, which at this point it looks like it’s the core technology being utilized with the system.
I’m interested in learning more about how your systems may be applicable to commercial properties. For example, we manage a 40,000 SF multi-tenant office building. Is you system scalable to a project of this scope? Any recommendations?
The Z-Wave technology is scalable and is being utilized in commercial applications all over the globe. You would need to take into account the building dimensions, number of stories, and the type of building construction before determining the best solution.
What do I need to get started with Z-Wave and be able to monitor it from the internet or my smart phone?
You can get started with this Z-Wave overview. The items that can be accessed from that page are all Z-Wave. Also, you might want to check out this video on Z-Wave basics. What do you want to control? You stated you wanted to be able to monitor your environment from Internet or a smart phone, this can be done number of ways. First, map out what you want to automate today and in the future, then build to your wish list and review the following options:
Option one is the Schlage Link, which comes with a door lock, a dimmer module and the bridge (this allows you to access the devices from the Internet or your smartphone). The subscription price is currently $8.99 per month.
Option two is the Vera home automation controller by MiCasa Verde. This option has no subscription fees.
Option three is HomeSeer HomeTroller Series 3 home automation controller. This option has no subscription fees.
What form of modulation is used by Z-Wave?
BFSK, +/- 20kHz modulation on carrier. Z-Wave operates on a variety of sub-GigaHertz frequencies throughout the world:
Australia: 921.42 MHz
China: 868.42 MHz
India: 865.22 MHz
Japan: 951-956 MHz
Hong Kong: 919.82 MHz
Malaysia: 868.10 MHz
New Zealand: 921.42 MHz
Singapore: 868.42 MHz
UAE: 868.42 MHz
USA/Canada: 908.42 MHz
Brazil: 908.42 MHz.
I would like to install three dimmers to control three lights in my bedroom. I would also like to be able to adjust the density of each light with a remote control. what devices should I buy?
Here are two options you can use to control your lights:
If any of the three light switches are 3-ways you would need to replace the ZDW120 with theZDW103.
I need a Z-Wave 220-volt switch. I have a small baseboard heater under the large windows in my living room. I only use it intermittently, mostly when it is very cold and ice begins to form on the windows. All I really want is an on-off Z-Wave switch. Does something like this exist?
Here are two options you might consider:
Previous Ask the Expert Questions:
I have purchased a Logitech 900 and want to control my GE Z-Wave lights from the remote. I understand the 900 cannot control the lights directly as does the 890. Is there a device to convert IR signals generated by the 900 into Z-Wave RF commands, and is it supported by the 900?
Where can I find detailed documentation or manuals about Z-Wave products that explain how to set up and configure Z-Wave devices?
Z-Wave lets all your home electronics talk to each other, and to you, via remote control. It uses simple, reliable, low-power radio waves that easily travel through walls, floors and cabinets. Z-Wave functionality can be added to almost any electronic device in your house, even devices that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as “intelligent,” such as appliances, window shades, thermostats andhome lighting. For more on what Z-Wave can do, here’s a good place to start. To walk through an actual Z-Wave setup, take a look at David’s tutorial on Getting Started.
Do European wall light switches (230v) work on 60Hz?
For Z-Wave products that will work in Europe, check out this comprehensive list. The specifications for devices are available for each device. The electrical specification on most devices is 230VAC 50Hz.
What band does Z-Wave operate on and is this secured by 128-bit encryption or better?
Z-Wave operates in the U.S. at 908.42MHz and in Europe at 868.42MHz. If you are utilizing the latest firmware (5.02) it is secured by 128-bit encryption. It’s worth noting that the 2.4GHz and 5.1GHz systems do not work in older houses due to the aluminum insulation backer.
I have been doing lighting automation with UPB SW-7 devices from Web Mountain Technology. These wall switches act as 16-scene receivers, and simultaneously as single-to-quad scene transmitters. In my initial search for similarly functioning Z-Wave devices, I find only separate transmitters and receivers, not combination devices. Do such devices exist?
