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When shopping around for a smart thermostat you might run into the term “Z-wave”. In the following article we’d like to clarify what Z-Wave is and whether you should invest in Z-wave compatible smart devices.

You might also want to read our article on the Top 3 Z-Wave Compatible Smart Thermostats in 2021.

First of all, Z-wave is a protocol that was developed to help smart device manufacturers build devices that are compatible with each other.  Over the past few years, interest has grown in the smart home device market. Since there exists many different ways to set up a smart home, there are a lot of different connectivity technologies out there. The problem is that there are too many options. 

Since most devices won’t work with each other most online stores will carry a variety of different products which each make sure to highlight their compatibility. You will often read “Works with Z-wave” or “Works with Alexa”. There are more and more brands coming out with different smart devices : Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, TP-Link Bulb, Google smart thermostat … and as the list grows so does the complexity of the smart home ecosystem.

The Z-Wave Solution

Z-Wave is a solution to the smart device compatibility problem. For example, with Z-wave it is possible for someone to control a Honeywell smart thermostat and a Schlage smart lock using the same app.The practicality of this feature can’t be underestimated. Manufacturers usually all have their own apps to control smart devices, but if this means you need to have a different app for each device it can get overwhelming very quickly.

Overall, Z-wave technology was one of the first solutions that could allow consumers to centralize the control of their devices in what today we call a smart hub.

How many Devices are Z-Wave Compatible?

Z-Wave Alliance says that there are more than 220 consumer products that are Z-Wave compatible. So what does it mean to get the Z-wave certification? Manufacturers of Z-wave-compatible products are required to submit their device to a testing lab that verifies that the product can provide the correct WiFi signal and has the necessary MQTT plugins to connect to the rest of the Z-wave ecosystem. As you know from reading this article, there are multiple protocols out there, hence it’s important to have devices that share the same protocol technology.

The Benefits of Z-Wave Devices

There are several advantages of using Z-wave compatible devices. With a single smart hub, a user can control HVAC systems, LED lights, security systems, and any other kind of devices. A common misconception about Z-wave is that it only allows you to control all your smart devices from a phone app. This is not the case, voice assistants are available by combining your z-wave devices with a z-wave smart hub.

The Aeotec Smart Home Hub is a universal smart hub that allows you to connect to all your Z-wave devices while making use of Amazon Alexa. One very common solution for customers is to purchase z-wave compatible devices (smart thermostat, smart lock) and to connect all of them through a Z-wave compatible hub.

Conclusion

During the past years it has become very common to acquire internet connected products for almost any household gadget. The research process for choosing the best smart devices or smart hubs for your home is time-consuming. Avoid technical problems down the road simply and take your time in making your decision!

The smart home market has grown a lot during the past years and there are many people excited about this new hyper-connected world. If you’re like many other consumers, it’s getting harder and harder to understand all of the options. For more insight into the most popular smart speakers and hubs of 2021 don’t hesitate to give our article a quick read.

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