Z-Wave poll


Staff member
Considering many people have had the chance to learn and invest in Z-Wave by now, CocoonTech.com is curious to know as what your plans are.

I personally am still stuck in a bind, I want the reliability, but I have many 3way switches in my house, they are all toggles, and I don't like the idea of polling hardware vs true 2way status.
Since i was new to Home Automation i read alot trying to decide which protocol i should go with. Do i go with x10 or with Z-wave? Since x10 has been around for years there was alot of information for me to read and i noticed that people were only using x10 because thats what was available. Other companies attempted to create devices which worked better than x10 but from what i read none of these companies were convincing enough for people to make the change. Z-wave seams promising but has not yet pushed everyone to convert.

Since I know that eventually x10 will be faded out or atleast faded to a minimum i decided to roll with the new time and use Z-wave. I probably should have read a little more becase now i know that Zensys the company who makes the z-wave chiped has pulled a fast one. Being new i did not know enough to realize that z-wave is only a manufacture of a chip and not the actual protocol. ZigBee is the actual protocol also know as IEEE 802.15.4

Z-wave Jumped the gun and released a version of the ZigBee protocol but since the ZigBee protocol is still not standardized when the Real ZigBee is released and other devices are made i will be forced to buy Z-waves bridge device which will allow the Standard protocol to work with the Z-wave protocol.

Don't get me wrong i like the Z-wave company and i think they are very smart for trying to beat everyone else to the market. I would be happy just using the Z-wave stuff since i live in a small townhome and dont have need for much more than On/Off/Dim and Maybe a 2way communication work around. I will probably continue to by z-wave products and i will probably even buy the bridge.

With big corporations like Intel working with z-wave i am very confident that the z-wave product will slowly put an end to x10. This will happen faster if z-wave products went comercial and were sold in retail stores.

The x-generation is here. Almost everyone under 40 knows how to use a computer and has intrest in technology. Most people above 40 are interested but may not be as willing to learn. At the same time the people who are looking for new houses are the younger crowd 18 - 30 years old and with the intrest rates at an all time low the younger people are going to be able to afford a nice home which they would want to add COOL features such as Home Automation.

Z-Wave is smart for putting their name out first because most people will never refer to the protocol as ZigBee but as Z-Wave.

Right now i own:

Z-wave USB Controller
Sylvania Remote
2 Dimmer modules
2 Dimmer Wall Switches
8 Relay Wall Switches

and if they were available i would buy atleast 5 or 10 Z-Wave Receptacles.
Where have you heard about "Z-waves bridge device"?

Since Zensys is a member of the ZigBee Alliance, I would think there would be pressure for Zensys to produce ZigBee compatible units. I haven't read all the ZigBee information, but just because ZigBee hasn't been formalized doesn't mean it HAS to change. If it does change, then Zensys will either need to make "old" and "new" versions or risk a customer backlash when their products don't work together. Or else the "old" devices can have their firmware flashed or upgraded or a chip replaced?
Wow, thanks for bringing that to light. I hadn't heard that mentioned anyplace else yet. Makes me glad that I didn't jump on the Z-bandwagon. I sure don't want a mix of old & new products and a stinking bridge to get in the way.
Its taken this long just to make Z-wave products... The start of z-wave was in 2000 and 4 years later all we have is single poll switches and wall modules....

I am guessing that it will take even longer for them to put out the ZigBee products so if your waiting around for ZigBee you might be waiting a while. My gues is atleast another 2 or 4 years. This is why i will keep buying z-wave and then when the ZigBee comes out i will buy the Bridge. Chances are i wont have to replace much of my z-wave stuff since i am already happy with it. The only reason i would use ZigBee is for features that Z-wave might not be capable of doing.

But like WayneW said... ZigBee could be identicle oto z-wave or only minor differences. If anyone gets more information as to when the ZigBee protocol is to be released let me know.

As of now i think it would be very good if we(Z-wave Users) came together and learned about z-wave inside and out. If we could do this then maybe we could hack some of the products that Intermatic is about to release and use them for other things. When i get home today i think i might tear into on of my wall modules and take some pictures and draw some wiring diagrams to get things started.
Whoo!~ Did I just hear a gunshot?? Has Z-Wave just shot there foot off?

If this is true, I KNOW I'll be staying with the old fashioned X10. X10 has successfully survived quite a few challengers over the last 20 something years!

So far, every company that has promised to "kill" X10 has usually done something "dumb" and killed themselves.

It will be intereting to watch.
I am not sure about the other companies that have came and gone but one thing about z-wave is that IT WORKS! Z-wave may not take over x10 but i am almost positive ZigBee will and chances are people will start calling ZigBee by Z-wave simply because it was first. I wouldnt hesitate to buy z-wave if you need it. Meaning if you have a few locations where x10 is giving you trouble. Polling the switches isnt that big of a deal. Right now i poll 3 switched every 30 seconds and it work just fine. The rest i poll once an hour. I now own x10 stuff and z-wave stuff and i have stoped using my x10 stuff because of how unreliable it is and the funky way it works.
I am interested in Z-Wave, but with my limited budget and the fact that I am almost complete installing my Leviton DHC switches, it will have to wait till the next home. By then, it should be less expensive and there should be more hardware available.
Just so you know....

The Z-wave Developers Kits is $5k according to their sales person who sent me an e-mail over the weekend. You also have to buy a programmer which cost $1,600 and they say that they do offer Z-wave ships in small quantities but im not sure what Small means. I wish it wasnt so much because i would setup a group and have everyone pitch in and buy a kit. I doubt that i could get enought people to bring the cost down to a reasonable cost. Beside i would have to get everyone to sign confidentiality(sp?) contracts just to cover my butt.
If they would simply get 3 way switches to market the boom would start. It really makes you wonder who was in charge when this blundering decision was made. I absolutely love the Z-Wave switches. I have equipped all but three of my one-way switches. My problem is that nearly all of the switches in my home are 3way. So I'm chomping at the bit to get these. (In Ivory :D ).
I hear you RUPP. I got the following e-mail this morning...


Upcoming Training Sessions:

Chicago, IL: May 11 - 12, 2004

The training sessions will be held at the

Courtyard Chicago O'Hare

2950 River Road, Des Plaines, IL, 60018

If anyone happens to be around the corner please go visit some of the people as they are walking in and out of this training session... Tell them that we need 3-ways. It sucks that you have to own the z-wave developers kit just to attend this thing. I wouldn't mind paying $100 to go just so i can give some feedback in person. The kit is $5K... Anyone wanna pitch in the other $4,900 so i can go :D

Someone told my yesterday (unconfirmed) that the Intermatic Zwave products were just pushed out again. Originally scheduled for April, then pushed to June, I'm now hearing end of summer.....
Bummer. But this is what I've come to expect in this market. Oh well more time to save up for more of those Lightolier fan switches. :D