Best Garage Door Solution

I am looking for the best garage door solution. My goal is to run a full Zigbee house, no Z-Wave. Are any that are just Zigbee? How much can I control? Some units have motion detectors. Can I use that to turn on other lights if it is a standard Zigbee motion detector? Most units have built in lights. Can I turn those lights on a off with outside of the opener? I would imagine there is an amazing opener that do those things and many others cool things. Can anyone make recommendations?

The Centralite 3 Series zigbee smart control garage opener is probably your best bet, but I’m not sure where you can buy it. You may have to get in touch with them. It’s usually white labeled and then sold under other brands, but then it often has a proprietary layer added that would make it incompatible with smartthings.

However, the base model is zigbee 1.2 home automation profile, which should be compatible with smartthings. And smartthings does work with other centralite devices.

The unit is also UL compliant, which is a good thing.

(BTW, the Wulian and Control 4 units will not work with SmartThings.)

1 Like

Any reason for wanting to go full ZigBee?

Personally I’m going to start trying to go the opposite way, Z-Wave as much as possible, too much 2.4GHz pollution going on.


I see Z-Wave going away like X-10 because of its limitations. It only supports 232 nodes, It does not used a mesh topology, It does not support profiles, running at 900MHz is good but it can only be sold in certain countries, Europe uses 868MHZ, 2.4MHz is global, you will see cheap Zigbee devices from china soon and I think it will go away with time.

The only area that makes Z-Wave better is there are more devices. That will change with time as Z-Wave gets phased out.

I can assure you that Z-Wave is not going away any time soon. Even X10 is still around (Insteon still supports X10 protocol). You should also check your facts because Z-Wave does use mesh topology. And as far as “profiles” go, sure Zigbee has many incompatible profiles, such as Home Automation, Smart Energy, etc. which has been one of its biggest problems. Go ahead and buy Iris motion or door sensors (both are Zigbee) and try connecting them to SmartThings. :slight_smile:


Z-Wave supports mesh but it is my understanding that it is not used. There are a lot of standards like Iris that break the concept of Zigbee being interoperable. Those standards will fail. Companies will realize that they will be successful if they offer a product that complies with the Zigbee spec.

Another issue with Z-Wave is there is only one company that makes the chip set called Sigma Designs. Zigbee has a few hundred vendors that make modules and chip level radios. That makes it a lot easier for a new company to get into that game.

Not to get into a big argument about technology, but most Zigbee radios and protocol stacks were licensed from the same company, Ember, now SiliconLabs. Sigma could license their radios as well if they wanted to, but they prefer to sell chips and modules instead to ensure 100% compatibility, something that Zigbee can only dream of. And yes, Z-Wave does use mesh networking. The choice is of course yours, everyone has its own reasons. :smile:


Right now, my setup is all zwave, not on purpose, its just the cheapest i could find for window sensors (monoprice) and GE switches (amazon sale). However, I would think a balanced approach of having a little of both would help hedge bets against either. On top of those two everyone keeps speculating Thread will be a big player. I would be curious what your thoughts are.

(My College major was computer information systems and I worked as a network engineer. I was working with zigbee and zwave long before I ever came to home automation. So I’m particularly interested in the protocol side of things. )

Not sure what sources you’ve been reading, but Zwave definitely uses mesh. All the good things about Zwave are because of mesh, and all the bad things about zwave are because of mesh.

While there is a relatively low limit on the total number of nodes in a Z wave installation, the same limit applies to thread and a number of other brand new technologies.

The single source issue for Z wave is only a single source for the radio chip. There are many different companies making Z wave devices, including Leviton, GE/Jasco, and Nortek. They’re all using the same radios, but that’s one of the things that’s guaranteeing interoperability.

Profiles in zigbee are powerful but also a pain in the neck. The next generation of zigbee, zigbee 3.0, is doing away with the traditional profiles and folding them all into one because the interoperability has become such a big issue.

All of that said, I happen to agree with you that Zwave is likely to become less and less popular over the next 10 years. While I think zigbee will stick around for some technical engineering reasons. I’ve said this before in the forums.

The reason is simple. Zwave is pretty much only used for home automation. And today’s mass-market customers just don’t understand mesh. They hate its limitations. They continually ask why they can’t get more frequent status updates, why a device can’t tell you if it’s gone off-line. Why lightbulbs have to come on it at full brightness after a power outage. They hate that you don’t have forced sequencing. Everything that’s good about mesh, they hate. And they honestly don’t care about the power savings and the money savings that that goodness brings. They would far rather pay more for their devices and have them work the way their Wi-Fi devices work.

We get those comments in these forums all the time. Pretty much every week somebody says “it’s stupid” or “it’s ridiculous” that mesh works like mesh. They don’t understand what they bought or why it’s designed the way it is, or why that design is considered a good thing.

