Using Zigbee and Zwave?

Hi, I’m new here and I’m just jumping into home automation. I have experience with automation already. I’ve had a reef tank running for almost 5 years - completely automated. It even changes it’s own water, mixes it’s own saltwater, etc.

I purchased the SmartThings hub.

I’d like some help with choosing Zigbee or Zwave. It seems that certain things are hard to find in Zwave and vice versa for Zigbee. Bulbs for instance seem to be widely available in Zigbee as well as the majority of the plugs I find.

I understand the concept of the mesh network and it would obviously be beneficial to choose just 1. It just seems like it is difficult to find all things in only Zwave or Zigbee.

Do most of you use both? Any suggestions/input is greatly appreciated.

I use both Zigbee and Z-Wave. Most of my light switches are Z-wave. Since they are hard wired, they are also Z-Wave repeaters, thereby building a strong mesh. Be sure to buy “Z-Wave Plus” devices, as that is the much newer specification and has some advantages over earlier revisions.

For motion detectors, door/window contact sensors, and leak detectors, I use Zigbee devices. I also use Zigbee light bulbs (from Sengled and Cree.) I also have some Lowes Iris 3210-L plug in wall sockets that are both Zigbee and Z-Wave repeaters. They are controlled by Zigbee only.

If your needs are simple, you may be able to choose just one or the other. If you expect to have a wide variety of devices, you’ll probably end up with both.

Be careful of some devices that are poor repeaters. A device that is a repeater, but that does a poor job of it, is worse than not having repeater functionality at all. I believe some of the Osram zigbee bulbs fall into this category. Sengled has chosen to not have their bulbs be repeaters, which is helpful if your family turns them off from a wall switch, which would wreak havoc on your zigbee mesh if they were a repeater.


There’s an FAQ in the community – created wiki that should help:


Smart bulb repeater FAQ ( this is a clickable link)

And the protocol FAQ which also discusses Wi-Fi:


Both crew here. Honestly, I buy whatever is reliable and on sale. Perk of owning a hub that works with both protocols.