Z-wave advice and opinions

I’m relatively new at this. I’ve been working thru our new home installing smart switches. House is 3000 sq ft single level with the V2 hub in a wiring closet nearly centered.

The half dozen Zooz ZEN26 switches I have on order will bring me up to 24 Z-wave devices, 21 switches/dimmers and 3 repeaters.

Planning out the rest of the house, I could end up with 55 switches.

Based on what I’ve read here, I’m wondering if I should continue with Z-wave or do the rest using Zigbee devices. Am I pushing the envelope with that many Z-wave devices?

Interested in all opinions and advice!

Zwave itself should be fine in the configuration you describe, but the SmartThings implementation, with its cloud-based architecture, adds some idiosyncrasies. That is, however, equally true of zigbee devices.

Perhaps @thesmartesthouse has some additional thoughts.

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No, not really. Zwave maxes out at 256 devices, but smartthings starts to have issues around 200 devices. At this point I don’t see max devices as an issue, but getting half way across your house in 4 hops or less might be, due to distance. If you have already installed zwave switches in the furthest rooms of your house, and they are working fine, then adding more zwave switches will only make for a stronger zwave mesh. Also switches arent sleepy devices, so that many devices should not slow down zwave repairs considerably.

  1. Some of the addresses are reserved for network functions.

How many Z-Wave devices can I control?
Z-Wave is a highly scalable technology – it can control anywhere from one device all the way up to 232 devices in just one smart home network.


We always recommend keeping to one technology if possible because a stronger mesh as @sidjohn1 mentioned can only mean good things for a reliable and fast smart home. 50 devices is nothing to worry about when it comes to Z-Wave. The total number of devices AND automations can have an impact on your hub’s performance regardless of which technology you use if it starts to be too much computing power for the hardware.
Cloud doesn’t help but SmartThings has been doing a gradual move towards local control so we recommend keeping as many devices local as possible to improve communication.
ZEN26 and all other Zooz switches are officially certified with SmartThings so you can transfer them to local control once you’re done adjusting the advanced settings that are offered in the custom device handler (all custom handlers run in the cloud by default).


I think I’m ok there. House is somewhat long and skinny. I’ve got switches in the attached garage at the south end and switches at the north end in the corner of the large kitchen/dining/living room.

I’m very likely at 4 hops to get the switches on the north end. I had to drop in a repeater to get into the Kitchen (appliances between media closet and the room). Then had to use two more repeaters to get to the north end.

I might be able to remove repeaters as I build out more switches in the big room.

Wish there were affordable network diagnostic tools I could use to determine routes and signal strengths.

Depends what you mean by affordable. :wink:

Discussion thread:

ZWAVE TOOLBOX: third party diagnostic tool

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Hmm… on sale for 150. Almost affordable…


Thanks! By “transfer to local control” you mean I should change them to the generic Z-wave switch or dimmer switch, right?

That’s what I’ve been doing. Tweak parameters as needed, then change the device type via the IDE.

I tried leaving some on the custom DTH but the cloud lag was too annoying. Once you go local, you’ll never go back. :laughing:

Just to verify another thing, I lose the ability to trigger scenes via multi-taps in SmartThings without the custom device handler, correct?