And pretty much every week somebody wants to “fix” these limitations by putting more software on top of the network, whether it’s polling or database lookup or universal feature device types. All of which take away from the goodness of mesh, which is super fast response time with teeny tiny messages from basically stupid (and therefore cheap) devices that use very very little battery power.

Oh, well. Apple has decided that today’s technology customers won’t put up with mesh. So they’re going with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth bridge and tunnels architecture. It means sensors will cost $125 instead of 20, and batteries will last for six months instead of three years, but everything will work as expected.

Once there are systems that work like Wi-Fi systems, and the price levels have been reestablished, I don’t see zwave surviving except in a DIY niche for highly cost-conscious hobbyists.

But who knows? Even if that does happen, it’s 5 to 10 years away. We’ll just have to see.


Sure, all technologies will die and will be replaced by something new sooner or later. Z-Wave was the bleeding edge a few years ago, now it’s mainstream and in 5-10 years it will become legacy technology. It does not mean it’ll disappear though. The X10 was invented more than 30 years ago and its death was proclaimed more than once. Yet, you can still buy X10 gear and most home automation controllers still support it.


There are a lot of companies that have their own Zigbee radio chip sets. Freescale, NXP, TI, SiLabs, Atmel, Microchip, Marvell, ST Micro, Toshiba to name a few. Then there are companies that make FCC approved modules using all those vendors. Over the next few years all that product will be built into consumer based product. Those companies are banking on it.

Z-Wave has one company making radio chip set, Sigma Designs. I am not saying it is going away tomorrow but the writing is on the wall.

Thread is a perfect example of why Z-Wave is going away. Thread and Zigbee both run on 802.15.4 networking protocol. All the companies that have invested money on Zigbee radio chip sets already are running 802.15.4. Thread is just new software that can be loaded into existing devices if the manufacture supports that.

If a lighting vendor supports firmware upgrade over the air it would be possible to convert a Zigbee device to a tread based 6LoPAN IP based devices. You will never see that with Z-Wave. I also predict you will see devices that support both Tread and Zigbee. You chose during config on what protocol you need.

I thought with Z-Wave a lot of people had issue and just did not use it. Zigbee also uses mesh but it is a lot more robust. It truly has self healing. It is my understanding that you need to power down a Z-Wave device for 15 minutes to let the network determine it is gone and then power it back up. I played with it a while ago and gave up.

Again, not sure what you reading, but since the 3rd generation you can set up zwave to do self discovery. You don’t have to take the devices off-line. (That’s what the Repair utility is for.) Zwave plus, the newest one, is the 5th generation.

Z wave has become popular for DIY home automation in The last few years because there’s no interference from Wi-Fi. So you don’t have to do site sweeps or anything.

Zigbee is still very popular in high end professionally installed systems but those installers have the tools to locate interference and reposition devices appropriately. And of course now smart bulbs have brought zigbee back into the DIY market in a big way. :sunglasses:


I did not know it was on a 5th gen. Last time I used it you had to take devices off -line. With gen 5 is it self healing or do you need to run a repair utility to avoid the 15 minute wait?

Zigbee is spread spectrum. It uses channels in the 2.4GHz spectrum. Before it transmits it checks for energy on that channel. If it detects that something is interfering with that channel it jumps to a different random channel. Bluetooth and WiFi work in a similar way. They are all designed from the beginning to coexist. Also at 2.4GHz they can be used anywhere in the world.

Out of curiosity, how is this different from ZigBee? My GE Links come on full brightness after a power cut, is it a case of ZigBee has the ability to be programmed NOT to do this and that’s not possible with Z-Wave or something?

Sure, great in theory… in practice, the reality is far from it because there are just too many devices using 2.4GHz these days, including ones which don’t implement those protocols and will just trample over everything else when they transmit.

With regard to people not understanding what they bought, I was just referring to mesh in general, not distinguishing between zwave and Zigbee. :sunglasses:

Ah okay thanks.


1 Like

I know that I saw a performance boost with my Hub to Zigbee communications when I move my Hub away from my Wifi router, so interference is a real thing… how much it bothers others I can’t say of course, just in my instance Wifi and Zigbee right next to each other were causing some level communication issues.

For what it’s worth, I’m probably about 80-20 Z-wave vs. Zigbee because of the easy access to (relatively) cheap z-wave devices. I suspect Zigbee is more future proof, but I don’t think Z-wave is going away anytime real soon. I doubt we’ll need to replace Z-wave for at least 10-20 years. Purely an opinion there… but based on the current and growing install base, I don’t see companies like SmartThings abandoning it anytime soon.

It’s worth noting that originally SmartThings was planned to be Zigbee only… no z-wave support. But z-wave was added on early in the process because of the number of z-wave devices out there.

1 Like

I would predict in the year 2000 you would have a hub that is X10 and Z-Wave. In 2015 you would have a hub that is Z-Wave and Zigbee. In 2020 you might have a hub that is Zigbee and Thread (IP based). It would not be good to have all your Z-Wave stuff not work any more.