For those of your exploring the home automation world, here is an explanation of Z-Wave Technology.
Z-Wave is a wireless communications technology primarily for home automation processes, and is the leading solution in smart home automation. Z-Wave products create a mesh of devices to cover a variety of home automation tasks. Wireless signals get lost, Z-Wave signals don’t due to the mesh network, as devices receive, amplify and repeat signals intended for other Z-Wave devices. Overall this means Z-Wave has better penetration rates in building walls compared with Wifi and Bluetooth.
Z-Wave is an RF (Radio Frequency) product, runs on 921,4MHz (ANZ). It uses a low frequency, high range wireless technology allowing Z-Wave products to talk over distances such as 50mtrs outdoor, 30mtrs indoor. This low frequency ensures Z-Wave is not affected by or causes wireless interference with other technologies.
Z-Wave Devices, sensors and modules, are mostly battery powered, each as a tiny Z-wave radio chip running the protocol allowing them to talk to the central controller.
There is a Home ID, which is unique to each controller, guaranteeing if your neighbour has the same technology there wont be interference between the two homes. Multiple independent networks can exist in the same building without interference. Transmission security is comparable to wired systems.
There is no need for additional control cabling,or complex installation, thus it can be retrofitted. You can keep it small and expand your system when it suits you, automating one room or zone at a time, keeping within your budget.
With Z-Wave you can use of any manufacturers’ hardware, and any interface from computers to iPhones. For example you can have a Fibaro Home Controller or Vera Controller and use a combination of Fibaro/ Aeon Labs devices.
Today, Z-Wave, WiFi and BLE (Bluetooth low energy) interfaces are available to be fully integrated into controllable power-outlets, light switches, and household appliances. Many audio and video consumer electronic devices come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, ready to stream content from the Internet, and ready to be fully controlled via smartphones.
The user interface used to be a wall-mounted control touch panel for older wired automation systems. The interfaces now can be controlled via your smart phone/tablet at home or remotely over the Internet.