Where are all the Z-wave Plus devices?


(David Christensen) #1

I was ok with just z-wave based devices when I first started out with ST, the first time I ran into a “range” issue I purchased a z-wave plus device and it worked as expected. Reading more into z-wave plus I realized the increased security that comes with it and decided that if I am going to invest in more devices they might as well be z-wave plus. However much to my surprise, while there are several z-wave devices I can’t find any GE/Jasco or some of the more well known vendors in the IoT space that have z-wave plus devices even though I have read several announcements that these companies are manufacturing the devices. I have even seen many videos from GE/Jasco showing z-wave plus devices, where are they?

Anyone else seeing this?

On a similar subject why is the Gen5 garage door opener (z-wave plus) from Aeon Labs not available in the US yet…I really don’t want a device without at least 128 bit encryption managing the biggest door in my house.

Did I mention I really want z-wave plus devices? :wink:


#2

This has been discussed in the forums on the individual device threads . The Jasco/GE models were certified by the Z wave alliance in June, they have not yet been released to the market, but I would expect them to be out in a month or so as the marketing materials appear to be complete.

You can find the conformance statements for them showing the certification on the official Z wave alliance site. You just can’t buy them yet.

http://products.z-wavealliance.org

All of that said, I’m not aware of any improved security features in Z wave plus versus classic Z wave. There aren’t any announced on the Z wave alliance site.

There are significant improvements in other areas. Consumers will immediately see the benefits of longer-range and longer battery life. Devices can also be made somewhat smaller.

There are additional significant technical improvements with regard to network management, particularly in place pairing and over the air firmware update. But nothing regarding security.

Personally, I would choose zwave plus whenever available just for the range benefits. And for mains-powered devices the improved inplace pairing is really nice.

But if you’re just waiting because of expected security enhancements I don’t think you’re going to find them.

I think some people are confused because some of the first Z wave plus devices were released by Aeon labs, and they also added enhanced security features to all of those models. But the same security features were available for Z wave classic devices, it’s just that Aeon hadn’t used them. So they were able to advertise their new Z wave plus models with enhanced security, but those are actually two different sets of improvements.

If you want zwave plus now, dragontech, Zooz, and homeseer have devices available for sale. It’s probably not a coincidence that all of these are new models that are not replacing previous Z wave classic models. I suspect Jasco and some of the other manufacturers who were making Z wave classic models are waiting for some of the old inventory to sell off before releasing their new plus models.

Reports on the dragontech wall switches have not been great, but their pocket sockets ( made by a different manufacturer) seem to be fine. The others are all very new devices, but reviews have generally been good. There’ve been a couple of bad reports on the Homeseer switches but most people seem to have had good luck with them, so those may have just been individual defective devices. It does happen.

Try www.zwaveproducts.com and www.thesmartesthouse.com for these, and of course homeseer for their own switches.


(David Christensen) #3

Thanks for the detailed response.

I didn’t realize the first version of z-wave could provide encryption probably because as you pointed out Aeon Labs only mentions encryption in their new Gen5 z-wave plus devices and I made the assumption based on this marketing information that encryption was a z-wave plus addition. If it is a vendors choice to include encryption in a device, z-wave or z-wave plus aside, then I will just start looking for encryption support when choosing devices that support it for applications that warrant it’s use.

I’ll have to dive into the specs in more detail, thanks again!

David


#4

Yes, each vendor decides exactly which advanced features they want to use, and that includes the two different types of Z wave encryption. If you check the conformance statement you’ll see that one of the lines tells you whether or not it’s using AES 128 encryption.

Z wave is now in its fifth generation. That’s called “zwave plus”, “fifth GEN,” “series 500.” It all means the same thing.

The third and fourth generations together are called “Z wave classic.”

For example, here is a classic Z wave lock, not Z wave plus, but it does use AES 128 encryption.

I honestly don’t remember when the encryption came in, but it was definitely available by fourth GEN.

Aeon started using it with its zwave plus devices, but they could’ve used it earlier if they wanted.

All Z wave generations are, per spec, backwards compatible, so you can have devices of different generations all working together. It’s just that in order to take advantage of the newest features you have to have a controller of that generation. The SmartThings V2 hub is A zwave plus controller. :sunglasses:


(David Christensen) #5

The link you shared to z-wavealliance is very useful, I have spent the last hour or so educating myself on the various z-ave manufacturers, what devices they make and what options they include in these devices, the conformance statement is an excellent data sheet! Thanks again for sharing!

As I mentioned I was holding off getting a garage door controller and was waiting for the Aeon Labs Gen5 controller to become available thinking it had enhanced security. After looking at the NuTone, Linear, GoControl etc. and seeing they support AES 128 bit encryption my security worries have been put to rest. Since the security comparison is a null issue I don’t think I will wait for the Aeon Labs version to become available just for the ability to add custom action sounds. Aeon Labs told me the Gen5 controller hasn’t been approved for the US yet, hasn’t provided a date when it will be and my wife is wondering why we can turn off the lights in the kitchen but we can’t close an already remotely controlled garage door with “my” new toy.


(Andrea Bianco) #6

I have- Go Control and am very very happy with it, no problems what so ever, and they have decent phone support if you are doing the install too. Nortek has been in the game for a long time.