Z-Wave Home Automation Australia

FAQ

The Z-Wave and Smart Home FAQ

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What is a Smart Home?
A Smart Home is one which is equipped with smart devices that automate and control your household systems like lighting, thermostats, doors and shutters, security camera, and more. Smart devices communicate with each other through protocols like Z-Wave and ZigBee to create a home automation network. There are many benefits of turning your house into a Smart Home, these include everything from energy and money saving, to increasing security and convenience. There are many ways to manage your Smart Home devices remotely, these include through apps on your smartphone, on a computer, or through voice assistants like Alexa or Siri.
What is Z-Wave?
Z-Wave is a home automation protocol that connects compatible devices to communicate with one another and create a network. Z-Wave is the leading smart home technology which offers millions of products around the world. This wireless technology will not interfere with your Wi-Fi signal and operates on low power. Z-Wave technology helps to improve everyday products such as locks and lights by making them “Smart”. This allows them to communicate with one another and enables you to control them, and your home, from anywhere.
What does being Z-Wave Certified mean?
For any device to carry the Z-Wave logo they must undergo rigorous and thorough testing to pass certification requirements. During the certification process, the Z-Wave team makes sure that devices operate and communicate well with each other so that customers can be confident that everything works. There are mandatory requirements for each device type to ensure devices and controller are full compatible and Z-Wave has strong security features that protect you.
Is Z-Wave Expensive?
Although a Z-Wave light switch may cost a little more than a normal light switch, it is still far less expensive than other home control technologies, and far more flexible. A typical homeowner can outfit a house with a basic, entry level Z-Wave system for less than $600.
What do I need to get a Z-Wave Home Automation System started?
You can purchase a basic kit (devices and Central Home controller) to satisfy your immediate need, and then add more devices as your desire (and budget allows). A Z-Wave system is designed to be easy to expand.
Will Z-Wave devices from different brands work together?
Yes, they will! All Z-Wave devices are designed and tested to be compatible with each other. Although, certain brands work “better” together than others. For example, a Fibaro Dimmer will always work best with a Fibaro Home Centre controller however all basic functionality will still work fine if controlled with a Vera controller. If require more information about device compatibility, please email us.
Will Z-Wave devices from the USA or Europe work in Australia?
No! All devices must be certified for use in Australia/New Zealand and comply with all relevant standards. Here’s why. Firstly, Australian and New Zealand devices use the 921.42MHz frequency compared to 868.42MHz SRD Band used in Europe and 908.42MHz used in the United States. Secondly, some other countries like the USA use 120VAC mains electricity compared to 230VAC in Australia so you could end up blowing up your device if it’s not rated for 230VAC!
Does Z-Wave require a central controller?
Yes and No. For the simple Home Automation installations you’ll only need a hand held Z-Wave remote control. For the more complex solutions you’ll need a Z-Wave Central Home controller or Z-Wave Gateway which will perform advance functions while the hand held acts as a secondary controller.
Is Z-Wave Secure?
Yes, each Z-Wave network has a unique ID that is assigned to every device in that network. This ID is different for every hub. When an extra level of security is needed, for devices like door locks, Z-Wave has another level of security which uses AES128 encryption, the same level used by major banks to protect financial information.
Is it difficult to install and can you help me?
Not at all. Z-Wave devices come with detailed manuals for installation, configuration and use. Some devices, such as Z-Wave lamp controllers, simply plug into existing electrical outlets. You use them the same way as you use e.g. a timer. Many other Z-Wave devices are just battery operated like e.g. sensors, locks and thermostat. Their installation is easy and safe to do. There are however some devices e.g. 230V inwall switches and dimmers which must be installed for you by a certified electrician in Australia. If you require a certified electrician please fill out our installation form.
Can I use Z-Wave with outdoor devices?
Yes, providing they remain within range of the controllers. Also, you have to ensure that all electric parts (wires and devices) are properly protected from any environmental factors (eg. Rain).
Will Z-Wave work in a large house?
Yes, the size of the house doesn’t matter because Z-Wave runs on a “mesh network”. Every Z-Wave product in your Smart Home will act as a signal repeater, meaning one Z-Wave device will pass the signal along to another device until the final destination device is reached. Ultimately, this means the more devices you have, the more powerful your Smart Home network is!
What are Home Automation scenes?
Scenes in Home Automation are a pre-set combination of actions that occur at the touch of a single button. Lighting scenes have gained popularity in recent years, but Z-Wave goes well beyond that. For example, you can create a scene that closes the blinds at sundown, adjusts the temperature, turns on inside lights to a pre-set level, turns on the television to the evening news, activates an outdoor motion sensor, and locks the doors. All from your Central Home controller.
How many Z-Wave devices can I control?
Z-Wave is a highly scalable technology – it can control anywhere from one device all the way up to 232 devices in just one smart home network. With Z-Wave you can build your smart home one device at a time – adding more smart home products when it suits you.
How do I know whether the desired action has occurred?
You will see a status change or receive a message on the controlling device informing you that the action has been completed. This status change / message will appear when the device being controlled sends a completion signal. It is part of the Z-Wave protocol to receive confirmation of any status changes undergone by a controlled device (e.g. a switch ON or OFF, dimmer 40%, heating ON, etc.)
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