Connected Home Planning
When designing your Connected Home we recommend sitting down and planning out a few key points before you get started.
Taking your home layout into account is a crucial first step. This can make or break your Connected Home experience. In the picture below we have a healthy Z-Wave network. The Z-Wave Hub (Grey Dot) is centrally located allowing for an inner and outer circle of devices. This enables multiple paths for signal transmissions and Network Wide Inclusion. This picture is not completely to scale as each network hop conservatively can be 45-80 feet long depending on building materials. This will work in homes up to 8000sqf. (In bigger homes please take a look at Multi Hub Networks). Typically we suggest starting out with lighting in order to make a reliable Z-Wave Mesh Network and then move to include battery powered devices.
Hour Glass Effect
Pictured below is a poorly setup Z-Wave Network. We refer to this as the Hour Glass Effect. The Z-Wave Hub (Grey Dot) is not centrally located and there is only one Z-Wave device (Red Dot) funneling all transmissions to the right side of the house. This will cause a bottle neck for data transmissions, slowing down response times and creating an unreliable Z-Wave Network.
Devices to Use
Before you start taking out all of your old switches and replacing them with Z-Wave switches make sure they have the features you need. Some switches have more features than others and should be noted.
Beaming (security compatible): Is the most important feature when you plan to add Z-Wave Door Locks to your network. Beaming is a feature that allows you to wake up a door lock in order to send information to it. Typically you are sending door lock codes and unlock/lock commands.
You do not need to worry about this too much, as the only device we sell that doesn't support Beaming is the Intermatic CA600 Dimmer Switches.
Network Wide Inclusion(NWI): See Adding and Removing Devices
Instant Status: Currently only found on Cooper and Leviton Vizia RF+ Switches. See Instant Status Vs. Polling