There are four- and five-button controllers available. Some have local control giving one the ability to install a Controller and not lose the switch. There is also a two-button controller that can be very useful.
I used some X-10/smart home technology a few years ago to help an elderly person remain independent but the technology was unreliable. I again need to “outfit” a house for a person who is unable to turn lights on/off and lock and unlock doors, etc. What is available today? Is it more reliable?
The Z-Wave Technology is much more reliable then X-10, mainly because all Z-Wave products are designed to work together.
I’m looking for a Z-Wave wall-receptacle with an adjustable countdown timer. It would be a perfect energy-saver for a hot-water recirculation pump (vs. the big heat loss of running it longer than the two to three minutes it takes to get hot water to the far end of the house).
Here are the Z-Wave receptacles that are currently available minus the Cooper/Aspire receptacle. Something you might want to consider for your project is the ZRF113. The relay on this device is isolated from the power line, so it can be used to switch any load, including low voltage.
I have honeycomb window shades. I need a Z-Wave motorized module but I am having trouble finding one. Who might make such a thing?
Check out these two controllers: the ESI ABMHZ – Z-Wave Enabled Window Treatment Motor Control – AC and the ESI DBMZ – Z-Wave Enabled Window Treatment load monitoring DC Motor Control.
I would like to use Z-Wave products. I am currently using X-10. I need to be able to write programs on a PC for Automation Control. Canned programs won’t work. Is there an API that we can use for development with the your USB controller?
If you are looking for an SDK check out the ControlThink stick. If you have a ControlThink stick you can download the beta version (1.3) of the SDK without an SDK license key. You can download the beta SDK from the forum free. This is not a full blown SDK but will give you a good start. If this is not good enough to get you started a full SDK can be purchased from the Alliance through DigiKey.
I need help to define what I should buy to control lights of my home theater. Currently the system of this room is composed of six tri-ways, controlling six different lights. I need to keep the same wiring and the same separation of lights to create the scenes that I like, but I want manual control and remote control for this system. Which system should I use? I have the remote control Logitech Harmony 1100. Can I use it to control the lights?
What you are attempting in your theater room can easily be accomplished with the Z-Wave technology. Depending on the type of lights you have in the theater room, you might want to start here. The Logitech Harmony 1100 remote is not Z-Wave compatible. There are a number of other remotes on the market that will control your Home Theater equipment and are also Z-Wave compatible, for example, the Nevo Q50 or S70.
What is the effective open air range of Z-Wave?
This is a difficult question to answer there are many variables that can affect the RF Range. There are manufacturer’s that state 300 ft. and others that state much less. I have found a good rule of thumb is 100 to 125 ft. but every environment is different.
Is there a universal Z-Wave module that has dry inputs that can be triggered to send z-wave information out to toggle the z wave module?
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, you might want to take a look at the HM-DW001 Wireless Door/Window Sensor. If you take a look at the installation guide on page 2, you might find what you’re looking for.
I want to set up a SmartHome network using Z-Wave to control door locks and exterior lighting. I would also like to include sensor units for perimeter access warnings. I want to program and control all of the devices from a central wall panel. Can you provide any suggestions for the wall panel to program and control these devices?
I assume you will be using the Schlage Lock as you are looking to add motion sensors to the network. For this capability, you will need to look at either Homeseer or Vera. Each system has it pluses and minsuses I have been working with Z-Wave for over five years now and started out with HomeSeer as Vera was not available at that point.
HomeSeer is a much more robust program. The software has been available for over 12 years, whereas Vera has only been out for approximately two years. I have been using a touchscreen with HomeSeer for about 15 months now. The touchscreen software keeps getting better. You can access the system from any Windows mobile smartphone or the iPhone or iPad. (Work is being done for the Blackberry.)
