Z-wave range: move to gen5

Hi

I currently have a mix of Greenwave, Aeotec and TKB z-wave wall sockets. The aeotec and TKB are labelled as Gen5 z-wave but the Greenwave are not. I don’t have any other z-wave devices.

As I understand it, Gen5 has a much better range than previous devices but the whole network will fall back to older (Gen4?) function if any devices are not Gen5 compatible.

My question is: if I replace the Greenwave sockets with newer Gen5 sockets will my network automatically become Gen5 and will the range improve? Or, is there some other configuration I would need to do?

Thanks
Andrew

I don’t know how this rumor started (I’ve seen it on several forums in the last six months) but fortunately that’s not how it works.

All generations of zwave are backwards compatible per the spec, but it was always intended that you could mix and match generations without crashing the whole network back to the previous generation. :sunglasses:

Instead, each individual network segment between any two devices can take advantage of the capabilities of those two specific devices. If they are both zwave plus, an individual message sent between them has full zwave plus functionality.

If one of them is an older generation, you might lose some functions—but only for that specific segment . The zwave plus device could still use plus features on other segments if the other endpoint on that segment was also plus. And nothing changes the range of the individual radios. If the plus device can transmit for 75’, it can still transmit for 75’ even if it’s talking to a device that can itself only transmit for 40’.

So feel free to mix and match generations, but to take full advantage of new network management features like improved network wide inclusion try to position Devices so that each plus device has at least one path back to the hub through other plus devices. Otherwise don’t worry about it. :wink:

Oh, and run a zwave repair anytime you add a new mains powered device of any generation.

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The issue I have with mixed zwave and zwave plus networks is that you lose some zwave plus only features if there is a zwave classic device in the routing path. Since this path is not shown anywhere by ST tools you never know whether it is the case or not. Network Wide Inclusion, given the hell I’ve had to rebuild my network after migrating to v3, is important to me, I opted to replace 100% of my classic devices with zwave counterparts. I believe I only have a couple more devices to replace and 3 Schlage locks (the zwave plus version was certified but I can’t confirm availability on the market). I know locks do not relay messages but the zwave plus version supports a lot more classes and is more secure. Given it is roughly $600 to replace them, I will start with one to test it out. Overall, it seems like the system has been more reliable but it is very hard to confirm what introduced this additional reliability… new v3 hub? mesh network rebuild? all new zwave plus dimmers/switches/fan controllers (mesh network backbone)? ST cloud changes? Also, a major reason for me NOT to buy old zwave devices is that you cannot upgrade firmware. As manufacturers get more comfortable with users upgrading firmware on zwave devices, availability of firmware files will increase. I have already upgraded many HomeSeer, Leviton, Aeotec and Zooz devices. This ensures bug fixes and that all devices behave the same way (I’ve had identical devices behave differently and I suspect different firmware versions had something to do with it).

In short I agree with @JDRoberts that zwave plus was designed to work in zwave networks but I would still recommend NOT purchasing any new zwave classic devices. Go “plus” if you can.

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Definitely, if buying a new device I would always pay extra to get zwave plus if available. :sunglasses:

I’m just saying you don’t have to go back and replace all your existing classic devices if they’re already working fine. It’s a myth that you can’t get any Z wave plus advantages if you have even a single zwave classic device on your network. The hub has to support zwave plus, but after that, it’s a segment by segment evaluation.

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Brilliant, thanks.

I think the incorrect info came from product literature or the online retailer where I bought it.

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