SmartThings Community

Need to extend Z-Wave outside the house

(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?



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.



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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.



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?
This is a Z-Wave plus product so does that mean it can be further than the Goldilocks 15’ you mention?



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

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.



In a mesh network like SmartThings, this will happen automatically provided

  1. both devices are the same protocol (Zigbee talks only to Zigbee, zwave talks only to zwave)

  2. both devices have been successfully paired to the same hub

  3. the devices are within one hop of each other (typically about 40 feet in a house with wooden walls)

  4. at least one of the two devices is mains-powered (not battery powered)

  5. the network’s address tables are all up to date

  6. if one of the devices is a zwave lock, the other must support beaming

That’s all there is to it. :sunglasses:

You don’t have to do anything – – when a device wants to send the message, it will check its address table to find a nearby neighbor that can relay the message if needed.

Where most people mess up is in pairing devices close to the hub and then moving them someplace else but not doing anything to update the address tables. Or in thinking that a battery-powered device can repeat for another battery-powered device.

But if you just check the six points above, everything happens automatically.



(David) #22

Thanks for the quick reply!

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(Tolik) #23

Can you elaborate on that a bit more please.



After all the devices are in their final position, if you have done a Z wave repair utility for Z wave devices or forced a network heal for zigbee devices, then all the address table should be up to date.

See the following FAQ:

In both cases it may take a little while for the individual device address tables to update after the utility itself is completed. (A little while could be anywhere from 10 minutes to 24 hours.)

Duncan has also suggested you can get more certainty in a SmartThings installation if you pair all the Z wave repeaters before adding the battery powered devices. he said if you already had a sensor and then you added a new repeater it might be a good idea to remove the sensor and then re-add it. But you could try it first without doing that step and see if things are working OK.


(Dale C) #25

Currently my hub is plugged directly out of my broadband router but it is located on an exterior wall not very well centralized. I could locate my SmartThings hub in the middle of my home but it won’t be directly off the router but feeding through an Ethernet switch. Is that a bad thing or should I keep it directly off the router?



If it works from the switch, should be fine. Just try to keep it at least 3 m from your Wi-Fi router, wherever it is. That will reduce the chance of any zigbee drop offs due to Wi-Fi interference.

Again, as far as device placement (including the hub) “all home automation is local.” If you find a set up that works well at your house, great. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same as anybody else’s set up. It’s just like WiFi Dead spots, every house is a little different. :sunglasses: Best practices are mostly just a guideline for what to try if things are not working well in their current set up.

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(Tolik) #27

The time depends on how many devices you have?

Thus far I have one Leviton Z-wave dimmer plug and two Iris z-wave repeaters plugs. I can’t imagine it taking 24 hours to repair that.

Is there a place to check or to see this information, or this is something behind the scenes?



Somewhat, although it also depends on the type of devices. Battery powered devices sleep a lot, and consequently the request might come through while they were asleep and then things get complicated. The number of hops is also a factor.

If all you have are three plug-ins they should finish within 15 minutes. :sunglasses: