What is Z-Wave?
Z-Wave is an efficient, lightweight wireless technology designed for residential control applications. Z-Wave creates a wireless “mesh network” around the home that can control lights, appliances, A/V components, security systems, access control and almost anything electronic. 

What can I do with Z-Wave?
Z-Wave makes just about any device or system in your home remote controllable through a common “language”, and any type of Z-Wave device can speak this language with other Z-Wave devices. This lets different types of devices work together as one remote controllable “event”. For example, pushing a button for “Off to the office” could turn off the home lights, adjust the thermostat and lock the doors. Or a signal from a smoke alarm can trigger the home security system and the house lights, and even send an alert if you’re not home. Z-Wave is a modular technology that can be easily and affordably adapted to almost anything electronic in the home. You can do practically any remote control event or sequence of events that you can imagine. 

How do I get started with Z-Wave?
Unlike centralized home control systems, Z-Wave is simple and affordable.  You can start with a basic kit to control one task, such as a lamp dimmer and lighting controller, and then add more modules to other devices in the house. A Z-Wave mesh network is always expandable and will always work together.

What is a Mesh Network?
Z-Wave’s mesh network is a medium for 2-way communication between devices that you’ve added to the Z-Wave network.  Instead of a central controller commanding devices around the house, each Z-Wave enabled device is capable of sending and receiving commands from other devices and controllers. Commands can be routed from one device to another throughout the house, around common household obstacles that would block other wireless systems. 

How many Z-Wave devices can I put in my home?
A single Z-wave mesh network supports up to 232 devices, enough for even the largest homes. If even more control is needed, you can “chain” one Z-Wave network to another.

Is Z-Wave difficult to install?
Not at all, it’s perfect for the do-it-yourselfer. Some Z-Wave modules simply plug into existing electrical outlets in seconds. More advanced Z-Wave installations require a bit more skill, but if you can perform simple household repairs such as replacing a light switch or an electrical outlet, you can Z-Wave enable your entire home.

What is a “Scene”
A Z-Wave scene is an series of controlled events that work in unison for a desired task or home ambience. For example, you can have a scene for “Movie Night” where a button on the remote could dim the lights and turn on the AV components. A scene for “Arriving Home” could open the garage door, turn on the hall lights and disarm the security system. Z-Wave scenes are powerful tools for home control because they let simple user actions control complex events.

How difficult is it to program a Z-Wave controller?
It’s easier than many of the home electronics you already have. If you can program simple electronics like an alarm clock, you can program a Z-Wave system.

What is Z-Wave’s range?
While environmental factors such as home construction affect the maximum communication lengths between two Z-Wave devices, you can expect around 90 feet indoors, and up to 300 feet outdoors in the open. Because Z-Wave is a “routing” technology, one Z-Wave device can pass the signal along to another until the final destination is reached. This relay system greatly extends overall range of the network.

Is Z-Wave expensive?
Z-Wave is very budget friendly; much more affordable than conventional home control technologies and not much more than conventional fixtures such as light switches and thermostats. It’s very easy for a household to make back its Z-Wave investment very quickly in energy savings.

Is Z-Wave widely adopted?
Yes! There are nearly 200 companies in the Z-Wave Alliance, leaders in almost every area of home control and electronics. Because of the Z-Wave standard specified by the Alliance, all Z-Wave products can work together, regardless of brand.

Does Z-Wave interfere with my other wireless electronics?
No, nor is Z-Wave affected by household wireless technologies, such as broadband routers, cordless phones and Wi-Fi devices. Z-Wave works on a different frequency, so it works seamlessly and invisibly next to your other wireless electronics.