Zigbee and Z Wave are two popular wireless home automation protocols that use mesh networks and enable device-to-device communication. Each protocol has its pros and cons and you can review the Zigbee vs Wave Z argument to decide which one is better.
Zigbee and Z-Wave enable smart home products such as thermostats, lighting, security systems, sensors, switches and locks. It also creates a wider network, including outdoor lighting, irrigation systems, appliances and other connected devices. Both Zigbee and Z Wave are protocols for wireless communication between devices. Both work with low-power radio waves like Bluetooth and WiFi.
Both protocols are popular options in wireless home automation. However, this article examines the nuances that make each standard unique for informed decision-making. Let's look at these protocols separately to analyze Zigbee and Z-waves better.
Zigbee is a low-cost and energy-efficient wireless networking standard based on IEEE 802.15.4. Zigbee does not define a specific data payload for device-to-device communication. Instead, when a Zigbee device receives a message from another Zigbee device, it interprets it based on its knowledge of the upper layers. Zigbee can support up to 65,000 devices, with a theoretical maximum range of 100 meters or 328 feet. It works on the 2.4GHz band and many other technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Zigbee supports low data rates (20 kbps or 250 kbps) with ultra-low power consumption, making it ideal for battery-powered devices that require long-distance communications while maintaining long battery life.
Z Wave is an RF-based interoperable wireless communication technology for control, monitoring and condition reading applications in residential and light commercial environments. Z Wave meets the unique requirements of remote control applications and provides low data rate communications between smart devices.
Z Wave products allow you to remotely control lights, locks, thermostats, sensors and other devices using your smartphone, tablet or computer. It can host 232 devices, enough for most smart homes.
Z-Wave has several features that make it ideal for wireless home automation.
Due to the low power consumption, most Z Wave devices can operate on a single battery for many years. High reliability ensures the correct operation of the device after installation.
Z-Wave technology is affordable and suitable for all homeowners. Homeowners who prefer a DIY system can install Z Wave components in less than an hour without special tools or training.
ZigBee and Z-Wave: A Comparison
- The Zigbee protocol has been around for over a decade and has become the de facto standard for home automation, especially in Europe.
- Z Wave was founded in 1999 and entered the US home automation market in 2005.
- Both systems use mesh networks. This means that each device (or node) acts as a repeater, extending the scope of the system throughout the house or building. Each node also acts as a routing device to ensure that messages are propagated along the fastest path.
- Z Wave uses energy-efficient radio waves to communicate with each other at 908 MHz, while Zigbee uses 2.4 GHz radio frequencies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.
- A single Zigbee network can support up to 65,000 devices, while Wave Z is limited to 232 nodes per network.
- Z-Wave transmits better through walls, floors and ceilings than ZigBee.
- This means that ZigBee can provide better coverage between devices than Z-Wave.
In general, Zigbee is suitable for large spaces and devices that frequently transfer large amounts of data. Z-Wave has slightly higher latency than Zigbee, but uses less power and is suitable for small homes, apartments, and devices that rarely transmit small amounts of data.
Can Zigbee and Z Wave work together?
Obviously, Zigbee and ZWave work differently, but they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Each may be better than the other in any given situation, but that doesn't mean they can't work together. They have strengths and weaknesses depending on your needs.