If you’re not a total techie, the world of smart home technology can sometimes be a little intimidating to navigate. We’re here to break it down for you:

What is Z-Wave?

Z-Wave is a wireless protocol that focuses on connectivity within the smart home. It uses low-energy radio waves to let smart devices communicate with one another. (For a comparison, think that the Z-Wave connectivity range is bigger than that of Bluetooth, but smaller than that of Wi-Fi.)

How is Z-Wave connectivity different than Wi-Fi?

With Wi-Fi, everything has to be connected to a central hub—like a router. Z-Wave connectivity, on the other hand, forms a mesh network. This means that all the Z-Wave devices link up together.

Usually, there will be one central hub that connects to the internet, but all the devices themselves don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities; instead, they use Z-Wave connectivity to talk to each other and to the central hub.

This source-routed mesh network topology has 232 nodes, which means that you can connect 232 smart devices to the network.

How is Z-Wave different than Zigbee?

Basically, Z-Wave was designed to be simpler to use and less expensive than Zigbee.

Plus, while both Z-Wave and Zigbee form mesh networks, Z-Wave operates on a 800-900 MHz frequency range, instead of Zigbee’s 2.4GHz frequency range. This means that Z-Wave gets much less interference than Zigbee.

What does Z-Wave mean for your smart home?

Z-Wave connectivity means that you can easily build a smart home that is customized specifically for your needs.

All Z-wave devices (of which there are over 24,000) are completely interoperable with one another—no exceptions. This means you have the flexibility to create a smart home network unique for your lifestyle.

Plus, Z-Wave’s new 700 series (announced at CES 2018) has a range of 100 meters for point-to-point contact, so you can outfit your home with smart devices, both inside and out. And, because this new platform operates on such low power, some sensors will be able to run for 10 years on a single battery.

Build your own Z-Wave smart home network. Start with a smart hub, and then add smart lighting, smart locks, smart sensors, and more to make your home a Z-Wave home.