Do all wired Z-wave devices function as repeaters?

I noticed that a number of powered devices in the list of SmartThings compatible products indicate that they function as repeaters, while others do not have the same note. Is this a difference in the hardware (e.g. onboard radio used) that will not change or software (e.g. firmware or device handler) that could be changed or updated as compatibility improves? This is something that especially drew my attention with the collection of Leviton devices that are on the list with official compatibility.

Is there a clear way of knowing which powered devices (switches, outlets, bulbs, etc) function as repeaters and which do not?

A previous post touched on repeater recommendations for a lock. @JDRoberts mentioned the need for Z-wave “beaming” compatibility to function as a repeater for z-wave locks, but what other devices require special functionality to act as a repeater? Is there an easy way to find this information?

With current device generations, all mains-powered zwave and zigbee devices except for emergency alerts like smoke detectors should act as repeaters.

Oh, and zigbee lightbulbs connected directly to the SmartThings hub appear to be unreliable repeaters for non-lightbulb devices. Zigbee light bulbs connected to a hue bridge will reliably repeat for other devices also connected to that bridge. Zwave light bulbs connected directly to the SmartThings hub do act as reliable repeaters for other Z wave devices.

So many manufacturers include “repeater” in the product description, but they don’t have to, and some don’t.

The only special requirement is the beaming one for Z wave locks.


Thanks for the added updated on Zigbee lightbulbs as repeaters. Is the reliability based on personal experience, or was there another article/post you are referring to?

Is there a different spec to look for that indicates a Z-wave device supports beaming?

It would be great if SmartThings maintained a list of these devices.

Community reports, including verification from SmartThings engineering:

For your other question:

Is there a different spec to look for that indicates a Z-wave device supports beaming?

It would be great if SmartThings maintained a list of these devices.

As far as SmartThings maintaining a list of beaming devices? Not necessary. :sunglasses: Every certified Z wave device has a conformance statement on the official Z wave alliance products website which shows whether it supports beaming or not. Better to just check the official listing then to try to keep a duplicate list up to date.

The community-created wiki does have a partial device list just for people wanting a quick answer, feel free to add to that at any time:

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Very useful information. Seems like there are a lot of new Z-wave Plus products about to hit the market based on the z-wave alliance list of products,

Have any Z-wave devices begun incorporating AES encryption? I noticed that was one of the optional Z-wave specs listed for different devices.

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Yes there were some even in the last generation of zwave. Quite a few of the Aeotec Devices support it ( even their lightbulb!)

However, some of those devices of had trouble staying connected to the network and most of them have had challenges in getting paired initially, so I’m not quite sure how it’s working out.