“Pocket socket” just means any device that plugs into an existing wall socket and that you then can plug a non-networked device into to give you networked control.
I like the term “pocket socket” because it makes it really clear when we’re talking about one of the plug-ins and not a receptacle that is wired into the wall. But different manufactures call them different things, from “modules” to “plug-ins” to “smart switches” to “pluggable outlets,” all of which can easily be confused for other things.
The following thread discusses the typical features of this device class, with a number of pictures:
They typically cost anywhere from $20-$60. The ones that are Z wave plus will have the longest range.
www.zwaveproducts.com has a good selection in their lighting category, but pretty much any place that sells zwave devices will have some, including Amazon. Prices vary a lot on the same models, so shop around.
Remember that Z wave repeats only for Z wave, zigbee repeats only for zigbee, and Wi-Fi pocket sockets like wemo will not repeat for anything. But all zwave versions are backwards compatible, so a zwave plus pocket socket will repeat for older generations of zwave as well.
The community created wiki has an article on repeaters that lists some specific models
I also recommend the Iris outlet, IF you are good at copy/paste code in ide and have patience and willingness to pull your hair out…I have 10 of them around the house, but before I installed the last round, I shaved my head first. Really these are a pain to get them paired, but you can get the best of two worlds it repeats both zigbee and zwave (it’s actually zwave plus) and it helps beam to security zwave devices like locks. So it is a solid offer for the price you pay. If you are a plug and play kind of guy, I recommend the Leviton outlet, also mentioned in previous posts.
Just be aware that multiple people have reported or seriously questioned if the zwave repeater is always on with the Iris pocket socket. I have a few of them but my zwave mesh is strong enough I didn’t include the repeaters into my network because of this. I don’t know that we’ve seen a definitive yes or no.
I was referring to the wired into the wall receptacle is what I typically have around my home, but I do have a little bit of everything device wise around my home. IMO if you have neutral wires in your gang boxes you should replace either a switch or outlet for the repeater in lieu of the pocket socket if it’s for something important like a garage door. There is nothing worse than counting on a close garage door command and finding out one of the kids unplugged a pocket socket so the signal can’t get through.
I’m gathering from some interactions that these repeaters sometimes turn themselves off.
I understand that the Z-Wave and Zigbee networks are different. I like the idea of having a little bit of flexibility with my network if I decide to add a Zigbee device. Is the Dragontech only Z-wave plus or does it repeat Zigbee as well?
The only dual protocol pocket socket I’ve ever heard of is the one for Iris. it looked really good when it first came out, but a number of community members bought it and have reported problems with the Z wave portion. The zigbee part seems to work fine. So it’s still a good value choice for a zigbee repeater, but I’m hesitant to recommend it for zwave because of all the bad reports.
(The link to the Iris pocket socket is also included at the very end of the community – created wiki article on repeaters that was linked to above. There’s also a link there to the discussion topic where you can talk to people who actually have the device about their experiences with it.)
Thanks. Maybe I’ll go with the Dragontech to repeat what I need now and get a different set if I actually have Zigbee products.
BTW, I realize that the Iris products were in that Wiki (that’s where I found them) but it took me a few reads through very long fora to figure out where the link was. I run a pretty large forum and I was just linking to it because I imagine I won’t be the last person trying to break into this stuff and trying to figure out what a “pocket socket” is. It’s not that I’m non-technical (2 Engineering Degrees and a Solutions Architect) but my time is often limited and I don’t like to have to read through a ton of information to get to what I’m trying to zero in upon. In this case I wanted to figure out the best way to establish a reliable mesh network for some z-wave products in my home and it appears that the Dragontech is the way to go (now that I know that “pocket socket” is a generic term this community uses to refer to a class of devices.
Understood, but I think that’s mostly because a number of people here are kind of trying to not recommend the iris pocket socket right now, at least as a zwave repeater.
You got three links in the first three replies to your post: one to a specific model, one to a background piece on various features of the device class, and one to a major retailer who sells about a dozen different pocket socket models including the DragonTech.
So if you didn’t like the first model, you could’ve just gone to zwave products and bought something there. No long reads required.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I really do appreciate it but it wasn’t until a few posts down that I figured out exactly what “pocket socket” was. I searched the forum a few times trying to ascertain the best way to fill out the mesh in my home. I had already figured out that a Z-wave plus device would fit the bill but also figured out that many had stated that “pocket socket” was an inexpensive way to do so. I then searched the internet for "pocket socket’ and couldn’t find anything related to a z-wave product.
I guess I’m just cost-conscious on this because I have a single device I’m trying to reach in the house at the moment but have some other aspirations for other devices in the home. I didn’t want to buy too many things I don’t really need (I actually don’t really need smart plugs but at least they’re cheaper than other things I don’t need at the moment) but it was sort of hard to figure out what a “pocket socket” was and why a particular version of that item was preferred. I had found threads that spoke of picking up Iris at Lowes but couldn’t find them by searching for Iris at Lowes (for some reason).
Again, I’m not trying to be ungrateful. There is a lot of good information and I might decide to consume it more fully at some point in the future but I was trying to just come to an informed suggestion as to the best item to purchase and I think I received the answer. I already ordered 3 Dragon Techs.
Yeah, you have to search for “Iris by Lowes.” Annoying, but there it is. Their motion and contact sensors are very popular in the community, and their wallmount keypad is the only option of that type right now.
“Pocket socket” is a Chinese term also used in Europe. It’s obscure but precise. I don’t recommend buying from Alibaba, but they do have a search page for it.
As for why one particular model over another, different brands have different features (as discussed in the device class features thread) so different people will like different ones. Sometimes it’s just the shape. Sometimes it’s the protocol (Z wave plus versus Zwave, whether it supports beaming or not). Some are rated for outdoors. Sometimes it’s the number of sockets (some have one, some have two). A lot of times it’s just budget.
Dragontech are under $30, zwave plus, and support beaming. So an easy choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive repeater, especially to reach a zwave door lock.