In addition to reviewing the two systems, I suggest starting with a pad and pencil and listing what you want to do currently with automation and in the future. This is a very important step and will become very useful in accomplishing what you are looking to do.
I want to control two outdoor lights and two indoor lamps using the Logitech Harmony 890. What do I need other than the switches/plug modules to do this? Controller? Software?
Based on what you are asking — the 890 remote will be able to control the two outdoor lights and two lamp modules. The 890 can control up to 15 Z-Wave devices. One feature that is a little quirky with the 890 is its ability to have another remote in the network. It depends on which 890 you have or are getting. The 890 standard will not interface with an additional remote, but the 890Pro can interface with an another 890Pro.
I would like to use Z-Wave to learn 868MHz frequency codes so that I can control my garden lighting (which is on a Wise Box using 868MHz) via wi-fi (ultimately making use of an iPhone or iPad App).
Here is a good place to start. The Z-Wave controller that I would suggest is the Aeon Labs Z-Stick to use with your computer. The software I would look at based on your requirements would be HomeSeer. This software gives you the capability of designing a custom interface. The software can be accessed via any Windows CE client, the iPhone or iPod Touch, the new iPad and the Droid. Different screens can be developed for different users of the system. You can download the software for a 30-day trial and try it before you buy it.
I live in Sweden and I’m looking for a good way to start building a Z-Wave network. What devices do I need?
There are a several options available on the European market. Here’s a good place to start. I suggest you try the Aeon Labs Z-Stick Z-Wave controller to use with your computer. The software I would look at based on your requirements would be HomeSeer This software gives you the capability to design a custom interface. The software can be accessed via any Windows CE client, the iPhone or iPod Touch, the new iPad and the Droid — different screens can be developed for different users of the system — it is very flexible. You can download the software for a 30-day trial and try it before you buy it.
Where’s the best place to start in planning Z-Wave technology for a custom home? Is there a guide or something geared toward a homeowner?
There are a multitude of devices that are available with Z-Wave. The best place to start is with a pad and a pencil, however. Think about what you want to automate — lighting, HVAC, appliances, ceiling fans, door locks, audio and video. Also consider this: do you want to control your lighting based on motion and or luminance (light levels)? How do you want to control your environment for temperature and/or humidity? Do you have ceiling fan that will be included? What about security and door locks? How do you want to interface with the automation system — internet, remote and local, from your iPhone or cell phone? And, are you looking to have touchscreens throughout the house? This is a good starting point as each house is different and each owner unique. Once you figure out what you want to automate, it’s easy to find the right solution.
Is there a way to allow two remotes to control a single lamp or relay module?
With the Z-Wave technology you need to have one primary controller/remote and can have multiple secondary controllers/remotes. The primary controller is to includes all the devices in the network. After adding new devices to the network you need to transfer them to the secondary remotes to be able to control the devices with the secondary controller. The only remote that I am aware of that cannot act as a secondary or have a secondary is the Harmony 890 remote.
I am developing a heat pump that has a PLC inside of it to control all functions. We use Modbus to communicate from the room temperature sensor, mode and fan control device (like a thermostat) but the PLC manages the functions. Is there a Z-Wave thermostat device that can communicate with or Modbus or to RS435?
For this particular application, you might want to take a look at the RCS ZWB485 – Z-Wave Adapter for Serial Thermostats.
I need a wireless extender for the Z-Wave controller I just purchased from Radio Shack. The outside light is plugged into the outdoor controller, but I need a little more distance capability. Any suggestions?
The Z-Wave technology builds a mesh network for communications. The old adage is the more devices the better the network. How many devices are use using? What is the distance between the controller an what you are trying to control? Just so you know, any device that is not battery-powered will act as a repeater in the network.
Can one Aeon Z-Stick work as a complete controller with software installed at the host computer?
Yes the Z-Stick can perform as the primary controller with software at the host computer.
What happens when you turn off the computer? Do the switches work independently from the controller?
