Mesh Network Layout: best Practices for adding new devices?

I’m new to Zwave and Zigbee and this is probably a ridiculous question but here it goes.

Does it matter the order in which my hub discovers new devices?

In other words, if I start closest to the hub and work my way out form closest to furthest, does this matter or does the hub automatically map things out in the most logical manner?

Say I started a further away and installed more devices closer to the hub, would it matter as long as the hub discovers it?

Good question, but an easy answer: It doesn’t matter as long as you do a Z wave repair and a zigbee heal after all of the devices are in place. That will update all of the neighbor tables so every device knows their most efficient routing.

I just suggested to you in one of your other threads that you read the wireless range FAQ as it will answer many of your basic questions. I’m going to include that here again just for others who might find this topic in the future. (This is a clickable link)

Start with post 11 in that thread and read it, then go back up to the top of the thread and read the full FAQ


My experience has been that it works best to start with your hard-wired devices that will act as repeaters (outlets, light switches, etc), and work your way out from the hub. This will ensure that your mesh grows as you move away from the hub and makes it easier for new devices to join the network since they may have stronger indirect paths to the hub.

Then add your battery powered devices near where they will be installed.

Finally, do a Z-wave repair and a Zigbee heal to optimize the mesh network when all of your devices are installed. If you don’t have any Zigbee devices, then just do a Z-wave repair.


One more point to add. Some Z-wave devices need join in a secure mode to operate properly. To do that it’s best to include them near the hub first. Then you can move them to the desired location and do a Z-wave repair to update the tables.

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I’m assuming that hardwired Zwave wall switches don’t need to be near the hub first, correct?

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Ideally yes to get the secure inclusion. Maybe check to see if secure inclusion is needed/beneficial for your switches first.

Its quite easy to do a temporary hook up for the inclusion. You only need power to the switch. I did mine using as flying lead from a normal power socket. Be careful though.

Zwave plus (the 5th generation of zwave) added a new include method (technical stuff behind the scenes) and now can mostly be “paired in place” when using secure mode even when more than one hop away from the hub as long as the repeaters being used are also zwave plus. This is called “networkwide inclusion.”

New Plug-n-Play Network-wide Inclusion feature

So if you follow @etbrown’s suggestion of laying out the backbone of repeaters first, and you have enough Z wave plus repeaters, you no longer have to do much “bench pairing” where are you first pair the device right next to the hub.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of older devices which are not Z wave plus, then the method @siwilson mentions may be necessary.

The main exception to pairing in place is zwave locks, which usually have to be paired “within whisper distance,” about 3 m, for added security.

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As @JDRoberts pointed out, I only use Z-Wave plus switches. I was unaware that the “pair in place” with secure mode was a Z-Wave Plus feature. All the more reason to pay the few extra $$ and buy the newer Z-wave Plus version of products.

The biggest lag in Z-wave Plus adoption seems to be with locks. Yale is the only major lock manufacturer that I am aware of that uses a Z-wave plus. Both Schlage and Kwikset are still using the older Z-wave chipsets.

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Are the Inovelli switches Zwave Plus?

Never mind, says it right on the box! Zwave Plus!

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When you secure mode, is this something that is done automatically or is there a setting that I go into on the classic app before I pair?

Could be either, it just depends on the device. It’s up to the manufacturer how they designed the default. Read the user manual for the device, it should tell you. :sunglasses:

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Zwave plus was first introduced in 2015, most models that came on the market in 2017 were using it. But as you know, the box should say. The logos are slightly different for the different generations.


The third and fourth generation together are sometimes referred to as “zwave classic.”

The first and second generations are significantly limited compared to the later ones, so you don’t see those devices still on the market much.

Per the specification, all zwave generations are backwards compatible, so you can mix-and-match them on your own network if you happen to have a need for a particular device that is still only available in classic.

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how do you do a heal, i cant see it in the hub utilities or on the app

Please start with the FAQ linked to in post 2 above. It should answer many questions, including this one. :sunglasses:

Begin by reading post 11 in the FAQ, then go back up to the top and read the full topic.