Z-Wave Instant Status Vs. Polling
When you turn on a Z-Wave light switch manually, there is a process that goes on in the background so your Z-Wave hub will know the state of the switch. There are two ways for your Z-Wave hub to find this information. One is by polling. Polling is where your Z-Wave hub will contact each individual powered Z-Wave device and ask for its status. It starts from Node 1 and once it hits your last Node it starts over again. Its a constant poll to see the status of each device. Each device you have on your Z-Wave network will increase the overall poll time.
Depending on your Z-Wave hub, some can be programed to poll faster or slower. Unless you know what you are doing, we recommend keeping this factory default. This can lead to an unstable Z-Wave network.
The alternative to this is called Instant Status. Instant Status is where the switch actually initiates the status report to the controller without the need for it to be polled. Unfortunately not all switches come with instant status due to a Patent number US 5905442 A by Lutron Electronics.
"The transmitter/receiver receives the radio frequency signal via the antenna and transmits a status radio frequency signal with information regarding the status of the electrical device"
That is a "Good Old USA Patents" for you!
The good news is this Patent is due to expire in 2016.
Two Z-Wave switch manufactures: Leviton and Cooper are companies that have purchased licensing rights to use Instant Status. All Cooper Aspire switches and Leviton's RF+ Z-Wave switches come with Instant Status. Keep in mind the Leviton switches you find at Home Depot do not come with Instant Status.
Many people ask, "Why are these switches double the cost?" Instant Status is probably the biggest reason. Instant status allows for some very creative lighting scenes. For example you can trigger any scene from one of these Instant Status Switches by manually turning it on. Another thing to think about is not every switch in your Z-Wave network needs to have Instant Status. You can only buy 1 or 2 depending on from what light switches you want to trigger scenes with. This helps keeps cost low as well as many people do not really need instant status switches in every location if at all.
UPDATE: 12 MAY 2017
We have affordable instant status light switches now available. Check out ZWP. These switches offer instant status. They also offer the ability to set seems based on how many times you tap a light switch (your hub will need to support this feature). For example you have a light switch in your master bed and when you triple tap of you want the whole house to shut down. ZWP switches now offer this capability.
- Z-Wave Plus Chip Inside
- Instant Status
- Offers single, double, triple tap Scene Control (Compatible Z-Wave Hub Required)
- Available in a dimmer, On/off Switch, and Three Way Aux Switch
- Compatible with 99% of all Z-Wave hubs
Check the ZWP switches here
Good Things to Know:
Instant Status Vs Polling is only in effect when a light switch is manually pressed. When sending a command from your Z-Wave Controller there's no difference.