Zwave / Zwave Plus network topology question

I am about to start adding wired Zwave Plus devices into my existing Zwave network. As I understand it they have better ability to route commands (and also add the security command class for locks), and can also extend the distance for device inclusions.

Does it make sense to reinstall my wired devices so that the Plus devices radiate outward from the Hub, and move the regular Zwave devices out to the edge? Or is this wasted effort?

It depends on the exact network configuration, but it’s probably wasted effort. Z wave and Z wave plus are all backwards compatible and the messages just get passed around the network as needed. You should run a Z wave repair utility after installing any new mains powered devices, but that’s about it.

The only reason to swap out an existing device is if you are currently having problems reaching some other already installed device and you want to improve the range for that specific leg of the relay. Or if there are devices that you haven’t installed because they are currently out of range.

But as long as any device on your network can talk to the target device and the target device is not more than four hops from the hub then all your messages should get through fine.

If you were starting from scratch with devices of different generations then, yes, it would probably make sense to build outwards as you suggest, so that max range for most points in the network was defined by a zwave plus device. (although I know some field engineers who would try to cluster the older generation devices closest to the hub and then start with the plus devices in the second ring. There are a lot of ways to approach it.)

But in any case, I don’t think most people would worry about it unless the house was made of Adobe or plaster over chicken wire and you knew that getting good signal was going to be a problem. :hatching_chick: Z wave is an Omni directional signal, even if the message has to go up and over and down, or backwards before it goes forward, the selfrouting is pretty good.

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Thanks JD, as always.

I had heard somewhere that garden variety Zwave can’t route secure commands
for locks. Do you know if this is the case?

I have a fragile part of my network and it unfortunately includes a lock,
so another part of the project is to figure out if my lock connection
issues are related to range, a buggy device in the path, or routability.
I’m trying to cross off the unlikely culperits…

It was true for third generation Z wave, but anything you bought in the last three years or so should be fourth generation and should be fine. There have been many people using zwave locks with SmartThings since it was first released in 2014.

More likely the issue that you run into is that you don’t have a repeater that supports “beaming” near the lock. This is necessary to manage the messages going to and from the lock. But this is available on many older devices, you just have to check the conformation statement for each model to see if evening is supported.

See the article in the community – created wiki:

And the community FAQ:

@JDRoberts - After talking it over with the SmartThings and Z-Wave accounts on Twitter, I realized I was thinking about this all wrong. My goal was to make my network more resilient (particularly if I need to re-add devices away from the hub), but I was assuming Z-Wave Plus devices could include regular Z-Wave devices using network wide inclusion.

Turns out, this was an incorrect assumption:

So, I think the better plan would be to have the Z-Wave Plus devices on the outside of the network, and the regular Z-Wave devices closer to the hub. This way if something fails and I have to re-add one or more devices, I don’t have to haul the hub around the house to re-include them.

Also, thanks for the pointer on beaming. One of my replacement GE Smart Switches is on that list, so I’m hoping for better results there too. Thanks again!

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