When running software like ControlThink — which also works with the ThinkStick-EU, Vera orHomeSeer and are meant to run 24/7 — if you turn off the software, the switches will work independently but none of the programming that has been set up in the computer will function. If you use software and have to turn the computer off and still want to be able to control the lights, for example, you might want to look at a handheld remote like the Minimote or the ZTH200 as a secondary controller to the Z-Stick.
If the the Z-Stick is battery powered why can’t it continue to turn on/turn off the switches even if the computer is turned off?
The Z-Stick is the controller (the interface) between the Z-Wave devices and the computer software. If you turn off the computer the Z-Stick cannot interface with the software. The Minimote is a mini-remote control with limited functionality. If you want to look at a remote with more functionality the ZTH200 is the one to look at. Look at the section on associating motion sensors or the door sensors with lighting devices.
How do buildings with cement or clay brick walls and steel and cement columns affect Z-wave transmission?
The architecture of the structure can effect the RF transmission. I live in a 1960 concrete block stucco with plaster walls and metal electrical boxes in the walls and have no trouble with Z-Wave. Currently I have 62 devices including lights, thermostats and sensors (motion, illumination, temperature, humidity and water) operating in my house.
I want to be able to — from inside my home — turn ON/OFF 120v flood lights in the ceiling of a boat house approximately 200 feet away. Is there an affordable solution for this?
Please take a look at this short video. It gives a good description of Z-Wave technology and how it works.
Here are some products to consider for what you want to do:
The ZRW103 is a relay switch — on/off for fluorescent bulbs or CFL’s. The ZDW103 is a dimmer switch so you can dim your lights as desired. It will not work with CFL’s or fluorescents.
Is there Mac compatible software available that can control Z-Wave devices?
Yes, you have a couple of options. First, there is Houseport by Wayne-Dalton. The other option is to run something like Parallels or HomeSeer. I know a number of people that are doing this very successfully.
I am converting our HA technology from Insteon to Z-Wave and just installed an Intermatic Starter Kit (controller, two lamp plug-in modules). I was hoping to use one of the plug-in modules for a 110V outdoor light transformer (110v in, 12v supply side). It does not seem to want to associate with the controller and there is quite a bit of buzzing when it does turn on, so I’m assuming this is not the appropriate module for the job. Should I be looking at an appliance module instead (for example, Leviton RZP15-1LX)?
The lamp modules are just for lighting and are generally only rated for 300 watts. Appliance modules are on/off or relay devices and are rated at 15 amps or 1800 watts. For your outside appliances like your transformer I would look at the HomeSettings HA04C Z-Wave Outdoor Module, the ZRP110 Z-Wave Plug-in Exterior Appliance Module or a Z-Wave Receptacle. I have items set up both ways.
I am using Somfy brand motorized window shades with their radio transmitters and receivers. Is the Somfy system compatable with Z-Wave?
It depends on what model you are using. I hope these help:
How can I bridge multiple Z-Wave networks in a building?
How many networks are you trying to bridge in what size building? How many devices are in each network? If the total number devices is less then 232, then it would be possible to set up a single network with multiple controllers.
Can Z-Wave work in the Middle East?
Yes Z-Wave will work in the Middle East. I have worked with people from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel to name a few. As you are probably running 230 VAC here is good a place to start.
I have an unattached garage that is about 250 feet from my house. I want to operate a light switch that is located in the garage from my house. Will this system work for me and what would I need?
The maximum distance according to most manufacturer’s of Z-Wave devices is 300 feet. Here’s a great video about how Z-Wave works. Basically, Z-Wave builds a mesh network to communicate with. You might want ask yourself: is this the only device you want to control? And, is the light switch you want to control using an incandescent, CFL or Flourescent bulb?
The bulb being used will determine the switch to install If you are running CFL or flourescentsthese are the switches to use. If you are using incandescent bulbs and want to be able to dim the bulb/light these are the switches to use.