Tips for Z-Wave pairing for physically distant devices?

Hi all,

I have noticed that SmartThings suggests that devices be pretty close to the hub when adding, though Z-Wave has pretty good range. I saw this first hand when a SmartThings plug in the next room could not be detected by the hub until I brought it to a closer plug to add it. Since then it has worked perfectly from the original spot.

The problem is that I have some switches that can’t be moved closer to the hub, so I don’t know how to add them. I have a Smartthings sensor the same distance from the hub that is working fine, so I know it will work from that range. Any tips for adding devices from a longer distance?

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Hey Lifespan,

Is it possible to temporarily bring the hub closer to the switch via a long CAT 5 cable? I have one that is at least 50’ just for this purpose


You have several options here.

One) as was suggested, you can put the hub on a long ethernet cable if that works for you.

Two) if you happen to have an Aeon minimote, this can both include and exclude zwave devices to your smartthings network, so that’s often the easiest way. If you don’t have one, they are typically available for about $25 if you shop around. They are very popular in the community as they can also be used as a button controller with zwave devices, zigbee devices, to change modes, to run routines, etc.

  1. if the devices happen to be zwave plus (the newest generation of zwave) and they are within one hop of another Z wave plus device, they can probably be added in place even though they are more than one hop from the hub. But this will not work with older Z wave devices or with secure devices like locks.

  2. or you can do what we call a “bench pairing.” You bring the device to the hub, pair it there, move it back to where you actually want it to be, and then run a “Z wave repair utility” from the hub, and each device will update its neighbor tables. A lot of people do this when they get a new device, but of course it’s more awkward to do with things like light switches.

So all four of those are possibilities depending on the exact devices involved and whether you already own a minimote. :sunglasses:


I’m actually just going to make a wifi bridge with my laptop so I can take the hub anywhere in the house. Seems like a pretty bad design flaw with either SmartThings or the Z-Wave standard to have do that though…


It’s not the Z wave standard, as I mentioned, you can use the Aeon minimote which is a very small battery-powered device to do most zwave inclusion. And the Vera Z wave controller has long had battery power for its hub specifically for this purpose, so that you could walk around the house and do pairings.

However, SmartThings also includes a zigbee radio, and while Wi-Fi doesn’t interfere with zwave, it can with zigbee, and that may have been what led to the decision not to offer the battery-powered pairing option.

Wow! I figured I was missing something, but nope! This is a TERRIBLE design flaw! I am INCREDIBLY uninterested in trying to get my hub a few feet from a light switch on the other end of the house. I assumed since it cam with batteries, that was so you could walk it around the house and include items, similar to the VeraLite.

I like everything else, but this may be a deal breaker!

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