Need to extend Z-Wave outside the house


(Tolik) #1

I can’t get my Schlage Z-Wave lock on my garage door to communicate with my hub. I’ve tried putting two Iris Smart Plugs as close to the end of the house as i can. Still I get no signal.

The garage side door is about 30 feet from the plugs.
If i stick the smart plug outside the window about five feet (using an extension cord I can get the lock to work.

I was thinking since I already have flood lights on the side of the house is there any bulb I can put in that would also act as a repeater?


(Jason) #2

Do you have these properly set up to provide zwave repeater?

I wouldn’t recommend the bulb, are there any light switches in the garage you could replace with a GE Z-wave switch?


(Tolik) #3

Yes, I’m pretty sure I got them setup right. I will double check though =)

Unfortunately after hurricane Sandy the electrical in the garage was totally flooded and fried (salt water). I’ve been using a wireless (rechargeable light). The cost of redoing the electrical is not worth it.

Why not?

I just found this… http://www.homecontrols.com/Bulbz-Z-Wave-Dimmable-BR30-LED-Indoor-Flood-Light-LNLBR30Z1 Its rated for indoor use though
"Serves as a Z-Wave signal repeater" Locks require secure beaming though, I wonder if this will work.


(Kurt Sanders) #4

Z-Wave locks are a different breed of animal than many of the other Z-Wave devices. In my large scale home, I needed the last Z-Wave repeating device in my mesh network to support “Beaming and Security” in order to reach and control the Z-Wave Kwikset 910 lock located in the garage. I purchased the Leviton DZR15-1LZ Decora Z-Wave Controls 15-Amp Tamper Resistant Split Duplex Receptacle, White/Ivory/Light Almond. But, the lock is still a little undependable, as I have 2 Z-Wave hops to get to the garage lock and sometimes the lock does not transmit or receive a “lock or unlock” command without a device refresh being manually issued.

The Z-Wave Kwikset 916 lock on the front door works perfectly, but then again it communicates directly with the V2 hub and is newer.


(Jason) #5

This is why, I’m not sure that they will offer the repeating signal you need, also you have to worry about someone turning off the light at the switch then you can’t get into the house!

Someone else might know of a bulb that would support beaming, but I just am not sure - I would guess that most of the Mains powered zwave device repeaters support it, but IDK.

@JDRoberts Do you know if the Aeon or Linear Z-wave bulbs support beaming?


(Tolik) #6

I have the same situation… My main entrance Schlage BE469 lock communicated directly with the hub and it works flawlessly (knock on wood).

The same lock (Schlage BE469) on garage outside has no signal at all.

Anyone know if the Iris Smart Plugs actually support secure beaming? I was under the impression all gen4 and above z-wave support it?

Also does anyone know how Z-Wave signal travel? Meaning does the signal prefer to go up? down? on a plan?
Should I add more devices to the basement (bellow grade) first floor (a little above the garage) or 2nd floor?


(Kurt Sanders) #7

@Tolik You might want to review this lengthy thread of Z-Wave transmissions and Z-Wave locks for many of the questions and answers that I had! @JDRoberts was very knowledgeable about much of the discussion.

Z-wave scores huge UL win for security!enter link description here


(Ernie) #8

Maybe you can put a micro switch behind the floodlights? The conformance page indicates the micro illuminator is a beaming device.


(Tolik) #9

Interesting… I have no idea how to even hook one of those up. I guess I have some reading to do.

I was also thinking of replacing my receptacles with a Z-Wave one’s. As long as they are in the waterproof housing they should be okay?


#10

I have three Z-Wave receptacles located on the outside of the house in weather-proof housings — they’ve been running fine for a little over a year now, through rain and one 110F+ summer. They’re being used for the landscape lighting.


(Viren Patel) #11

I used an outdoor sprinkler box and wired with a z-wave outlet which is used for seasonal lighting and landscape lighting which also doubles as a repeater. It has helped TONS with my aeon micro switch which I use to control my pool light.


#12

Beaming is a Zwave feature that is optional. So manufacturers will decide whether they want to include it in their device or not. It does cost them some more money to include it, so they don’t automatically include it in all models. But they will include it if they think it is a feature that consumers want.

The easiest way to determine if a particular model supports beaming or not is to check its conformance statement on the official Z wave alliance products site. There is a line that just says “supports beaming?” And then it will say yes or no.

http://products.z-wavealliance.org

Some lightbulbs do, some lightbulbs don’t. You just have to check the exact model.

Only the repeater closest to the lock needs to support beaming. However, it needs to be somewhat closer than a repeater for other purposes, typically about 15 feet or closer is good.

Zigbee locks do not use beaming.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Repeaters

If you have a problem that a Zwave lock status is not always being reported, you may need a beaming repeater closer to the lock.


#13

SmartThings is a multiprotocol system, which is good, but can be confusing when it comes to repeaters.

zigbee only repeats Zigbee, zwave only repeats Zwave.

Some Iris smart plug models are only zigbee, so they wouldn’t help at all.

Some are zigbee plugs but include a Zwave repeater chip, which is cool, but you do need to make sure that both devices were paired to your SmartThings network. This Can be a little tricky.

So first check to make sure that the iris plug does include a Zwave. repeater (again, not all models do), then make sure it is a beaming repeater, and finally, make sure the plug shows up twice in your account, once as a Z wave device. If it just shows up as a Zigbee plug, your Z wave network won’t use it.


#14

The antennas are omni directional. 360°. The signal shoots out from the antenna and then starts to spread.

This is why the hub should be placed centrally in the Home both horizontally and vertically. If you have three floors in your home, you put the hub on the middle floor for maximum coverage.


(Tolik) #15

Wow 15’. That’s tough.


#16

I just saw your post about using the extension cord. Since it works at that distance, you know that the repeaters are good and you know what your required distance is.

However, be aware that as the batteries run down in the lock, signal power is also reduced, so the minimum workable distance when the batteries are new may be out of range halfway into the battery life. It’s just something you need to plan for.

Also, signal is degraded when there is moisture in the air, either from rain, Snow, or just humidity. A lot of wireless connections that work great on a clear dry day won’t work in a rainstorm.

All of these factors are why people usually say 15 feet for a beaming repeater. It’s to try to cover the worst case scenario.

Is the Iris plug zwave or Zwave plus? Zwave plus has a range about three times that of older Z wave.


(Tolik) #17

I’m trying to find it now on the Z-Wave product catalog

Edit: Can’t seem to find it in the catalog, technically its a a zigbee device but it has a Z-Wave repeater built in so it would still need to be listed in the product catalog? I looked under switches but its not a Z-Wave switch technically.

@JDRoberts So this would work better than the Iris plug?
http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-HS-PA100-Z-Wave-Plus-Wireless-Appliance-Module-P2119.aspx
This is a Z-Wave plus product so does that mean it can be further than the Goldilocks 15’ you mention?


#18

The Homeseer plug is Zwave plus with beaming, so it’s going to be as good as you can get.

http://products.z-wavealliance.org/products/1681/embedpics

Whether that’s better than the Iris plug, I can’t say – – I didn’t see it either on the Zwave alliance website. Which is weird, because if it’s certified it should be there.

But I didn’t look at every single possible plug, it’s probably white label and made by some other manufacturer. If you have the box or the user manual, they should say whether it’s Zwave plus. Or look on the back of the plug for the FCC license number and you can look it up that way.


(Tolik) #19

If anyone is intrested. The Iris smart plug (gen 2) is zwave plus certified


(David) #20

So all my stuff is fairly close to my hub I have no issues. My dad’s hub is a little further from some of his devices. How do you get one device to talk to another device to get to the hub? I have searched the community and nothing I have found has helped me figure that out.