Why are open/close door/window sensors primarily zigbee vs zwave? Seems most of the best options are zigbee, though my many other devices are zwave… is there a good reason for each when engineering these?
There are some good Z wave ones, most notably Sensative, which have a patent on their battery technology.
The shortest answer is that Zigbee is somewhat better than zwave for power management, which allows you to have a smaller device that still has a one-year battery life. And most people want small devices for door sensors because they are visible in the room.
There are some recessed zwave sensors, which are tube that fit inside the wall, so they don’t have the same aesthetic issue. and Aeotec makes some triangular sensors which are pretty small.
But the primary answer to your question is just power management. Zigbee sensors can be made smaller because the batteries last longer so they can use smaller batteries.
Thanks for all of that!!
I honestly wouldn’t recommend zwave for sensors unless you can hardwire them. They use too much battery when you set the reporting intervals to something useful.
Also I believe the newest generation of Z wave (700 series) is better suited for battery use so I suspect there will be a bit more devices coming out in the next year or two that are Z wave rather than zigbee.
Too bad there aren’t smart plugs that act as both Zwave and Zigbee repeaters/extenders. I dislike having to effectively create two mesh networks.
You can use both zigbee and Zwave smart plugs
I mean, one smart plug that does both. I have a hodge podge of devices. Wish it were simpler.
There used to be one (just one) made for the Lowes iris home automation network, but that system was discontinued and the device is no longer made. It almost inevitably increases the price because it has two radios inside it, and devices for the do it yourself market are very price sensitive, so I don’t know that anyone else will ever make one.
I would add that in general I think it is easier to just think of them as two separate networks. They have different range, different maximum hops, operate at different frequencies and therefore have different devices that conflict with them, and manage repeating a little differently. So I think it’s both more efficient and cognitively easier to just set up two backbones.
Zwave sensors have been only trouble for me. They often are the culprit of too much traffic and I seem to be changing batteries all the time compared to the zigbee sensors I have. I wish there were more Zigbee options so I guess I am in the opposite camp I am actively trying to replace as many zwave devices with Zigbee as I can.
Thanks for sharing!
My experience is a little different. I use both Zigbee (Smartthimgs, Orvibo, Xiaomi) and Z-wave (Fibaro, Aeotec) sensors and the reliability has been pretty even across both. Battery life is also pretty similar although the batteries in the Z-wave sensors do cost a lot more than the coin cells in the Zigbee ones. I also noted that the battery vendors makes a difference. For instance a Panasonic battery will last on average twice as long as a GP or Energizer one. I put the reliability down to the fact that I have a pretty good Z-wave Mesh across my 2 story house and have a Fibaro Dimmer2 or Double Switch 2 behind every light switch.
Regarding the traffic volumes. I took the deliberate decision to reduce update intervals where possible. I realised that in most cases having a more frequent reading really doesn’t change much in terms of the outcome of automations.
How do you do that?
First rule of home automation: the model number matters. Some models have configurable parameters which allow you to change how much the device sleeps. Others don’t.
The options to do this (if available for your sensor) are in the device settings. I adjusted down the frequency of regular reports and also the size of the change that would trigger a report.